Great roasters can be found in cities all across the UK
As the UK is our home country, we feel an extra obligation to bring you a fantastic edition but we also wanted to do our best to represent as much of these varied lands as possible. England, Scotland & Northern Ireland and (nearly) Wales are each represented with a superb coffee in this month’s tasty Christmas box that truly celebrates the best of Britain!
Plot is a roastery comprising a small team of experienced coffee professionals based in Woolwich, South East London. They are dedicated to, as they put it “precision style and flavour. Impeccable, responsible sourcing coupled with precise, methodical roasting with the experience and logistics to deliver amazing coffee.” We couldn’t put it better ourselves because Plot, whilst still relatively new compared with some other UK specialty coffee roasters, are already one of the most reputable in the country and they just keep producing amazing quality coffees.
Plot’s uncompromising approach and consistent work resonates with us and I’m very excited to be working with them again, particularly as this time we have one from their premium ICON range-too good!
Grown by neighbouring farms and then processed carefully by Simon Brown. First year of exporting from Las Etíopes where they have planted some unique and rare varieties, and Plot expects big things to come from this producer in the future.
The team at Las Etíopes have set up a small wet mill this year in order to process and dry cherry bought from the neighbouring farmers. Premiums are paid for the quality of cherry selection to incentivise good picking and in order to pay more sustainable prices to farmers, certainly more than intermediaries would pay them.
The fruits are selectively picked ensuring only fully ripe cherries are used. They are placed in a barrel to ferment for 72 hours before being slowly dried for 30 to 40 days on raised beds depending on the climatic conditions.
(Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Combine great coffee with perfect 80’s nostalgia and you have Process Coffee, a small roastery from Belfast founded by Ben Hamilton. What began as a webshop featuring international roasters would soon develop into a roastery of its own through Ben’s drive and some outstanding design work.
The VHS boxes are a reminder that great design can be a big part of a coffee experience. Ben is also a keen skateboarder and it’s this lifestyle and vibe he so cleverly infuses into his brand. The first time I saw them I was struck at how instantly iconic Ben’s whole approach is but it’s the fact that his coffee is so delicious that really makes Process a roaster to be taken seriously, even when playful nostalgy is this much fun.
La Ponderosa, the farm on which this lot of Villa Sarchi coffee was grown, rests at 1700 meters above sea level. Cerro Buena Vista processes coffee using Washed, Honey, and Natural processes, including some involving anaerobic fermentation. The family uses an ecological wet mill in order to minimize water consumption and converts organic waste produced at the site into fertilizer in order to protect the surrounding environment.
This lot of Villa Sarchi coffee underwent Natural processing at Cerro Buena Vista. Cherries were selectively harvested for optimal ripeness. The coffee was first pre-dried on raised beds before being finished on the mill’s patio with all drying happening in full-sun exposure.
Machina Coffee Roasters
Machina is the brainchild of a former DJ with a penchant for coffee and a man who brought a wealth of experience in the coffee industry, particularly in training. Their paths crossed through a mutual friend in the music scene, leading to the revelation of a shared fervour for equipment and a commitment to sharing knowledge.
Ten years on and Machina are Edinburgh-based and well known as quality coffee roasters who, as they put it “source, sample, roast and distribute the best coffee we can find from around the globe. Our approach is not to stick to conventional wisdom about origin and taste.” We’ve been fans of Machina for many years so I’m really excited to have one of their exceptional range of Signature coffees.
Kiganjo is one of the most outstanding Kenyans of the year, sourced through Nordic Approach, who really excel in sourcing high grade African coffees.
Kiganjo is a coffee factory or wet mill, owned and operated by Thiririka Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS). Thiririka FCS are the biggest cooperative in Kiambu County, and operate two other factories—Githeme and Ndundu—alongside Kiganjo.
They process cherries from around 1,500 smallholder producers, well known for producing exceptionally high quality coffee. Thiririka FCS maintain rigorous quality-driven standards for sorting and processing, as well as ensuring active members adhere to stringent agronomic best practices, all to ensure the best quality and highest price for their members.
Aga and Jimmy Dimitrov, partners in both work and life, come from a long relationship with coffee, spanning more than a decade. Previously, Jimmy was managing an SCA Coffee Education Campus, Aga used to work as the Head of Coffee for a large-sized coffee chain based in the South West England. In 2019 finally Aga and Jimmy created Sweven.
They have managed in just three years to become a household name in the specialty coffee scene in Bristol and far beyond, thanks to their pursuit of delivering the finest coffee sharing their deep knowledge & excitement while collaborating with small talented producers. It is a real pleasure for us to feature them again as we admire their ‘only exceptional coffees’ approach to their business.
This micro-lot is 100% Pink Bourbon, a varietal currently under research to determine its true origin. It’s an endemic hybridisation of Red and Yellow Bourbon, said to have originated in San Adolfo, right where El Mirador is located. The Pink Bourbon is processed with 96 hours of anaerobic fermentation. It is then de-pulped and dried on raised beds in a lower-temperature environment before stabilising for 20 days. Sweven discovered this real gem of a coffee after a series of blind cuppings at El Vergel coffee farm with Elias Bayter. This was something special and when they asked Elias what it was and who was the producer, he shouted – “It’s from my friend Wilder Lazo in San Adolfo, Huila and it’s his crazy juicy Pink Bourbon”!!! Sweven had to purchase some straight away as it was obvious to them that people will love it just as much as they did!