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That's a good question fatboyslim. I choose the Coffee Compass because they sell Malawi Pamwamba. I was out there about 4 years ago (I was working for a couple of weeks in the capital, Lilongwe)and really enjoyed Mzuzu which is, I believe, the main coffee (from the northern region) grown and exported. However, I found CC which does the less well known Pamwamba (I think south of the country). It was an amazing time in an amazing country so there is huge nostalgia when I drink a coffee from Malawi (as I am doing right now!). Coupled of course with the fact that I consider it to be a really nice coffee.

I have found the service at CC very good, a good website and range of coffees (he doesnt have at the moment but I did buy a couple of bags of a nice bean from Rwanda last year).


Elektra Micro Casa Leva machine/Ascaso i2 steel grinder/Bialetti moka pots/Aeropress and Bodum (for office)/Caffe Ginevra cups/Coffee Compass Malawi roasts/ :coffee:

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I like to try new roasters so when I hear of one my default position is that I'll buy from them. Then I look at their website for any signs that they aren't for me. These will include:

- Having the same beans as lots of other roasters, which suggests to me they don't dedicate enough energy on sampling and selection, and instead go with what is an easy buy from the usual importers.

- Not providing much info about the beans... grading info, processing method, info about the farm/lot location, something to give me confidence in the quality of the green beans. Grading info is very sorely overlooked in my view.

- info about the beans that is clearly copied and pasted from somewhere else e.g. corny tasting notes that don't seem legitimately the roaster's own.

- the other items sold on the website being poor or commercial quality rather than aimed at the speciality coffee market e.g. naff hot chocolate, bean-to-cup machines, loads of syrups.

- paper bags (unless they have an airtight membrane)

- unjust postage costs

- of course, the faintest whiff of any promotion of Kopi Luwak.

 

If none of these exist... great. I'll buy two or three different bags of beans. (unless i already have 10 bags, which is often!)

 

Mike, commendable criteria. However, I think you are a little scathing on the subject of green bean choice. As far as I am aware, and correct me if I am wrong, there are only 3 major importers in UK. If you look at their offerings list you will generally find the exact same coffees. As a crop it is seasonal, too, so you are hampered by availability. Probably the reason you see many roasters stocking the same beans is due to quality and not laziness as you point out.

 

Unless you are a large commercial operation with direct trade agreements and a large warehouse full of stock you are likely to fall into your category of "lazy" roasters.

 

I find it disheartening to hear criticism of businesses that put a lot of effort into their products even though they are limited by their size and buying power.


Sorry! I don't do skinny soy decaf latte

 

CoffeeMagic - Passion mixed with a little magic

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You've got to have a holiday snap of you at a coffee farm these days otherwise you aren't doing it right, plus you need some (rather patronising) blurb about how you, the roaster, are directly teaching the grower how to grow better quality coffee (because of course you know more about that than they do), the quality of which is then passed on to the consumer, who, in turn, then knows that they are buying a better cup of coffee than they would from one of those merchants who don't put loads of blurb on their site.

 

Only problem is, none of this actually means anything. As I've said recently. I've had numerous bags of HasBean coffees via a gift subscription recently and not one of them was better than average quality

 

Beware of marketing hype.

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Thanks Ron, it's good to get a roaster perspective on these things. There's certainly merit in what you're saying, I think. I'd agree that I'm picky about who I buy from, and maybe my criteria are not sympathetic to the limitations of some roasters. I'm going to take that on board and loosen up a bit. But the reality for me is that I've got to the point now where I've been disappointed enough times to have a fairly good guess which untried roasters' beans I'm going to like and which I'm not... and it generally relates to exactly what I've listed above.

 

When I say "don't dedicate enough energy on sampling and selection" I simply mean that (as I understand it) the roasters I rate highest and buy the most from are themselves very picky, sample quite a lot, and reject most of what they sample so to allow them to find exactly what they are looking. Maybe that's the case with all roasters, and if so then hopefully it would be good feedback to them if they did give customers more of an insight into their bean selection process, maybe with just an extra section on their website.

 

I don't really think it's like Expobarista says... marketing hype etc. It really depends who your target customers are. If a roaster's target customers want that sort of info, because actually is DOES matter to them, then the roaster would benefit from offering it. If the roaster's target market isn't so interested in grading info, processing method, roasting date etc. then the roaster can choose not to offer it. And then a customer can choose to buy or not to buy based upon what is offered, and that is how I make my buying choice. Not because I'm fooled by hype, but because (for example) I like the 'vertical integration' involved in carefully selected direct trade agreements. The family owned farm improves, earns more money, and the roaster gets better quality and a more stable and unique buying channel. The customer benefits from all that in my view... maybe I'm not as cynical as Expobarista ;) (BTW - The other criteria I'd add is that I personally don't like dark roasts, and I'll tend not to buy from roasters who prefer that roast style.)

 

Feedback works both ways, I hope. I'll take your comments on the chin :) But I do have to pick you up on your choice of the word 'lazy' though mate. It's something I never said, never would say, and certainly don't mean to imply. I take your point regarding seasonality, availability and quality driving roasters towards the same buying decision, and not being a professional roaster I'm probably oversimplifying things.

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I went to Selfridges on Saturday to try one of their famous Salt Beef sandwiches. I noticed that they were devoting window space to the 2012 Bright Young Things award, and a nominee was Jack Coleman of Coleman Coffee roasters. Apparently they're based in Maltby Street market. Has anyone heard of them?! I was surprised to see them in contention for what I imagine is a prestidgous award, and never heard them mentioned on here!

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I went to Selfridges on Saturday to try one of their famous Salt Beef sandwiches. I noticed that they were devoting window space to the 2012 Bright Young Things award, and a nominee was Jack Coleman of Coleman Coffee roasters. Apparently they're based in Maltby Street market. Has anyone heard of them?! I was surprised to see them in contention for what I imagine is a prestidgous award, and never heard them mentioned on here!

 

Perhaps, Fran, they see forum members as too discerning. I wish them the very best of luck. The small artisan often has the time and the energy to produce something exceptional. They appear good enough to have a window display at Selfridges.


Sorry! I don't do skinny soy decaf latte

 

CoffeeMagic - Passion mixed with a little magic

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I went to Selfridges on Saturday to try one of their famous Salt Beef sandwiches. I noticed that they were devoting window space to the 2012 Bright Young Things award, and a nominee was Jack Coleman of Coleman Coffee roasters. Apparently they're based in Maltby Street market. Has anyone heard of them?! I was surprised to see them in contention for what I imagine is a prestidgous award, and never heard them mentioned on here!

 

I was at Maltby st last Saturday, I bought a bag of Brasilian coffee from the Colemans. I like it, it's a pretty mellow, rounded, chocolatey affair. Had a good espresso too, using their own blend that they also sell. Nice and friendly lads to boot.

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Some Glasgow based roasters here:

 

Coffee, Chocolate & Tea : http://www.coffeechocolateandtea.com

Artisan Roast : http://www.artisanroast.co.uk/

Dear Green Coffee Roasters : http://www.deargreencoffee.co.uk/


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I'm surprised Ferraris Coffee in Wales isnt on the list here. I'm totally smitten with their Cafe Crema and Cafe Classico at the moment (thick, heavy, flavour packed crema and smoooooooth taste), and their decaff is just sublime. Good service, bags have a 'roasted on' date, and a good free delivery offer on 4 bags. Their cups are really cool too!

 

http://www.ferrariscoffee.co.uk/Shop/


Londinium L1 Luxe - Compak E10 - Macap M7 - Brita Aquaquell - Torr Trapez Tamper - IMS Shower screen - IMS & VST baskets

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I just discovered a another nice roaster.

 

W. Martyn of Muswell Hill in N.London.

 

I was drawn to their shop a few weeks ago by the sight and smell of an old fashioned tombola and flame type bean roaster in their window which was roasting some coffee and sending the most phenomenal smell out into the street.

 

TBH I didnt realise their history in the coffee trade and thought it was just a gymmick to pull punters into their shop which mainly sells every type of confection/biscuit/delicacy you can think of.

 

However, I was back in the area this morning and decided to investigate. They have a quite sizeable range of blends and single origin coffees, roasted by them on site and the prices are decent too.

 

I bought 200g of their swiss water decaff colombian beans (actually, now i come to think of it I cant recall if it is colombian) which is is fantastic. Good thick crema, lovely flavours throughout, for £3.75 and 200g of their Espresso Crema blend, which is also really good for £3.50.

 

They do have a website http://wmartyn.co.uk/index.html but the shop appears to be down for an upgrade so i suppose for mail order you'd need to phone for the time being.

Edited by CamV6

Londinium L1 Luxe - Compak E10 - Macap M7 - Brita Aquaquell - Torr Trapez Tamper - IMS Shower screen - IMS & VST baskets

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An appropriate place to start posting, I guess. The main part of our business is roasting and selling beans from our shop in Teddington. However, for those further away we also sell freshly roasted beans on our website http://www.astrora.co.uk and take phone orders as well.

 

Lovely shop this, live locally and have been using it the last few years.

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I've been buying from Anne and Chris at Monsoon Estates for quite some time. Wonderful people and very personal service. They are also willing to take on suggestions and requests and help out wherever possible. They are based in Stratford-Upon-Avon and sell at Stratford and Warwick (a 2min walk for me on Saturday mornings!) markets but post out too.

 

http://www.monsoonestates.co.uk

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Hi,

 

I chose to buy from a roaster based on their coffee that they supply to my local coffee shop. I visit the same coffee shop in York, Coffee Culture, most weekends (and even used to work there) and so was able to base my choice of roaster on this experience.

 

The roaster I would recommend for inclusion is York Coffee Emporium - http://yorkcoffeeemporium.co.uk/

 

There's a fair few cafes using their coffee across the York and local region but if you buy online they deliver across the UK. If you're in York they do a local pick up from a shop near the Minster.

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I'd like to suggest Atkinsons in Lancaster to add to the list paid a visit to their shop on Thursday and its an amazing place still got all the olde worlde shop fittings and roast on the premises and have a nice variety of coffee too caame away with some nice beans to try then went across to the road to their Music Room cafe and had a very tasty flat white made from their Thalia blend and a delicioud piece of lemon drizzle cake well worth a visit to both if yoy're in Lancaster.

 

http://www.thecoffeehopper.com/category/1/coffees.htm


Common sense is not a gift, it's a punishment. Because you have to deal with everyone that doesn't have it !!!

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I'd like to recommend Coffee Compass at http://www.coffeecompass.co.uk/shop/. I ordered some green beans and got 20mins advice on how to roast them over the phone and they phoned me! Excellent.


Bezzera BZ99 La Pavoni Europiccolo Mazzer Major E VST 17g & 22g RB 58mm, MBK VST 58.35mm, Aeropress, Cona, Kalita wave, CCD, Gene Cafe roaster, Cona, Hario, Hellem Sintrax syphons.

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Hi, I have been roasting beans for my self for a while now, some time back this progressed to selling some to my local community and now i'm taking it a step further and hoping to sell my coffee further afield and make it my full time occupation. My web site http://www.thistledowncottagecoffee.co.uk is now up and running and i would be gratefull if it could be added to the exhisting list of uk roasters, i have a small selection of quality beans for sale that are freshly roasted to order (see website for more info).

Thanks.

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