A Unique Collaborative Approach
The UK Coffeesmiths Roastery is home to Department of Coffee and Social Affairs Roastery, Small Batch Coffee Roasters, Taylor Street Baristas and Roasted Rituals. The US, Chicago coffee roastery, is home to Dollop Coffee, Halfwit Roasters and Department of Coffee and Social Affairs. Our Head Roaster, Dumo Mathema and Head of Coffee, Ashley Lopez, oversee coffee quality, green coffee buying and planning for the Group. Dumo leads a team of Roasters who work together to develop coffee profiles for our various brands, understanding the different profiles and methods of each brands distinct identity and always ensuring the best coffee is produced.
SOURCING AND QUALITY
We source coffee from all over the world, we know where the coffee is grown greatly affects the taste. Although there can be a huge variety of flavours within each country, there are general flavour trends for each continent. All of our coffees score 80 or higher out of 100 as graded by the Speciality Coffee Association (SCA).
To serve specialty coffee requires a sourcing chain that extends from the farm and workers, to picking and packaging, screening and grading, brokerage, shipping, roasting and – finally – coffee making. By working closely with our partners we are able to bring some of the best coffees in the world to you. The grades of coffee we buy can only be produced by farmers who have a passion for their crop and are skilled in agribusiness.
Good quality coffee doesn’t mean you’ll always like it. That is why we sample our coffee blindly and judge on flavour clarity and ability to pique our interest. Because we buy from specific producers, we expect distinct and definable flavours and we want those to be complimentary – or to collide in an interesting way. We encourage our customers and team members to try as many coffees as possible to discover which flavours they enjoy. You’ll find that there is no such thing as the perfect coffee. There are flavours that suit certain times, moods, foods and occasions.
After selecting a continent and country of origin, the next process for us is to select a region. Some regions are well known for their signature taste. From years of experience, we know which regions produce the finest coffee and we want to bring those flavour profiles to our customers. We only use Arabica coffee but within that species there are hundreds of different varieties and cultivars. Like wine grapes, each variety brings a different taste profile to your cup. Some coffees are single varieties others are blends of two or three different varieties grown at the same farm.
There are three main types of processing after the coffee beans are harvested: Washed, Natural and Pulp Natural – as well as endless local variations and styles. This is how the coffee is processed from a cherry into a dried seed ready for export. The type of process has a profound affect on the flavour of the coffee as it categorises what type of coffee it is, but the quality of the green coffee is most important. Think of it like Red, White or Rosé wine.
The final step is roasting, part science and part craft, this is an integral part of the journey that leads coffee cherries from the tree to your cup.
SUSTAINABILITY & TRANSPARENCY
Sustainability is very important to Coffeesmiths, we carefully selects producers to ensure a sustainable coffee journey from “farm to cup”. Traceability and transparency have become a key priority for all across the specialty coffee industry. Knowing where our coffee has come from and how much farmers were paid has both a moral imperative and a marked impact on the sustainability of supply chains. In an age of information, hospitality has been overhauled into an industry of ethics, sustainability and traceability. Any restaurant will be able to tell you where their beef or vegetables are from, even down to the cow or lot. Why should it be any different with coffee? We only use 100% traceable coffee beans.
The following information must be submitted by the producer for all Coffeesmiths coffees:
Producer details – whether that is a single farm or a farmer group in the form of a co-operative association
Farm location and size
Growing and processing altitude
Processing details: including fermentation and drying times, drying method and regimen
Farming a micro lot gives the farmer more contact time with the crop. Quite simply - quality over quantity. Once the beans are delivered to our roastery we are equally as respectful to the beans making sure they are hand roasted the best we can roast them. Our roasting process incorporates all of the senses to make sure the beans are as unique as the farmers that supply us.