The Conran Shop takes a tour behind the scenes of artisan coffee specialists Workshop Coffee’s roastery; following coffee beans from farms across the globe to Workshop Coffee’s roastery in North London and finally onto your breakfast table.
Founded ten years ago by James Dickson, Workshop Coffee works closely with specially-selected coffee farmers, producers, exporters and co-operatives to bring delicious coffee to your table. Catering to the constantly changing and increasingly taste-driven British coffee scene, Workshop Coffee is dedicated to scouring the globe to find the best coffees the industry has to offer whilst ensuring ethical working standards for its employees and growers.
Carefully chosen coffee beans
Each coffee bean begins its journey as a small green seed hanging from a coffee plant inside a small red fruit, known as a cherry, somewhere in Africa, Central America or South America. The little green bean is then harvested by local workers who pay meticulous attention to variable factors, such as the different light, soil or proximity to water that can vary from harvest to harvest and from one side of the farm to the other. Workshop Coffee works long-term with these growers, cultivating a strong relationship with them by visiting each coffee farm in person to ensure workers are well-treated and see how profits are reinvested back into the farm.
Working closely with importers, the green beans are then shipped to the UK in hessian sacks that are then passed on to London Zoo where they can often be found as playthings in the monkey enclosure.
Artisan roasting in London
Once the green beans arrive at Workshop Coffee’s base in London, they are stored in a temperature-controlled room. Keeping the beans chilled at a base temperature allows the roasting team to regulate conditions and ensure an even roast every time.
In order to prolong freshness, the beans are specially roasted to order in small batches. Once an order is received, the green beans are readied and roasted in a specialised drum at an optimised temperature that is carefully chosen based on the bean’s harvest, farm and variety. By closely monitoring each roast manually, Workshop Coffee can be certain of a perfect roast every time.
Once the now-brown beans leave the drum, they are cooled, weighed, colour-tested to further verify the accuracy of the roast and any imperfect beans are handpicked from the cooling tray to ensure quality.
Packaged with care
Once roasted, the whole beans are packaged in Workshop Coffee’s specially-designed packaging before being nitrogen-flushed, a process that ensures a shelf life of up to six months. Finished with hand-applied stickers, the packaging is adorned with tasting notes, the coffee’s origin, the roast date and all the information needed to create the ultimate cup of coffee. Now, the finished product is speedily shipped direct to your home, favourite coffee shop or local stockist.
How to make the perfect cup of coffee:
Once your coffee lands on your doorstep it is up to you to brew those beans to perfection, so Workshop Coffee has three easy tips to help you achieve caffeinated perfection at home.
Use quality ingredients. The quality of your coffee and your water are always the most important factors in the cup.
Grind fresh. Pre-ground coffee stales quickly, so you’ll always get better and more repeatable results from grinding fresh each time.
Make an extra effort. Consistency is key to quality, use scales to weigh out your coffee and work to a recipe so that you don't just make a delicious brew, but a repeatable one.
If the art of making a good coffee still seems to evade you, Workshop Coffee offers home brewing masterclasses direct from their roastery, perfect for inquisitive coffee lovers.