There are roughly 400 coffee roasters in the UK and out of that, most of them will be small independent coffee roasters.
This means that they will be roasting small amounts of coffee, between 3-15kg at a time to produce freshly roasted coffee each week. The difference from these roasters to large roasters is that they can roast in small batches regularly and send out fresh coffee. Whereas a large roaster will roast large batches of beans and store them roasted, which we know isn’t the best way to store coffee.
At Two Chimps Coffee, we roast multiple times each week to supply freshly roasted coffee to our customers within a couple of days of roasting. This way, they know that every time they receive a delivery, their coffee is as fresh as possible.
Where can you find us
At Two Chimps Coffee, our ethos is Fresh is Best which is why we specialise in hand roasted speciality coffee, roasted to order and delivered for free.
We’re based in Rutland, the smallest county in England and well known for food and drink. We’re surrounded by so many artisan producers and have a great network of local customers and businesses.
We have several customers in Oakham, where we are based, who have been loyal customers and supported our business from the start. In turn, we’ve supported them.
All of our local customers have their coffee hand delivered by us. This means we can call in and say ‘Hey, how you doing?’ and deliver freshly roasted coffee. Over time, we’ve built a trusting relationship and offered support for each other.
We have customers who are much further afield too, who still benefit from coffee just as fresh. Their coffee is delivered for free each week, rather than in bulk.
We also use social media to support all of our customers and believe everyone should be drinking fresh coffee as it tastes awesome!
Coffee can be a daunting subject and therefore we want to make it fun and laid back for everyone.
Small Batch Roasting
When we talk about roasting coffee in small batches, we only roast a maximum of 12kg at a time, and sometimes it’s only 8kg, or 6kg. This allows us to roast smaller amounts more frequently, meaning the coffee is always fresh.
Some roasters will have to roast 60kg of coffee at a time, and it may take them two weeks or more to get through it. By the time it gets to the customer, it is potentially already 2-3 weeks old!
Because we roast in smaller batches multiple times week, our coffee is always fresher because we’re not storing roasted coffee on the shelf.
Our gas-fired drum roaster works similarly to a washing machine in that the drum spins and mixes the beans. It does so over the top of heating elements, which indirectly heat the drum, thus roasting the beans.
It’s important not to overfill the drum as you need the beans to be able to move around. Similarly, too little will mean too many touching the hot drum at any one time creating a fast and out of control roast.
As mentioned, we roast by hand. We use our sensory skills to monitor the roast, which means we have better control of the roast for it to turn out exactly as we want it to.
Because we only source and roast single origin speciality coffee, we want to ensure we don’t over roast the beans and lose the wonderful flavours found within the coffee. A lot of effort and hard work has gone into the harvest and nurture of such amazing coffee, and so we don’t want that effort to be wasted by not roasting to their full potential. By using our sensory skills, we can monitor the roast closely throughout each stage.
Our beans come into the roastery as green beans and are stored this way. As the beans roast, they will slowly turn yellowy and golden. As they continue to roast they turn a light brown colour and continue to darken, the longer we roast them. During the roast, we’re able to withdraw a few beans as a sample to check they’re roasting as predicted.
Another way we monitor the roast is by the aromas that the roast gives off. Because the green beans contain moisture, when they’re heated that moisture evaporates and the smell changes as more moisture leaves the beans. At around 95 degrees C, moisture leaving the beans creates a roast that smells like grass.
Later in the roast around 143-145 degrees C, the roast begins to smell like hay. Also, at this point, a Maillard reaction starts; caramelisation kicks in as the sugars start to react. Our last sensory milestone for smell is bread at around 165 degrees C. Here, the coffee takes on a baking smell. Mmmmmmmmm.
First crack is an exothermic reaction that occurs in the beans when they’ve taken on as much energy as they can. When the bean starts to release that energy, it makes a “crack” sound.
When we hear this, we know that the roast is nearly done. We only ever roast just past first crack and into a few minutes of development time. We don’t want to over roast the beans by burning them, or their sugars.
We roast this way several times each week because we know that the freshest coffee is the best coffee, and the freshest coffee is just after it’s been roasted. Roasteries who roast and then store the coffee, aren’t therefore, offering the freshest coffee possible.
By writing the roast date on every bag of Two Chimps Coffee informs our customers as to just how fresh their coffee is. We don’t like to see best before dates on coffee. It doesn’t give you an indication of when it was roasted. It could already be a few weeks old or more.
By supplying our customers freshly roasted coffee each week, rather than a large order a month means everyone can enjoy the freshest coffee. If you need ground coffee, we only ever grind the coffee on the day of despatch. This ensures the time between grinding and when you receive it is as short as possible.
Ready for coffee roasted in small batches?