Tucked away in a little unit in Radstock, Somerset is Round Hill Roastery. As I arrived, the last of the day’s roasting was just coming to a close. I was just in time to smell the beans as they came out of the roaster.
I came across Round Hill through Euan of Moo and Two who knew we were sampling coffee to sell at Caro cafe, opening in the spring. Should I go for an established roaster from London who’s known for being at the forefront of good coffee or embrace the local initiative as equal competitors in the market?! I decided the answer would be in a tasting trip which lead me to meet Founder, Eddie Twichett who started roasting in 2012.
Eddie’s affair with coffee started as a local coffeehouse frequenter. Cup by cup he began to appreciate it’s rich and varied taste and so, his future in the art of coffee began. Spending all his savings on a roaster saw him in his newly found industrial unit for a month, testing and experimenting, batch after batch until he found his flavour. It’s obvious that Eddie has become known in the coffee circles and has proficient knowledge about his competition. I was shocked to hear that only 4% of the market is occupied with speciality coffee in what is a £6 billion industry, in just the UK.
I was delighted to be offered coffee 3-ways - a cup of filter, a shot of espresso and a flat white. It was easy for me to become spellbound in Eddie’s poetic verse when he was talking me through each cup. Words such as popcorn, chocolate and juicy left me wanting to learn more, not to mention taste more. Comparing the two coffee’s was educational. The Ethopian filter has citrus notes with a tea-like Cocoa finish but it wasn’t until I sipped the rich espresso from Brazil, described as hazelnut, raisins and milk chocolate, that I realised how much lighter the filter had been. Both are delicious for different occasions.
With consumers becoming more informed about the origin of their food & drink they are also becoming more judicious. And so they should! Seasonality is key to the Round Hill bean as is the provenance which appears on each coffee packet detailing the coffee’s Origin, Roast, Process, Varietal, Altitude and Taste. The packaging consists of a simple, robust, brown-paper carton with an envelope-fastening and is emblazoned with a neon logo aligned left giving the design a youthful and modern edge.
Eddie obviously has big entrepreneurial spirit; setting up a roaster is a feat to take on. But in the 2-and-a-bit years he’s been set up, he already stocks in some of the best places in town and is thinking about moving to bigger premises to accommodate the demand. The team is growing with the recent addition of Mike Gamwell, a coffee enthusiast…..from Melbourne non the less, the homeland to the hipster image coffee now holds so I am confident they are on the cusp of exciting things.
What lovely Chaps.
You can find Round Hill coffee at the following places:
- Colonna and Smalls, Bath
- Colonna and Hunter, Bath
- The Espresso Room, London
- Cult Espresso, Edinburgh
- Dark Room, Swindon
- Silo, Brighton