- August 21st 2017
Gustavo, owner and managing director of Artisan Roast, chats to us about Edinburgh and how he brought his slow roasted coffee to a city that was lacking in quality coffee – essential fuel for a slower pace!
How was Artisan Roast established?
Back in 2007, I was talking with my business partner and proposed that we do something together. He’s a coffee fanatic and he said, ‘Well it’s really difficult to find good coffee in Edinburgh’. The idea of bringing really good coffee to Edinburgh was born, but we realised in order to do this we would need to start roasting coffee ourselves. We bought a roaster, put it in our first coffee shop and started roasting our own coffees. People began wanting to use our coffees in their cafes, restaurants or take it home and that’s how it all began.
What makes Artisan Roast unique?
We always bring the best quality in two ways, through coffee and design. We’re always changing the design and trying new coffees; our selection of coffees isn’t massive, but it’s always changing and we’re always travelling to find new ones. I want it to be a place for people to learn and become more entrepreneurial. I hope that when our employees move on they can say they learned a lot.
How do you pick your suppliers and produce?
Each region of the world will have a distinctive taste and quality, and each farmer will have their own distinctive taste. We receive 20-30 samples from importers every month and from those samples we decide which ones are the best. Usually two or three are chosen, and those are the ones we buy. Over the years we’ve built relationships with farmers, helped them to improve the quality of their products, and every year we tend to buy from them again. It’s a mix of working with local importers of quality beans and producing our own network of farmers in Africa, Brazil, Central America, South America and Asia.
Tell us about the coffee roasting process.
Ours starts before the roasting, because the key is to find the right beans. Next we decide the best way to roast them, because no bean is the same, and how the temperature is at the start and end will have an impact on the taste. We test different roast profiles and decide the best one for each bean. Final stage is our commercial roaster, where we follow that profile so the coffee tastes the same in every roast.
Why does Artisan Roast suit Edinburgh?
Edinburgh has a real interest for new products. People in Edinburgh like independent businesses because they are unique and local. When we opened, people were coming to us saying that they liked our coffee and wanted to use our products in their cafés or in their restaurants. I come from Sanitario, Chile, where people are into big brands. Edinburgh has a culture in which people are ready to try new things, and I don’t think that happens everywhere.