Atkinsons Coffee Roasters began its journey into tea and coffee many years ago as a Lancaster, England-based importer of tea and spices and exporter of roasted coffee.
Here we are — 180 years young and Atkinsons has niched down to only include speciality coffee and teas that are sourced from the best places across the globe.
How it All Started
Atkinsons Coffee Roasters began in 1837 in Lancaster importing tea and spices and roasting coffee, most of which was shipped straight into the Georgian port at the time.
170 years later they were ready to kick off their speciality coffee (again!) in the UK. In 2010, they opened The Music Room cafe, The Hall cafe, and their new eco-roastery.
In 2005, Sue and Ian Steel took the company over and have worked hard since then to make it what it is today. There have been a lot of changes along the way, some were accepted with open arms, while other changes were not as welcome.
However, the two of them along with their staff pushed through and now make so many amazing coffee and tea blends.
The Ethics Behind Atkinsons Coffee Roasters
To the people that make up Atkinsons, they know exactly how incredibly precious the Speciality Coffee bean is. They have so much respect for the bean, and one of the ways that they do that is not wasteful.
During the last leg in the journey of getting the coffee bean from the growers, that started so far away, to the moment it gets into the hands of its customers, by this point, it has passed through many other pairs of hands.
From the hands that planted the seeds or pruned the sapling for its first two years to ensure a good yield in its third year – the hand-picked teams of hand-pickers that choose only the best cherries, to hand over to those grafting in the mills and raking parchment on the patios — there are many people and lots of man-hours that go into making this coffee the best it can be.
Their notion of Relationship Coffee is very real where they have met the families involved in its production, no matter how far away they are.
What You Will Find Inside at Atkinsons Coffee Roasters
Between their original shop and The Hall café sits their roastery. They use this area as a productive space, conducive to doing justice to some of the finest coffees around.
It takes 400 man-hours to produce one pound of beans, and at Atkinsons, they use this incredible statistic in the training of their Baristas.
Every day they roast and cup coffees together, and it is here, in the core of their business, that the majority of their coffee is precision roasted on the Loring Kestrel, one of the greenest roasters on the planet.
They use their vintage, cast iron Whitmees and Unos that adds that extra bit of conduction into the odd batch; it’s a sign of the heritage and innovation behind the company.
Now, with 42 staff members, the Company Culture document (the document that Ian created to make sure the small staff he had at the time understood exactly what they wanted to accomplish) still gets given to every new member of staff along with their handbook.
This document is only a sheet of legal paper but is exactly how they manage to run a happy ship. According to the owners, he says ” The best compliment anyone can pay our business is if they say we have a great staff, who are so knowledgeable.”
Blue Coffee Box is featuring two of their iconic blends this month in our subscription box.
To learn more about Atkinsons Coffee Roasters, be sure and visit their website. You can also follow along with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with all the new blends they will be creating over the year.