Located in South-East London, Mont 58 is an award-winning craft roastery that was established by Shai and Maya Eilon, a husband-and-wife duo (alongside their whippet, Pi) who are enthusiastic about quality coffee and sustainability.
They hand-roast premium Arabica beans from around the globe as well as their own special blends using only fair trade, ethical beans, and packaging that is recyclable or compostable.
In the back of their garden, in a roastery cabin, lies the Mont 58 headquarters. The magic happens at this stage when many various roast characteristics are tested to extract the maximum flavour from each kind of bean. They test roast, taste, and test again with every fresh batch of beans. They won’t sell it if they don’t love it.
Coffee childhood memories
Shai’s Jewish Iraqi family raised him in Israel where coffee is a way of life. Playing backgammon with his grandfather while he sipped thick, black coffee flavoured with cardamon is one of his oldest and most treasured childhood memories. As he grew older, he developed a growing interest in the methods used to make the coffee he drank and the origin of the beans.
“The first time I went to a coffee plantation will always be my favourite coffee experience. Around 15 years ago, it happened while travelling to Guatemala. We stopped to take a break in the middle of these coffee plantations while visiting them. It was an incredible moment.”
The Mount 58 setup
On a larger Giesen roaster and a smaller Coffee Tech, Shai roasts every day. The process of experimenting with various profiles until he finds what he considers to be the perfect cup is his favourite part of roasting coffee.
“The Tonino colour meter is one of my favourite gadgets. I am learning more and more about the value of colour accuracy as I continue my roasting journey.”
The Mont 58 setup has included two small roasters and a smoke elimination system in a cabin at the end of the garden for the past three years. It is small but incredibly effective. Currently growing and opening a second roastery in Kent, they will be able to serve more customers and access new markets.
For Shai, choosing a favourite coffee origin would be like having to choose a favourite child. One of his all-time favourites is probably their own Mount 58 Ethiopian, given its floral, fruity flavour that the high altitude provides.
“I drink a lot of coffee at home and I frequently alternate between methods, but the simple pour-over is my favourite. I adore the ritual of it as well as how clearly you can taste the notes.”
There isn’t a particular cup in sight since Shai loves to drink from glasses rather than mugs so that he can see the coffee through the glass.
From beans to (music) bars
Outside of work, Shai is a big music fan who likes to play the guitar for fun and listen to live music.
When it comes to reading books about coffee roasting, the two classics he frequently refers back to are James Hoffman’s “The World Atlas of Coffee” and Scott Rao’s “The Coffee Roaster’s Companion.”
So what does Mont 58’s future hold? They hope that their organic and gradual growth will continue.
In terms of their attention to detail and high-quality service, Shai and Maya seek to strike a balance between expanding their business and remaining true to who they are.
“To new roasters just beginning their careers, I would advise being really open and attempting to learn as much as you can from others. I firmly believe in working together. Everybody benefits.”
To find out more about click Mont58 Coffee and if you’re looking to find out how to brew their amazing coffee at home check out more blogs here How to Brew Perfect Coffee
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