The Coffee Compass is a family run coffee roastery on the South Coast of England. They offer fine coffee blends and pure origin roasts that are featured on their website daily. These coffees are sourced from farms that they have personally selected for the best in their region.
What started out as a spark from a cup of delicious Java coffee and a call for a better coffee in the UK, Richard set out to start Coffee Compass.
Thanks to him and his team, it is what it is today. They pride themselves on being able to cater to the individual needs and preferences of everyone who visits their website and is looking for exceptional coffee.
How it All Began
Richard knew that the UK needed fine, better tasting coffee, so in 1990, he opened a roastery and started doing what he loved. His love of coffee was sparked during his time in Ruiru in Kenya where he lived on a coffee farm.
Every day for hours, he would sample and roast and evaluate coffees. For him, it was a lovely way to spend his daytime hours.
The Ethics Behind Coffee Compass
Coffee Compass only selects from farms and mills that have a passion for producing exceptional coffee beans, farms that care about their practices and the impact on the environment and the care of their employees.
They have always found that good farm practices are synonymous with great coffee and that employees that are well paid and are valued by their employers work to a higher standard and help the farm to achieve excellence in the growing and production of gourmet coffee.
The Coffee Compass is exceptionally demanding in ensuring that they only select the very best of the coffee crops from beans that have been harvested at optimum ripeness and have been prepared for export to the highest standard.
What You Will Find Inside at Coffee Compass
Coffee Compass roasts on site to order to ensure maximum flavour and freshness or pack unroasted if requested before being dispatched by courier for delivery, often the next day. In fact, if you place your order before 1 pm, then your order will be dispatched that same day.
In addition to their caffeinated roasted coffee beans, they provide the finest decaf beans available which are decaffeinated using natural techniques to ensure none of the rich flavour, unique texture or aromatic fruitiness is lost.
You can also find green coffee beans if you are into roasting yourself, and they also offer loose leaf teas and gift packs.
Interview with Coffee Compass
We recently got the chance to interview Coffee Compass and here is what they shared with us. It’s always fun to know a little more personality about your favourite coffee roasters.
How did you get started in the coffee business?
I used to be a commodity broker and trader and in early 1990 noticed that the demand for the higher quality coffee was not being well served in the U.K, so I decided to open my roastery.
What sparked your interest in coffee roasting?
I had been posted to Nairobi and lived on a coffee farm in Ruiru in Kenya. We would sample roast and evaluate coffees. It was a lovely way to spend my hours.
What was the first cup of coffee you ever remember drinking?
My first wonderful cup of coffee was served to me at my boss’s house. I was a 19-year-old commodity broker in Rotterdam. The coffee was from Java. It blew my socks off, a true eureka moment.
What does your roasting set up look like and how has it changed over the years?
I have a number of roasters ranging from multi-barrelled sample roasters to a 90 kilos roaster. My favourite roaster by far is my direct flame Probat 22 kilo on which I have roasted for 25 years.
It is so responsive and makes me feel connected to, and in total control of, the beans in the drum. I know every sound and squeak from her and she is completely reliable. The direct flame still gives IMO the most wonderful aromas and true development of the coffee bean. So many roasters have moved to hot air roasting, a mistake IMO.
What is your favourite brewing method and do you drink a lot of coffee at home?
I have a choice of espresso machines at work and at home however, my favourite brewing method is the clever dripper. It reveals all the flavour nuances in the coffee and I feel really does justice to the hard work and careful selection that has brought that coffee to the table.
There is no hiding things with the Clever dripper or blaming water pressure, overdosage, tamping, rest days or whatever. It is all about the coffee.
Which coffee is your favourite and why?
We have a very diverse range of coffees and just when I think I have settled on a favourite stunner a new one comes along to take the stage. There is a world of mighty fine coffees.
The floral notes from El Salvador or the delicacy of the Bolivians Blackcurrant and Liquorice from East Africa but whenever I come back to the syrupy body of the Java Jampit, I am transported to that amazing cup of coffee in Rotterdam. It has a special place for me.
What roaster do you use, where do you roast and how often?
We roast all day and every weekday 5 days a week for the last 25 years. Most of our business is to independent coffee parlours, quality restaurants and individuals who love our coffees and our style. Often we make little noise of our involvement.
We don’t think of our customers as serving our coffee, rather as we roast their coffee. We come in each morning with a clean order sheet and are always excited to get roasting.
What is your favourite aspect of coffee roasting?
I have always been a foodie and enjoy passing on to friends and family foods and flavours that I have discovered. I have the same feeling with the coffees I select.
I like to make my own coffee selection judgements and to delight my customers with tastes and flavours that might be new to them, overturning prejudices and preconceptions. I am always in search of “ something” special and interesting.
To learn more about Coffee Compass, be sure and visit their website. You can also follow along with them on Twitter to keep up with all the new blends they will be creating over the year.