Heart & Graft is an independent coffee roaster founded by James Guard and Sean Fowler in 2012.
James was fed up with the complete lack of unique, specialty coffee in his home city of Manchester, so he started up The Coffee Circle – a humble setup consisting of small quantities of coffee, a garage roaster, and an incredible amount of dedication. Working as a barista on the side, he began to learn about the complex craft of roasting.
Sean was the youngest person in the country to become a Q Grader, trained and licensed by the Coffee Quality Institute. He had worked as an assistant buyer and taster in Lincoln and York, learned how to evaluate coffee using the Specialty Coffee Association practices, and all in all loved a good brew.
That’s where this dynamic duo joined forces.
Together, they created a popular roastery that produces great-tasting coffee; a place where people can go to be inspired and learn about the journey that coffee undergoes from field to cup. Along with this, Heart & Graft also hosts regular cupping events, barista throw downs, and training days; contributing to the timeless tradition of coffee community-building.
Previously, Heart & Graft was a part of the Artwork Atelier community in Greengate, where they roasted with a purple and brass Giesen W15. It was a very small space and they didn’t have a whole lot of room to work in, so they moved to a beautiful new house in Newton Heath. There, they had an old workshop with tall wooden beams and plenty of space. They have since built a training room, where another member of the team, Kieron, educates the customers on how they can make a better coffee.
In Newton Heath, they serve delicious coffees such as Serendipia, an organic blend from the La Paz region in South West Honduras. Complex, with multi-layered juicy fruit acidity and a jammy sweetness, it makes a delicious long black. The name of the brew comes from the magic that happens when terroir, skill, and persistence come together.
Alternatively, they also serve a heavy-bodied, delightfully spiced coffee called the Mystere et Prestige: India Ratnagiri Cauvery Honey. With notes of black pepper, syrup, and gingerbread, and a viscosity similar to thick hot chocolate, it’s a well-balanced brew that hits all the right places.
This coffee is from India, where traditionally, smallholders would sell their beans to middlemen at big auctions – meaning that the farmers were only paid the bare minimum. In recent years, however, various projects have focused on improving the quality and traceability of the coffee. James and Sean both believe that by simply following trends, you aren’t guaranteed to get a decent coffee – which is where the research behind buying and sourcing the beans becomes especially important.
Heart & Graft sources their coffee from ethical farms, ensuring that the brew has been processed by the people that understand it best and that the farmers are safe and happy.
Along with this, they believe that consumer education is extremely important, and by educating customers on the origins of coffee, traceability becomes much easier.
We love featuring Heart & Graft in our Blue Coffee Box.