PLOT Roasting is a small team of experienced coffee professionals who value precision, style, and flavour.
Not only are they working tirelessly behind the scenes to bring you amazing coffee blends, but their team is impeccable — meaning that they are responsibly sourcing along with methodical roasting which
That is what PLOT Roasting prides themselves on.
Transparent sourcing is really important to them They partner with reputable importers who share their same values.
All of the coffees available through Plot Roasting are traceable to specific producers or sometimes even day’s pickings.
Their team chooses the beans based on rigorous physical and sensorial analysis to ensure they select the very best tasting lots.
Their mission moving forward is to develop long term relationships with producers who share same values and passion for quality.
Interview with PLOT Roasting
We recently had the chance to do a fun interview with the guys behind PLOT Roasting. We hope you learn something awesome about their business and their brand.
And be sure and order a Blue Coffee Box this month so you can try their coffee!
How did you get started in the coffee business?
I was in the hospitality business long before specialty coffee. Working in fine dining restaurants, I developed a passion for food and wine and initially wanted to become a sommelier.
The urge to start my own business grew pretty strong and in 2009 a friend and I opened one of the first specialty shops in Brighton, Ground Coffee House. Over the years it grew in size to four locations at its peak.
What sparked your interest in coffee roasting?
After a few years of running the business, I was getting pretty sick of profit and loss reports and dealing with HR and payroll and decided I wanted to get more hands-on.
I felt like I had already learned as much as I could being a barista in that setting and roasting was the next logical step in the supply chain.
I think I was drawn to the whole process of analysing roasts and continual improvement and it was a great opportunity to learn more about the complexities of processing and agronomy and how they affect the end product.
What is the very first cup of coffee you ever remember drinking?
When I was younger I used to drink instant coffee with sugar and pre-ground supermarket coffee was something of a luxury!
I do remember my first real speciality coffee which was made for me at Taylor St Baristas when they had a coffee counter in Travelbag, Brighton.
It was a natural process Mexican coffee which was pulled as espresso and I was blown away by the complexity of flavour.
What does your roasting set up look like and how has it changed over the years?
I currently roast on a Loring but I started out on a really old (and very basic) Ozturk roaster which had a terrible, barbecue style burner which licked huge orange flames against a big cast iron drum.
Looking back it’s hard to believe we roasted acceptable product on such a poor setup although I guess it helped me learn how to get the best out of a rudimentary system.
I have gone on to use many roasters of varying sizes including Probat,
I wouldn’t be without Cropster now; the analytical tools and various ways to display data are really useful and I’m always impressed by the constant improvements they introduce.
What is your favourite brewing method and do you drink a lot of coffee at home?
I love a Kalita. For me it’s the best way to get a good, even extraction and can be remarkably consistent.
At home I use a Wilfa automatic brewer as it’s the only way I can get my partner to make the coffee! I only drink coffee at home at the weekends but between us we get through a lot.
Which coffee origin is your favourite and why?
This is a tricky one. There are so many great producers now and interesting coffees to be found across the globe, but if I had to pick one for the rest of my life it would probably be Ethiopia as I love the stone fruit and floral notes.
What roaster do you use, where do you roast, how often?
We use a Loring and I totally love it. We roast two to three days a week at the moment.
I’m embarrassed to say I probably only do around 15% of the actual roasting at the moment as we have an ace production roaster, Lydia, who does the bulk of the hard work. I’m mainly in it for the profiling and QC.
Does your roaster have a name? If so, is there a story?
Not an official one, but I think that each of the roasting team has their own secret name for it.
What is your favourite aspect of roasting coffee?
I love the sensory analysis and the whole process of relating that to the profiles and making small adjustments. It differs from the process of a barista where you can taste, analyse and adjust in seconds and minutes.
A roaster makes adjustments and analyses over a period of days, weeks and months. As well as that, you gain a deeper understanding of green coffee and the supply chain, which is infinitely fascinating.
What distinguishes your approach to sourcing and roasting coffee from other roasters?
Price is never really a consideration, I’m looking for coffees with exceptional character.
I have a strong idea of our offering and will solicit as many samples for each origin as possible and choose in a blind cupping. Our mission is to find the best and most interesting producers and then build more direct relationships with them in order to buy from them year after year.
What gear or gadget is at the top of your coffee wish list?
We are pretty lucky in that we have almost all of the gadgets and analytical tools we could need. The things I covet the most are a colour sorting machine so we can easily remove defects, and a climate controlled green storage area. Maybe in five years!
Do you have a favourite coffee mug? If so, tell us about it.
I tend to use my little cropster mug. It’s the perfect size as it’s volume is about 150ml and I like to drink as many different coffees each day as possible.
Have you read any great books about coffee roasting?
Scott Rao’s The Coffee Roasters Companion was a big influence on my early learning but since then, Roast Magazine’s The Book of Roast has given me many valuable insights and much food for thought.
Do you have a cafe?
Not any more! I’m reluctant to get back into that side of the business but never say never.
What does the future look like for you? Where do you see your company in the future?
I’m hoping that PLOT becomes known as a roaster who sources exceptional quality coffee, has strong ethical values and great customer support. I’d like to see our coffee drunk all over the world and have strong relationships with a small, select number of excellent producers.
What advice would you give new roasters who are just starting out their careers in coffee?
Taste everything mindfully as much as you can, not just coffee. Consider your career as a non-stop learning process and don’t get disheartened when you improve slowly. Never get complacent and always strive to improve what you do.
What is your favourite thing to do when you are not roasting coffee?
Music is my other big passion and when I’m not building Legos with my kids, I spend a lot of time collecting vinyl and playing
When travelling, do you visit other coffee shops and hassle them about their methods or do you relax and take it all in?
I’m a bit of an introvert really so I definitely like to relax and take it all in. I’ll always look for the good shops though, wherever I’m at.
To learn more about Plot Roasting, be sure and visit their website. You can also follow along with them on Facebook, Twitter