11 of the best coffee roasters in Suffolk and Norfolk
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Get your coffee fix during UK Coffee Week from one of these artisanal local producers.
Butterworth and Son, Bury St Edmunds
For decades Butterworth has been known for its exquisite teas and, more recently for its small batch roasted coffee, sourced from all over the world. Pop by the shop or go online right now to get your mitts on one of the three 'coffees of the moment'. The selection includes the single origin Sulawesi, available as beans or ground for pour over, espresso or cafetiere coffee. Originating from the Toraja region in Indonesia, the coffee has silky smooth dark chocolate and sweet toffee notes.
Grey Seal, Glandford
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The owners of the award-winning Grey Seal coffee brand were inspired by coffee culture around the world and give painstaking attention to every part of the process, from choosing ethically-sourced green beans from leading coffee regions, to controlling the roast and sale of every pack. Grey Seal has won several Great Taste Awards, an EDP Food and Drink Awards and has been named one of the top 20 places in the UK for coffee. Try the three star Great Taste Award-winning Costa Rica Tarrazu Hermosa. A full bodied blend of Caturra and Catuia beans with the brightness of peach and a touch of chocolate and cinnamon.
Buy online and enjoy at cafes across Norfolk.
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Thistledown Cottage Coffee, Brome
The owners of Thistledown batch roast only 1kg of coffee at a time, adjusting the roast and grind to suit every customer, and only shipping off the blend after its had two days to rest. A must try is the Brazil 15up Semi-Washed, sourced from a Fairtrade cooperative association in Andrada. Blending Mundo Novo, Catuai and Catucai beans, the coffee has floral, caramel, fruit and hazelnut notes, with a sweet acidity. Buy online, at Hoxne Produce and Craft Market (every Friday) and at outlets such as Jimmy's Farm Shop and Woodbridge Fine Foods.
Strangers Coffee Company, Norwich
You may have walked past the coffee house in the city's 'lanes', and may even have enjoyed a slice of cake or breakfast here, but did you know they roast their own coffee too? The team have total control and transparency at every stage, from sourcing the best green coffee beans, to making the perfect espresso for customers. You can buy coffee from them at the café or online. A recommendation is the Ethiopia Kayon Mountain Coffee, from Heirloom beans grown using organic processes on a privately owned family farm. This unforgettable cup has big, bold fruity, juicy flavours – in fact, you might detect a touch of pineapple.
Deepmills Coffee, Melton
Slowly roasted in small batches, traditionally air cooled, and hand-packed, the team at Deepmills work hard to ensure every cup of coffee that passes their customers' lips is an experience. Premium green coffee beans are sourced from the prime growing spots around the world, and are brought back to Suffolk where their flavours are unlocked by bespoke roasts, honed over time. A great one to try, with its flavours of orange blossom and milk chocolate, is the Mexican Chipas Torquesa, formed of Bourbon, Caturra and Typica Catuai dry-milled beans.
Norfolk Coffee Company, Holt
Owner Steve's love of 'real' coffee started when he lived in Germany for a year in the 80s, immersing himself in the coffee and cake culture.
For a long time he thought the only way to replicate the quality of the coffee he'd experienced was to roast and grind it himself, and today the Norfolk Coffee Company is a culmination of years of experience and expertise working with beans. From his micro roastery, Steve supplies his café The Black Apollo Coffee House, and sells online. Try the Holkham Bay espresso blend of 50% Miravelle beans from El Salvador and 50% Vista Hermosa beans from Peru. The mouthfeel is creamy and the taste almost like white chocolate, with a sprinkle of caramel and cinnamon. Try it as a flat white or latte.
Fire Station Coffee Roasters, Woodbridge
From the back of the Fire Station café, beloved roaster Diedrich IR-12 is producing some of the region's most flavoursome coffee. Working with green coffee importers chosen for their commitment to sustainability and quality, the team take the raw product and adapt the roast to suit the bean variety, before packing, stamping and labelling each pack by hand. Popular is the Burundi, from Bourbon beans, giving over sweet chocolate, black cherry and dried fruit notes, and the Brazilian Mundo Novo beans from Fazenda Corrego Bonito – said to be reminiscent of a Snickers bar!
Smokey Barn, Norwich
The roasters here scoured the world for the tastiest coffee beans and the range on sale (and to try in the Norwich café) celebrates Fairtrade producers and diversity. Sample the Indonesia Sumatra Mandheling – very high quality, grade one beans from the Balak region of west-central Sumatra. Influenced by the volcanic earth their grown in, the beans give up flavours of cedar, sweet tobacco, spice and chocolate. Alternatively, try the sweetly acidic, fruity Honduras Finca Liquidambar.
Frank and Earnest, Bury St Edmunds
These guys are on the cutting edge of the coffee market with their nitro brew coffee, which is being used by top athletes as a 'clean' alternative to energy drinks and supplements.
Ben and Richard source interesting beans from ethical farms, and control every aspect of the roasting process for the ultimate flavour. The Honduras coffee (Fairtrade and certified organic) is naturally packed with a hum of chocolate and caramel notes. And customers have been surprised by the Yirgacheffe from Ethiopia, which curiously has a hint of strawberry to it.
Green Farm Coffee, Norwich
A state-of-the-art roasting house using only the very finest beans, including intriguing, superior single origin varieties, whose flavours reflect their unique growing conditions. These include Sulawesi from the Far East, with a full body, low acidity and sweet, smoky taste, and the fruity blueberry and caramel sweetness of Colombia Sabanitas Montebello.
Paddy and Scott, UK wide
It's amazing to think this homegrown brand (originating in Suffolk) now has over 150 branded concessions nationwide. But the quality of the coffee and message behind it has not been diluted. Last year a coffee farm north of Nairobi was brought into the fold, with the chance for customers to invest by buying a tree. And eco credentials are high too, with Paddy and Scott launching environmentally-friendly coffee cups just a few months ago.
We recommend trying the tangerine and cranberry sweet Rwandan coffee, or the Indian Robusta, made with 100% Robusta beans for a creamy body, low acidity and hints of pepper, spice and dark chocolate.