Relocating a Roastery: Hello, Haslemere!

Posted on Posted in Pact News

Maybe you’ve heard whispers… changes have been happening in the world of Pact Coffee. We’ve come a long way from Stephen Rapoport’s kitchen, setting up camp in Bermondsey to do everything from roasting and grinding to writing, selling and marketing.

But we’ve been growing – and like a hermit crab having to look for a new shell, we needed to find a bigger roastery that’d let us supply you lot with all the coffee you’ve been ordering! Search as we may, there weren’t any spacious roasting facilities knocking about around central London. So we had to do what anyone who’s thinking of buying a house does – we looked outside of zone 1… in fact, we looked outside of every zone!

Introducing: the Haslemere roastery! It was a perfect fit. Close enough to our main office, enough room to set up a proper operation and the right sort of facility for our needs. Read our MD’s thoughts here.

But it was no mean feat. We had to negotiate moving a whole roastery (including a beast of a roaster and grinding, packaging and labelling equipment) without disrupting orders. And that’s definitely oversimplifying it. Just look what we had to do:

Logistics

  • Organise enough stock to cover two weeks of trading
  • Dismantle our beastly one tonne roaster over just a weekend, to make sure there were no interruptions to orders
  • Organise the move of all the equipment, in pieces, on an enormous lorry
  • Reassemble the roaster at our new location
  • Connect all supplies and ensure the roaster boots up and roasts without faults
  • Plan an efficient layout for green coffee storage, roasted coffee storage, ground coffee storage, weighing, grinding, packing and dispatch
  • Dismantle, ship and set up the whole operation in two days

Roasting Set-up

  • Install and modify gas, electric and water supply to the correct specifications
  • Modify all roast profiles to the new roaster set-up – different gas pressure, flue-length, and environmental conditions means that all coffee profiles have to be adapted in order to produce consistent results
    • Which involves lots of test roasting and comparative cupping!
    • And also having to deal with difficulties in profiling coffees to deliver the results all our Pact Coffee customers are used to!
  • Check mains water conditions to meet required cupping/brewing specs; buy filters and set bypass levels accordingly
  • Build a new quality control lab, kitted out with a cupping grinder, water boiler, espresso machine, sample roaster – and all to meet strict specifications

…phew. And that’s not to mention hiring a new set of staff to support the main roasters. But we think the team has done a ruddy, bloody good job so far! Why not join us in raising a glass (of cold brew) to our new Haslemere-based operations?

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