A few decades ago, coffee came out of a jar for most people. Or worse, a bottle. Whose parents haven’t reminisced about Camp Coffee, the coffee and chicory flavoured syrup, and told us we don’t know we’re born?
Now, thankfully, many of us can afford to buy a nice paper bag of speciality coffee from across the globe for just a few pounds. (Or twenty, depending on your budget.)
A whole host of people are involved in getting that delicious brown stuff from the ground to your cup. Around 125 million people worldwide depend on coffee for their livelihoods.
From the farmers and processers, who grow and shell the green beans, to exporters, who source the beans from farms in coffee-growing regions and transport them to suppliers here in the UK, to baristas, who expertly grind and pour your brew.
And with the boom in the speciality coffee market has come a boom in specialist careers in the UK.
Coffee roasters transform the grassy flavoured green beans into those dark, smoky drops of heaven we have fallen in love with, and are now chemically addicted to, with scientific precision.
As demand has grown for quality taste, roasting has become a craft as well as a function, and many speciality shops now have their own roastery, allowing them to provide fresh product and control the quality of the coffee.
MM spoke to Douglas Maitland, Head Coffee Roaster at Manchester based shop and roastery, ManCoco, to find out what it takes to be a professional roaster.