Posted 28th January 2016
Before Christmas I visited Extract Coffee Roasters in St Werburghs, as part of the launch of the South West Independent Coffee Guide. During my visit I was lucky enough to get a tour, probably one of the biggest wow experiences I’ve had in some time.
I’ve long been a fan of Extract coffee. We buy their beans by the kilo bag to grind at home and a coffee shop serving extract seems like a pretty safe bet to me.
Seeing where the magic happens though, is quite amazing. A warehouse in St Werburghs, just alongside the M32. Logos and motifs painted on the walls greet you as you walk through the door. Within seconds of entering its clear that Extract is more than just a coffee roaster, or even a brand, it’s more like a cult.
First I was introduced to James, Extract’s first coffee roasting machine and so named after James on Thomas the tank. Next was Bertha. A 1950s roaster which astonishingly had been left out for scrap metal and restored by hand by the team here.
Restoration, reuse and upcycling is a big theme. It’s not unusual to see old motorbikes, electrical appliances, pallets and other items waiting to be taken apart and reformed into something new. It gives you a flavour of the brainpower behind this operation.
Building their own micro-roaster is just one example of the ingenuity of the team here. I was astonished to learn they get sent around 200 coffee samples a week from around the globe. Samples which need roasting and tasting before it’s decided whether or not the beans reach Extract’s acceptance criteria.
And it’s not just the beans which have to meet strict quality control – the barristas and suppliers are also required to be up to scratch when it comes to serving Extract across the city.
It’s plain to see that the team behind Extract are as passionate about customers enjoying their coffee as we are about drinking it. The love of coffee here permeates every corner of the business – the machines, the people, the suppliers, even the warehouse itself. I for one, will most certainly drink to that.
Extract are featured in The South West Independent Coffee Guide alongside some of the other great roasters and coffee shops in Bristol and the South West – it’s a great resource for coffee lovers looking for inspiration on new places to try. You can pick up your copy of the guide here and in roasters and coffee shops across the city. Visit www.indycoffee.guide and follow @indycoffeeguide on twitter for more information.