Ask the Roaster - Ben from Campbell and Syme
How was the Roastery founded, what was the inspiration?
Joe had a career in the catering business that he ran with his mum. He fell in love with the coffee culture when visiting Portland, Oregon where Stumptown coffee roasters had their outlets all over the city including the hotel he was staying at and the coffee was just so delicious. As a result Joe started to roast his own coffee and sell it at farmer markets, where he fell in love with the roasting process.
Setting up a cafe with his mum felt like the natural next step in connecting food with his love for coffee. When his mum died, he shut shop for a while and then later decided to re-open, keeping things simpler on the food side as he wanted to concentrate on coffee. He bought a 6kg blue Giesen that was installed in a café-roastery set up in East Finchley and the rest is history.
What's your favourite part about working at the Roastery?
I think simply, like when behind the bar, sharing something delicious with other people is amazing.
What's your proudest accomplishment?
It took a while for me to figure out what I wanted to do career wise, and now being able to say I love what I do takes the prize.
What three words best describe your Roastery?
Family - Variety - Consistent
What’s your favourite place to enjoy a coffee, and what coffee would that be?
Sitting outside with a filter, with time to relax and enjoy the brew.
What is your favourite snack or treat to have to accompany your coffee?
To be honest, I love being able to appreciate coffee by itself, unaffected.
What would you drink if there was no coffee?
Genuinely I don’t know, I guess I would find out haha!
What's your favourite tasting notes to find in coffee?
Not a flavour note as such, but I love it when the sweetness and acidity of a coffee are in great balance, mouth-watering stuff.
Where would you recommend for food and drink in your local area?
Close to our roastery in Kings Langley are one of our long-term partners Fred and Ginger who pull great shots with delicious food as well. They also opened a banging, small-plates all day restaurant called Plates in Berkhamsted, and I would go for a drink after on the canal at the Rising Sun.
Finally, what Dog & Hat combination would you choose?
A dachshund in a cowboy hat.