Ask the Roaster - Paul from Dark Woods
How was the Roastery founded, what was the inspiration?
There was three of us that set up Dark Woods, all who had worked in coffee for some time. Damian had been the head roaster and buyer for a large coffee roastery in the area, for a dozen years or more. He met Ian when he needed roasting expertise on a couple of charity projects he was working on. Ian’s life had been involved with running large social enterprises and charities. Finally, Paul had been running Coffee Community, a coffee training and consulting company, for the last 20 years. He met Damian when he was carrying out train the trainer session.
We all love the wild windswept Pennine landscape we live in and wanted to open up a roastery here, rather than in some built up city centre. Working just with speciality grade coffees was always a given but we wanted to incorporate a wider range of roast styles to reflect a wider range of tastes.
What's your favourite part about working at the Roastery?
We roast in a beautifully renovated mill with a melancholy moorland backdrop, working with a fantastic team. The local community, as well as great cafes, restaurants, and some of the finest retailers in the country have taken us to their hearts. Not a bad life!
What's your proudest accomplishment?
Winning 2 Great Taste Award “Golden Forks”, the only coffee company ever to have done so. Each year over 12,000 entries are received in the Great Taste Awards and only half a dozen receive a Golden Fork. The judging process involves all the products being blind tasted by many discerning chefs, food critics, deli owners, etc, not just coffee professionals. By the final awards up to forty judges will have tasted and scored the products and so to have been selected twice is both humbling and valediction for striving to produce the highest quality of coffee to be enjoyed by a wider range of the public than speciality coffee normally reaches.
Three words that describe your Roastery
Moorland - Community - Inclusive
What's your favourite place to enjoy a coffee, and what coffee would that be?
The good thing with coffee is there are so many different styles that suit different situations, but the mug you sip over a lazy breakfast morning is probably the best. For this I tend to lean towards sweet, zesty, balanced washed Colombian coffees.
Finally, what Dog & Hat combination would you choose?
Schnauzer in a military cap.