Ask the Roaster - Phil from Dusty Ape
How was the Roastery founded, what was the inspiration?
I’ve been roasting coffee for 10 years, starting as a hobby in my shed while still working in the software industry. One of my last software projects was developing a new barista-style self serve machine with Costa.
The ‘Marlow’ machine was extremely successful and Costa were keen for me to stay involved, but I loved my own coffee and knew I couldn’t compromise despite the dream team I was working with. This gave me the kick I needed to move out of the shed and buy a commercial roaster. Dusty Ape was born and I’ve never looked back.
What's your favourite part about working at the Roastery?
No two days are the same – I’m involved in engineering (adapting and maintaining the two roasters), chemistry and cooking (developing our roast profiles) meeting customers (sharing coffee knowledge), assisting new café ventures getting started with speciality (business development).
What's your proudest accomplishment?
We did initially chase and get awarded a number of taste/food awards when Dusty Ape first started, but that’s not really what speciality coffee is about.
There’s really nothing better than a client or customer saying that our coffee is the best they have ever tasted. The first time I heard that I knew I had started a journey I could never stop, but now it’s my livelihood; I know that I need to be regularly exceeding customers’ expectations for Dusty Ape to stay on track.
What three words best describe your Roastery?
Enjoyment, excellence, … espresso!
What’s your favourite place to enjoy a coffee, and what coffee would that be?
I frequently visit our customers when out and about, but I always carry the Independent Coffee Guide with me (we’ve been featured in every edition) and use it to seek out new places especially when away from home. I usually start with a natural Ethopian filter and then espresso all the way!
Finally, what Dog & Hat combination would you choose?
We have a Hungarian Viszla called Chilli Pepper. She looks good in this hat – but I don’t have a photo here. Remind me and I’ll send you one.