Ask the Roaster - Carlo from Milk and Beans
How was the Roastery founded, what was the inspiration?
Milk & Beans was initially started due to a real lack of quality coffee options in Milton Keynes. There really wasn’t an awareness of what speciality coffee was and not many people had tried it. I had been in that same position, I worked for a big high street coffee chain and while falling in love with the process of what makes a coffee, I realised that the coffee world was far, far bigger than what I knew.
So, I decided I needed to learn a LOT more. So, I bought my first roaster ,a Gene Café, which only roasted 250g of green at a time and lots of brewing equipment V60, AeroPress etc. I experimented a lot, sent coffee out to lots of friends and family to get feedback and then got myself out there by signing up to a local farmers market and serving pour overs.
Since then, the emphasis has changed. While the coffee still has to taste great, it’s been about the connections made with great importers and producers and of course the customers that I roast coffee for whether wholesale or retail. I just really enjoy making or roasting coffee for people.
What's your favourite part about working at the Roastery?
It would have to be the process of getting a new coffee. Roasting it for the first time and then learning how to get the best out of it. Seeing the differences while cupping from small changes you made while roasting. And then when you get it right, it’s the best.
What's your proudest accomplishment?
Probably getting into and going through the Simonelli Youth Academy.
What's your favourite place to enjoy a coffee, and what coffee would that be?
My favourite is going to London, but going to a neighbourhood speciality café and sipping on a batch brew. Can’t beat it.
What is your favourite snack or treat to have to accompany your coffee?
A super fancy pastry. Something with fresh fruit and custard.
What would you drink if there was no coffee?
What is your favourite tasting notes to find in coffee?
Where would you recommend for food and drink in your local area?
Finally, what Dog & Hat combination would you choose?
Italian Greyhound in a Beret.