Matthew Algie Coffee Roastery

The roastery is where the magic happens.

We’re fiercely proud of our Glasgow roastery. It’s the first roastery in the world to achieve One Carbon World’s Carbon Neutral International Standard and to become a participant in the UN Climate Neutral now initiative.

We worked with One Carbon World to verify our carbon footprint and offset our emissions by purchasing certified credits from a tree planting project in Uruguay and a wind energy project in India. So, we’re Carbon Neutral. We recycle and reuse everything we can to maintain sustainable production of our coffee. And we’ll keep striving to do even better.

Here’s what a day in the Matthew Algie roastery looks like…

When the coffee beans arrive

Green coffee beans from various lots across the world are shipped in to our roastery nearly every day.

A lot of our coffee arrives in Grainpro hessian that preserve the quality of the green coffee. Our traceability document system tells us exactly where the coffee has come from. We can trace it back to each individual farm.

Before roasting, we pre-clean the beans with a vibratory sieve to remove any loose bits of sack, or other foreign objects.

How do you make decaf coffee?

Under certain temperature and pressure conditions, carbon dioxide acts as a solvent for caffeine. To make our decaffeinated coffee, green coffee beans are exposed the carbon dioxide from a natural spring in Germany, which extracts the caffeine.

The coffee roasting process

Most of our coffee is roasted in our three Probat coffee. These are traditional drum roasters that allow us to roast our coffee slowly to release the best flavour. Drum roasters are always rotating so those little beans inside are always moving, getting an even roast and developing great flavour.

But we don’t just let the machinery get on with it. Every batch is sampled and adjusted by experienced coffee roasting professionals. Something as simple as the Glasgow weather can mean they need to adjust the roasting conditions. They are there during every roast to ensure the coffee is roasted to specification.

Our micro-lot coffees are hand roasted on our smaller Italian ‘Vittoria’ traditional drum roaster, in batches of just 12-25kg.

With decades of experience, we know how to develop the perfect flavour during the roasting process and how to preserve the integrity and freshness of the roasted beans right up until the moment the coffee is brewed.

We celebrate each individual farm through carefully developed and evolving roast profiles.

Why does the colour of the roast matter?

It depends on the beans, but light roasts usually have quite a green aroma. Expect bright acidity, citrusy flavours and a noticeably astringent aftertaste. Medium roasts add more body and a caramel nose – along with nutty, chocolatey flavours and a smooth aftertaste. The darker roasts hit you with a smokier aroma and low acidity. Cocoa flavours give way to a more bitter aftertaste.

coffe in a bag

Packaging freshly roasted coffee

Oxygen is the enemy of freshly roasted coffee. Exposure to oxygen can turn coffee stale very quickly, so we make sure ours is packed within minutes of roasting. Our coffee is packaged in a one-way valve bags that allow carbon dioxide to escape but keep oxygen out.

We have worked to reduce the aluminium used in our packaging, which has in turn reduced our carbon footprint.

 

What happens to any waste?

We don’t waste anything! The hessian sacks the coffee comes in get recycled into carpet backing or packaging for other goods. Any of the chaff, or silverskin, that is discarded in the roasting process is pelletised and gets sent off for anaerobic digestion for energy production.

Testing coffee for quality

Cupping is to test coffee. And it’s not just the taste. We’re also looking for aroma, mouth-feel and quality. This is how we know the coffee we produce is consistently excellent.

We test, or cup, our coffee at various stages. Before it gets shipped over, a pre-shipment sample will be delivered to the roastery. We’ll then cup the coffee to check its quality. The main shipment will get cupped again upon arrival to the roastery, then again after roasting.

To cup, we medium-roast a tiny sample, never more than 300g, and coarsely grind the beans. Hot water is added to the grounds and left to steep for a few minutes. Then the coffee is slurped to test. All the flavours and aromas are evaluated by our coffee experts, who will ensure the coffee is just right.