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Beyond the daily grind
Dominic Boyett and Ori Halup have a passion for coffee. Having set up Oxfordshire’s first artisan roastery to get the taste absolutely right, they are now hoping to educate us about how to choose it, make it and taste it.
Mr Halup said: “It's really like wine. You can take three different grains, each with their own distinctive flavour. Two may go together really well, while the others don’t. It’s all about having the right grains and the right processes.”
Mr Halup and his partner Victoria Troth run The Missing Bean coffee shop in Turl Street, Oxford, having met in Australia, where he worked in coffee shops while studying at film school.
He said: “Dominic supplied us with coffee which he was roasting in Glasgow and we decided to bring everything down here.”
The two men spent three months and tens of thousands of pounds converting a unit at the Windrush Industrial Park in Witney into a state-of-the-art coffee roastery, Ue Coffee Roasters, to supply discerning drinkers.
Mr Halup said: “It means we can control the roasting ourselves. We are the only roasters in Oxfordshire, so we are keeping everything local.”
Following tasting sessions with a broker in London, they decided on 12 different varieties, which come in 60kg sacks of green beans. “We do it to our own taste, trying to achieve consistency,” said Mr Halup.
The most sought-after coffee is roasted on wood and so the pair have invested in a traditional wood roaster, using cherry wood from the Blenheim estate. “It’s a lot more work, since it’s a more difficult to bring out the flavour, but it makes it taste better,” he said.
They imported the machinery from Israel and believe it is the UK’s only wood-powered commercial coffee roaster. The pair already offer ‘barrista’ courses to trade customers on grinding beans and making coffee and from September they will be running events for the public.
Having seen the success of his Oxford cafe, Mr Halup believes the British are now ready to develop their taste for gourmet coffee, to learn the difference between single estate beans and blends, or Nicaraguan and Ethiopian — rather than gulping down any old cup from a chain.
“We have invested in coffee machines and grinders and we have a cupping table where people can learn to taste. It’s not just putting the coffee in the machine, it’s about understanding the whole process,” he said. Contact: 01865 883696 Web: www.uecoffeeroasters.com ib