A couple of weeks ago, some elite members of the Dutch coffee scene met in the Amsterdam-based coffee church Espressofabriek to talk about the recent trends in the coffee world. Most importantly, the discussion focused on one particular subject: the movement towards home-roasting in the Low Countries. In the specialty coffee business, this is a widely applauded tendency, but the ambitious home-roasters should know that this no easy matter. We shine a light on a few of the topics the coffee celebs encountered.

“Like a baker shop makes his own bread, a rising number of coffee bars are looking to roast their beans themselves. The bars want to be involved in as many steps of the process as they can, like purchasing green beans, blending them and roast them to their customized preferences. It’s a logical tendency, as you can open a new world to your customers and control a lot of the steps yourself,” Rick Woertman (Espressofabriek, coffee bars and roasters) elaborated.

But roasting beans is not as easy as it seems. Not only do you need proper – ergo expensive – equipment, the roasting of coffee is a craft that entails a lot of education, knowledge and practice. “Roasting coffee means more than pulling out the beans when you hear them pop,” says Sebastiaan van Pommeren, a professional roaster at Het Koffielab. Nevertheless, home-roasting coffee can bring forth a loss of quality at first, but it definitely assures a fresher coffee in many homes. “This development certainly has a positive influence on the coffee awareness,” Kees Kraakman (Stadsbranderij Noord) postulated his view on the future.

The trend towards a roast-it-yourself coffee, also implies the need for a direct purchase of green beans. As Rick put it into words: “For a coffee entrepreneur, collaborating directly with a trader opens up infinite possibilities.” We couldn’t agree more. One step further, some roasters consider purchasing the beans directly from the farmer – the so-called Direct Sourcing – which should provide the customer with even more exclusive coffees. Of course, every coffee bar depends of the range its network to make Direct Sourcing a success story, never mind the complications of transport issues, import regulations or Customs shenanigans. A lot of headache, you might say, that a specialty coffee trader is happy to do for you. And a particularly ambitious importer, like 32cup for example, won’t only take care of logistic and financing issues. Among other things, we are also committed to quality approval upon arrival and the differentiation in our offerlist. As an extra, we welcome our clients to our cupping sessions and invite them to think along in our choice of beans. Your coffee in front of your door, free from worry!

It’s clear now that the home-roasting trend goes hand in hand with the outbreak of specialty coffees in the Low Countries. As the Third Wave continues to expand, the coffee gurus suspect that there will be more room for quality roasters in the future. And we will be happy to assist them in their search for the holy bean.


Based upon and inspired by this article (in Dutch).

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Sofie Nys Sofie Nys

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