Ethical coffee firm invests £250,000 in the rise of its Yorkshire roast

Coffee specialist Cafeology is putting the Yorkshire roast on the map…

The ethical importer, roaster and distributor credited with kicking off Sheffield’s coffee scene in 2003 is now one of the UK’s largest independently-owned coffee companies.

Turning the nation on to its Fairtrade brews and blends has seen annual turnover soar to £4m.

Now Cafeology, bearer of the Made In Sheffield hallmark, is marking its 15th year with a £250,000 investment in its successful business-to-business coffee roasting and blending service, Roastology.

A new state-of-the art roastery boasts a £110,000 giant roaster, a ‘coffee laboratory’ and a fully-equipped training academy which will upskill baristas from across the country. Three new jobs have been created and there are more to follow.

Own-label Cafeology products are sold to the public via retailers, coffee shops and cafeology.com and supply over 50 cafes, restaurants and businesses, while Roastology creates artisan blends from ethically-sourced green coffee.

Roastology is an award winner – its Aviator blend recently won top marks at the 2018 Great Taste Awards – and is roasting blends for the national Revere Pub Company, Alexandra Palace, universities, independent pubs and restaurants.

“We have stayed true to our values of quality, ethical sourcing, full traceability and Yorkshire roots and poured our years of experience into our artisan service, Roastology,” Commented MD Bryan Unkles, who launched Cafeology with business partner Andy McClatchey.

“It has taken off at an unprecedented rate in just two years. Investing in a new site and the latest equipment is proof of our commitment to further expansion.

“We now have 16 staff and will be creating more jobs on that journey.”

The hi-tech roastery is based at Cafeology’s new 10,000 sq ft distribution centre at Vantage Riverside Business Park near Meadowhall in Rotherham.

The site, developed on former brownfield land with investment from the European Regional Development Fund, has an Energy Performance Rate A and is solar-powered.

Officially launching on December 6, the site features a hi-tec 35 kilo Diedrich roaster. It is three times the size of Roastology’s existing equipment and capable of roasting 35 kilos of Cafeology’s Fairtrade-certified beans at 430degC in 12 minutes, with a capacity of a tonne a day.

The training academy for baristas nationwide is expected to become the only one in South Yorkshire to gain accreditation for excellence from the global Specialty Coffee Association.

There will also be coffee masterclasses and team-building events for the public. Coffee lovers will visit the Coffee Laboratory to see how blends are created and do blind taste-testing to identify flavour characteristics, and learn the art of making a range of coffees.

Some 70 per cent of Cafeology’s coffee still comes from the same Colombian growers’ association it discovered in 2008 on deciding to take control of quality by sourcing its own Fairtrade beans.

The rest is from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, a carbon-neutral plantation in Costa Rica and a host of small-batch producers around the world. Bryan visits plantations every other year.

Other Cafeology brands now include Teaology, Cocoaology and Frappeology, all Fairtrade, and Rainforest Alliance-approved Café Cereza.

Cafeology is maintaining its Sheffield’s Acorn Business Park base.

43 Cafeology MD Bryan Unkles