The Coffee Roasting Machine Company in Ilkley

PUBLISHED: 00:00 30 April 2015 | UPDATED: 09:49 30 April 2015

Scott pours green beans into the roaster

Scott pours green beans into the roaster


Our love of coffee should make us more curious about our favourite caffeine fix, reports Esther Leach

Beans popping in the roasting chamberBeans popping in the roasting chamber

If the smell of fresh coffee sends you into raptures then read on. It was the aroma of ground beans that helped Scott Armitage decide he didn’t just want to drink coffee he wanted to be involved in the huge industry that now surrounds it. He is already successful selling machinery to businesses around the world and he quickly realised there was something of an opportunity in coffee roasting. Months of investigation later and The Coffee Roasting Machine Company based in Ilkley, West Yorkshire was launched. Today he sells the Novoroaster a coffee roasting machine which he says bridges the gap between the artisan roaster and the big industrial machines. And it allows coffee shop customers, those not too busy catching up with family and friends over their cappuccino, to see just how beans are roasted.

‘I’ve learned so much about coffee since I decided to look into it as a new business,’ said Scott. ‘There is so much passion for the drink and there is so much more to it than I could imagine. Speciality coffee and independent coffee shops have really taken off and it’s not just in London. There are some wonderful speciality coffee shops springing up in Yorkshire.

‘It’s not just about the chain coffee shops any longer and the variety of coffee has never been broader and the different ways of serving it has grown too. The best baristas have to be and are enormously knowledgeable these days.

‘ There are endless opportunities for coffee shops to be creative and customer expectations have become greater. They are quite rightly discerning and should ask where the coffee beans are from and how long ago they were roasted because after six weeks the flavour begins to fade. We insist on knowing the provenance of our meat and fish today, why not our coffee beans.

Roasted coffee beansRoasted coffee beans

‘Roasting can make all the difference to the flavour. All the aroma and taste of coffee is created by the roasting process. You can change the characteristics of the flavour by how much or how little you roast the beans. It’s my feeling that the label on every packet of coffee should say when the beans were roasted. The best flavours are within six weeks of roasting. I’d like to see an industry standard on this. I know people argue that packaging can prolong the flavour but I still think the public should know when the beans were roasted, they should know as much about their coffee as they do their meat or fish. Ask the question the next time.’

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