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Specialty coffees, while not a new trend, are starting to become more and more popular. Coffee lovers nowadays prefer to order their beans online, from trusted sources or satisfy their coffee needs through high-end coffee retailers rather than buying supermarket generic or brand-name beans that oftentimes fail to deliver on their so-called quality guarantees.
Browsing the internet for non-generic specialty coffee beans is nothing but plain sailing. Many coffee roasters popped up recently, from various young entrepreneurs, or mom-and-pop shops, to just individuals who are passionate about great coffee. The common denominator for these coffee shops is quality roasted coffee and uncomplicated web-based transactions. We can now buy coffee beans without any hassle and without having to make some sort of compromise regarding quality, ethics, or otherwise.
Smokey Barn -- Norwich, UK
If you happen to live in the UK, you can find one of these individuals at Smokey Barn. You can give them a call to schedule a ‘barn’ visit, inquire about their barista training program, or just have some questions answered. If you are a millennial you probably find that odd. Who uses the phone to get information anymore. Yes, their website is fully prepared for you to buy online a bag or two, has all the information you need for making a buying decision. A good place to learn more about them is their Facebook page.
When Chris Queen started the business in 2011, he had to roast in a shed in his backyard. It was a huge success at the time nonetheless, and now the roastery has come a long way, being one of the leading artisan coffee roasters in the area.
As we always make it our mission to recognize true value in everything coffee related, here’s our opinion on Smokey Barn, this specialty coffee roaster.
Grade A Beans
Smokey Barn trades only with small businesses that produce their own batches of superior quality beans. They stay away from international coffee mega-companies and all the compromises that come with them. Handpicking your suppliers in order to accustom both wholesale and retail demands is no easy task, but having several years of experience in your back pocket helps you reach mastery in your field of activity. This also helps to make life-long business connections to ensure a permanent level of quality for your product. Smokey Barn has certainly made these connections, hence the elite-grade coffee beans.
Having access to premium coffee bean sources also means being able to provide clients with some of the absolute best espresso coffee beans and award-winning blends. Caffeine Magazine nominated their blend -- Purple Ribbon -- in the top 5 espresso coffees from micro roasters. Bean quality, blending knowledge, and roasting mastery are the elements of a great espresso blend. Smokey Barn understands and perpetuates this knowledge, carefully and expertly roasting their gourmet coffee beans literally hours before delivering them to your doorstep.
Grade A Delivery
A professionally equipped roastery, an expert head roaster, a skilled and capable team, and the best specialty coffee beans would all be in vain if your order is not delivered properly. Either you’re looking to buy from Smokey Barn for your daily household coffee needs, or you want to serve coffee drinks made from their beans to the clients that frequent your own business, your order is just as important as the next. This means that regardless of the quantity of beans that you order, coffee freshness will be guaranteed all the same.
Great coffee is only fresh coffee. Smokey Barn will always deliver your order in a nicely sealed package that will keep the just roasted beans fresh. Their packaging and delivery system have been perfected over the years and their brown bags might not look fancy, but they are airtight, and they have a zipper. When you open your freshly roasted bag of beans, you can transfer them in your airtight container, if you have one, or just keep them in the original bag. In fact, that’s what I did.
Smokey Barn roasts almost exclusively specialty and gourmet coffees. So if you’re interested in discovering novel coffees, with interesting, complex aromas and flavors, try them. Break your daily routine of cheap, large batch coffee, and try something unique. You can buy coffee from their website, or if you live in Norwich, visit their shop.
Being adamant diversity advocates in all ramifications of life and personal interests, we believe that different coffee beans should be explored before deciding to stick to one source. Diversity allows us to identify flavors we enjoy the most in our coffee, then we can choose the beans that satisfy our taste.
I tried a few beans from Smokey Barns. Their Colombian Cundinamarca was a hit in my French press. I know the average French presso coffee lover will pick a dark roasted coffee, but to me, this light roasted coffee hit the spot. If you brew this in a French press, you need to grind slightly finer, and raise the brewing temperature to compensate during extraction. You can also take a look at our review of great beans for French press for more ideas.
I drink espresso, so for me a South American origin is almost always perfect. The Cerro de Ataco from El Salvador is a perfect single origin for an espresso. Cerro de Ataco is a sweet bean, with nutty flavors, and a little citrusy acidity. They roast it light, which is another big plus in my book. I love espresso pulled from light roasts. You need a little more experience if you want to pull espresso with a light roast, and you can take a look at our espresso brewing tutorial, where I talk about pulling shots from lighter roasted beans and I share many more tips for a perfect shot.
If you have the chance to buy coffee from Smokey Barn, you should definitely give them a try.