News / artisan

  • One hundred years of history in a cup

    Moonroast Coffee’s passion for fine coffee can actually be traced back to Mincing Lane, London where tea was once traded. But both have been in the family ever since, for four generations of Bradshaw's.

    It all began in the late 1800s when Richard Goodwin Bradshaw, the son of a London publican, swapped the family pub, The Shades Tavern, for a milder brew. ‘RGB’ joined Wilson Smithett, the principal City of London tea broker whose London offices still overlook The River Thames. 


    There, as a taster, then a broker, he became an expert in trading and blending tea from Ceylon. In those days, imported tea was auctioned at Plantation House in Mincing Lane, the ‘Street of Tea’, a tradition full of noise and colour. RGB's son Dorman Bradshaw, Francis’s grandfather, continued the gentlemanly charm and integrity of the honest-broker tradition.

    Then followed Dorman’s sons Richard, another tea-blending specialist who ran his own loose-leaf tea firm, and Haydon. First in tea, Haydon switched to coffee with Nestlé and became Britain’s leading coffee specialist. He also worked as a coffee consultant for famous brands like Waitrose and Greggs. Kathy Bradshaw, Francis’ Aunt and Richard’s wife, continued in the tea business.


    In 2014 the fourth generation of Bradshaws, Francis, Haydon’s son, followed his father into coffee and started roasting in a barn in delightfully rural surroundings, in the heart of the Candover Valley, Hampshire. Roasting by the light of the moon and watched by their barn owl, Francis Bradshaw created Moonroast Coffee.    

    Haydon, though retired, is now a consultant to Moonroast, where Francis carries on the Bradshaw spirit of quality tea and coffee excellence. Moonroast’s expert skills and pedigree in the very best roasting and blending techniques have recovered a lost brilliance for people who love fine coffee. The culmination has to be when Moonroast Coffee won four Great Taste Awards in 2016 including a 3-star accolade for its popular Ethiopia single origin. 

  • It's all about the 'crack': Roasting at Moonroast

    At Moonroast we hand roast all our coffees in small batches using our Probat which will roast between six and 12 kilos of green beans at a time.       


    Roasting in small batches enables us to pay close attention to detail and find the coffee's finest attributes. We adjust the roast profile to find the optimum balance of flavour, sweetness and acidity in each batch of green beans. We blend after roasting, so each component of a blend is roasted to the optimum. It is fascinating to learn how the roast profile and the fully developed bean help bring the best out of the coffee.

    The Roasting Process

    This is carried out by hand, not literally of course as the roaster heats up to 200 degrees centigrade, but it requires adjustments at various stages of the roast which is where the hands on bit comes in. We make use of the Probat roasting profile software to develop consistency with each roast and ensure we get the best out of each batch of green beans.

    Once the temperature in the roaster has heated up to over 200 degrees, the green beans enter the rotating drum via a hopper at the top of the roaster. The beans gradually start to turn brown and after about 10 minutes, will go through a process called ‘first crack’ where they begin to pop like popcorn.


    Each stage of the roast can be varied to achieve differing results. Once first crack is complete and the optimum level of roast has been reached, beans are emptied into the cooling tray through the cooling hatch where they are rapidly air cooled for a few minutes. Once cooled, beans are immediately blended or straight away packaged as single origin beans depending on requirements of our customers. Each roast will take up to 17 minutes. 

    Roast level

    We grade our roast levels on a scale of 1 to 5. Light, medium–light, medium, medium-dark and dark. The system of grading is based on the Agtron scale (very Dr Who!) commonly used by professional cuppers and roasters.


  • Guild of Fine Food


    Moonroast is delighted to be a member of The Guild of Fine Food and will be entering some of our coffees in The Great Taste Awards. Watch this space..........


  • Moonroast in the press - Daily Echo

  • Slow Food in the UK

     Moonroast is pleased to be a supporter of Slow Food in the UK and its slow food ethos. Take a look at our page

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