A little way up a narrow old street called St James’s, off the Old Steine (Brighton’s main thoroughfare) and opposite the Royal Pavilion, Redroaster, an original and independent coffee house, has been embedded in the heart of the city for many years. As Ian Boughton says in 'Coffee-house Capers', "Redroaster in Brighton, a very well-regarded coffee-house, was way ahead of the much vaunted vogue for 'roaster-retailers' or people who roast on their own premises." Coffee blogger Damn Fine Joe notes: "Redroaster is a legendary coffee house and roasterie in Brighton, that has been producing gourmet coffee for well over a decade". The coffee house is also recommended by The New York Times as a 'go-to destination' in their book, '36 Hours: 125 Weekends in Europe'.
Small batches of single origin arabica coffee beans from individual coffee estates in Indonesia, Africa, Central America and India are freshly roasted every week on the original red roaster behind the cafe counter, with roasting dates and prices chalked up on the blackboard. The House espresso blend, certified Organic blend and Decaffeinated coffee are selected, blended and roasted by chief coffee roaster Paul Stephens, in Redroaster's dedicated coffee roastery in Brighton's Kemp Town area. See Buying Beans to read his tasting notes on individual single estate coffees.
Paul is also a Licensed Q Grader, accredited by the Quality Coffee Institute. As a Q Grader, Paul is qualified to grade samples of coffee submitted by coffee growers all over the world. Only if a coffee scores 80 points or higher, as scored by three Q graders, can a coffee be certified ‘specialty’ coffee, that is, one of the best coffees in the world. Paul has developed an incredible depth of knowledge about coffee since he started working at the coffee house in 2000, going on to run the roastery from 2007, where he hand-roasts the local weekly wholesale orders.
Tim Hume, managing director, does not compromise on the quality of their coffee beans and is committed to paying a fair price for the same commitment to quality from the producers (see 'Sourcing green beans', under Wholesale). Redroaster's House blend has been described as: "A great full rounded flavour that cloaks the mouth like a velvet muffler. It then reveals itself with light, tart cherry notes that can be clearly picked out and are felt right down to the back of the palette. The honeyed sweetness remained strong along with some hints of spice and a gentle backing of dry tannin tones. The after taste was creamy, smooth and with a light zestyness".
Homemade cakes, snacks, quiches and salads are all freshly prepared (see Menus for a full price list). Redroaster has a top 5-star rating for food safety and hygiene. The atmosphere is airy and spacious with high vaulted skylights in the ceiling which light the changing exhibitions of artwork on the walls. There are national newspapers and journals such as Sight & Sound freely available to read.
More than just a cafe, in the evenings Redroaster transforms into a licensed venue hosting a regular tango-dancing club, poetry readings, plays and book launches, as well as occasional gigs by touring and local musicians. Kate Nash, Oscar-winning singer Adele (see picture under Testimonials) and The Sons of Noel and Adrian have all performed here.
Skilled volunteers are welcome to play on the piano, donated by a loyal customer. The cafe is wheelchair-friendly and has a convenient downstairs toilet especially for the disabled. There is even a vast collection of coffee pots and coffee grinders through the ages if you look up high.
Welcome to Brighton Dancing's Tango Argentina Milonga at Redroaster. Beginners welcome. Experienced tango teachers always available.
Painter Ole Skauge was born in Trondheim, Norway in 1979 and studied art at Oslo’s Einar Granum School of Fine Art. He moved to Britain in 2006 and now lives and works in Brighton. Ole says he sees the world with a ruler in his mind; the geometric nature of his work derives from an obsession with straight lines and a passion for colour. Ole's work has therapeuti...Read More >
Brighton wood sculptor Dave Gourlay has created a new series of wooden illuminated sculptures, especially for Redroaster. They use slats of cherrywood to produce a halo effect. Please email Dave at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more.