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". Redroaster is recommended by The New York Times as a 'go-to destination' in their new book, '36 Hours: 125 Weekends in Europe'. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg chose to visit Redroaster, when he was in Brighton for the Lib Dem conference (see the Diary).
Their 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". In 2009 Dark Star created a coffee beer using Redroaster's House Blend which won the Best Speciality Ale in the World award (see Customer of the Month under About Coffee to find out more).
More than just a cafe, in the evenings Redroaster transforms into a licensed venue hosting a regular tango-dancing club, poetry and spoken word events, plays and book launches, as well as occasional gigs by touring and local musicians. Kate Nash, Oscar-winning Adele (see picture under Testimonials) and The Sons of Noel and Adrian have all performed here.
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.
Small batches of single origin arabica coffee beans from Indonesia, Africa, Central America, India and beyond, are hand-roasted weekly on the original red roaster behind the counter. New coffees, roasting dates and prices are chalked up on the blackboard. Larger batches of the House blend, certified Organic blend and Decaffeinated coffee are roasted by prizewinning chief roaster Paul Stephens, at our roastery in Kemp Town. Paul was a member of the winning UK team at a speciality coffee competition in Moscow 2012 having come first in the UK Speciality Coffee Association's annual cupping (tasting) competition in 2010.
Tim Hume, managing director of this small family concern, 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 About Coffee). Freshly roasted Redroaster beans are delivered weekly with their roasting date, wholesale to many different local businesses.
The atmosphere is airy and spacious with high vaulted skylights in the ceiling which light the changing exhibitions of artwork on the walls. The front of the cafe opens up in summer. National and local newspapers are freely available to read. 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.
Breakfast at Dalkey tells the story of a family in 1930s Dublin. Its sharp witty dialogue explores family squabbles, a wake, emigration to the USA and intrigue, culminating in a will reading. The author, Eddie Alford, won an Argus Angel Award for 'The M-Boat' in the 2011 Brighton Festival. "The names have been changed to protect the guilty!" says Eddie...Read More >
Beginners and more experienced tango dancers are welcome at Redroaster's Festival Argentina Tango Milonga in May. Brighton Dancing's tango teachers are always around if you need any tuition. Bar available.
The announcement of the winner of The Poetry School/Pighog Press Pamphlet Competition 2013 plus Helen Ivory is launching her fourth Bloodaxe Books collection, Waiting for Bluebeard(2013). She is an experienced creative writing tutor and workshop leader. She is also an Editor for The Poetry Archive, an Editor of the webzine, Ink Sweat and Tears, and Course Direct...Read More >