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'.
New harvests of single estate arabica coffee beans from 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, hand-roasted and blended by chief coffee roaster Paul Stephens. Paul is a Licensed Q Grader, accredited by the Quality Coffee Institute, which means he is qualified to grade samples of coffee submitted by coffee growers all over the world. He has been managing the cafe's roastery in Kemp Town since 2007, where he hand-roasts the local weekly wholesale orders as well as supplying the coffee house. If you run a local business in the Brighton area and would like to provide Redroaster coffee for your customers, please send us an email via the Contact Us page.
"Redroaster is a very special place,” said Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemp Town and Peacehaven. “It’s a Brighton institution”. He was introducing the coffee house to Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, Paymaster General, and MP for Horsham. Caroline Lucas, the UK's first Green MP, spoke to a packed audience of Brighton NUJ members at Redroaster on 23 January, and the cafe was also visited by Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, during the 2012 Liberal Democrat Conference. See Diary for picures.
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 as well as free Wifi. 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.
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 was described by coffee blogger Damn Fine Joe 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".
Poets reading tonight:
Andrew Forster has published two collections of poetry with Flambard Press: 'Fear of Thunder', shortlisted for the Forward prize for Best First Collection in 2008, and 'Territory'. He is Literature Officer for the Wordsworth Trust.
Pete Howells spent four years as a singer-songwriter and has published...Read More >
Key speaker: Emlyn Rees, author (Sunday Times bestseller 'Come Together'), editor, and director of the Dark & Stormy Crime Festival. Published at 25, Emlyn knows the publishing industry inside out.
Your ticket includes the chance to win some great books as well as collaborate with the other guests on some book-themed challenges. Bar and n...Read More >
Music, Musings and Poetry from Tony Frisby, Paddy O'Keeffe and Ben Blake (two Irishmen and a Frenchman)
Tony writes: "Hi all - Paddy O'Keeffe and I will offering a few insights into 'What it is to be Irish'at Redroaster on the 7th. I'll be reading tales from my Irish childhood and some of my poetry whilst Paddy will read from the works o...Read More >