Tell us about Bell Lane Coffee and why did you start roasting coffee?
Bell Lane Coffee are an award-winning specialty coffee roaster based in Mullingar, Co Westmeath. Our team of coffee fanatics have over 30 years’ combined experience in the coffee industry. Through our experience, and our high standard roasting processes, we develop unique coffee blends with the optimum balance of acidity, body and flavour to make a great cup of coffee every time. At Bell Lane Coffee everyone brings a unique skill set and knowledge to the table. We all share Stephen and Denise’s passion for great coffee, and a desire to create the best coffee.
We never stop learning, creating and innovating.
What sets us apart? Producing consistently great coffee with unmatched personal customer service.
2019 has been one of the most important to date. It was always our goal to buy coffee direct, thanks to DR Wakefield one of our green coffee brokers this March Stephen & Niko travelled to Honduras. It was during this trip we negotiated our very first relationship coffee contract. This was a monumental trip for Bell Lane Coffee, the start of our first direct relationship coffee. We have taken delivery of the coffee in Bell Lane roastery, Amprocal Coffee is an all-female cooperative coffee from the San Marcos region of Honduras.
A second origin trip this July saw Stephen & Niko travel to Brazil, where they visited Café Campos Altos, a passionate family of coffee growers who are dedicated to revolutionizing the Brazilian specialty coffee movement by bridging innovation with tradition. The Oliveira family have been committed to sustainable social, economic, and environment practices in the production and processing of their green coffee. Bell Lane will receive the first of the coffee from Café Campos Altos in October. 40% of the green coffee used in Bell Lane is from Brazil, so going direct was the next obvious step.
With one more trip planned to Uganda this October 2019, we foresee that 80% of our green coffees will be sourced directly by 2020, more importantly meeting producers at origin give us the opportunity to source better green product, while creating long term relationships with coffee producers.
"I spent a lot of time slinging shots, sales and account management. However, I always believed that I can make my signature in roasting. Luckily Stephen and I share same values and ideas when it comes to coffee so now I have the chance to roast the way we believe brings the best in the cup. We love to bring new things but also keep the sparkle of tradition in espresso. My roasting approach would be very much impacted by my mentor Paolo Schimone owner of His Majesty the Coffee."
- Niko, Head Roaster
Where are you from and how did you get into coffee?
Coming from Croatia, I had a love affair with coffee from college days. After gaining my degree in civil engineering my career took a turn again and I went back to coffee. Now I oversee the whole process from creating relationships with our partner farmers to roasting and quality control with Denise and Stephen.
What is the best coffee experience you’ve had ever?
It is definitely on my last origin trip to Brazil in Campos Altos from where we source direct from our partner Ronaldo Azzi in Campos Altos. I spent two days roasting with his team at origin to help them to bring their coffee to best light.
Tell us something uncoffee related about yourselves?
I am a nerd 😊 so if I get some time off from coffee, I would spend every moment playing Japanese RPGs.
What's the plan for the future? World domination?
Going forward Bell Lane Coffee will be responsible for sourcing quality green coffee from producers we have visited, coffee producers we have established relationships with, with people we know and trust, ensuring sustainability, provenance and fair prices for coffee farmers.
The future for Bell Lane is one filled with plenty of travel, creating close long-term sustainable relationships with producers. Our customers value quality and provenance that comes with the coffee we now deliver.
Exciting times ahead for our team in Bell Lane. The goal is by the end of next year to have all our green coffee sourced direct and a long-term priority is building a new sustainable, low environmental impact roastery!