Round Hill Roastery - Commitment to Quality and the Art of Coffee

Raluca Judele
Round Hill Roastery - Commitment to Quality and the Art of Coffee

In the scenic hills of Kelston, Round Hill Roastery embarked on its journey in 2012 with a vision to share the world's finest coffees, nurtured by extraordinary farmers. This commitment was about coffee and celebrating the dedication behind each bean. The team, including Eddie, Tim, Ben C, Ben K, Pandora, and Flora, pour their passion into mastering the art of single-farm and single-estate coffees, ensuring the essence of each bean is preserved and honoured every day.

Round Hill is about more than great coffee; they always come up with fantastic ideas to reuse stuff, cutting down on waste big time. They believe in being kind to the environment and are all about innovating to make that happen.

When they talk about being "consistent," they don't mean boring. They mean they're reliably awesome, sticking to high standards, growing smartly, always being there for their customers, and delivering quality coffee.

Eddie, the guy who started it all, kicked things off with a modest but pioneering coffee roaster and had big dreams of getting even better gear, which they did. And Tim, who's been there for seven years, is super important in planning the future, keeping the team vibe strong, and making sure everyone's growing personally and professionally.

Round Hill Roastery is really a place with a heart, dedicated to their farmers, committed to the environment, and making sure they stand out for their quality and integrity.

Hanging out with the Round Hill crew for an afternoon and hearing about Eddie and Tim's adventures was a total blast. Hear their story:

Find them on Instagram.

If you can't watch the video, here's the transcript:

Round Hill Roastery - Radstock, Somerset

Eddie Twitchett - Director - Round Hill Roastery

The most common word to describe Roundhill is consistent. I love and hate it. In our industry, that's like the biggest compliment you could ever get in my opinion. But it's also a bit dull at times. But at the same time, it kind of links with that thing is about what we're doing this for. It's like, we never, I never wanted to build Round Hill to be like a, like a hype beast kind of business. Like I don't want it to be like a monster. I think it's like I'm very comfortable with it being a small, sustainable, hopefully profitable business. And actually that's, there's so much more value long term for me in that and there will be in not just for me, but in terms of our whole supply chain and the team that work here, I think it's much better than building something up and falling apart. 

Tim Gane - Director Round Hill Roastery

My name is Tim and I am the other director of Round Hill Roastery. I've been with the company, I'd say probably seven years now, quite a long time. Felt like I was probably invested from day one emotionally and then now a bit more, more so financially. My role within the company is to basically figure out strategy, managing the team developing each of those individuals. A bit more of framework and things like that. That's been a bit more of what I've been doing recently is at the start of the year and having procedures in places and a bit more framework to things.

The Roastery

Eddie:  This is our training area and this is like where we always had our first training out. I'm going to show you what we're working on. This has always been a really fun place to do training but as you can see it's quite loud. None of the equipment is actually running right now but if the roaster is running, the de-stoner is running and the weighing machine is going and then the stereo is on it's very hard to do a training up there. 

When we first moved in here, we had a 15 kilo roaster, which was where this hoop is here. So we moved into here with the kind of understanding that we'd fill this space with a bigger roaster when we could. We had that roaster for, well I had it since day one, which is 11 years ago now. The first roaster was by a company called Giesen, which is a Dutch company. And we're the second UK roaster to have a Giesen.

I always wanted to have a Probat, just like my dream roaster. We actually had it for quite a while, but we spent, Tim just became Head Roaster, I just gave him the most rough task. I was like, can you figure out how to roast on it? So I remember just like, weeks and weeks of just roasting coffee. It doesn't work. The theory is the same, the principle is the same of roasting coffee. But the application is very different. So what works on our old roaster did not work on this, like at all. And like, it was really frustrating. We'd be like, right, let's try this. And you're like, oh, that's disgusting. Or like, you look at a batch that was like, looked really under roasted, but was like so over roasted. And we just had so many, well, I didn't ...Tim did. I don't know who that is. I just, then it's like, suddenly then it all started flipping and it's way more efficient than the old roaster, the kind of level of control is so much greater. You can actually do a lot more with it.

De-stoner. Yeah, very important. 

Radu: Are you happy with it? 

Eddie: Yeah yeah absolutely. I mean you don't want that in your grinder. It's the most random thing they've ever found in it. I'll see if I can find it later. I keep that as a surprise, it's good. We roast, I don't know, between 10 to 15 batches a day, Monday to Thursday. We try to not roast on Friday, but Tim seems to be roasting today because we know we've got a busy day on Monday. We keep it in these for up to a week, just so we can keep things cycling, instead of packing everything into bags when we don't know what use it has. So the idea being you can see, we have pink bags are espresso, we've got our filter, so everything we can was color coordinated in a very basic way. But yeah, so it means then we know what roasted stock we have, what green coffee we have next door, and then in other warehouses. We try and turn around all of our orders within 24 hours. So if you order, it's likely to get done the same day, if not tomorrow.

Work in progress

Eddie: This is our new office which is kind of using a bit of PTSD really because we're supposed to be in here last really a year ago, but like this is just the reality of the current economic problems in the year. Those would be our new version of what we had in the store. All different expressing machines will have a cupping area.

Courses and Team Development

Tim: We have Ben C who does all of our training. So he does training courses at different levels for baristas, where he'll go out to the cafes and train different baristas. For the team and development, things like that, we do look outside of Round Hill, because I think it's a good way of, I don't know, sort of removing people from their comfort zone, which is what the normalities are of roasting or making coffee or cupping or whatever that is, removing that sort of safety net and then taking them to a different roastery or different surroundings with cupping or even public cuppings and things like that is something that can be challenging or be quite a lot of pressure or to come up with flavour notes or on the spot. So it's always good development and learning for staff to do that. 

Eco-friendly and Sustainable

Tim: We're always sort of in the roastery looking at ways to save on, on using materials that we don't have to. Our postage labels are printed on a plastic material, but then you peel them off and you've still got that plastic material, which goes in the bin. To use that plastic material as, sort of packaging material, so we'll pull the coffee in the box and then we'll use that extra plastic just to put in with the coffees as a bit more packaging so the coffee's not moving around. 

We produce quite a lot of chaff, so we have been working with a, it's a Michelin star restaurant called Ossip in a town called Brewton in Somerset. And they produce...a lot of their vegetables and things on a farm nearby. So occasionally we'll take it to them. And then also we reached out to the local council and they occasionally pick it up for the allotments for the compost heap, because it's good for compost.

So we have a lot of customers that come on a Friday that pick up coffees and they collect coffees in pretty much anything, any sort of vessel that they can get their hands on. 

So for wholesale customers, we offer a bucket alternative, which is basically a tub which fits, it's one of those down there, which basically fits four kilos in, and we deliver those, they're reusable, so we deliver them, and then when we deliver the next one, we'll pick up and rotate that. 

The Mysterious "Biscuit Man"

Tim: There's a who turns up turns up every now and again and we call him Biscuit man but yeah I'm not actually sure his name but he actually brings us biscuits in exchange for coffee sacks so yeah it's a great deal and obviously everyone gets very excited when he arrives with his biscuits.

How does one relax?

Tim: I live quite locally to the roastery. There's a lot of green open spaces and I have a dog and we'll quite often, well, I'll get home and we'll go for a dog walk and that often clears my mind if anything allows me to switch off a little bit and yeah, enjoy time with my dog. It's quite a simple thing, but I absolutely love that sort of being in nature. 

Eddie: That's a big hobby, getting out for food. I suppose straight up direct hobbies like, you know, like, I don't know, like knitting or modeling or something like, like making things. Those didn't happen so much in my life. I find sadly at the moment over the past few years, it's a little bit more get home from work after quite a long hours. And then there's a lot of, there's a lot of kind of exploring old TV classics, but it's not really cool that a hobby.

Unveiling the mystery

Eddie: You've just finished your batch of coffee and like, open the drum. This is spinning around and then you find this staring at you. 

Radu: It's like a little Chucky. 

Eddie: Like a little burned doll's porcelain face with like, burnt out eyes. That's creepy, it's the creepiest thing ever. And it's just going around in the corner. It's just like... laughter.