New coffee enterprise may roast opposition

The Brasenose Arms, Cropredy. Johan and Tazelle Smal with their coffee roaster. NNL-150428-163310009
The Brasenose Arms, Cropredy. Johan and Tazelle Smal with their coffee roaster. NNL-150428-163310009

A Banburyshire pub is set to out-perform Starbucks and Costa with its new coffee project.

The Brasenose Arms in Cropredy has installed three coffee roasting machines and is importing the best coffee beans from a number of countries. And they are gaining a reputation for the best coffee in the district.

Landlord Johan Smal said: “My wife and I spent seven months travelling in South America and that’s where we really got our passion for coffee.

“If you compare our coffee with other commercial outlets you will see how important the quality of the beans and the roasting is. Roasting is an art and we’re finding our customers are getting hooked on freshly roasted coffee.”

Mr Smal said commercially roasted coffee that is so popular uses coffee that is ‘way past’ its flavour sell-by date.

“Once the beans are ground you have only about two hours before the flavours start disappearing and even for whole beans it’s just two weeks,” he said. “It’s a fine balance and how you roast it is very important. It’s why we bought our own roasters – each bean needs a different roast.”

Mr Smal said beans from different countries, farms and even different sides of a hill can taste completely different.

“You can make blends but we tend to make our coffee from single origins. We may like a Kenyan bean for a certain quality and a Guatemalan, Colombian or Brazilian for another.”

Mr Smal and his wife Tizzele roast very small quantities of coffee at one time – it is known as micro roasting – and the aromas gently waft around the pub.

The success of their passion is growing into an enterprise in which they plan to sell roasted beans, make and sell roasters and run coffee roasting courses.