Behind the Scenes with Cast Iron Coffee Roasters
by Lloyd Burgess — 07 April 2019
Hidden up a farm track in rural Sussex is Cast Iron Coffee Roasters. The founder, Guy Spurr (left), established Cast Iron Coffee Roasters with creativity in mind. “I just wanted to make something,” Guy explains. Having been in a corporate environment for most of his life, he was itching to do something he’d be truly passionate about. So in 2014 he dived into the world of roasting. However, ditching a comfortable career to do something completely new takes courage, but luckily for Guy (and his ever patient wife and family) it’s paid off.
Sitting proudly by the main door of the roastery is a beautiful tiny roaster (below). It is on this small machine that the first Cast Iron beans were roasted and it’s legacy continues as a training machine for future roasters. The little machine isn’t branded and is made to order. There are even labels still on some components, betraying them as cake tins!
Cast Iron was only three months young when it had it’s first big break. As stands were being dismantled at the end of a long trade show, Guy was approached by someone asking if he had anything left. After handing a bag over, he thought nothing of it. A month later, Caffeine Magazine featured their Thunguri AA Kenyan filter coffee as their coffee of the month. Five judges picked Cast Iron unanimously from blind cuppings of coffees from the twenty best roasters in the UK. It’s definitely no small feat – and all from a chance encounter! Guy still maintains that the coffee speaks for itself and has grown his business entirely from word of mouth.
Cast Iron was invited to ‘pop up’ at a large YouTube event in London – ensuring all the YouTube stars had a much needed constant supply of caffeine. This demonstrates the shift in coffee culture in the UK as we move from large chains and mass produced coffee towards independent cafes and small, artisan roasters. Cast Iron are a beautiful example of the latter.
Despite the growing demand, Cast Iron still roast in small batches which allows Guy to retain the creativity that drew him to roasting in the first place. Their home suits them well also. Guy is insistent that the quality of the air where the beans are roasted and handled can be tasted in the finished product, so his location in the beautiful South Downs countryside fits the bill perfectly.
And finally, the all important question. What does Guy Spurr, the founder of Cast Iron Coffee Roasters, brew his coffee with each morning? The Chemex and Hario V60 are his methods of choice.