Welsh roastery Coaltown Coffee named in Lonely Planet list

Welsh roastery Coaltown Coffee named in Lonely Planet list

  • 15 May 2018
Image copyright Getty Images

Looking to taste the perfect cup of coffee and Carmarthenshire might not be the first place that springs to mind.

Ammanford's Coaltown Coffee has been named one of the UK's best roasteries and cafes by travel guide Lonely Planet.

Scott James began roasting specialty coffee as a garage enterprise in 2014. It is moving to bigger premises to supply 200 cafes in July.

"We are really proud," he said.

"It's phenomenal to be mentioned... with other really big names in the industry," he said.

Mr James was inspired to set up the business sourcing coffee beans from suppliers around the coffee-producing world after helping his parents, Jennie and Gordon, to run a coffee shop in the town up until 2008.

The family still work together supplying in excess of 500kg of coffee a week to customers, including London stores Selfridges and House of Fraser, after roasting the beans to maximise their flavour or "tones".

They currently employ 10 and plan to take on 20 more to help run their new venture which includes a cafe, visitor centre and "home barista" courses.

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The Ammanford business is featured in Lonely Planet's Global Coffee Tour book, which looks at five continents, and names it as one of the top 16 roasteries and cafes in the UK.

Lonely Planet said: "Perhaps unsurprisingly, London takes the crown as the nation's coffee capital," with seven cafes listed.

But it also features coffee shops in Brighton, Falmouth, Edinburgh and Liverpool.

Image copyright Coaltown Coffee

Jo Rees, editorial director of Salt Media which publishes the South West and South Wales Independent Coffee Guide, has, along with other writers on the guide, visited almost all of speciality coffee businesses in Wales.

She cited Quantum Coffee Roasters and Manumit, both in Cardiff, as other examples of speciality roasters using high quality beans.

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She added that Coaltown Coffee Roasters had been at the "forefront" of rural roasting in Wales.

"It's great to see them recognised," she said.

"In the past three years we've seen a revolution in speciality coffee in Wales."

"The speciality coffee scene is analogous to wine in many ways.

"Twenty years ago everyone was drinking Mateus Rose and Lambrusco and, over time, our palates have become more sophisticated as we've been introduced to more wines and styles from across the world.

"Once you've tasted a beautiful flat white made with flavoursome speciality grade beans that have been lightly roasted to bring out their true flavours, you'd never go back to a cup of instant."