By Barry Kirkham

Mike Williams, the owner of Eclectic Coffee Roasters, is a true coffee enthusiast with a passion for the art and culture of coffee-making. His journey began during lockdown in 2020 when he realised that his true passion lay in coffee. He had always had an interest in the drink, and his experiences in the Balkans and Italy, where espresso is a morning staple, further cemented his love for the beverage. His time working in Africa, where coffee is an important part of daily life, also played a role in his decision to start a coffee roasting business.

To perfect his craft, Mike took four coffee courses and deliberately took his time to develop his brand. He believes that coffee culture brings people together and that the way it makes people feel and how it’s drunk around the world is a fascinating subject. He is particularly interested in the sensory experience of coffee and the noises it creates.

When it comes to sourcing his beans, Mike prioritizes sustainability and environmentally friendliness. He works with a coffee collective who share his ethos and sources his beans from countries such as Colombia, Ethiopia, and El Salvador. Falcon Specialty Coffee, works directly with farmers to provide them with premium prices for their beans, and believes that working directly with farmers is the best way to ensure fair trade and sustainable practices.

Mike’s roasting process is a precise and carefully controlled one. He roasts 2 kg of beans at a time using electric heat for environmental reasons. The roaster is preheated for an hour prior to adding the beans at a temperature generally between 190-200 Celsius. After approximately one and half minutes, the turning point is reached, and the drying process begins and after around 5 minutes, the beans turn yellow and release a hay-like smell. The Maillard reaction, also known as the browning process, occurs during this time, and a couple of minutes later, and around 196 Celsius, the beans reach first crack, a sound similar to popcorn popping. First crack is caused by the moisture evaporating, creating steam, and the pressure builds up, causing the beans to crack open. On the 2kg roaster, first crack normally lasts around 2-2.5 minutes and the development of flavour profile occurs during this period. If you were to roast longer, a second crack would occur, and this releases oils from the beans, creating a dark roast coffee. The whole roasting process is about controlling the heat and air flow. The next day, a tasting exercise is conducted, via a process called “cupping”

Mike’s nano roastery is unique in that it’s deliberately small, with a focus on simplicity for coffee lovers. His nano roastery produces four roast types (light, medium, medium-dark and dark) along with a specific Espresso blend and with plans to add a decaffeinated option in the future. He believes that keeping it simple and focused on the brand is the key to success.

Eclectic Coffee Roasters is proud to be based in Consett, County Durham, and Mike is a long-time resident of the area. He has lived in Consett since 1995 and has had a business there since 1998. He is passionate about the community and his roastery is located in the former boys’ changing rooms of the English Martyrs, which closed in the early 1980’s. He has converted the space into a functional roastery and is proud to be part of the Consett community. Find more about the roastery and its coffee products on their website – unlike many other roasters he has no plans for major expansion or global domination, instead choosing to focus on roasting the very best coffee possible

Get CONSETT MAGAZINE straight to your inbox.

* indicates required


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here