Adams & Russell are a small batch coffee roaster based in Birkenhead near Liverpool, supplying both wholesale and retail. They’ve been around a long time, and I’ve heard some nice things about them, so when they invited me to visit the roastery and take part in one of their brew school events, I jumped in my car and headed for the M56.
I’ll talk about their brew school in more detail in another post, as I’ve got some video footage I need to edit, but I’ll just touch on that briefly in this post. The brew schools they offer are brilliant for anyone who loves coffee and just wants to increase their knowledge a bit on coffee as a whole. How it’s grown and processed, how it’s roasted (you get to watch them roasting) and lessons on the main brewing methods.
I don’t class myself as a coffee expert by any stretch of the imagination, I’m not a trained Barista, but I do think I know more about coffee than the average coffee drinker, and I learned a lot from this session. It was a couple of hours so it wasn’t too time consuming, and it was fun too, and I got to taste various different coffees too so that was great!
Now on to Adams & Russell themselves.
They’re a small batch, craft or “artisan” roaster. They roast for coffee shops mainly in the North West, and for retail customers all over the country. They’ve been doing this a long time, since 1978 in fact which is only one year younger than me, so this a company with experience.
Their premises in Birkenhead is fairly substantial, far bigger than it looked from the front. They have a really cool shop at the front, with all kinds of coffee equipment, coffee makers, cups, knock boxes, espresso machines, grinders, really just about everything you could think of, and of course they have lots of freshly roasted coffee.
While I was there, retail customers were popping in to pick bags of coffee beans or ground coffee, and I noticed that even though the staff were busy with the brew school event, customers were tended to in a very helpful manner. If you’re lucky enough to live within reasonable driving distance to be able to pop in to pick up coffee, you’ll get a friendly welcome.
They’ve been around for knocking on 40 years, so they’re very well established. I think if a company has been around for this amount of time, through all kinds of ups & downs including a few recessions, it shows that they know what they’re doing. I know from having businesses myself in the past that it’s one thing getting a business going, keeping it going through thick and thin over three or four decades is something else.
I had a chat with one of the partners, a very friendly chap, and with some of the other staff, and it’s obvious that they’re all very passionate about coffee. I also had a chance to chat to some of their retail customers while I was there, they were regular customers who told me that they’ll sometimes collect but as they’re in the delivery zone (A couple were from around the Chester area, one was from Knowsley) so one of the Adams & Russell staff deliver to them personally when they’re out on their rounds delivering to coffee shops in the area.
I already knew by the time of my visit that they do some very nice coffee, as I’d already ordered from them a few times, but what surprised me when I was there was the range that they have, they had several coffees at the time from various origins, and a few different blends.
I’ve tried their Continental blend, Classico blend, Ethiopia Sidamo, Yirgacheffe, Peruvian MCM, Columbian Fairtrade, Colombia La Manuela Supremo & Sumatra Mandheling, and I’ve been really impressed by all of them, they roast some very nice coffee!
The other impressive thing is the price – they’re not at all over priced, in fact they have the most competitive prices I’ve come across so far in terms of freshly roasted specialty coffee, starting from £4 per 227g bag or 3 for £10, which is brilliant value. I spoke to them about this, and basically they price competitively for wholesale, and they offer the same pricing to their retail customers rather than having a separate retail website.
I’ve ordered online from Adams & Russell several times, and there’s never been an issue with delivery, I’m impressed by their coffee, by their prices, by their service, so I recommend them wholeheartedly.
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