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Why Eclectic is Electric

Definitely not cooking with gas.

Eclectic Coffee Roasters was formed to be deliberately small. I don’t want to build a huge coffee empire. I want to have the time to roast and deliver quality coffee to a bunch of wonderful customers, and most importantly enjoy the journey.

I must admit, I lack both a scientific and artistic mind, although over the last 18 months my grey matter has swollen tremendously, with much education, reading, training, and tutorials. I’ve immersed myself in the world of coffee roasting.

When I chose to turn the idea of Eclectic from an idea to a scary reality, I knew I would have to get my “FBI Mike” (a moniker I’ve had for many years) hat back on and research the art of coffee roasting and coffee roasters themselves to at least the nth degree.

In this modern world supplying ethical, environmentally friendly, and sustainable products is seen as a prerequisite and all should strive for this from day one and not as an afterthought.

Another hat colour of choice I’ve worn for close to a decade is a green one, a renewable energy one. I’ve been a co-founder of two organisations whose prime focus has been to bring light and power to Sub-Saharan Africa, working in the likes of Botswana, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe to name a few. Over the years we’ve powered off-grid rural schools and health clinics and lit up many communities with our solar street lights, so green credentials have always been close to my heart.

Cooking with… electric.

Coffee roasting is generally done via gas. Over the last few years however, cleaner and more environmentally friendly electric roasters have come onto the market, focusing on home roasters and smaller commercial operators.  My first foray into coffee roasting came via the way of a 300g Gene Cafe roaster, and from here on I got bitten by the roasting bug.

To proceed in my quest, I knew I had to find a roaster guru, and found this in the way of James Adams of Jo Wolfe Ltd. Finding a roaster engineer and innovator in the UK is rarer than hen’s teeth, and James has helped me enormously with my roasting journey.

James himself scoured the globe, looking for a quality electric coffee roaster that he could import to the UK and innovate, to offer the highest possible roasting experience to the user. He found an experienced, solid, trustworthy manufacturer that offered flexibility, first-class customer service, and of course well built and reliable machines.

Me and my roaster.

I’ve opted for Jo Wolfe’s 2kg roaster. This is deliberately small, deliberately electric. The build quality is bulletproof, offers excellent value for money, and it looks really cool — a blend of old school meets new school. This roaster is durable and reliable, and for a not-so-tech-savvy guy like me, it’s easy to maintain. Also, with James’s wizard-like innovation, it can offer some future hush-hush, top-secret customisation and upgrades that can really take the roaster to the next level.

So there you go — my weapon of choice is a 2kg low-emission electric drum roaster. If I get busy, I can even upgrade to a 3kg roaster, but that however that’s my limit. I’m starting deliberately small and staying deliberately small.

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