From bean to bag: A day in the life of an independent coffee roaster
Coffee beans

We’re all obsessed with getting our coffee fix these days, whether it’s the double espresso that helps you push through another miserable Monday morning or the lovingly poured latte you enjoy on a lazy Sunday with friends.

But do you really know where your coffee is coming from?

Everyone has their favourite local café, and we can recommend 10 of the best coffee shops in Edinburgh without batting an eye, but that steaming cup of java will never taste heavenly if it’s made with beans from a sub-standard roaster.

Local coffee bean guru Mr Eion (otherwise known as Eion Henderson) is one of the city’s best known independent coffee roasters and has been tirelessly dedicating his life to roasting great coffee for you  – because you probably drink his roast on the regular without even knowing it – for the last two years.

Here Eion shares some photos from behind the scenes at Mr Eion Coffee Roaster and gives us a look into his wonderfully caffeine-fuelled working life.

Mr Eion Coffee Roaster

“I used to run a couple of speciality coffee shops in my home town of Aberdeen and it was there that I developed an appreciation for the endless variety of coffee. After I left the coffee shops I was fortunate enough to work with Ian Cukrowski at MacBeans, Aberdeen’s premier coffee roaster.

“I had long been roasting at home and reading a lot on the subject, but this gave me the opportunity to learn about roasting on a commercial scale.  I was determined to start another business upon moving to Edinburgh but having spent 8 years working at the business end of an espresso machine I wanted to try something different. In December 2013 I opened Mr Eion Coffee Roaster which focuses on retailing and wholesaling high quality coffees from around the world.”

Coffee cup

“Every day starts as it should, with a cup of coffee. Before anything else gets done in the shop – coffee. My colleague Meave and I have been working on blends for the upcoming Edinburgh Coffee Festival so at the moment I’m constantly drinking something new.

“Coffee had, its time to get on with the roasting. We supply over 30 locations so wholesale roasts occupy a large portion of the day. From start to finish each roast takes between 15 and 20 minutes and I am often roasting up to 20 batches. I’m now roasting on a 5kg Diedrich roaster, a big improvement over the 2.5kg roaster I started with.”

Coffee roaster

Coffee roaster

“Tasting is always a big part of the process to ensure quality and consistency of the roasts. Of course this means we drink a LOT of coffee throughout the day. Detailed notes are made and compared to previous batches in the pursuit of the perfect cup.

“After roasting and cooling the coffee is then ready to be bagged up, sealed and delivered to our wholesale customers.

“I am always interested in trying new methods and techniques for making and enjoying coffee so I try to spend part of the day tinkering and experimenting. Lately I’ve been playing around with cold brew and nitro coffee – it satisfies my inner scientist.”

Coffee cup

You can find Mr Eion’s Stockbridge shop at 9 Dean Park Street, EH4 1JN

Follow Mr Eion on Facebook and Twitter for more info, or check out his website – mreion.com

All images: Mr Eion Coffee Roaster