“I’m descended from a family of Norfolk and Suffolk Flour Millers. My Great Grandfather, Robert Read, started milling in Beccles in the late 1800’s. I’m always conscious of how similar, at a fundamental level, the coffee roasting and flour milling processes actually are… there must be something in our blood!”
With South Westerly views across Honeycombe Wood, just to the South of Sherborne, we’ve been roasting speciality beans here in North Dorset for over sixteen years.
Our coffee story started back in 1993 when Giles took what proved to be a permanent break from corporate life to explore new ventures on the West Coast of the USA and Canada. The Seattle coffee boom was at full steam but yet to reach even the East Coast.
After travelling the US in search of the perfect brew, Giles returned to London on a quest to rid the coffee drinking world of dishwater served in polystyrene cups once and for all. With a Solo paper cup and drink through lid in hand, to many just a baby-cup, allies were found in the founders of, then fledgling, Pret A Manger. The potential for speciality coffee was obvious, the next step being to join them as their first ‘coffee man’.
The move to Roasting came in 1999 after several years of working as buyer of beans and machines, Barista trainer and quality control auditor, with the purchase of Reads first roaster, a Turkish American 15kg Ambex, still in regular, smoky, use.
With no electronic aids and with the concept of roast profiling still in its infancy, we started out by sourcing the best single origin beans they could find, roasting small batches, little and often.
To start with, we supplied local friends and family before moving on to supply both commercial and home drinking enthusiasts as the business grew. Reads took shape, and now supplies businesses and private individuals across the UK. To this day, our growth has depended on word of mouth and customer recommendations, driven by our supplying what we hope are fine beans, much enjoyed.
The day at Limekiln Farm starts with Tea, and ends with Tea. A cup of Tea marks our sunrises and sunsets whilst coffee punctuates the working day between.
Whether it’s an early morning slug of Farmhouse Blend or English Breakfast, a Lemongrass after lunch or a hearty Rooibos at teatime, Tea is an intrinsic part of our daily life that we have a great love for.
Perhaps it’s as simple as saying that whilst Coffee winds us up, Tea winds us down, so it makes only good sense to balance our offer to you with a straightforward, carefully selected range of loose teas that we know, trust, and drink ourselves.