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Home > Discover Producers > Red Roaster 50°49’15.9″N 0°08’10.6″W

Original Beans - Handcrafted Rare Chocolate
Original Beans - Handcrafted Rare Chocolate


Freshly Roasted Speciality Coffee

found in the following categories:
Red Roaster, England, Sussex, Coffee



Founded in 2000, Red Roaster quickly established a cult following in their home town of Brighton, and after a number of moves finally settled in their current location in the seaside city’s quirky Kemp Town area on St. James Street. The same principle of roasting wonderful coffees from some of the worlds finest beans is still at core of what Red Roaster strives for today, although of course as the specialty coffee market has grown and developed in the UK, so to have the wonderful coffees that may create. Most recently their continued growth has enabled Red Roaster to begin the switch to working directly with growers at the origin of the beans, a process now 80% complete. This brings many benefits; for Red Roaster they now have personal relationships with their growers, the local washing stations and a surety provenance for the beans they use and of their quality, while their growers enjoy higher prices and can rely on committed quantity sales to Red Roaster.



‘We’re creating great tasting coffees, working with producers at origin and supporting their local communities as we do so.’

Diana Palmer – Red Roaster Coffee


The Red Roaster roastery is just a short walk from their, St. James Street coffee shop and where they store and roast their coffees. A great tasting coffee is the result if two components; the quality of the beans and the roast.

Coffee Beans – A great coffee is not the result of chance, but of careful cultivation and processing. Coffee is rated for quality on a scale between 0-100, with anything 80+ considered to be of the highest quality. First the coffee is grown and the cherries picked and sorted. After sorting the cherries are then processed in one of two ways; as either ‘washed’ or ‘natural / unwashed’. Washed cherries are pulped and fermented for 4-5 days (the fermenting naturally removes the skin and releases the flavour of the beans inside the pulp. The coffee seeds are then spread onto parchment and dried. Once dried the beans are then milled (to remove the parchment) and graded as ‘speciality’ or lower grade ‘commercial’. Natural (unwashed) coffee follows a similar process except that the cherries are picked, dried and then ‘honey processed’ to remove a certain amount of the cherry, leaving the ‘black honey’ which is then dried.

Roasting – Every new batch of beans is first roasted in small batches six ways to see which roast brings out the best taste attributes of the bean. Typical roasting times range around just twelve minutes, and roasters understand the process by listening and looking for the ‘first crack’ or ‘pop’ after which each 30 seconds results in a crucial adjustment to the taste profile. There are two variables in roasting that effect this overall taste profile; temperature and time. Careful manipulation of the roasting time can create varied taste palettes, whereas roasting at a lower temperature for a slightly longer time produces less acidic fruity notes and generally creates a more nutty taste profile. Experienced roaster will roast higher quality beans to deliver a light acidity. These variables (time and temperature), together with quality and variety of beans provide roasters with a paradise for taste creation.

Single Origin & Blending – Blending of coffee allows producers to roast to a consistent taste profile 365 days a year, whereas single origin coffees follow the unique taste attributes of each batch of beans and roast allowing for seasonality roasting eg. to a chocolate taste profile or dark espresso roast profile.

Grinding and Bagging – Finally the beans are ground and then bagged. Red Roaster use foil lined atmospheric bags. Heat sealed, the vac seal on the back of each bag is an essential element that allows the coffee to degas (let out CO2) while preventing oxygen from getting in.



Diana and Mike are well know faces in Brighton, running some of the most highly commended cafes and eateries in the city. Having first met while working in a ski resort in 1996, when the time came to return to the UK they moved first to London, and then seeking a quieter life settled in lovely Brighton.

Having spent their entire working lives working in and around dining and hospitality (with a brief spell for Diana training to be, and working as a nurse) they opened their first venue, Lucky Beach on Brighton’s seafront, in 2013 with a mission to deliver quality, sustainable, good value food to the city’s locals as well as to visitors to one of the countries most historic seaside destinations. Here they quickly established a cult following of Brightonians and rave reviews from travellers.

With the success of Lucky Beach, they were able to add Red Roaster to their care in 2018, and together with Red Roaster and Lucky Kao all of their ventures in the city go under their Kemp Town Project moniker.

As they have grown and expanded, so to has their team, with many of their original Lucky Beach team now managing their operations and catering teams. This passion for educating, sharing their knowledge and ‘growing from within’ is evident across their creative, vibrant team (including Luke and Flora who are well known to the regulars at Lucky Beach and Red Roaster) a team that is bursting with fresh ideas and at the forefront of ethical and sustainable food in the city.

Head Roaster and coffee aficionado Rob joined the Red Roaster team in 2016. Training first as a chef, Rob discovered his love for speciality coffee while travelling and working in Brisbane where he worked first as a barista before turning his hand to, and learning the dark arts of roasting and blending. When he’s not drinking his favourite black filter coffee, Rob spends his time composing music and practicing ‘systema’ – a Russian martial art. He also travels widely, and competes in many competitions, including as part of the team that won ‘Best Flat White’ in 2014.



Originally from Scotland, Diana opened her first catering business at the age of 18 in Aberdeen, a burger bar that Diana describes as ‘miles away in all ways’ from Lucky Beach, Red Roaster and the wonderful food they serve and coffees they roast today.

Although with a brief spell training in, and then as a renal nurse, Di returned to catering when they opened Lucky Beach. As Head of Operations (head of all and master of none as Di describes her role) she is the driving force behind their switch to origin sourcing and in the astonishing work they have done building a school in Rwanda with local Sussex charity ‘A New Beginning’.



Mike has worked for many of the most established and best loved restaurant brands and catering companies in the UK. Mike has an unique vision for new and future food trends, on which he consults, and which proved the inspiration to open Lucky Beach.

Together with his Kemp Town Project Team he travels the world, developing authentic food experiences, and for Red Roaster building strong strategic relationships with growers and plantation owners. Mike’s eye for the aesthetic, and for the customer experience is evident in everything that he does, as is his passion for working with local other local producers and sustainable food production and dining.


TitleAddress Description
1D St James's St, Kemptown, Brighton BN2 1RE, UK



Since 2016 Red Roaster have donated part of their profits, and their team given their time, to the Musenyi Project in Rwanda. Their roastery team have also spent time in the country helping with the coffee crop and working back in the UK as champion helping them find new buyers in the UK and Europe.