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The Mill

Speciality coffee, for all its talk of terroir and origin, is in many ways an urban industry. High-end cafes and roasteries embrace industrial aesthetic and typically hug the streets of our busiest and most iconic cities. Despite this fact, Dark Woods has always felt more a product of the windswept moorlands and snug valleys of Yorkshire than of the cities that they surround. When opportunity arose to take on a run-down Victorian weaver’s mill on the banks of the River Colne, we saw immediately the opportunity to carve out a space that connected both with the landscape and the industrial past of the valley that they lived in.

Today the Mill is a roastery, a Barista School and, at times, a community space where tasting evenings and pop-up café events are a popular part of the local events calendar. We are surrounded by nature, but also at the heart of a thriving creative community of sourdough bakers, textile workers, cheesemakers, brewers and even other coffee roasters who all share our passion for quality, craftsmanship and tradition.

On one level roasting is a simple process, but closer inspection discovers infinite complexities. Subtle changes in temperature and time unlocking the potential of each speciality bean. And that’s why the right equipment, and years of experience, makes all the difference.




We roast each batch of coffee in a gas-fired, 1950’s German drum roaster - a Probat UG22. It’s experienced more coffee adventures than us and for that we’re grateful. The heavy cast iron construction of these original Probat roasters is famed for delivering great depth of flavour to your espresso beans; like cooking in a solid cast iron pan.

To complement the old technology we use Cropster software to monitor the profiles of each batch we roast, both to ensure consistency and to help discover the very best aromas and flavours from each coffee. (The pictures show the sorry state our UG Roaster was discovered in and how it was lovingly refurbished) We also have a smaller modern 5kg Probat Probatone Roaster as well. This gives us the flexibility to roast smaller batches of exclusive filter coffees fresh to order.

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