Schoolboy Chemistry Lesson Part 1 February 27 2017

Which brew method has the highest concentration of caffeine?

My son Henry is in his second year studying A level chemistry, something I can claim much interest, alas  not a huge degree of personal success (I scraped a pass -- just!). Over the dinner table, he mentioned that he had to pose a chemistry question and then design an experiment to get some answers. I was delighted to hear he wanted to do something with caffeine!

Hoovering under the roaster

This is Henry hoovering under our 1 tonne Probat roaster while an under-qualified forklift driver (thats me) lifts it into position in the new Dusty Ape roastery, so we can be relieved it's a not a physics experiment that's required here.

The budding chemist suggested getting some supermarket brands to test relative caffeine levels in but I explained that no sub-standard coffee would be coming through these doors, besides which most supermarket declare little more than a country of origin. Latching onto this, he then suggested that different producer countries where compared. We quickly dismissed this given that, even amongst similar arabicas -- varietal, processing, geography and environmental conditions - particularly plantation altitude - play a significant role in caffeine content. High quality coffees, typically higher grown for flavour characteristics produce lower levels of caffeine since they are less prone to pests at higher altitudes.

Selfishly thinking of Dusty Ape's customer I suggested he analyse the impact brew method has on caffeine in the cup. We agreed to look at 3 of the most popular brew methods: cafetière, V60 (filter) and espresso. Of course, each method has different brew ratio (coffee:water), but starting with the same dry weight, using best practice guidelines for each method (as in a speciality coffee house) - the question is which would have the highest concentration of caffeine?

The method is being written up over the next few days, and Henry has kindly agreed we can share here when complete. There have been a number of interesting challenges to overcome in terms of restrictions on dangerous substances in school labs and lack3 test samples of accurate scales (somewhere between 50 - 175mg of caffeine per sample), but I'll save the detail until the method is published.
Preparation of the test samples has now been concluded. I'll cover each of the brew methods next.

The mad scientist has now retired for the night leaving the student kitchen for me to tidy awayStudent kitchen

Subscription prices held at last years rates! November 08 2016

Dusty Ape coffee bagsDespite the increase in our green coffee costs (thanks brexit!) we have decided to hold our subscription rates at last year rates, saving you 20% on our 12 month, 2 bag scheme.

Over the past 12 months, the 2 bag scheme enjoyed 16 different coffees from 14 different countries hand picked by us - what a wonderful way to explore the equatorial coffee-producing belt.

Subscriptions make a great Christmas gift and start from £55 including postage.

Taste of the West Award for Peru Café Femenino June 01 2016

Taste of the West AwardDusty Ape is proud to receive another Taste of the West award, this time for its fair-traded, organically farmed Peruvian coffee, produced by an all-female cooperative. We always knew this coffee was a bit special but its great when we get wider recognition.
To celebrate we will be featuring this coffee at our stall at the Frome Independent Market this weekend. You can buy some from the store if you missed it.

Finca San Esteban - A rare treat from Guatemala January 21 2016

Dusty Ape Coffee is one of only a handful of roasters in the country to feature Finca San Esteban from Guatemala.  Rich and fruity, San Esteban delivers chocolate, rum and raisin notes in the cup.  A creamy, rich espresso!

Typically green coffee is imported into the UK at ports outside London but Guatemala Fince San Esteban is a directly-traded coffee and reaches us through

Roastery open evening 16th February 5-7pm January 14 2016

Dusty Ape is hosting the next Knowing Coffee event from 5-7pm on Tuesday, 16th February 2016.

Come join us and:

  • Sample coffees from around the world
  • See coffee roasted, live!!
  • Learn how we roast to maximise flavour
  • Try your hand at different brew methods

Held at our Marsh Farm Roastery, the session costs £20 per person and includes a 250g bag of your choice.

Spaces are limited so please contact Evan ( or phone 01225 753 838 to reserve your place. 


Match Made in Chocolate Heaven December 09 2015

Dusty Ape Coffee has teamed up with Discover Chocolate to create one luscious Coffee & Cardamom chocolate bar.  Using crushed Brazilian Pocos de Caldas beans, the dark chocolate bars are rich and velvety and go perfectly with a strong espresso.

Discover is a new chocolate company based in Exmoor.  A very modern chocolatier, Discover use stevia rather than sugar as a sweetener for its chocolates, making it one of only a handful of producers in the UK to have completely dumped sugar.

Gabriel, head chocolatier, has a flair for using unusual and imaginative flavours.  Blueberries, figs, dulse and now coffee all feature in his scrumptious bars and truffles.  As well as being yummy, the flavourings offer real health benefits and so Discover bars are being sold nationally through wholefood stores. 

Discover's Coffee & Cardamom are also available online at and from Dusty Ape at their market stalls this Christmas.   

South West Independent Coffee Guide October 27 2015

Dusty Ape Coffee is proud once again to be featured in the South West Independent Coffee Guide launched this month.  The Indy lists the best independent coffee roasters and cafes in the region. 

Entry into the guide was by invitation only, with only those roasters demonstrating a commitment to quality, speciality coffee making the cut.  We are very pleased to be only one of 17 roasters included in this year's edition.

The Indy Coffee Guide costs £7.99 and is available direct from Dusty Ape Coffee. 

New Probat Roaster at Dusty Ape Coffee! July 14 2015

Here she comes ...


Our Probat roaster arrived last week at the Marsh Farm roastery.  With increasing sales of Dusty Ape coffee, it was becoming harder and harder for our original Toper roaster to keep up with demand.

So we went out and bought a fantastic 12k Probatone roaster.  Yet to be named, the Probat will not only increase our capacity but also improve the overall quality of Dusty Ape coffee.  Making it even more delicious!

The new roaster will come on line next month.  We will keep you posted on the installation. 

Meantime if any one has any clever names for the baby please drop us a line!



July Crumbs magazine features Dusty Ape Coffee July 03 2014

We are pleased to be one of the local roasters featured in Crumbs Magazine's Everday Roast by Mark Taylor.  The article looks at the growing interest in artisan coffee in the Bath and Bristol area.  Mark focuses on roasters like Dusty Ape which are leading the charge for better coffee.  Read the article here:

Dusty Ape features in July Crumbs Magazine June 17 2014

We are pleased to be featured in the July edition of Crumbs Magazine.  The article (Everyday Roast) highlights the best local roasteries in Bath and Bristol, and taps into the growing interest in artisan coffee in the region. 

Read the article online at and take advantage of a 10% discount on your first online order.   

Silverback - Launching at the London Coffee Festival April 02 2014

Dusty Ape will be launching our new espresso blend Silverback at the London Coffee Festival later this week. We will be attending on the first trade day (Thursday 3rd April) and then again on the final public day (Sunday 6th April) where Dusty Ape will be hosting the café on the DR Wakefield stand from 4-7pm. Sunday is a great day to visit since the UK Barista Championship takes place at the show in this day. We will have a variety of coffee on sale and available for purchase. Come and see us at the show.

More details

Pop up Cafe at Bath Literature Festival February 27 2014

We are busily preparing for the pop up café at this year's Bath Literature Festival.  The Dusty Ape café will be located in The Guildhall and open from 10am-9pm during the Literature Festival (01-09 March). As well as luxury barista coffees, we will be serving delicious sandwiches, paninis, cakes and pastries.  The café is open to the public as well as to those attending Bath Literature Festival events and it includes a licensed bar.  Please come join us!