We don’t geographically predetermine ourselves here at Build-Outs—all are welcome, from every corner of the globe, no matter where you might be opening up a new cafe under construction. Today we welcome 2023’s first fit-out from the United Kingdom, with a spotlight on Etude Coffee in Bungay, a little Suffolk hamlet northeast of London and due south from Norwich. Beer lovers will know it as the home of St. Peter’s Brewery, the iconic craft micro whose oval-shaped bottles and award-winning ales have helped define English independent brewing over the last three decades. Today we’re checking out Etude Coffee, roaster/founder Amir Montazer’s synthesis of coffee knowledge he’s gained over years serving as an international SCA judge. Let’s learn more!
As told to Sprudge by Tom Waterfall.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
We’re a minority-owned speciality coffee roastery based out of Bungay, in East Anglia UK. We were established two years ago by our Head Roaster Amir Montazer, an SCA judge and trainer who has been to competitions all across the globe and has trained hundreds of baristas. Amir set the roastery up to share his passion and the things that he’s learnt with the local community here in East Anglia (which doesn’t have many coffee roasters). We focus on roasting speciality grade beans in small batches, sourced from ethical importers who keep value in the coffee chain. As well as roasting coffee, we’re opening a new co-roastery-cafe space this year alongside the team at The Silo, Winford just down the road from our old roastery.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
Our new cafe will be one of the most unique in the UK, housed on the bottom floor of a giant, four-story concrete grain silo! The silo, which was built in 1958 to store grain and malt, is a fascinating heritage building which towers over the surrounding flat landscapes of East Anglia. The space will retain its industrial charm, with features such as the grain chute, concrete support pillars and industrial lift providing focal points in the cafe, alongside the roasting operation which will take place in the back of the coffee shop to offer an interesting and educational experience for customers.
We teamed up with the owners of the site, Toby and Alex, last year to run a pop-up coffee shop as part of the local food and drink festival. The pop-up was a resounding success, as the space offers the only sit-in speciality coffee provider for many miles around. Thus an idea was born to move our roastery here and open up a new cafe space where we can also share our passion for roasting and provide training, workshops and other coffee experiences.
Inside, think of an industrial warehouse vibe, with lots of exposed concrete, reclaimed wood, large original windows, alongside tables, a working coffee roasting operation visible in the back, a wooden bar with La Marzocco machine, pastry counter, and a brew bar for pour-over coffee. We are really looking forward to opening and integrating ourselves into the community, linking up with local paddlesport enthusiasts, running and cycling clubs and more.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Our approach to coffee is to offer something that is sustainable, high-quality but also accessible for our customers. We have a wide range of speciality beans, from an espresso blend that local people can run in their espresso machine at home, to £25 a bag limited lots from innovative producers such as Diego Bermudez. We try to meet the needs of all coffee drinkers in our local community, whilst having fun and experimenting with funky coffees and interesting processes along the way! This translates through to our cafe as well, offering milk-based espresso drinks for those who want something simple but beautiful, to interesting filter options for the real coffee aficionados.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
As well as our new Kraffe roaster, which will be visible in the back of the shop, we’re hoping to add a La Marzocco Leva to the bar to create some amazing espresso drinks. We’re exploring launching a new coffee to celebrate the opening too.
How is your project considering sustainability?
We don’t charge any extra for oat milk over cow’s milk, we offer discounts for those bringing re-usable cups, our recyclable takeaway cups are sourced from an ethical supplier who uses plant polymer rather than plastic, all of our coffee bags and packaging is recyclable, majority of the furniture and fit-out has utilized reclaimed wood and recycled materials, and we’ve also insulated the entrance with glass to help make the space warmer and require less heating.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
Alex Hammond, owner of The Silo (and industrial/product designer) has been integral in getting the project together, alongside his brother Toby who is the site manager.