Artisan coffee has seen a rapid rise in recent years with many small coffee roasters popping up all over the country. One of the newer ones is Fireheart Coffee, an artisan coffee roaster in Muswell Hill. Housed in the backroom of Korto restaurant, it is a great example of a successful lockdown passion project.
The idea for this was hatched when Korto owners, Paul Tocher and Russell Stinson met their coffee buyer and roaster Thomas De Garnham. They wanted to create an accessible, local speciality coffee that will encourage people to try new flavours.
Roasting Coffee at Fireheart Coffee
Standing amongst the hessian bags filled with green cherries from all over the world, Thomas explains their coffee beans buying criteria. They only buy highly rated coffee (above 90%) which is usually single estate, single-origin and fairtrade. They buy through intermediaries as they can buy small quantities and try different varieties, as it takes 320 bags to fill up a shipping container.
Coffee is seasonal, so they source the best green coffee beans from producers when it is optimal. Buying through an intermediary, they can source a wide variety of beans from different locations. They arrive in small batches, so Fireheart will roast and sell limited quantities until they get the next year’s batch.
They ordered their bespoke coffee roaster from Coffee Tech Engineering in Israel. Normally, these are massive machines which need a big space but the one they have has a small footprint but a large capacity. A high capacity machine with a small
15kg of beans that will yield about 12kg of end product.
The coffee roasting machine can be automated by a software programme or manually. They will roast batches in several different ways and taste test the results. The software is then calibrated for each bag of green coffee beans for consistency. The process takes about 15 minutes and the end product is a freshly roasted bean that produces the best tasting coffee.
Tasting notes for their best seller, Fireheart Palace blend, which is a blend of Colombian and Ethiopian beans. I made the coffee using their coffee pods and it was aromatic, not over-roasted, tasting of dark chocolate and morello cherries.
Fireheart sells a choice of roasted beans, ground beans or eco-friendly, compostable coffee pods. You can choose from their staples (Palace blend), specials and show stoppers, sold online in single packs or by subscription. Or you can buy it from Korto if you are local. Pop in and buy your coffee in-store. While you wait, you get a free coffee to takeaway too.
Fireheart holds regular behind the scenes coffee roasting events for coffee fans. You get to learn about the sourcing of the coffee, the roasting process and more. All for the price of a bag of coffee beans.
Korto Cafe Muswell Hill
Korto is a popular neighbourhood cafe in Muswell Hill and is a favourite for event visitors to Alexandra Palace. Their Mediterranean inspired menu is perfect for brunch or lunch.
Start with their very smooth hummus and flatbreads. For mains, opt for the buttermilk fried chicken which comes in a tray with some slaw and a vegetable side dish.
Or alternatively, the harissa chicken and shakshuka with a side of sweet potato fries. There are lots of vegan-friendly options too. Portions are very generous so you can share a few dishes for variety.
Korto is open for breakfast and lunch but get there early for the alfresco tables outside. It is a great place for brunch in Muswell Hill.
Fireheart Coffee & Korto Muswell Hill
126 Alexandra Park Rd,
London N10 2AH
Tel: 020 8292 5841
Open Mon – Sun, up to 3pm only. (They are not open for dinner currently).
EatCookExplore was a guest of Korto and Fireheart cofee