An Introduction to Drumroaster Coffee:
Based out of the small community of Cobble Hill, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, Drumroaster Coffee is somewhat of a hidden-gem coffee roaster and café in Canada. We’re exceptionally happy to share their beans with you as they’re sourcing incredible coffees and roasting them impeccably well.
We interviewed their Coffee Director, Carsen Oglend, and here are some excerpts from our conversation that showcases the story behind this off-the-beaten-path coffee roaster.
What’s the origin story of Drumroaster Coffee?
"We started off with my Dad, Geir Oglend, he’s been in the coffee scene here on Vancouver island since the late 70s. We had started and sold a couple of different cafes and local coffee roasters that are still going but our ultimate goal was to include myself and my sister, Courtney, and start something that was just more focused on quality."
"In 2007, we started this up on a little 3 Kilo Turkish roaster with a minimal investment and just growing on cashflow and not really advertising. Our only advertising was with word of mouth – we still actually haven’t done any actual advertising. Your product will always speak more about your brand than anything else will."
Personally, what’s your coffee story?
"I didn’t start drinking coffee until I was 22. I worked in cafes for 7 years and could pour latte art for 5 years before I ever started drinking coffee. Your palate changes as you get older, as a kid I never really drank coffee. Or maybe it was like a silent rebellion around your parents because they worked in coffee so it’s like ‘ugh, it reminds me of my parents work… or my own work.’"
"Obviously now, I love to drink coffee but I love thinking about it too. I love coming up with a strategy with a producer and seeing that come to fruition. Talking about separating varieties within a farmer, having those samples arrive and seeing that those actually cup a point an half higher and then making sure that the producer actually receives extra money for that – that’s a pretty cool feeling."
How would you describe your roasting style at Drumroaster?
"We roast on a 1958 Probat UG22. What we love about that particular roaster is that everything that touches the coffee is cast iron – it’s a very intense but controlled heat source and heat transfer. We utilize that a lot, by allowing ourselves to charge the coffee into the roaster at a high temperature and have a quick but clean roast."
"I think our coffees are very sweet – I think our roasting style brings out the more chocolatey flavours in coffee and I think that’s a really desirable, approachable profile for people because of the bigger body, bigger mouthfeel but balancing that with acidity, is a really important thing. I think that’s something we’ve worked out a niche on ourselves for, is that balanced, really sweet really chocolatey profile."
What does the future look like for Drumroaster?
"We just want to improve. We want to work with producers we’re already working with to do a better job. Internally, we want to work on making sure the roasts are tasting sweet and vibrant and pleasing. We want to get better at what we do – at everything, not just roasting. Brewing coffee, customer service, just an all-around better vendor for coffee. And not in comparison to anyone else – just to ourselves."
"I think the biggest thing is never thinking that you’re good enough, always trying to be better… As soon as you think you’ve got it all figured out, I think it’s time you should quit – because even the amount that I’ve learned in the last year about coffee is huge. And it comes from tasting tonnes of coffees and just doing it all the time."