Costa Coffee quadruples roasting capacity with new facility

Costa Coffee opened its new roastery in March signaling a major milestone in the business’ expansion to meet the company’s growing global demand.

The £38m new facility, located in Basildon, Essex, has more than quadrupled Costa’s roasting capacity from 11,000 tonnes of coffee per annum to 45,000 tonnes per annum, providing the platform for its national and global growth plans. Rapid growth in the UK and internationally has driven up demand for Costa’s coffee. The new roastery is a response to that demand and will provide the infrastructure for sustained global expansion.

The Basildon, Essex location was chosen because of its proximity to Tilbury Docks where Costa’s raw coffee beans are imported. Named Paradise Street, the new facility is one of Europe’s biggest coffee roasting facilities and covers 85,690 sq ft – or the equivalent of over 30 tennis courts – and will enable Costa to produce coffee for 2.1 billion cups of coffee per year. It is expected to operate for the next 20-30 years.

 Dominic Paul, managing director of Costa Coffee, says, “Costa is growing rapidly as a global business and our new roastery will provide the platform for sustained international expansion as we continue inspiring the world to love great coffee. Turning on our new roasting capacity is a landmark for the business. It’s a statement of our ambition to grow and our passion for great coffee.”

The new roastery also features a new coffee academy to train 3,000 baristi per year.

Paul also notes that roasting in Basildon “keeps the UK at the centre of our growing global brand and enables us to build on everything we have learned from more than four decades of roasting in Lambeth. Today is about quality, capacity, investing in the future and being true to our heritage – it’s about embracing our traditions whilst continuing to innovate and drive global growth.”

As well as roasting to the same quality and flavour, the new roastery has been designed to improve efficiency. Green coffee beans from Rainforest Alliance-certified growers are shipped from coffee-producing countries to Tilbury Docks just 14 miles from the roastery – which is half the distance to the old Lambeth roastery resulting in fewer road miles and much improved supply chain efficiency.

Once the beans arrive, new production methods now allow the receipt and storage of 24 tonnes of green coffee per hour – up from six tonnes at Lambeth. State-of-the-art in-house processes will increase productivity by 25 percent compared to the previous roastery.

Giorgio Fioravanti, production director, says, “When we were designing the roastery we had to focus on the long term. We are now able to produce 45,000 tonnes of coffee every year, with the future potential to expand to 60,000 tonnes. This new facility will enable Costa to grow for decades to come. The latest roasting technology we have here will help us to do that.”

Paradise Street will also be one of the most sustainable industrial buildings in the world and will operate on a zero waste-to-landfill basis. On-site renewable energy generation will further reduce the building’s carbon footprint, with the roof hosting a 249kw solar PV system which will provide power for the roastery. In tandem with the rainwater harvesting system, this will also generate hot water for the building.

Already achieving BREEAM Outstanding (to latest standards) during its design stage assessment, the roastery is also shortlisted for the 2017 BREEAM Awards and aiming to receive a further ‘Outstanding’ certification at the final stage assessment. BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) is the world’s leading design and assessment method for sustainable buildings.

The goal for the new roastery was to focus on quality and sustainability, ensuring that Costa’s high quality coffee standards were met but with the minimal environmental footprint, as Whitbread, Costa’s parent company, is targeting to reduce emissions by 15 percent from its 2014-15 baseline by 2020.

Contributing to its energy and water efficiency will be solar photovoltaic roof panels generating approximately 250 kW and a rainwater harvesting system for recycling and re-using water. The building and the internal roasting equipment will also have a wide array of other sustainability features, drawing on lessons learned from Costa’s Eco Pod coffee shop and wider environmental innovation across Whitbread and its Premier Inn business.

With over 2,000 coffee shops in the UK and more than 1,280 in 30 overseas markets, London-based Costa Coffee is the fastest growing coffee shop business in the UK.

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