New business in an unusual location: AL Coffee Roasters, a Colombian coffee roastery on Culvert Road

We’ve written about Culvert Road before. The rather dismal tunnel, and set of storage and industrial uses, just north of the Shaftesbury Estate. Few people know that hidden just north of the tunnel is a warren of small storage units, let to a variety of tiny businesses – which is currently facing an uncertain future with plans to redevelop it to a more modern set of business premises. Even fewer people have ventured inside. But an interesting new business has set up on one of the units right next to the entrance: if you go through the somewhat uninviting looking gates and immediately turn sharp left, you’ll find AL Coffee Roasters.

AL Coffee Roasters is a small family-owned coffee roastery with a Colombian angle, making small batches of interesting Coffee; and when we visited Andres (pictured below) was very happy to show us round the roasters and the technology being used to make a proper coffee. It;s quite rare to see a roastery in action from start to finish, but this is what Andres has assembled in a small storage unit.

Most of the coffee produced is sold to businesses, but Andres has a proper coffee machine on site and sells various beans, as well as takeaway coffees. It’s an exercise of how to fit a lot of equipment in a small space, with everything just about fitting in to about ten square metres.

Andres’ business is not the first coffee roastery on Culvert Road: Caffe Nero’s UK-wide coffee roastery is just across the tracks in the Parkfield industrial estate, hidden away between all the railway tracks , and roasts coffee for thousands of branches right around the UK. The Nero roastery is the source of the occasional roast coffee smells that pass right across Battersea from time to time – we have often wondered if local coffee sales increase when everyone wakes up and smells coffee.

If you fancy a decent freshly-roasted coffee from an unusual location – AL Coffee Roasters is open most days. Head through the gates in the picture above, and turn left. There’s no website yet but the business is on Google Maps with up to date opening hours (at the time of writing: Tuesday to Friday mornings, Saturday afternoons, and most of the day on Sunday). AL Coffee Roasters, 105 Culvert Rd, London SW11 5AU.

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