North Yorkshire coffee roaster gains unique industry qualification

A North Yorkshire-based coffee roastery is celebrating a remarkable achievement after a member of its team gained a prestigious industry qualification.

Head Roaster of Rounton Coffee Roasters, David Burton is one of only 81 people in the UK to have successfully gained a Q Arabica Grader (Q Grader) accreditation.

Gaining the qualification has put the company, which is based in Northallerton, at the forefront of the speciality coffee industry.

The intense six-day assessment was the culmination of years of sensory training and calibration. The award now allows the business to continue to source quality coffee at origin, forging closer relationships with farmers and exporters across the world.

David said: “There were a total of 19 assessments during the process; it definitely feels like a lot of hard work has paid off and I look forward to driving our quality even further.

“On a personal note, achieving the qualification has given me the validation that we are roasting the coffee we purchase to a very high standard – this is what we work for.”

Established in 2004, the Q Grader programme was designed to examine coffees and score them based on many different attributes, including acidity, body and flavour, making it the only certification within the industry that is based on overall quality control.

In addition to the main roastery, The Granary, in East Rounton, the company also runs two food and drink establishments: Bedford Street Coffee in Middlesbrough, and The Joiner’s Shop in Ingleby Cross.

Rounton Coffee Roasters’ founder, David Beattie, said he is looking forward to the continued growth of all three businesses as a result of David’s accreditation.

“The qualification itself is extremely difficult to obtain – it only has a 30 per cent pass rate, so for Dave to pass this first time not only demonstrates how well he has prepared over the years but allows us to celebrate another fantastic milestone.

“Not only is it a fantastic achievement, but it is one that will help improve our own quality control systems and it will ensure that we are grading our coffees in accordance with the global standard.

“We just want to keep on learning. We want to continuously improve, we want to do it with the best team around us and we want to do it with total enjoyment – what can be any better than that?”

To find out more about Rounton Coffee Roasters, visit