Bremen is known for its history and tradition. It has a fairytale style blended in with a cosmopolitan outlook. Sea trade has always been in Bremen’s roots, and from the 17th-century exotic products like coffee started arriving. Germany’s first-ever coffee house opened in Bremen in the 17th century. The promenade and restored houses are left of what used to be Bremen’s main harbour. The old harbour is all about having a good time, whether going for a stroll or enjoying a meal at a restaurant. Since October 2019 you are also able to visit Azul’s new roastery ‘Rösterei am Deich’ where you can experience this wonderful in-house start-up that is also keeping in touch with tradition.
Azul originates in 1949 and is founded by Walter Fritz Wolters. He saw an opportunity to fill a gap in the market and did not hesitate. Thanks to years of experience and extensive know-how, Wolters finally laid a solid foundation for the company. Azul’s name comes from the blue shimmering coffee beans from Costa Rica and represents their love for special things.
Azul delighted the gastronomy from the beginning with quality and their innovative spirit. “Customers need to come back for the second cup of coffee they drink, and we can only do that by maintaining consistency and delivering a high-quality product,” Gunnar explains. He is the brand manager at Azul and agreed to sit down with us.
Azul’s main focus is the catering and hotel industry who rely a lot on consistency and quality. They roast 24/7 in three shifts and currently employ 120 employees. They are constantly experimenting with how they can set new trends in the coffee world. “We are always focusing on how we can produce the best taste. The roasting process and green beans are the most important aspects of creating flavours.”
Traditional start-up roastery
“We built the smaller roastery to give residents and companies of Bremen insight into what we do on a larger scale. We want to be part of Bremen and its coffee community and we can only do that by opening up to the city. Everyone can come in, have a chat, drink coffee and see what a coffee roastery does.”
The roastery is how the coffee, the craftsmanship and their passion for coffee can be experienced. “We want to work with coffee and we are curious to try new things so we want to keep developing, which is what we did when we introduced this new concept.” Creating a tight community is what inspired Azul to open up.
See, hear, smell and taste the coffee that is produced on a much larger scale. The coffee roaster that is in the shop roasts 60 kilos per batch while the largest coffee roaster Azul owns, roasts ten times that much.
Once you enter, you see a coffee shop with a lot of different types of coffee and a counter where the freshly roasted drip coffee is brewed. Behind a large window, you see the coffee roaster, silos and a lot of green coffee bags. It has a very industrial look and feel, which is mainly because of the concrete floor, big windows and steel tubes that run through the roastery.
Azul & Giesen
They wanted an all-black W60A coffee roaster with a touch of gold. Their logo, the only golden accent, is a real eyecatcher. “Our whole concept was to maximize transparency so we chose to have a transparent cooling sieve cover and you built it for us. Customers can clearly see the whole roasting process from beginning until the end. When you are buying a Giesen roaster you know you are free to add customizations.” The W60A is also equipped with functionalities like airflow control, drum speed control and a fast cooling option.
"We zagen wat jullie doen en hoe jullie het doen. Het voelde als een bewijs van kwaliteit. Jullie gaven ons de ervaring en kennis om dit project te voltooien zoals wij dat wilden. Giesen heeft een grote rol gespeeld in hoe we deze branderij hebben gebouwd. Uw personeel kent de markt en begrijpt ons en onze behoeften."
Azul wanted to have an individual coffee roaster with a custom design to communicate their brand through. “Azul is not only a company but we are a living brand with a very big identity behind it.” We at Giesen appreciate the value of branding and identity which is why we offer so many design options, even for our bigger coffee roasters.
Understand your process
Berend, the head roaster at Azul, is still learning from the W60A. He says that it is a living machine and that it will time and patience to get to know the W60A. “The roaster and the machine need to have a connection. I always like to roast on feeling, not following a recipe but trusting the process. A good cook also does not follow a cookbook or recipes. He does that on feeling. Of course, we are following recipes but we are able to make small adjustments if necessary. To do that you have to understand your process and that is how you learn to create consistency in your roasts.”
Want to know what Giesen can mean for your business? Contacteer ons and start roasting soon!
You can visit Rösterei am Deich at Am Deich 43, 28199 Bremen, Germany or follow them on Instagram.