Atkinsons & Co - Tea & Coffee Specialists are a fervent, quality-driven, coffee-obsessed, local-to-Lancaster, caffeine-fuelled family firm. Established in 1837 at the start of the Victorian Age they were rebooted in 2005 when Ian and Sue Steel took up the challenge of bootstrapping this local institution into the 21st Century. So now, with their two sons, Maitland and Caspar, even though they are steeped in heritage, they are constantly pioneering new boundaries in their search for the elusive sweet spot of the bean. In this quest for the best-in-class, they scour the coffee world to source from small family farms, delving into deeper traceability & offering sustainability to encourage growth at either end of the value chain.
Investing back into the local neighbourhood is also of key importance to Ian and the team and one of the most exciting recent developments has been the extension of the roastery, at the back of the old shop, to house their brand new shiny stainless steel Loring Roaster, which sits alongside the old cast iron 1930’s Whitmees under a living roof, ushering in a new era of leaner, greener roasting.
So now at their Shop, Roastery and Cafés they employ vintage and state-of-the-art roasters, espresso machines and all kinds of manual brewing methods to craft their artisan product, as well as a small army of like-minded souls. When Ian and Sue took over there were just two part-time staff. There are now 40 highly trained coffee professionals who are always ready to share their passion and knowledge for coffee with the ever-growing hordes of coffee connoisseurs, eager Baristi & wide-eyed new converts, who flock to Lancaster’s Coffee Quarter in search of their own unique taste experience from a humble bean that has been transformed into an expression of over a thousand complex flavour compounds.