Working Woodlands Cornwall

Wood roasted coffee beans Cornwall

Sustainably Sourced Wood

At the core of everything we do here at Potterbeans is a deep love and respect for the natural beauty of our environment. It inspires the artisanal pottery we craft, and also shapes our approach to roasting coffee. We feel incredibly fortunate to have Working Woodlands Cornwall CIC right on our doorstep, a community interest company dedicated to preserving ancient woodlands, improving biodiversity and educating people in sustainable practice.

Colombian Urbano Coffee | Wood Roasted Coffee | Potterbeans

Roasting Over A Wood Fire

Coffee was traditionally roasted over wood prior to new fuel sources, and we take great pride in maintaining that process. The moisture rich heat has many benefits when roasting coffee. One benefit of this environment is that it helps the beans retain their natural oils, providing a smoother and more rounded flavour to the coffee. By using sustainably sourced wood we ensure our coffee has a very low carbon footprint.

Solar kiln at working woodlands

Solar Dried Cornish Oak

The wood drying process is an important part of implementing sustainability in firewood supply. But unfortunately it is often overlooked in favour of fast results, using kilns. One of the key factors that sets the great folks over at Working Woodlands apart, is the use of a ‘solar kiln’ to dry their wood. This speeds up the natural drying process from two years to around three months, and eliminates the need to burn fuel to make fuel. Working Woodlands offer a variety of services and are very passionate about educating people in methods of sustainable agroforestry. They are especially proud to be sharing this method of drying wood, in the hopes that more within the industry will shift to this planet friendly process.

Planting new trees


To help maintain a sustainable practice they also use the ancient method of woodland management known as coppicing. This uses a harvest cycle staggered over several years to ensure that wood is available for harvest every season. This also encourages better biodiversity by creating a variety of habitats at different stages of regrowth. This method also maximises the potential yield as the trees for coppicing are cropped down to stumps; this stimulates growth by giving the tree more light. Coppicing can greatly increase the overall lifespan of trees by managing light levels. Something that looks like a ring of trees at first glance could actually all be part of one centuries-old tree.

Cornish oak used to roast potterbeans coffee

Maintaining Biodiversity

Although coppiced woodland provides a large and varied array of habitats throughout the year, there are certain peaks of biodiversity that only a huge, craggy old oak can provide. Oak trees can support up to 525 species, and the larger the trees are allowed to grow, the more habitats they can provide, maximising biodiversity in the local ecology. Because of this, a portion of the woodland has been set aside for around 50 large standard trees to grow outside the coppicing cycle. Some dead wood from these trees is also used to provide shelter for small wildlife and protect young saplings from being grazed by free roaming deer.

Preserving Ancient Woodlands

A range of species of trees has also been planted to improve the resilience of the woodland in the face of tree disease and climate change, although oak still predominates, in keeping with the character of the ancient woodland. Coppicing keeps the woodland healthy and productive, and the mixture of coppiced areas and mature woodland provides maximum biodiversity, with leisure access via public footpaths.  Using this variety of sympathetic management techniques, Working Woodlands combine environmental stewardship with sustainable production of wood for human use: a stellar example of people and planet friendly practice.

We thoroughly enjoyed our own visit to learn about the incredible work they are doing. If you wish to learn about them, and the services they provide, or wish to volunteer, they are always happy to share their knowledge and show people the woodland.