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How a beloved UK coffee chain uses Bellwether to enhance quality, consistency and impact across 15 stores.

Creating a premium experience out of an everyday commodity.

When Danish entrepreneur Tim Schroeder sought to introduce an authentic Danish coffee experience in London's booming specialty coffee scene, he launched The Hagen Project ‑ a specialty cafe rooted in sustainability, customer service, and community.
Now spanning 15 espresso bars, and new locations slated to open in 2024, The Hagen Project has become an iconic staple within London’s highly competitive cafe landscape.
Despite Hagen’s unquestionable success, founder Tim Schroeder wasn’t content with the status quo. Earlier this year, Schroeder launched a plan to combine Hagen’s reputation for quality and hospitality with a world‑class in house roasting program that could fully express their uncompromising values from farm to cup. Schroeder envisioned a coffee brand that could support long term economic sustainability for farmers, and one that met the urgent need to reduce coffee’s carbon footprint.
“We wanted to take it a step further when we looked at our supply chain, we were saying ‘ok, there’s no point if we’re going to set up a project where we are giving back, but then we are going to burn the earth with carbon.’”
Hagen looked to Bellwether whose innovative roasting technology allowed them to introduce expertly roasted coffee that met their standards for farmer equity and sustainability, without sacrificing quality or consistency.
Tim walked us through his original inspiration for incorporating Bellwether into his ambitious vision for the future, as together we celebrated the installation of our Bellwether Series 2 roaster at The Hagen Project's Belgravia location.
 
 

From Copenhagen to London: A Founder’s Inspiration

For Tim Schroeder, bringing the spirit of Copenhagen to London went beyond skillful technique and customer‑focused cafe experiences. "In Denmark, coffee is such an integral part of everyone's daily life. I wanted to shift perceptions and standards for what coffee could be in London by focusing everything on sustainability and quality."
After 15 locations, The Hagen Project's distinctive success speaks to the appetite their model has met in London's specialty scene. Their Scandinavian‑minimalist cafes entice passersby as their courteous service keeps neighbors coming back. While acclaim came quickly, Tim's entrepreneurial ambition continued to press him further into his values.
 

Leading London's Sustainable Microroastery Movement

"We don't want to just make great coffee. We want to take it one step further." Tim asserts.
Schroeder saw an opportunity to boost the quality and consistency of Hagen’s coffee by taking control of their roasting, and a chance to push sustainability well beyond the status quo. To achieve this, Hagen would need a specific roasting technology that would meet these standards all while easily incorporating into their busy, existing operations. Not only was Bellwether’s electric and ventless technology the right fit for their infrastructure needs, the automation and ease of use made the choice plug‑and‑play.
"Bellwether was a no‑brainer for us," explains Steve Nulty, The Hagen Project's Head of Coffee.
By switching to Bellwether's precision electric roasters, The Hagen Project can practically eliminate coffee roasting emissions within their current UK footprint, while operating without any training or roasting experience. This enables them to continue delivering exceptional coffee with carbon savings customers can understand.
As climate consciousness grows across categories, progressive consumers increasingly seek low‑emission options that align with their values. With Bellwether, The Hagen Project leads the industry in sustainability transformation without sacrificing quality or experience.
 
 

Crafting Exceptional Coffee That Connects

Even as they hone their sustainable practices, flavor remains central to Hagen’s vision and success in the marketplace.
Bellwether’s Digital Roast Manager allows Steve's coffee team ultimate control over intricate roast profiles, allowing them to coax the best out of each coffee, while Bellwether’s precision thermal stability and adaptive roasting environment provide consistency and repeatability for every roast.
"Marrying technology with quality, for us, is what Bellwether is all about." Tim says.
In addition to their environmental impact, Hagen seeks to make a difference throughout their supply chain by sourcing green coffees that support a thriving future for coffee farmers.
By managing their supply chain directly, The Hagen Project can bridge the gap between farmers and coffee drinkers in a truly impactful way. Schroeder sees Hagen’s investment in farmer vitality and their standards for coffee quality as uniquely linked ‑
“The Bellwether Marketplace allows us to identify trusted partners that have been verified, where we can redistribute capital to them more directly. That ultimately will help them grow and focus on quality.”
Bellwether is proud to provide the technology that enables The Hagen Project to join the sustainable microroastery movement, and continue pioneering a more sustainable future for coffee farmers, retailers, and the planet. As Hagen uses Bellwether to continue scaling their operation, the impact of their brand on the environment and the lives of farmers will grow to last generations.
Grow your brand and your environmental impact by joining Hagen and hundreds of other retails building the sustainable future of coffee, with Bellwether.
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