When Ammanford mourned the loss of its last ‘black gold’ anthracite coal mine following its closure in 2003, little did the town think that the Black Gold legend would once again reign supreme.

But now, thanks to the foresight and determination of Scott James, Black Gold is gaining international recognition and putting Ammanford firmly back on the business platform.

“We’re taking the world by storm,” laughed Twm Morgan, operations officer for Coaltown Coffee Roaster.

“Scott’s ambition was always to bring employment back to the area following the closure of the mine in 2003 and it’s greatly encouraging to see the way in which Coaltown is moving forward.”

Coaltown Coffee began trading in 2013 with an online subscription service but then, five years later, the company established the roastery.

Speaking to Twm, it soon becomes clear that this is a process which has to be masterminded with the utmost precision.

“Coffee is very similar to wine,” he explained. “It has different roast profiles and the way in which it’s roasted will give you different notes. Our head roaster is trained to get the very best notes possible.”

The green coffee beans are ethically sourced by Coaltown from some of the world’s best independent farmers and are then upgraded through the intricate roasting process.

The beans are hand-roasted in small batches while the timings and temperatures are judged to precision, enabling the complex flavours of the raw green bean to be drawn out through the transition through the straw-yellow stage and finally the rich brown of 'Black Gold'.

And now, just four years after setting up their roastery, Coaltown Coffee is being savoured throughout the UK, Europe and America.

This week their success came to the fore when the company was named Drinks Producer of the Year in the Food and Drink Awards 2022.

“It was a great achievement as we’re such a small company compared to some of the other names that had been shortlisted, but it was our overall ethos and purpose that stood out for the judges,” continues Twm.

“It’s a huge honour for our team of 15, but our aims are high. One coffee bean at a time and we’re taking the world by storm!”