Blog - Coffee Guides

What’s the best coffee to serve in a coffee shop?

What’s the best coffee to serve in a coffee shop?

I'd imagine you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who dislikes the idea of owning their own coffee shop. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to spend their days bathing in the tempting aroma, earning a living whilst building friendships and kicking back?!

Presumably you’re here because you’ve planned to embark on this journey yourself, and you’re thirsty for a drop of guidance before you make that leap. Always keen to lend a helping hand, we’re here to talk you through the most important thing in a coffee shop… the coffee!

Before you even think about buying any coffee there’s 3 magic words to remember - FRESH, FRESH and FRESH. The only way to get the most out your coffee beans is to ensure they’re freshly roasted. It’s easy to be tempted by some of the cheaper brands out there but please be aware that many of these roast their beans months before they’re sold. Coffee beans are at their best just after they’ve been roasted, so the sooner you can get your hands them the better. Ground coffee might do the trick at home, but we wouldn’t recommend this for use in your shop. You can’t fool expert coffee shop dwellers.

Since you’re likely to be using an espresso machine, it’s important to consider which types of coffee work best with this brewing method. It seems glaringly obvious, but anything that’s labelled ‘Espresso Roast’ is a great place to start.

Designed specifically with this brewing method in mind, espresso roasts tend to blend a mixture of coffees from different regions to produce a well-rounded cup that strikes the perfect balance of flavour. If you’re ready to dive right in and give one a try, we’d like to tempt you with our own Fairtrade, signature Italian Espresso roast. This complex blend of 100% Arabica beans from Brazil, Columbia, Ethiopia Sidamo and Sumatra promise a touch of fruity acidity with notes of roasted almond and malt. The harmonious combination offers good body, smooth taste and prolonged cocoa in the finish. Click here to learn more.  

Perhaps you want the presentation of your coffee to be a focus of your customers’ experience. If this is the case we recommend going for a roast that blends Arabica and Robusta beans. The presence of Robusta beans will help to produce the lovely crema that sits on top.

Robusta beans contain more caffeine than Arabica beans, so if you want your coffee to pack a punch then I think you’ve found your match! If this excites you, please feel free to try our Fairtrade Brazilian Super Crema roast. This has been meticulously crafted to produce a deep, rich and full-flavoured cup that’s guaranteed to impress your customers. Just click here to find out more. 

As we all know, coffee lovers can be very particular creatures at times, so it’s good to be able to offer a bit of variety. The option of having single origin guest roasts for sale is a great way to keep the connoisseurs happy.  

Unlike blends, single origin coffees are comprised exclusively of beans from a particular region, and they’re revered for their complex flavours and unique tasting notes.

Generally, it’s not advised that single-origins are used in espresso machines as particular flavours can become exaggerated when brewed under high pressure. Because of this, we recommend also investing in a drip filter machine or Aeropress, which can be picked up at a relatively low cost. If you’re looking for ideas, we currently sell 4 speciality single-origins that you’re more than welcome to browse. Simply click here to view our range.

Hopefully this points you in the right direction. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve got any questions or you’d like to learn more about us or our roasts. 

If you're interested in stocking one of our roasts in your coffee shop, simply click here to enquire!

Our complete guide to basic coffee terms

Our complete guide to basic coffee terms

Have you ever heard of the process known as ‘coffee cupping’? Coffee cupping is the technique used by coffee experts all around the world to grade the quality of brewed coffee. This universally accepted process allows any coffee to be fairly compared and contrasted with another, regardless of the crop, where it’s grown or how it’s processed. It involves several methodical steps which allow tasters to score coffee on its numerous properties and characteristics.

Thanks to the work of the original coffee cuppers, we’ve been gifted a list of coffee-related terminology, much of which you’ll have seen in the tasting guides on our website. Today we’re going to take a closer look at a few of these key terms, making it easier to understand what they all mean and why they’re so important for us as coffee-holics.

Body – Often, this can be a tricky concept for beginners to get their head around. A helpful way to understand this is to think of the difference in how whole milk and skimmed milk feels in your mouth. Often referred to as ‘mouthfeel’, body describes the perceived weight of a coffee. A coffee with a full body will feel thick, whereas one with a light body will thin.

Acidity – This is a highly valued characteristic of coffee, and arguably the most scrutinised. After all, it’s the acidity that gives coffee beans that grow in different regions their unique flavour profiles. Many coffees, such as high-grown Arabicas, are revered for their acidity. Naturally we’d imagine acidity to be a negative characteristic, and this can often be the case if it’s not well balanced. Acidity can be thought of as how sharp or bright the coffee is. Next time you brew up, allow your coffee to cool for a while before a taking a sip. Acidity is much more noticeable without the heat, so it should be easier to pick up on. 

We have our very own high grown arabica roast which you can view here - Clumsy Goat Ethiopia Sidamo Single Origin, it has a lovely light citrus taste that's great for summer afternoons.

Sweetness – This is fairly self-explanatory, but it’s helpful to understand its role. Acidity wouldn’t be so favourable without sweetness. Have you ever tried rhubarb when it’s not coated in sugar in some sort of dessert? The tangy, sour taste of this is much like what an acidic coffee would taste like without any natural sweetness. The perfect balance of acidity and sweetness is often what separates good coffee from excellent coffee. 

Finish – Put simply, it’s the aftertaste. Try taking a gulp of coffee and waiting for 10-20 seconds, observing the way the flavour lingers. You may notice a clean finish, where the prominent flavour remains, but it’s not uncommon to be met with new flavours in the finish. It’s also interesting to pay attention to where the flavour lingers. Sometimes it may feel present at the back of the throat, whereas others it might reside on the sides or tip of the tongue. Poor quality coffees are sometimes exposed in the finish, leaving a bitter or sour aftertaste.

Hopefully that sheds some light on all of this jargon. If you'd like to test it out we'd welcome you to browse our very own range of freshly roasted coffee beans.

Our commitment to supporting the farmers and the industry means our coffee will always be 100% Fairtrade certified. Plus, we freshly roast everything in small batches so it’s oozing with flavour. To learn more about us or our roasts please feel free to click here.

Here's why you should try Peruvian single origin coffee beans!

Here's why you should try Peruvian single origin coffee beans!

Peru’s first taste of coffee production was in the 1700s. Now, the country is home to more than 110,000 coffee growers. With extreme landscapes and diverse climates, growing coffee here certainly isn’t a walk in the park.

In the past, its farmers have been accused of focusing on quantity rather than quality, and to an extent this is true, but hidden somewhere amongst the mass of coffee beans exported lays some real delights. 

Today, we’ll take a closer look at the relationship between the farmers and their crops, and find out why the demand for Peruvian coffee is growing at the rate it is.

Farmers here are known to have had a rather tricky time growing coffee over the years. With many of them owning small plots of land, often in remote locations, transporting the fruits of their labour is just the beginning of their historic problems. Depending on where the farms are, journeys into town can take up to 8 hours, either by foot or by mule – not ideal when you’re carrying a week’s worth of coffee!

Often, they’d have to make this journey without knowing how many buyers would be there to meet them when they arrived. If they were met by just one buyer, which is known to have often been the case, they’d almost have to accept any price offered. This had a devastating effect on entire communities in Peru, where everything revolves around coffee production. That’s why many farms, particularly the more remote ones, were forced to focus on quantity rather than quality. 

Fortunately, much of this has changed since Fairtrade cooperatives became more involved in Peru’s coffee production. As well as allowing famers to receive a fair minimum price, these organisations have helped by investing large sums of money into infrastructure and training farmers to improve the quality of their coffee. They’ve also helped farmers transition into the production of organic coffee, which is considerably more profitable. Now, Peru is one of the world’s biggest exporters of Fairtrade and organic coffee. Click here to read our full article on the benefits of buying Fairtrade coffee. 

High-grown, shaded Arabicas grown high up in the Andes Mountains are responsible for some of the best flavours Peru has to offer. This unique altitude makes for a bright coffee with a touch of sweetness, often complemented with a lovely medium body. 

When it comes to producing great quality coffee, Peru is easily a contender on the world stage. Sadly, things aren’t all plain sailing from here for Peruvian farmers. Some studies suggest that Peru is one of the top countries likely to be hit hardest by climate change. With this in mind, it’s important that we continue to indulge in its liquid wonders and hope that, once more, its passionate farmers are able to overcome the problems they face.  

Click here to learn more about our very own 100% Arabica single origin Peruvian offering. It promises subtle hints of walnut and caramel, enhanced by a sweet milk chocolate finish. All of our coffee beans are ethically and sustainably sourced, so you can be sure you’re doing your bit to help.