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We have accumulated various bits of coffee knowledge on our various travels, so here’s a selection… including some of the most common queries that we handle.
If you have a query that isn’t listed below then please contact us.

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Yes! They come in iterations of £10 and are available here. They can be used against anything on the web shop.

We are in the process of adding European and some international shipping to the site, but because of the issues caused by Brexit, it's been slower than we'd like. We will keep you posted!

Please see our delivery policy here. As a rule, if you order before 9am, it should despatch the same day. RM Tracked 48 aims to deliver within 2-3 business days. RM Tracked 24 aims to deliver the next business day. DPD Local aim to deliver the next day, or Saturday if you choose this option. Please note that these are aims and not guarantees.

Yes, you can recycle the packaging;
- shipping boxes are made from FCS-approved, responsibly sourced, locally produced cardboard. They are 100% recyclable, so add them to your cardboard recycling.
- subscription shipping envelopes are recyclable: please separate the plastic bubble wrap, and the paper, and add to the relevant recycling.
- coffee packaging is 100% recyclable. Listed as LDPE 4, like thin plastic shopping bags, you can now drop these off at your local supermarket recycling points, or if your local council accepts 4 LDPE, add it to your plastic recycling. Please remove the label first; we're working on how to do this more quickly and easily.

We're working in several ways to do this, including:
- we are a certified Carbon Neutral organisation and offset double the emissions we produced last year (we are assessed on an annual basis)
- our packaging, shipping materials are as recyclable as we can make them at the moment, and we're still working on better solutions.


More info is on the subscription page, but in brief; we send you awesome, delicious coffee in the amount and at the frequency that you want it. pretty simple really!

As a subscriber, you have an account on the webshop, so login using the button on the top right (password resets are available if you've forgotten).
On the subscriptions menu, select 'pause subscription' and your subscription will now be paused. You can re-activate it at any time. Subscriptions that have been paused for 6 months will change to 'pending cancellation'.

As a subscriber, you have an account on the webshop, so login using the button on the top right (password resets are available if you've forgotten).
On the 'Your Account' menu, select subscriptions, and then click 'cancel subscription' and your subscription will now be pending cancellation. No more payments will be taken. You can either confirm the cancellation immediately, or if you do nothing, the subscription will be cancelled 10 days later.

The quickest way to to email us at [email protected] and we can sort this for you.

Enter the code you were sent when you started the subscription, to save 10% on all other purchases on the website. If you've lost the code, please get in touch and we can send a reminder!

Your billing period starts the day that you sign up and will recur every week, fortnight or month from then on If you would like to change the date, then please email us on [email protected]

Questions about our coffee

Yes! Every coffee on the site has been roasted by us at our Liverpool HQ.

When we roast, we’re looking for a balance of sweetness, acidity, and a little bit of bitterness, and most importantly, to help you enjoy the coffee! We want to showcase the hard work of those who produced the coffee we roast, and to make this specialty coffee world as accessible and enjoyable as possible. If that's a philosophy then we're cool with it.

Not really dark. The darker we roast, the more of the inherent natural flavours are covered up by the roasting process. We roast to level where we can maximise the flavour and balance contained within the coffee, so you taste all the amazing flavours. Super dark roasts have been used for a while to cover up the tastes of inferior coffee, and we’re not into that.

Direct Trade is a name bandied around by some roasters (generally without defining it) who wish to make a contrast between how they operate and other certification marks like Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Utz, or similar. Many of the giant coffee companies now have their own certification schemes, which doesn’t really help either.

Whilst we do agree prices with some of the farmers we work with, we also use trusted partners at origin who are expert in exports, logistics and all the things we can’t do well from the UK. They are literally on the ground, whereas we’re the other side of the globe in some cases. Sometimes we’ll use import services as well, and wherever we use these intermediaries, we ensure their margins are sustainable, not profiteering, and that the services they provide are well-compensated.

What’s important to us is showing up year after year, going to visit and to build relationships, and growing both the volume of coffee we purchase, and the prices we pay. Some of our relationships have been running for several years, and we’re building more as we go. For more details, check the product pages, as it’s all there. The more we grow, the more we visit the producers, the more good we can do.

Yes, often multiples of the New York commercial ‘C’ market price, or the FairTrade minimum price. It’s one of the reasons why we won’t sell cheap coffee from unknown provenances – we are firm believers that the hard work that producers put in should be well rewarded. One of the best examples is the relationship we have with the Pereira & Alves families in Jacutinga – for more details please click here.

Coffee is a subjective thing, and ‘Intensity’ is our effort to help bring some method of recommending other coffees that you may wish to try. Of course, if you love the one you buy, that’s awesome, and we’re delighted.
We try to classify them using what we perceive as the flavour intensity, so the most intense will have the most distinctive flavours, whether that’s down to coffee varietal (some varietals, like Ethiopian heirloom coffees will taste really distinctive), process (naturals and anaerobic tend to result in punchier, or more intense flavours), or roast level.

The flavour notes are agreed by the team, to ensure that it’s not just one opinion. If the coffee exhibits sweetness, then we try to identify what kind of sweetness. If it’s fruity, is it a citrus, berry, stone-fruit (peaches, nectarine etc), tropical fruit? We try to make them as accessible as possible, but if you have a better suggestion then please let us know!

These are only suggestions, and you’re free to agree or disagree – we care far more that you enjoy the coffee than that you agree with what we think. Some tasting notes will appear more distinctive in some brew methods (espresso tends to intensify everything) so we include our favourite brew methods. Again, these are just suggestions.

Finally, no, we never add any kind of flavouring – it’s all in there already, and our job is to showcase it to you in the most enjoyable way possible.

Simple answer: make really tasty food and drink. Well, not wishing to boast, but four of our coffees have been awarded Great Taste Awards: seven stars in total. They may not always be available, but they’re certainly worth looking out for.

Coffee Equipment

Yes, ideally. A grinder is the single best purchase you can make to improve your coffee brewing. The biggest jump in quality is the difference between freshly ground & pre-ground, and anything after this is secondary.
It doesn't have to be the most expensive grinder there is - many of the team use entry-level grinders in their homes, and get loads of joy from them.

Of course, you may not wish to, and we're cool with that, which is why we sell coffee pre-ground. You should think about it though ;)

The best that you can afford, and have space for, but not more than that. You can get great espresso from a huge range of machines, including some portable gadgets, so the most expensive doesn't always equate with the best.
We think the range we sell from Sage are well-built, feature-rich, and come with a good warranty. We have them in our houses and use them every day. We also sell home machines from La Marzocco, which are beautiful, but involve a bigger investment.
If you wanted something else, please do let us know - we work with a variety of manufacturers and can often get hold of something else if you're after it.

We want to test all the gear we sell, so we can accurately recommend it. Our team have used every piece of equipment, and still do, in our own houses, and in the roastery.

We're always on the lookout for more cool coffee stuff, but just because a piece of equipment is shiny and new, doesn't guarantee that it'll work great. Since coffee machinery can be expensive, we want to ensure we're giving you great advice, so we take the time to test stuff first.

Questions about Coffee

First, let's define what a fruit is. As Wikipedia puts it,

"In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants (also known as angiosperms) formed from the ovary after flowering."

We won't get too far into the reproductive systems of plants, but that's about it - they are the bits that carry the seed. That's why any fruit you can think of - tangerines, watermelons, even tomatoes, have seeds in them. We typically use the word to refer to the edible part. (Coffee is technically a fruit - but you wouldn't straight up eat one.)

Botanically, however, the word stretches to include any seed-containing structure, like bean pods, corn kernels, and wheat grains - stuff that's not immediately edible.

But we are, of course, mostly interested in the beans. Coffee beans are not themselves fruit - but they are part of a fruit.

The coffee bean is a seed of the coffee plant. In fact, it's not technically a bean at all - it's just a seed. (They do look like beans, but beans are the seeds of an entirely different plant family.)

When coffee is picked from the coffee plant, it's in the form of red or purple ‘cherries'. They grow alongside green, waxy leaves on the branch of the trees, and the cherries are the fruits of the plant. After it flowers, it takes almost a full year for a cherry to mature ready for harvesting (and around five years for a coffee plant to reach full production capacity after it's planted).

Inside these cherries are the coffee beans - the seeds. There's usually two beans inside each cherry, with the flat side on the inside, and the round side facing out.

Around 5 - 10% of cherries only have one bean inside, known as a ‘peaberry'. These are smaller and more spherical than normal flat-sided beans. Some reckon peaberry beans taste better, but that's subject to opinion - it's possible they roast differently than normal beans, because of the more even surface area. Some suppliers hand-pick peaberries and sell them separately to connoisseurs who reckon they have a superior quality.

Once the cherries are picked, they go through a process of drying, milling and roasting. Then, when they're ready to use, they'll be ground in whatever density is necessary for the coffee-lover's drink of choice.

The pulp surrounding the beans is normally removed and discarded during the processing phase, but can be used to make an herbal tea known as ‘cascara' tea. This is named after the Spanish word cáscara, meaning ‘husk', and is commonly consumed in Bolivia, Yemen, and other coffee-loving countries. It's quite high in caffeine, giving drinkers a bit of a boost in each cup, and contains antioxidants to fight free radicals which contribute to disease (although normal coffee does these things too, with a different drinking experience).

So, yes, coffee is technically a fruit. Drinking a few daily cups won't count towards your five-a-day, but they do have numerous health benefits to look out for. And that's as good an excuse as any to put a brew on.

In the UK, espresso-based drinks are the norm, especially in big high-street coffee chains. For a single espresso, a barista would use anywhere from 7 – 11 grams of coffee. This coffee is packed into a circular puck which has hot water forced through it at high pressure, leaving you with a small cup of espresso.

Each small cup contains 1 shot of espresso, which can contain anywhere between 30 - 60mg. If you order ‘a single espresso’ in a coffee shop this is likely what you’ll get, known as a single or solo shot. You could also go for a double shot, or doppio, espresso, which would likely have twice the amount of caffeine from 60 to 120mg.

You certainly can – and you can create much, much more than a coffee cake. (Not that there’s anything wrong with coffee cake). In fact, there are all sorts of cakes and cookies that are all the better for the inclusion of a strong cup of Joe. More on that later…

Coffee, sugar and molasses with a dash of chilli powder or paprika makes for a really good meat marinade. Bacon marinated in a bath of it – we mean ground beans, not liquid coffee – is all-the-richer for the coffee once cooked. You can also grind coffee beans with pepper corns, salt and a dried green herb of your choice and that’ll make a decent rub for a joint of beef.

Coffee really works well with beef – try a cup of it in your next chilli con carne – it’s flavour works very well in the long, slow cook. The same applies when you’re making a beef stew. You can also use a cup in a veggie chilli for added depth of flavour.

As long as you have an imagination and know your way around a kitchen, you can get quite creative with coffee. Try substituting it for the liquid you’d normally use in your recipes. Bread, for example, can be made using coffee – perhaps try following a recipe first and then get more adventurous.

You can indeed! And well done for thinking environmentally. Giving a new lease of life to your grinds is doable in many ways.

Not only does ground coffee produce one of the world’s most life-affirming beverages, it has a range of different uses outside of the cup. Whether it’s reusing, repurposing, upcycling or downcycling, coffee grinds are versatile enough to be useful whether they’ve been used to make the drink itself or not.

The coffee plant itself can reach up to 10 metres in height, but they’re pruned to ensure that the top branches can be reached. As it gets older, it bears fewer branches but more leaves and fruits.

The plants are grown in rows, several feet apart. First, coffee plantation farmers usually plant seeds in large beds in nurseries with shade cover. Once these sprout, the seedlings are removed and put into individual pots, which are frequently watered in the shade until they’re ready to be planted in the ground. This is usually done during the rainy season, so the roots of the seedlings have moist soil to establish themselves in.

Depending on the variety of coffee, it takes around 3 to 4 years for the newly planted coffee trees to bear fruit and be ready for harvest, though this year we saw 2 year old trees in Colombia that were already bearing masses of fruit. It must have been something in the soil!

There’s usually one major harvest a year in most coffee-growing regions across the world.

The different varieties of coffee require different conditions in which to grow and thrive. Arabica coffee (official name: coffea arabica) grows best in temperatures between 15 and 24 °C, and needs places with 1500-3000mm of annual rainfall. It thrives at high altitudes, preferably 1200 – 2300 metres above sea level.

Robusta coffee (coffea canephora) can endure hotter, drier conditions, preferring environments with between 24–30 °C temperatures, in altitudes up to 800 metres above sea level.

Those conditions mean they’re mostly grown around the Equator. Not quite on it – that’s too hot – but in the areas above and below it, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. This includes parts of Africa, Central and South America, and Asia.

When the coffee fruit is ripe, it’s normally picked by hand, either one cherry at a time, or all at once from a single branch. There are some places where landscapes can be relatively flat (ie. Brazil) in which machines can be used to do the picking.

After this, there’s a few different ways of preparing them for roasting. The ‘fully washed’ process involves washing the beans to remove debris, and then removing the pulp of the cherry. Then, the beans are dried (sometimes in sunshine, otherwise artificially) and processed – sorting via hand or machine to store them by size, and filter out imperfect beans.

The second option is all-natural – in this, the beans are kept intact, rather than removing the cherry pulp. These are then cleaned, dried in the sun, then stored and hulled when ready for sorting.

The third method is called honey processing, and is where the skin and some of the fruity layer is removed, and then the beans, surrounded by some of the fruity layer, are left to dry in the sun. The name comes from the stickiness they develop during this step. There are different types of honey processing – for example, red honey, yellow honey, white honey, black honey, which refer to the amount of fruity layer left on the beans.

After they’re processed, coffee beans don’t look like the ones you see in pictures. They’re a pale green in colour, a bit like pistachio nuts, and not suitable for consumption. It’s only when they’re roasted that they become ready for use as a drink ingredient, and that’s when they turn brown, and become a little less hard to the touch. They also release oils on their surface, but this is mostly a result of over-roasting. The oil contains much of the flavour, so if it leaves the bean, it won’t taste as good.

The answer is that it really depends on how you like it, and which method you use to brew it.

Coffee beans are usually measured in weight by grams, and are sold in various sizes of bags, for home consumption.

It’s not quite simple enough to give a single answer, because there are some variables affecting it – such as the type of brews you’re going to make.

As well as these environmental factors, coffee is prone to absorbing aromas from nearby contaminants, such as food and other kitchen substances. The most important thing you can do to avoid these is to keep your coffee container sealed. Airtight containers are crucial for keeping nasty contaminants out (and don’t use one that you’ve used for other foods previously, as it’ll inherit scents from the past). You could use screw-top jars, plastic boxes or glass jars, as long as the lid seals shut tightly. Plastic bags with zip-locks are also an option.

Keep coffee out of the fridge! Refrigerating coffee is a common mistake as many people think it helps preserve freshness. This isn’t the case. The atmosphere in fridges is moist (which we need to avoid) and, of course, full of food odours. Wrapping a rubber band round an opened bag of ground coffee and sticking it at the back of the fridge will do you no favours – you’re likely to end up with onion-flavoured coffee. Not good.
Keep your coffee away from light – opaque containers are important here. If your coffee is being stored at room temperature in the kitchen, put it away in a cupboard – preferably one of the lower ones that don’t absorb heat from cooking. If you were to put it in a see-through container that was in or near direct sunlight, that’d have a detrimental effect on the consistency and flavour of your coffee, whether ground or not. A cool, dark place is what you need.

If you’re grinding your coffee at home, remember to only grind what you need that day. While vacuum-packed ground coffee is perfectly enjoyable (we sell many varieties of it!), by grinding in advance you’re missing out on one of the joys of the home grind – absolute freshly-ground goodness.

Yes it is!

Both in the short-term (just after drinking a cup) and the long-term (wellbeing throughout your lifetime), coffee has proven benefits to your health and happiness.
Coffee is a source of the following nutrients, which are useful in different ways:

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – to help build red blood cells and support energy functions
Vitamin B3 (niacin) – to balance cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy brain function
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) – to help convert food into energy – it’s also good for healthy skin, hair & eyes
Potassium – to reduce blood pressure and conduct signals through the body
Magnesium – to create energy & proteins, maintain DNA, and regulate stress

It’s both! Coffee itself is made from the berry of the coffee plant, and is harvested, produced and processed using no animal products whatsoever. A freshly-brewed cup of black coffee should have clear vegan credentials.

Not found what you’re looking for?

Get in touch and we’ll happily help you in any way we can