/ Which coffee bean supplier?

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Tony Naylor on 21 Jan 2013
I've tried quite a few of the big names from the supermarkets (Douwe Egbert, etc) and have yet to be impressed. They're all a bit meh.

I know there's lots of caffeine-heads on UKC, so your wisdom would be much appreciated. Who does quality beans?
aljones27 on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to Tony Naylor:

I've got it ground but the Signature Blend is lovely and they will sell as beans also...
http://www.ravecoffee.co.uk/#/coffee-bean-blends/4547538588
Sarah G on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to Tony Naylor:
Depends where you are, pet- your profile has no details.

Here's my local importer, roasting house and supplier;

http://www.pumphreys-coffee.co.uk/

Sx
Douglas Griffin - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to Tony Naylor:

Lucky enough to have these nice people about 5 minutes' walk from my office: http://www.macbeans.com/ . I think they do mail order.
Milesy - on 21 Jan 2013
Fact - All supermarket coffee beans are already stale. Coffee beans should come with the date they were roasted, not with a use-by or sell-by date. Many supermarket coffee beans have already been roasted several months or longer. I get mine from a Glasgow roaster and after about 6 weeks from the roasting date they are unusable.

If you don't have a local roaster have a look at http://www.hasbean.co.uk
Murderous_Crow - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to Tony Naylor:

You could try Square Mile, Hasbean, Extract and Origin for starters, but there are lots of other roasters across the UK doing interesting blends and single origin coffees. A good rule of thumb is finding a 'roasted on' date, and certainly a clue to the year the bean was picked. Otherwise have fun experimenting with light vs dark roast, blends vs SO, and all the different regions.

A little googling found the following list:

http://www.independentcoffee.co.uk/tag/coffee-roasters/

If you like you could ask to attend a 'cupping' session at your local roastery (this is not nearly as dodgy as it sounds!) where you get to blind taste test various different coffees - it can really open your eyes to what you actually like or not, as you have no idea where the coffee's from or how it's been processed.

As to ethics (as well as taste!) supermarket coffee is awful, most independent roasteries support ethical production. Fair Trade is a step in the right direction, however Steve Leighton of Hasbean has some interesting thoughts on that on his site:

http://www.hasbean.co.uk/blogs/articles/5952501-fair-trade-for-who-a-counter-view-to-the-fair-trade-...
toad - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to Tony Naylor: Ah-ha. The Mash has noticed all you nouveau bean botherers

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/coffee-is-the-new-fags-2013012156738
Murderous_Crow - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to toad:

...In another fifty years time, when its been medically proven that coffee makes your brain explode, only dinner ladies and alcoholics will drink coffee, standing out in the rain like lepers.

*like*

Tony Naylor on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to Bimblefast:
Thanks everyone for the recommendations - plenty to go at there. Thanks in particular to Sarah G for recommending Pumphrey's. I was going to buy from them just because they're called Pumphrey's, but then I saw that they sell coffee beans coated in amaretto flavoured chocolate. AMARETTO FLAVOURED CHOCOLATE. On a COFFEE BEAN. I'm not sure that's even legal. But I'm going to try at least one bucketful before they ban it.
Sarah G on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Tony Naylor:
I think when I used the word "supplier" it was a bit of a freudian slip! I've used Pumphrey's for years- since the early 90's in fact.

During the week you can get a tour of the roasting house.

They do biscuits, too....and HUGE cookies.

enjoy!

Sx
CurlyStevo - on 25 Jan 2013
digby - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Tony Naylor:

Waitrose do some nice espresso beans - Monsooned Malabar, Sumatra Mandheling and even their own brand are very good. Percol Black & Beyond good and slightly less sweet. I've tried most other supermarket ones, and these are the best, and not that expensive surprisingly, compared with online beans.
CurlyStevo - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to digby:
Personally I find most supermarket coffee over roasted, it just tastes burnt to me, I like the beans mid brown and at most with a slight sheen as soon as they are dark and shiney all the good flavours are lost and replaced by a bitter burnt nastyness IMO. I've worked my way through a fair few of the waitrose beans and not found any good ones yet.

The tesco finest columbian beans are ok as are lavazza but not a patch on hasbean. You pays your money you makes your choice.
wibb20 - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Great choice - one of the two beans I roasted for my wedding! Yum yum yum!

Hasbean is good, but expensive. I prefer twodaycoffee- https://twodaycoffee.co.uk/

Frank (owner) is great, and always has more 'just in' than it shows on the website, so well worth giving him a call and let him know what you like. I buy all my beans green, and roast them myself, but he also does a cracking job at roasting them.

The single best thing you can do to improve the quality of your brew is, but freshly roasted whole beans (flavour peaks 24 hours after roasting), and then grind them yourself at home. Avoid ground coffee, as it loses so much flavour!
wibb20 - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

The shine is the oils coming out of the bean - that means over roasted (see Costas beans!).

Different beans require different roast profiles to bring out the flavour - a very light roast (just after '1st crack' will give you the most depth of flavour and bring out the most from the bean. Keep roasting and you tend to lose the 'high notes'. Keep roasting more, and you approach second crack. Beyond that, you are making charcoal.

Personally, I never roast to 2nd crack, as you tend to then taste the roast, rather than the bean.

Finally, bitterness in coffee is normally due to a poor roast/poor storage. Good coffee, well roasted, will NEVER be bitter.
CurlyStevo - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to wibb20:
I agree with nearly all that (and had already read it on the site), however to me over roasted does taste burnt and burnt is a bitter taste.
CurlyStevo - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to wibb20:
PS I burr grind nearly all my own coffee.

Just checked the two day coffees website - they don't look much different in price to Hasbean. Most the coffees I buy from hasbean are are about 2 per 100g so actually cheaper, only the shipping is less at two days coffee. But I normally club together with work friends for a large order from hasbean so shipping is quite cheap anyways.
sleavesley on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Tony Naylor: for announcing amaretto coffee beans, you have now made me purchase said coffee beans damn you!
Toerag - on 27 Jan 2013
In reply to Tony Naylor: www.bean14.com
Jim C - on 27 Jan 2013
In reply to Sarah G:
> (In reply to Tony Naylor)
> Depends where you are, pet- your profile has no details.
>
> Here's my local importer, roasting house and supplier;
>
> http://www.pumphreys-coffee.co.uk/
>
> Sx

Good link for that area.
Does anyone know of any any place in the Glasgow area that organise coffee tasting nights where you can taste a wide range of freshly roasted coffees , and then have the opportunity to buy fresh , the beans of your choice?

( ps Sarah, we knew immediately what your location was going to be, without looking up the web link, or any profile)


wibb20 - on 27 Jan 2013
Sarah G on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to Sarah G)
> [...]
>
> ( ps Sarah, we knew immediately what your location was going to be, without looking up the web link, or any profile)

Gosh, I wonder how, hinny?!

Sx

iccy - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Tony Naylor:

If you're in London have a look at Belltower

http://www.belltowercoffee.com/

The website is rubbish but the coffee is great.
BelleVedere on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Jim C:

Glasgow = there's also http://www.deargreencoffee.com/
cander - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Tony Naylor:

If you're up North try Booths Supermarket - good for beans - I like Monsoon Malabar
icnoble on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to cander:
> (In reply to Tony Naylor)
>
> If you're up North try Booths Supermarket - good for beans - I like Monsoon Malabar

If you like Monsoon Malabar I suggest you try The Waitrose beans. They are in a different league to the Booths ones. To be quite honest I have never been impressed with Booths coffee beans.
Jim C - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Sarah G:
> (In reply to Jim C)
> [...]
>
> Gosh, I wonder how, hinny?!
>
> Sx

Jings, crivins, help ma boab, naybody knows where I cumfae by the way I type.

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