Whilst Bean Smitten may not be the first to come to mind when you think of independent coffee roasters, that certainly doesn't mean their coffees aren't worth discovering - quite the opposite in fact. By comparison to our previous GUSTAStory, which featured Redroaster Coffee Roasters and their amazing work overseas in Burundi, Bean Smitten are focusing their efforts here in the UK and are working tirelessly to improve their sustainability.
Popular by merit of their high-quality coffee, which has been multi-awarded in the Great Taste Awards (coffee blends: Classic and Revive), Bean Smitten make no apology for concentrating on the quality of their coffee, rather than pouring over their branding. In their mind, quality speaks.
Prior to Bean Smitten's inception, Darren Tickner (Founder) was fascinated by the vast array of coffee shops appearing on our high streets. Whilst they have now become a staple on any British high street, Darren sought to adopt a somewhat different approach and focused on working towards understanding the specifics behind what goes into a good cup of coffee.
Reducing non-recyclable waste and raising awareness of the problems associated with using plastics are two areas in which Bean Smitten have been very proactive. The entire coffee industry has seen it’s packaging redesigned to become more environmentally friendly, as well being more air-tight, which has the resultant effect of keeping your coffee fresher for longer - less waste, more great coffee for longer. Win, win. Despite this effort, there is still a disconnect between what is being used to store coffee by roasters and the current capabilities of recycling facilities around the UK. With coffee bags commonly made of paper with a thin aluminium lining and plastic one-way valve, the processing of such combination (remarkably) isn’t actually possible by many local authority recycling plants. Whilst biodegradable bags have now become available on the market and are beginning to be used, Bean Smitten have their own three-point plan to improve the sustainability situation.
In line with Circular Economy theories (we truly recommend you check out their foundation for more information), the re-use of an object consumes much less energy than recycling, and as such, Bean Smitten works in partnership with all their independent coffee shops to continually re-use their bags. Equally so, local customers of Bean Smitten can bring re-usable containers for all the coffee they order, with money rebated for such purchases. And thirdly, Bean Smitten has a working relationship with TerraCycle, an innovative company who specialise in hard-to-recycle waste; by result, Bean Smitten are able to send off all their end-of-life coffee bags in a single large box for them to be entirely deconstructed and have their materials reclaimed for other purposes, such as gardening tools.
You, too, can help Bean Smitten in their great work by purchasing Bean Smitten's coffee - keep up the great work everyone, it all makes a difference!
GUSTATORY (adjective): curating excellence in taste.