Preview #3 - Dreamy Coffees, Quality Roasters
'A must see’, ‘nominated for…’, ‘one of this year’s best’ ~ okay, these aren’t films which critics are going crazy for, but they are our Best Of (Friends) in our unofficial countdown to London Coffee Festival. We know them all well, very well, and it should come at no surprise to hear they all feature in GUSTATORY’s multi-roaster coffee subscriptions. Maybe the critics are here afterall… ‘GUSTATORY, UK’s Best of Coffee Subscriptions’.
As we mention, we won’t be exhibiting at the event this year, but all our team will be visiting in search for the latest in speciality coffee, meeting up with all our partner roasters and saying hey to all our good friends within the industry. To all those GUSTATORY coffee subscribers who are baristas and coffee roasters yourselves, maybe see you there over one of the Industry days? Now, who's made the grade in GUSTATORY's Best Of (Friends)? In no particular order, let's dive right in...
Old Spike Coffee Roasters
At Old Spike, they're committed to ensuring everyone who comes through their doors leaves with a better story than the one they came in with. Whether that's by offering those affected by homelessness tangible ways to gain new skills and a job, or by serving a customer a delicious, socially conscious cup of coffee, they want to create meaningful social impact.
Old Spike Coffee began their journey in 2014 when they launched our cafe and roastery space at their very fist site on Peckham Rye. Old Spike were the first speciality coffee roastery operating as a social enterprise and have since been at the forefront of using coffee as a vehicle for social change. This model has served them well and they have since grown and now reside just round the corner at their state-of-the-art SCA Campus - still in Peckham. Today, their new London Fenchurch St cafe is quite something else - make sure you visit one time. As for LCF2023, Old Spike are to be brewing on the Heylo Coffee stand.
Five Elephant Coffee Roasters
A renown European specialty coffee roastery, artisanal bakery and medium-sized café chain located in Germany’s capital, Five Elephant strive for high standards of quality in both their products and high street offerings.
With their speciality coffee roastery sourcing and roasting some of the best coffee in the world, their cafés serve some of the very best in Berlin's particularly famed speciality coffee scene. As well as quality, everything Five Elephant do is done in a way that is mindful of their environmental impact and thoughtful of the social impact on the communities who produce their coffees. A timely highlight, our subscribers will be enjoying a Five Elephant coffee in our upcoming 05//23 (May) international coffee subscriptions - if you'd like their coffee at home, you know what you need to do, it would be our pleasure to send you one in this month's deliveries. Sample a coffee at the show, enjoy a Five Elephant coffee at home via us - perfect!
Sweven Coffee Roasters
After more than a decade of setting goals, experiencing remarkable moments, travelling to exciting places and meeting inspiring people around the world of coffee — in 2019 Sweven have decided to settle down and begin a new journey. A journey that has reflected on the founders' vision and perception for execution of quality and service, excellence and dedication to craft. A craft of roasting and sharing the finest and most dynamic coffees they could possibly source. To build concrete relationships that last lifetime and proven friendships through sharing special moments. Moments that leave memories and stories that become legends. It’s the dream come true and a dream they simply called Sweven.
Showcasing their new packaging at London Coffee Festival 2023, it's all so dreamy - dreamy packaging, dreamy coffee, oh so dreamy! When Sweven were last curated and featured in our subscriptions, we know they're fast becoming a fan-favourite. At LCF2023, Sweven are to be brewing on the Modbar and La Marzocco stands.
Climpson & Sons Coffee Roasters
Climpson & Sons are pioneers in the evolving London specialty coffee scene, with an ambition to continue sourcing, roasting and crafting the finest coffees from the heart of East London. Their range of espressos, blends and single origin beans reflect what they do- a boundless exploration into the possibilities of flavour.
Climpson & Sons take their work pretty seriously; with an ever expanding range of brew methods out there, Climpson & Sons are constantly searching for the best flavour profiles and extraction technique to understand how their roasts react in coffee-making equipment. Climpson & Sons' sourcing philosophy is primarily directed at flavour and quality. Alongside which their ethos towards sustainability and ethical sourcing protocols ensure the coffees they roast and sell not only have character but a transparent story. They reward quality by paying a higher price to the producer with the mindset of forming relationships year after year. With some lovely local-style cafe spots across North London, some quite close to London Coffee Festival's Old Truman Brewery, they're well worth the recommendation from us.
Kiss The Hippo Coffee Roasters
Kiss The Hippo is a speciality coffee brand devoted to creating the ultimate coffee experience, based in London. Accomplishing this through a considered approach to coffee making that places a strong appreciation for quality and sustainability at the forefront, Kiss The Hippo are also London's first carbon negative roasters.
With the aim of offering the most refined freshly roasted coffees, all served in beautiful spaces as part of a thoroughly memorable service experience, Kiss The Hippo have featured in our coffee subscriptions on several occasions and are another who are absolutely worth the recommendation. Like Missing Bean, Kiss The Hippo's expansion story deserves a round of applause too and as for London Coffee Festival, you may find Kiss The Hippo brewing on the Acaia and Drink Morning stands.
Headstand Coffee Seltzer
Headstand was founded by coffee roaster and UK Barista Champion Josh Tarlo. Spending the better part of a decade travelling to coffee farms across Latin America and Africa, over the years he watched how climate change was making coffee production harder. Rains in the dry seasons, droughts in the rainy seasons, the delicate balance that makes creating coffee fruit is slowly falling apart.
After learning that people have been turning the leaves of the coffee tree into something like a tea for hundreds of years and research showed the resulting brew was high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, Josh was hooked. The leaves are also already plentiful on coffee farms and much easier to grow than the fruit and so it helps producers weather the challenges of the changing climate. After creating a new way of processing the leaf with a coffee producer friend, Carlos, the leaf became the base of drink that’s packed with ingredients shown to help you feel good and that’s refreshing AF.
Our only non roaster that makes our Best Of (Friends) list, but as a seltzer made of coffee leaves, they're all about coffee, literally. Headstand are to be showcased on the Stores Supply stand at LCF2023.
Plot Roasting Coffee Roasters
A PLOT is the area of land where coffee is grown, one of the most important contributing factors to its unique characteristics. Altitude, soil composition, nutrition and climactic conditions all converge to form the first part of the story in your cup of coffee. Widely recognised amongst UK's speciality coffee scene, PLOT Roasting are always searching for those exceptional coffees that tell the story of the ground they were grown in and the care of the people, all the way along the chain, who have played a part in shaping them.
Ethical sourcing is of the utmost importance to PLOT and they are building a network of producers and cooperatives who we know and trust. All their purchasing decisions are made as a team, based on a balance between cup quality and impact on social and environmental sustainability. Tireless in pursuit of coffees with character, roast, taste, repeat.
Origin Coffee Roasters
Over the last 15 years, Origin Coffee Roasters have been exploring coffee, seeking new flavours, collaborators and lessons in the pursuit of an exceptional cup. What they do has changed over the years but their approach remains the same. Ultimately, it’s about respect – for the people, the process, the coffee, the brewing. Origin Coffee Roasters simply focus on making the coffee the best it can be. And they will continue to do this for the next 15 years.
Origin Coffee Roasters' approach to coffee sourcing is through direct trade, a philosophy and ethical practice true to speciality coffee. Powered by the perfect blend of passion, precision, curiosity and caffeine, the Origin Roastery is where knowledge and instinct unite. Plus, Origin's Head of Coffee, Freda Yuan, is a 3 times UK Cup Tasters Champion, so you're in safe hands. You know, we were wondering here, as a staple of every London Coffee Festival, does LCF even happen if Cornwall's Origin aren't in town?
Manhattan Coffee Roasters
Manhattan Coffee Roasters are based in the harbour city of Rotterdam, run by long time coffee professionals and competitors. Focussing on exceptional coffees, unique and small lots with close co-operation with producers, Manhattan boast a combined experience of more than 30 years in the coffee industry and have many competition wins under their belt.
Manhattan are inspired by the history of Rotterdam's harbour, a place bearing the Holland America line that once sailed from Rotterdam to New York. Situated next to the river Maas and being the only modern city with a gorgeous skyline in The Netherlands, the area is locally named “Manhattan aan de Maas”. Wanting to celebrate their local history, but also strive towards their international aspirations, recent competition accolades include Dutch Latte Art champion, Dutch Barista Championships, Dutch Cup Tasters champion, World Latte Art (6th place), New York Coffee Masters champion, London Coffee Masters champion and more.
Like Five Elephant, many of our subscribers very recently enjoyed Manhattan coffees at home. Featuring with us last month in our 04//23 (April) coffee subscriptions (view their featured coffees), if you loved their coffee then, make sure to grab yourself a reminder cup from their London Coffee Festival stand. Sound the alarms!
Sanctuary Coffee Roasters
A relatively new roaster, Sanctuary's founders have previous senior experience at Kiss The Hippo, Old Spike and Redemption; it is safe to say they know something about good coffee. As a result of volunteering at a local animal shelter during the COVID pandemic, the founders learnt about rescues, volunteers and the hard graft and sacrifice to keep a shelter running. With a near zero number of rescues in the UK receiving any form of government funding, this leaves over three million rescued, abandoned and abused animals relying on donations to survive.
Knowing that their personal donations wouldn’t be enough to make much of impact, Sanctuary coffee was launched, a way to make the UK’s favourite morning beverage directly fund rescues. With high quality speciality coffees inside fun cereal box-esque packaging, Sanctuary are a gentle reminder of how speciality coffee is that bit more special and much more ethical than any commodity coffee alternative. For LCF23, you may find Sanctuary coffees being brewed on the Oatly stand.
And there the shortlist closes on our Best Of (Friends) roasters highlight. Whilst today is the first Industry day of London Coffee Festival 2023, we've a few more of our event countdown highlights to come. Keep an eye out on our social media or check back in our School & Insights for tomorrow's edition. We'll see you there!
GUSTATORY (adjective): curating excellence in taste.