International Coffee Day was founded by the International Coffee Organization (ICO) on 1st October in Milan, Italy at Expo 2015. It is now an annual event for coffee lovers, supported by the 77 Member States of the ICO and dozens of coffee associations from around the world. As a true celebration of coffee, the day recognises the millions of people across the globe involved in the industry – from farmers, to roasters, baristas, coffee shop owners and more. This day is also used to promote fair trade coffee and many businesses offer free or discounted cups of coffee.
The number of artisan roasters and independent coffee brands is ever growing and they’re all promising higher quality beans, grinds and blends, created with sustainability as a priority. A recent survey by Global Data showed that 43% of the world’s consumers said they chose their product based on sustainability, environmental and social factors. With this in mind, here are some of the best tasting, most eco-friendly coffee brands to celebrate International Coffee Day.
The rise of the subscription model during the pandemic has given us a whole new selection of artisan brands. British father-and-son brand, Blue Coffee Box, combines free UK delivery with ethical sourcing, plastic free packaging and speciality coffees chosen by global coffee concierges. Beans are hand roasted in the UK, resulting in fresh and delicious flavors. The coffee is packed in a slender, 100% compostable pack that fits through your letter box. Blue Coffee Box beans are sourced directly from farmers and local cooperatives, using the Direct Trade method, which means farmers are paid 30% more than the fair trade prices.
Based in the Lake District, John Farrer & Co Tea and Coffee Merchants are the UK’s oldest coffee roasters. This year they introduced a number of new coffees to their range as part of their new ‘Discovery’ collection, carefully and responsibly selected and sourced from single estates and small farms who operate sustainably and give back to the communities in which they operate. Pink Bourbon from Colombia, Lamari Washed from Papua New Guinea and Limu Getenet Tafa Natural from Ethiopia are all superb. Farrer’s also supply Fairtrade coffees from Mexico, Brazil and Costa Rica as well as Fairtrade sugars and drinking chocolate.
An independent, UK-based speciality coffee roastery with nine locations across London, Hermanos practices direct trade, so they source all coffee beans straight from Colombia, with founders, Santiago and Victor Gamboa, frequently visiting the estates and farmers who grow their coffee. Sustainability and traceability is essential with the coffee growers involved with every step of the business. As for taste, Colombian coffee is made from 100% arabica (vs inferior robusta) beans and its rich flavor is the result of an ideal climate, soil and rainfall.
Trading coffee directly with Kenyan Coffee Growers, the Muchomba family, allows Paddy & Scott’s to reduce the supply chain and support the farm and local community directly. A lovely idea, customers are invited to be partners, to be part of the story, to visit the farm and see first-hand how their coffee is grown. The partnership has also financed the rehabilitation of a local school, a benefit to the whole community. With fun blend names like Wakey-Wakey, Easy Days and Chit Chat, you can’t help but want to order this coffee. All coffee products, including brew bags, are available to order online and on a subscription basis.
Roasting Plant Coffee is best known for its Javabots (roasteries in each of their cafes) which create a just roasted, just brewed, customised coffee experience. Their coffee approach brings the beans front and center so it’s not surprising they feature single origin coffees. Their online store tells the stories of the beans, the flavour profiles, and the communities they support. It’s as close as you can get to a virtual artisan experience. Roasting Plant coffee products can be customised by grind and ordered as a one-off or by subscription. For International Coffee Day, Roasting Plant Coffee is offering 20% off any variety of Roasting Plant Coffee beans when you purchase 1lb or more from 9/29-10/3. Just use code RPCOFFEEDAY22 at checkout.
In 1985 Bernard Devenish founded Bridge Coffee Roasters, a cafe in Bristol and quickly learned the importance of quality in coffee and customer service. His sons Max and Darryl have inherited his passion and are now bringing premium, gourmet coffee to consumers across the UK. They are committed to sourcing the best single origin coffees and creating unique blends with beans roasted in-house to ensure freshness. Farms in Brazil, Columbia, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Papau New Guinea are chosen based on mutual understanding and respect for coffee, ethically grown coffee and good working conditions inside and outside of work. The current range of 10 coffees includes unique house blends and distinctive single-origin coffees, which can be purchased online as beans or grounds specifically for cafeterias or filters.