London Coffee Festival, the capital’s annual celebration of all things caffeinated, is just around the corner. In anticipation of a week of barista workshops, coffee tasting and perfecting our pouring skills, we’ve sought out three of the most interesting coffee companies around, all doing innovative things with the humble coffee bean. From cold brewing to sustainable practices and coffee subscriptions, these are the caffeine connoisseurs making an impact.
Kinta Loma Coffee
When it comes to coffee, we’ve come a long way from settling for a muddy mug of instant. Nowadays, we expect our coffee to come – at the very least – with certified provenance and substantial ethical credentials. Kinta Loma, however, has gone one step further. Environmentally aware, eco-friendly and sustainable coffee, it’s as far away from mass-produced, ethically-unsound instant coffee as you can get.
Firstly, the environment is at the heart of everything Kinta Loma does. The company’s chosen single-origin coffee beans are sourced in the Andean mountains in the heart of Colombia, and are grown at high altitude where the soil is naturally rich with nutrients. Secondly, as well as having a strict rule of only working with farms that comply with the highest environmental and ethical standards, Kinta Loma also has a chemical-free production process and 100 per cent recyclable packaging. Even the coffee pods – compatible with Nespresso machines – are fully biodegradable. With three different types of ground beans to choose from for your cafetiere, and a choice of two pod-types, the family-owned company is changing the way we consume our coffee for good.
Cold Brew Carafe from Barista & Co
Cold brew was last year’s definitive coffee trend. This year, as with all things coffee – roasting, grinding, brewing – there’s a growing appetite for DIY cold brewers, allowing coffee connoisseurs to craft the perfect artisan cup at home. And it’s easy really: you steep coffee grounds in cool water for up to 20 hours before straining them, to extract more sweetness and less bitterness from the beans. All you need is the perfect gadget with which to do it.
Enter the Cold Brew Carafe from stylish coffee specialists Barista & Co. Unlike many fiddly, cumbersome appliances, this glass carafe will make a on-point addition to your kitchen or office countertop – it’s all about style and functionality. It features a laser-cut stainless steel filter, which can be removed once the coffee is ready, and a silicon seal that ensures the brewed coffee can be kept fresh for several days. Specially designed to create a delicate and slightly sweeter cup of coffee, it’s the gadget every smart thinking connoisseur needs.
£39.99, shop now
For Press Coffee, it doesn’t just stop at a steaming hot cup of the brown stuff. Founded in 2013 by Andrew Wells as an antidote to Starbucks (he’s an ex-employee) Press’s first coffee shop was established on Fleet Street that year, with premises two and three coming in 2016. What’s more, last year it launched its own roastery, located in Tate Britain, and started importing and roasting green beans from over 15 countries around the world. As well as its own shops, the brand now supplies a number of specialist coffee shops across the capital – meaning you’ve probably drunk their coffee without even realising.
These coffee shops were only the beginning. Interestingly, Press Coffee also offers an unusual six or 12 month subscription service, whereby 250g supply of coffee beans is roasted and posted to you at home on the first Friday of every month. So, if you’re into making your own brews (see the Cold Brew Carafe, above) then a subscription is just the thing to ensure the coffee you craft at home is as unique and memorable as any cup you’d get in a coffee shop.
London Coffee Festival 12 – 15 April www.londoncoffeefestival.com