The cherry on the top

They say it takes 7g of coffee beans to make 1 espresso.


This has always intrigued me so today I weighed out 7g of our beautifully roasted SOHO coffee beans and counted them.


My 7g came to 50 beans, which is more than I’d expected. 


Given each coffee cherry contains 2 beans, that’s 25 coffee cherries that have been picked by hand from the coffee bush to make a single espresso.


Not to mention the care and attention required to transform these from cherry to the rich, smooth coffee nectar that so many of us depend on to kick start our day.  These 25 coffee cherries are as precious as they’ve ever been as coffee is a commodity in crisis. 


As our climate changes, increasing extreme weather patterns are altering the flowering and fruiting cycles of coffee and increasing pests and diseases. It also hasn’t helped that, for some time now, coffee has traded on the open futures market below the cost of production for many farmers, which may lead many to abandon growing coffee in favour of other more lucrative crops.

So, these 25 coffee cherries really are as precious as they’ve ever been. Little nuggets of pure gold.

And, an important reminder that our commitment to our certified coffee farmers has never been so essential.  By ensuring a fair price for their crop, we demonstrate how much we value them, the land they work, the challenges they face and the high quality of coffee they produce, every cherry.


Through purchasing from Fairtrade, Organic and Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farms, we are guaranteeing our certified farmers receive a much higher price for their coffee than beans bought purely on the open futures market.  This allows them to plan for the future and re-invest in some of the poorest and most remote communities, supporting local health and educational services.


The organic matter from the tree canopy that naturally shades our arabica coffee bushes, provides an ecological mulch that reduces the need for weeding, naturally controls bugs, reduces the need for fertilisers, controls erosion and helps build the soil. And, our farmers know how to filter clean water naturally through straw and re-use coffee bean husk in their organic fertiliser. 


It’s no surprise that this environment creates a healthy eco-system, one that attracts migrating birds and allows farming to co-exist alongside rainforest without leading to its devastation.


We’re fully committed to serving you the best tasting and most ethical coffee we can. We don’t pretend to be perfect, we’re just doing what we can.


This is why we’re super proud to partner with the first coffee roastery in the world to achieve the Carbon Neutral Gold Standard. 


It’s also why we then proudly hand over our precious SOHO blend to our trained baristas to carefully craft the perfect flat white, cappuccino or latte, made with organic dairy milk.


This way, we can all continue to enjoy our delicious daily fix with a slightly clearer conscience.

Plant Power

I’ve just been inspired by the movie “The Game Changers” – where big top name athletes swap out meat for plant protein. My favourite quote is – “how could you get as strong as an ox without eating meat?” Answer: “Have you ever seen an ox eating meat?”


I’ve always been a fan of plant-based food since going to Japan, where back in the day I trained and learned to make sushi. I was also wowed by the amazing breadth of tofu on offer and the different ways it can be prepared; it’s a completely different beast to here in the UK. I’m realising now, several years later, that I must make a change and introduce more plant power into my life. When I can’t get into my motorbike trousers I know it’s time to get serious. Having a job that involves being in the kitchen and constantly tasting, well you can imagine how easily your waist can fall out of line, and I have no switch off when it comes to food. So, I’ve decided to be more flexitarian and include more plant-based meals in my diet.


Eating more plant-based meals is not a new thing and definitely on the rise. Vegetarianism as we know it is has been around for hundreds of years and the Vegan Society today celebrates 75 years of the official term, vegan:


One way to pile in the veg is juicing. And, because you’re getting your roots and fruits raw, you get max nutrients straight to where you need it. There is something really exhilarating as freshly juiced kale, cucumber, apple, pear, ginger and lemon slip down. Our Marketing Manager, Sophie, hasn’t stopped ranting about how good she feels having spent a week on fruit & veg alone, all in the form of juices.


Game Changer


So, I’m up for the challenge.


But, I’m also a meat lover. So, I’m going to be my own guinea pig. I’m not sure how I feel about working hard to create a vegan meal that pretends to be meat…I’ve been around people who have been vegan for years and doing magical stuff without having to create something that’s trying to be something else…do we do this for meat lovers to reduce their FOMO (fear of missing out)? Or, for vegans who haven’t eaten meat for years? Gary Rhodes has been a great exponent of good, wholesome vegan flavours and textures, for their own sake and I think I tend to lean towards this camp.


I believe eating this way really is a game changer. Good for us all and good for the planet.


The Japanese certainly top the global table for life expectancy so looks like I have nothing to lose in trying ? Watch this space!