New Brews News

Upping our Coffee Game

There is some big news from us, as we embark on the biggest change to our business since we had to do the whole lockdown-reinvention-as-a-webshop thing back in March 2020. We are taking the plunge and getting properly into coffee. Not just any coffee either, but the good stuff, “third-wave” for the sake of a clumsy label. The sort of thing you are used to if you frequent our friends at Baila or Darkroom – super tasty coffee with provenance and ethics, made properly…

To do this, we have hooked up with the brilliant and local Ue Coffee Roasters. They are awesome, so we thought we ought to do a proper introduction to you and explain why we have chosen to work with them.

Ue Coffee Roasters are an independently owned and family run business in Witney, Oxfordshire, established by Dominic and Daniella Boyett back in 2009. Their mission is to offer great coffee whilst making it accessible to everyone, so they have dedicated the last decade and more to learning, working hard, and building more than just another coffee brand. Ue Coffee Roasters is more than the sum of its parts, they are a phenomenal team with passion and determination and plenty of experience.

We love their coffee sourcing ethics. A great deal of work is undertaken in sourcing speciality grade and experimental micro-lot coffees and Ue always ensure that they buy both ethically and sustainably from growers with direct longstanding trading relationships. They then honour the hard work already invested in the coffee by roasting it to showcase its distinctive qualities and showcasing what makes a particular variety, origin or farm so thrilling. They focus on sourcing coffee with distinctive character from growers dedicated to producing outstanding crops, constantly introducing new coffees into their line up as they discover new beans that are just too good not to share. We loved the respect they have for the coffee farming community and the important role they play in the industry, sourcing from farms, co-ops or milling stations where they have established a direct relationship, and only working with reputable partners who share a dedication to coffee quality and support ethical practices at origin.

They are well equipped with the very latest roasting technology and a master roaster who has spent years perfecting the ideal roast profiles for each of their estate coffees and blends. Each and every batch is carefully monitored using digital profiling allowing them to maintain consistency in each and every batch, while ensuring the sweet spot is hit every time; that split second where body, sweetness and acidity are balanced in perfect harmony. The precision doesn’t stop with the roasting and grinding of the coffee either, as this can all be undone by poor packaging and storage. Ue preserve coffee freshness by quickly packing each roast into oxygen-free 100% recyclable bags with premium one-way valves, which we will then be delivering to you!

Their desire to do good in the world stands beyond the coffee that they produce, as they have built strong community relationships and taken several strong positive actions, raising money, providing skills training or general support to benefit those who really need it through The Barista Foundation.

One of the charity partners that Ue support is the Elephant Valley Project (EVP) in Cambodia. EVP is a sanctuary developed for elephants that have spent their life in captivity and may have been overworked and injured. They currently care for 11 elephants, each with their own mahout; someone who has normally spent their life around elephants from a young age and has a very close bond with the particular elephant that they care for. EVP is one of very few true sanctuaries, they want the elephants to just be elephants in a stress-free natural habitat. EVP also provide employment and job-based training for the local Bunong community, as well as protecting the forest and natural resources from destruction and deforestation.

A huge amount of EVP’s income normally comes from eco-tourism and donations from visitors so without those usual streams of income due to COVID-related travel restrictions the project’s future is in serious jeopardy. With medicines, treatment, food and other costs to cover EVP is unable to operate without donations and sponsorship of the elephants, so Ue have helped in several ways including a donation to cover some of their most urgent costs. They have also sponsored all of the elephants so they will receive a monthly donation from the business. Following on from this, through The Barista Foundation a proportion of every sale of their Solidarity blend (which is one of the blends we are stocking) will go towards the causes and charities support directly through the Barista Foundation.

The other charity supported by The Barista Foundation is Homeless Oxfordshire who have been supporting people in the county for 30 years, providing meals, education, training, welfare support and accommodation. They provide a safe space and expert support to help give homeless people control and independence.

HO work with their clients to develop skills and employment possibilities. Ue Coffee are working with them on the next stage of this initiative as they look to open a Ue Coffee sponsored café on their premises, providing all of the equipment for a working cafe and professional training in the intricacies of making great coffee. This will offer Homeless Oxfordshire’s clients a real-life skill that will give them not only a genuine employment opportunity but a new industry to learn about.

So, not your average coffee supplier then. But they fit in with our own ideals of supplying the best possible products ethically and with heart and soul.

We are now stocking 3 of their fantastic blends (see below) as 250g retail packs of ground coffee suitable for french press (cafetiere) etc. If you would like a finer grind for your espresso machine, or any other dispense system, let us know, as we can get it for you.

Dark Rising Classical BlendOur new house coffee blend, which we will be serving in the bar as well as retailing through the Webshop. With its classic roast profile it produces a rich and dark crema and holds its own in a large latte. The slightly darker profile offers nutty and chocolate flavours at the forefront with hints of dried fruits. It also boasts a beautiful full body and gentle acidity.

Solidarity Charity Special Blendthis is the coffee that has a proportion of sales going to support the work of designated charities through the Ue Barista Foundation. A blend of beans from South and Central America, this blend has been designed as something that everyone will enjoy; it tastes great as an espresso as well as a milky latte. The caramel sweetness is followed up by a chocolatey aftertaste with the Colombian element of the blend provide a nice juicy acidity and orange zestiness.

Caparao Brazilian Single OriginWe are going to trying various other specialities over time, the first of which is this Brazilian coffee. Due to a unique microclimate with relatively low temperatures, coffee grown in the Carapaó mountains benefit from slow maturation and develop more complexity of flavour. Farmers in this region have access to expert agronomists through an organisation called Caparaó Junior. Linked with the local agricultural school, students can apply their knowledge and gain experience by working with local coffee farmers to improve farming practices – a system that works for students and farmers as well as providing social and environmental benefits. This natural process coffee has soft tropical fruit notes with a medium acidity and creamy body.

To order please visit the coffee collection in the webshop.

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