Harris and Hoole: a better kind of different. It is a simple idea. Coffee can be incredible: sweetness, juicy acidity, complex flavours and rounded texture.
Many people haven't drunk coffee like this. We want to change that. Our coffee is better, different and exciting.
We are passionate about taste. We love to challenge expectations of coffee – acidity and sweetness in delicate balance when people expect to be bludgeoned with bitterness.
Our baristas are trained for forty hours before being allowed to make drinks. They are better from the start. Our coffee is farmed better and roasted better. Nothing excites us more than discovering a new way to improve the taste of our coffee. We could go into complex water science and theories of extraction, or simply say try it and be surprised.
This is what makes us better. It is as simple as that.
Coffee starts its life as a fruit grown across the mountainous regions between tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn. This belt of land goes around the globe, taking in Central and South America, Africa, and several Asian and Pacific countries.
Coffee cherries are harvested, usually by hand, according to the season. This is why you will find coffees from different parts of the world at different times of the year. Different regions have unique flavour characteristics that are best experienced when fresh. We change coffees regularly to have the freshest beans from around the world.
Our roaster, Union Hand Roasted, work using a direct trade model. This emphasises strong, long term relationships that improve the livelihood of farmers and the quality of coffee for us.
In this model, roasters pay farmers the price their coffee deserves, not an arbitrary price set by ethical institutes or commodity exchanges. We believe this is the fairest way to support coffee producers.
Working with farmers directly allows Union to share their coffee knowledge and give insight to the preferences of their customers. This win-win situation guarantees demand and price for farmers and quality for us.
When we describe our coffee as ‘speciality', we don't do so at the instruction of a marketing team. Speciality grade coffee is coffee deemed a certain quality by international tasting standards.
Q-graders are tasters who follow a set method to evaluate coffee called cupping. Coffees that score well have no defective beans (for example beans that come from unripened cherries), the most interesting flavour, and high scores for balance between pleasant acidity and sweetness.
Only a very small percentage of coffee is deemed speciality. Once Union have chosen a coffee on its merits, it is shipped to England and roasted. We use coffee within four weeks of roasting to ensure freshness.
Our baristas are the last part of a long chain of people who have dedicated their lives to better coffee.
Some images kindly borrowed from Los Lajones Estate!