The Beans

The heart of the cup

The beans we use at Harris + Hoole change regularly depending on the season.

The coffee bean is the seed of a fruit that is grown in the mountains. Harvested every year, it is at its best within a couple of months of the harvest. For this reason our coffee blend changes throughout the year to ensure you’re getting the best coffee possible.

Our coffee is sourced and roasted by Union Hand Roasted at their premises in East London. All our beans are speciality grade, meaning they have been graded at least 84 points out of 100. We are the only coffee shop on the high street to deliver a standard like this.

Importantly, Union sources its coffee directly from the coffee farmers (rather than relying on faceless middlemen to broker deals). This form of sourcing is known as "direct trade" and is, we believe, one of the most ethical forms of sourcing out there. Key characteristics of Union's direct trade model include:

  • Paying producers at least 25% above the Fairtrade price; and when additional "sustainable" and "quality" premiums are taken into account, Union will pay closer to double the Fairtrade floor price for our coffee. This means that farmers who supply Harris + Hoole get the best price for their product.

  • Building long-term relationships with farmers - including multi-year buying contracts - so that producers have the confidence to invest in the future. And Union offers pre-finance (at zero interest rates) to farmers at the beginning of their harvest, when farmers are most in need of money.

  • Working closely with farmers over time to help improve the quality of their harvests because the best way to ensure sustainable, long-term livelihoods for farmers is to help them produce a product that is both differentiated and attracts a quality premium into the future.

  • And by working closely with farmers, Union seeks to promote both sustainable farming practices (that respect local environments) and improvements in health, education, workplace safety and the economic well-being of those working on the farms.

In our view, this kind of direct trade sourcing is more effective than other certification campaigns (such as Fairtrade) in delivering fair and sustainable livelihoods to the farmers and workers (and their families) who supply our coffee. And because "quality" lies at the heart of this sourcing practice, it means that everyone in the value chain - from the farmer to the cappuccino drinker - benefits from the quality in our cup.

Our Coffee