The Ultimate Guide to the Best Coffee Beans in the UK: 2024 Edition

Discover the Best Coffee Beans UK 2024: London's vibrant cafés, Cotswold retreats, and innovative roasteries. This guide unveils the nation's top  beans  for home baristas and adventurers alike, offering a rich tapestry of flavours. Explore our evolving coffee culture, where each cup tells a story and every sip invites you to delve into premium  beans . From kitchen baristas to flavour connoisseurs, find your perfect brew in this curated journey through the heart of the UK's coffee scene, blending tradition, innovation, and global influence.

Best Coffee Beans UK 2024 : The Rise of Specialty Coffee Shops in the UK

In the last ten years, the UK's coffee landscape has been transformed by the meteoric rise of specialty coffee shops . Far removed from the standard fare of the traditional café, these establishments have become the vanguards of the coffee industry, championing the cause of quality, authenticity, and innovation . Each specialty coffee shop in the UK offers more than just a cup of coffee; it provides an immersive experience, educating consumers about the origins, profiles, and brewing methods of their carefully curated beans.

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The proliferation of these coffee havens across urban and rural settings alike has introduced UK consumers to a new world of coffee—one where the taste, aroma, and very essence of the coffee bean are celebrated. Specialty coffee shops have become cultural landmarks , bridging the gap between the global coffee community and local enthusiasts. They serve as platforms for baristas and coffee aficionados to exchange knowledge, challenge the status quo, and push the boundaries of what coffee can be.

Moreover, these establishments play a pivotal role in bringing the best coffee beans in the world to the UK market. By fostering direct relationships with growers and participating in bean selection processes, specialty coffee shops ensure that UK consumers have access to a diverse range of high-quality beans. From the sun-drenched farms of Ethiopia to the mountainous regions of Colombia , these beans tell a story—a story of tradition, craft, and passion that resonates with every sip.

As community hubs , specialty coffee shops also catalyse the growth of the local coffee scene. They host workshops, tastings, and events that engage and build the coffee community. Through their efforts, they not only elevate the coffee experience but also contribute to the cultural fabric of their locales, making coffee an integral part of the UK's social landscape

Why Quality Matters

In the realm of coffee, quality is not just a preference; it's a philosophy. The essence of a remarkable cup of coffee lies in the quality of the beans used—a principle that the UK's growing coffee culture embraces with open arms. This section delves into the importance of quality in coffee beans, exploring how it influences not only the aroma and flavour profile but also the freshness, sustainability, and ethical sourcing of coffee. The UK's shifting consumer habits towards more sustainable choices reflect a deeper understanding of how our morning ritual can contribute positively to the world at large.

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"We're out of coffee!" *chaos ensues

The Simpsons Movie

Coffees to Try

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Koke

Nestled in the rolling hills of the Gedeo Zone, the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe region is synonymous with some of the world's most extraordinary coffee beans. Revered by coffee connoisseurs, Yirgacheffe's beans boast a unique profile that sets them apart. With their pronounced brightness and a delicate palette of floral and fruity notes, these beans encapsulate the essence of Ethiopian coffee heritage.

  • Flavours - Coconut, white grape & lime
  • Aroma - Woody & Berry
  • Body - Medium
  • Acidity - Mild

Great with Filter coffees and delicious in cafetiere.

  • Origin: Ethiopia
  • Region: Yirgacheffe
  • Altitude: 1870 - 1900m
  • Variety: Dega, Kudhume, Wolisho
  • Processed Method:  Natural
  • SCA (Specialty Coffee Award) Score: 88

Colombia Excelso Huila

Colombia's Huila department, a verdant landscape of mountains and valleys, produces coffee that is as rich and diverse as the land itself. Colombian Excelso Huila beans are a testament to this region's prowess in coffee cultivation. These beans present a wonderfully full-bodied flavour, characterized by a bright acidity and complex layers of chocolate and fruit, which culminate in a delightfully velvety smooth texture.

  • Flavours - Sweet citrus and rich chocolate
  • Aroma - Clean
  • Body - Round
  • Acidity - Bright

Great with Espresso and milky drinks such as cappuccino, flat white and latte.

  • Origin: Colombia
  • Region: Various regions
  • Altitude: 1,200 to 2,000 m above the sea level
  • Variety: Caturra, Typica, Bourbon
  • Harvest Period: September - December
  • Processed Method : Washed

Brazil Cachoeira

This coffee has a rich and indulgent profile, with milk chocolate and hazelnut flavours balanced by a sweet caramel note. Its aroma is sweet and inviting, making it a perfect choice for those who enjoy sweeter coffees.

  • Flavours - milk chocolate, hazelnut, caramel
  • Aroma - sweet
  • Body - round
  • Acidity - citric

Great with Espresso based drinks. Aeropress, filter coffees.

  • Country: Brazil
  • Region: Minas Gerais – Cerrado Region
  • Farm: Cachoeira
  • Altitude: 1,100 m above sea level
  • Varietal: Red Catuai
  • SCA: 83
  • Processing: Natural

How to Choose the Right Coffee Bean?

Flavour Profile: A World of Taste

Coffee beans offer an astonishing variety of flavours, from the bright and fruity to the deep and chocolaty. Understanding your preference is key. Are you drawn to the light, acidic notes of a Kenyan single origin, or do the rich, earthy tones of a Sumatran blend call to you? The flavour profile of a coffee bean is shaped by its origin, the soil it's grown in, and the climate of the region. Experimenting with different origins can unveil a spectrum of flavours you never knew existed, each with its unique personality.

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Roast Level:

The roast level of coffee beans significantly impacts the taste of your brew.

  • Medium roasts retain much of the original flavour of the bean, often resulting in a more complex and nuanced cup, highlighting acidic and fruity notes.

  • Medium-dark roasts offer a harmonious balance, reducing acidity while introducing a more rounded body and a hint of sweetness.

  • Dark roasts, on the other hand, are all about the roast flavour itself – smoky, bold, and rich, with much of the bean's original character giving way to the intense flavours developed during roasting.

Your preference for a roast level can guide you to beans that fit your taste profile, whether you seek the subtle, intricate flavours of a medium roast or the bold, robust character of a dark roast.

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Brewing Method: The Right Bean for the Right Brew

The brewing method you choose can make a world of difference in how your coffee tastes. Certain beans shine when brewed with specific methods.

Espresso is made by forcing a small amount of hot water through finely ground beans at high pressure. This intense process requires a bean with a dark and oily surface, which is typically found in Italian or espresso roasts. These beans are denser and have a strong and rich flavour profile.

For drip coffee, you want to choose a bean with a medium-to-dark roast. These types of beans have a balanced flavour and are not too strong or too light, making them perfect for a standard cup of coffee.

For a cafetiere, a medium or a medium-dark roast is the way to go. This method involves steeping the coffee grounds in hot water for a few minutes before pressing them down to the bottom. A medium roast will have a slightly more subtle flavour, with hints of sweetness and acidity, while a medium-dark roast will have a slightly stronger and bolder taste.

Redber Coffee Roastery: A Commitment to Excellence

At the forefront of the UK's coffee culture, Redber Coffee Roastery exemplifies the dedication to quality that makes the local coffee scene so special. Situated in the picturesque Surrey, Redber is more than a roastery; it's a beacon for coffee lovers seeking diversity and excellence in their brew. With a range that spans from single-origin coffees to meticulously crafted blends, Redber prides itself on offering something for every palate.

What sets Redber apart is not just the breadth of their selection but the depth of their commitment to each bean's journey. From the careful sourcing of green beans, emphasizing ethical and sustainable practices, to the art and science that goes into their roasting process, every step is guided by a passion for quality. Each batch is roasted to order, ensuring peak freshness and flavour for an unparalleled coffee experience.

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Supporting Sustainability and Community

Choosing Redber Coffee Roastery for your coffee needs does more than satisfy your taste for exceptional coffee; it supports a chain of sustainability that extends from the coffee farmer to your cup. Redber's commitment to ethical sourcing and environmental stewardship is a testament to the positive impact that conscious consumer choices can have on the global coffee community.

By supporting local roasters like Redber, you're not just buying coffee; you're participating in a culture that values quality, craftsmanship, and sustainability. You're also contributing to the livelihood of coffee farmers and supporting the artisanal roasting community, ensuring that the tradition of excellent coffee continues to thrive in the UK.

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Explore the rich variety of flavours Redber Coffee Roastery has to offer by visiting our online collection. Dive into the world of premium coffee beans and discover your new favourite blend or single origin. With Redber, every cup is an adventure, a moment to savour the artistry and passion that goes into making each bean truly exceptional.

In this guide, we've journeyed through the vibrant landscape of coffee culture in the UK. Coffee is more than just a beverage; it's a global tapestry woven with stories of tradition, innovation, and passion. As we look towards the future, the UK's coffee scene is poised for even greater diversity and depth, promising exciting times ahead for coffee enthusiasts.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What flavors do I enjoy?

Do you prefer sweet and fruity notes, or something richer and chocolaty? Arabica beans are known for their bright acidity and complex flavors. Many blends combine these for a balanced cup.

2. Do I like my coffee strong or mild?

Roast level plays a big role here. Light roasts are more acidic and delicate, while dark roasts are stronger and smoother.

3. How fresh should my coffee be?

Coffee beans lose their flavor over time. Look for a roast date on the bag and aim to use the beans within 2-3 weeks for the best taste.

4. What if I'm not sure what I like?

Don't be afraid to try different coffees! Many roasters offer sample packs or single-origin beans so you can explore. Local coffee shops often have knowledgeable baristas who can recommend options based on your preferences.

5. How will I be brewing my coffee?

Coarse grinds are ideal for French presses, while espresso requires a fine grind. The grind size affects how the water extracts flavor from the beans, so it's important to match your grind to your brewing method.

If you want to buy some coffee or equipment to make it, you can check out more on our store

Related Readings

Comment 1

David Smith-from on

This article is a great resource for anyone looking to explore the world of UK coffee. The breakdown of specialty coffee shops and their impact is particularly interesting, and the descriptions of the coffee bean options are mouthwatering! I especially appreciate the focus on quality and ethical sourcing. Thanks for putting this together!

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