You know when you’ve been out for a stonkingly good meal, one where every course has tantalised and teased your tastebuds, flavour bursts in every mouthful and toes curl with each bite? Then you order coffee as the final course and it’s a bitter black sludge. Or when you go back to someone’s home after that amazing date and they drag out the dusty jar of supermarket own label freeze dried granules? That sinking feeling when you realize that not everyone gets just how essential good coffee is.
Luckily the days of Mellow Birds and Rombouts filter one cup percolators are nearly all gone. There’s still some dodgy coffee out there (recoils from Millicano and Azera) but thanks to some seriously good coffee suppliers, we can now do so much better!
Here in Oxford we are incredibly lucky to have Ue Coffee right on our doorstep. They’re not just passionate about coffee; they’re obsessive about it! From choosing exactly the right bean, talking to the farmers about how it’s grown, picked, harvested and dried in different ways with different temperatures and varying levels of humidity. They developed their own method of roasting the beans, finding that one tinkerer in Tel Aviv who shared their passion and helped them develop their own wood burning roasting machine that can roast at specific temperatures and control the heat more than a traditional gas burner. They tried different woods to see what difference it could make to the flavour, before settling on traditional English oak – helping to make the process even more sustainable. They’re working with chefs to get that all important perfect coffee at the end of your meal and to match your coffee, like you would do with a good wine.
Started in 2009, Ue have rapidly established a name for themselves as artisan producers, delivering a consistently excellent product to your door, your local cafes and restaurants and a seriously impressive client list and after sampling several of their single origins, I can see why. By the way, the Kenya Gatomboya was my favourite!
They’ve been invited to exhibit at this weekend’s London Coffee Festival, in their True Artisan Café alongside some of Europe’s best coffee shops and roasters, before UK Coffee Week kicks off from 7th to 13th April. The week aims to bring all coffee lovers together to raise money for Project Waterfall, a charity providing safe drinking water in remote coffee growing communities. You can get involved, by drinking excellent coffee anywhere you see the Project Waterfall or UK Coffee Week signs. Here in Oxford, head to Zappi’s or Quarter Horse Coffee. But whatever you do, chuck out that jar of Gold Blend and get onto local coffee!
Ue Coffee can be found in Oxford at Brew, St Giles Cafe, Zappi’s, Gee’s, Pukeko, Oxfork and The Keen Bean.