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Brand, Coffee Tips
Walk down any UK high street and you’re likely to pass all the big coffee giants, sometimes twice or even three times. New coffee shops are cropping up all the time, meaning most of us can feed our caffeine needs within mere moments.


Coffee shops are, of course, convenient and timesaving. Does that mean then the idea of home-brewing a cuppa in the morning has become too time-consuming? Using the kettle to whip up a milky instant now a distant memory? We salute anyone who can make a turmeric latte at home.


Our on-the-go mentality has transformed the way we drink coffee. What was once a polystyrene container for a hot beverage, the takeaway cup has now become something of a fashion accessory; a caffeine comfort blanket to help us tackle the first task of the day.



And while this is good news for the industry – with the average Brit spending more than £2k a year on takeaway coffee, and market news such as Coca-Cola’s recent buyout of Costa set to wildly boost its global expansion – it marks very dangerous territory for our planet.


We Brits use and throw away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every single year. Over 99% of these will end up in landfill.


How is this happening, since the major coffee chains brand their cups as recyclable, right? Well, yes, and technically they are. But the fact far too often ignored – or rather masked – is that they actually contain a thin layer of plastic, which only three recycling plants in the country are able to process.


As if this was problematic enough, the actual cardboard content is made from virgin materials. New trees have to be cut down to make the cups in the first place. To be precise, 6.5 billion trees, felled every year, to satisfy our global coffee cup needs.


These staggering statistics should act as a call to action. It’s time to clean up the high street coffee industry, for good. So what can we do?


For a start: the reusable cup.

From bamboo to cork, glass to silicone, we’ve seen a wealth of innovative, eco-friendly, and easy-to-use varieties emerge onto the scene. And with discounts offered for using one at most coffee shops, their sales are booming.


Our favourite one of the mix has to be the rCUP:


The rCUP has taken ‘reusable’ to the next level, by creating the world’s very first coffee cup made from old coffee cups. What’s more, it’s fully recyclable. AND designed to last for at least 10 years. Raise your cup to that!

Not only that, but rCUP are working with the industry to increase the value of the disposable cup. The act of turning a once worthless low commodity cup into a new product (in this case the rCUP) stimulates recyclers to invest in infrastructure and hence a sustainable circular economy has been made. The future is round.

But, if we all carried a reusable in the first place then rCUP would have to find another waste material to replace the paper cup. A challenge they are ready and waiting to accept!

With this model of keeping waste materials in use for longer, we rely less on using natural resources and keep the rubbish heap from getting bigger.  




And yet, while the reusable cup is a great way to curb our throwaway coffee culture on an individual level, it’s also worth looking at the bigger picture.


Our consumption of goods is expanding just as much as our disposal. Did you know that 50% of single-use plastic is used for an average of just 12 minutes??


The truth is, it’s going to take a very long time for reusable to completely replace disposable. It’s an ideal world in which every coffee drinker will buy a reusable cup and remember to bring it everywhere they go. And in any case, should the burden fall only upon the consumer?


The answer is no. It’s also up to the major high street coffee chains, with all the means and resources necessary, to help fix the problem from the source. To take ‘disposable’ and make it 100% ‘green’. To turn takeaway coffee into an ethical, sustainable industry. The good news? Sustainable options are already out there. We just need to get the big brands to implement them.


Here’s our low down of the best recyclable and compostable cups:

1. Frugal Cup

What’s the point in building more specialised recycling plants for our current disposable cups, when Frugal Cup has found a solution? Made from entirely recycled cardboard, the Frugal Cup can be processed by ANY paper recycling facility in the UK, and then recycled again and again. The solution is this. Time to start using it.

 


2. reCUP®


The reCUP® is just like a traditional cup in look and feel, apart from one crucial difference – it’s engineered to be recycled. The reCUP® uses a material called EarthCoating®, which contains up to 60% less plastic than traditional coatings, and is fully compatible with conventional paper recycling systems. That’s how you do it.



3. Vegware 




Vegware creates 100% compostable disposable cups: made from plants, not plastic. And with Vegware customers saving over a thousand tonnes of virgin materials a year, this is a real recycling solution for zero waste in the coffee industry.

4.
‘I’m a Green Cup’



‘I’m a Green Cup’ quite simply does what it says on the tin. Made from cardboard and starch, the cup is 100% compostable, and comes with a fully compostable lid to top things off. They’ve even released a double-walled insulated version, meaning no need for an additional clutch or sleeve. Ace.


With all these choices and many more to boot, there’s no excuse.


That’s why we’re campaigning to enforce the big coffee chains to use eco alternatives by 2020. With 100k signatures, we can lobby for legislative change and push the government to achieve a more sustainable solution in the UK.


Sign and share the petition, and join us in our mission to #CleanUpCoffee!
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/starbucks-costa-caffe-nero-make-your-coffee-cups-recyclable
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Story Of Percol

woman holding a cup

We’ve recently teamed up with the Co-op and Centrepoint to donate Percol coffee to homeless young people across the UK, through our
#CupForCup campaign.

The mission: to match every cup sold in-store with a giveaway target of 250,000 cups to Centrepoint hubs in London, Manchester, Yorkshire and other areas of the country.

Thanks to you, we’re proud to announce that we’ve reached our target. Very soon we’ll be sending out a special Percol parcel full of our distinctive blend of delicious Fairtrade coffee. And that’s not all: to help distribute the ¼ million cups, we’re also sending some virtuous volunteers from our HQ to offer a helping hand.


Centrepoint is a fantastic UK charity, which every year supports over 9000 young people aged 16-25 who are at risk or are homeless. They help young people find a safe place to live, provide them direct access to health services, and with the help of a support worker, create an individual plan to support each young person’s transition into independent living and employment. Read Abi’s story here.

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Coffee Tips, Recipes
We’ve teamed up with Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diaries and a2 Milk™ to bring you some simple yet divine sweet treats.

If you’re not already familiar with Elizabeth, she’s a Canadian born food blogger who now lives in the very, very northern part of the UK. The archipelago of Shetland actually lies closer to the Arctic Circle than it does to London!

These cupcakes are super easy to make and combine the flavours of chocolate and coffee perfectly, while using a2 Milk™ and goats butter making it ideal for those of us with tummies sensitive to the A1 protein found in regular milk.

These little delights are perfect for lunchboxes and afternoon snacks. You can prep and cook them in about 40 minutes.

Ingredients


Cupcakes:
  • 150g sifted plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarb of soda
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 90 g soft brown sugar
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 115 ml brewed strong All-Day Americano Percol Coffee (hot)
  • 60g goat’s butter
  • 75 ml whole a2 Milk™
  • 0.5 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


Frosting:
  • 600g icing sugar
  • 200g goat’s butter softened
  • 1 tbsp brewed strong Smooth Colombia Percol Coffee (cold)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp whole a2 Milk™

Method


For the cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 190C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
  • Sift together the flour, bicarb of soda, caster sugar and brown sugar and set aside.
  • Make a strong cafetiere of All-Day Americano Percol Coffee. Add 115ml of coffee to a small saucepan along with the goat’s butter and cocoa powder.
  • Gently heat until everything has melted, but don’t boil.
  • In a jug, add the vinegar to a2 Milk™ and stir. Next, crack in the egg and add vanilla.
  • Add the cooled coffee chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients along with the milk mixture. Stir well to combine. The batter will be thin.
  • Spoon into the prepared cupcake cases and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes, until well risen. A skewer inserted in the centre of the cupcakes will come out clean when they are done.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing:
  • Beat the goat’s butter and icing sugar together until well combined.
  • Divide the mixture in between two bowls.
  • Add the cocoa powder and milk to one half and beat well until light and fluffy.
  • Add the cold coffee to the other half, beating well.


Decorate!

When the cupcakes have cooled, place a large star nozzle into a large piping bag. Carefully spoon each frosting into either side of the piping bag (or use a dual icing bag) and pipe large swirls of frosting on top of each cupcake.
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Competitions
Autumn has arrived which means the leaves are changing, pumpkins are out and we’re bringing our Mugshot Competition back!

We’re asking you to capture the essence of Autumn with your mugshots. Think cosy cuppas with colourful autumnal leaves, curled up on the sofa, coffees with your favourite spices and delicious seasonal foodie shots.

Enter!

Our Autumn winner will be chosen at the end of November so you’ve got plenty of time to perfect your shots. We’ll also be sharing some tips along the way too! Be sure to use the #autumnmugshot hashtag and tag us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so we don’t miss your beautiful pics.



All entries will be entered into the draw to win a lovely Autumn hamper filled with spices, a recipe for our very own Pumpkin Spice Lattes, loads of coffee, a Skandinavisk candle, a Percol Keep Cup and a tote bag too.

Keep an eye on our Mugshot competition, it’ll be going all year round. The best part is that our prizes will change and you’re going to love each and every one of our seasonal hampers. So get snapping and don’t forget to tag us, we can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Best of luck and feel free to enter more than once!
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Coffee Tips
We all know that coffee tastes delicious and gives you a much needed perk-up in the morning, but did you know that it also makes an excellent pre-workout alternative? Say goodbye to sugary energy drinks and swap over to a trusty cup of coffee instead. 

Caffeine affects our central nervous systems in a number of ways which are beneficial to us, particularly in relation to exercising. Double shots all round!

5 reasons to drink a cuppa before you work out


1. Weight-loss. Caffeine helps the body use fat cells as an energy source as opposed to glycogen, leading to a better fat loss rate and a faster metabolism.

2. Motivation. The chemicals in caffeine are said to enhance dopamine production, which produce feelings of motivation, well-being and pleasure. The ideal frame of mind to be in before hitting the gym!

3. Focus. Coffee is a stimulant. The caffeine in your cuppa helps improve mental focus and energy levels, both of which lead to better and more effective performance when working out.

4. Decreases pain. Drinking coffee before exercise can help reduce muscle fatigue and pain. This means you can push a little harder and last a little longer.

5. Antioxidants. Coffee is a good source of antioxidants, which fight free radicals in our bodies protecting us from disease and keeping us healthy.

Next time you’re about to hit the gym, try having a cuppa first. Generally speaking, results are best when you drink your coffee half an hour to an hour before you exercise, but experiment with timings to find your sweet spot.

Remember, caffeine stays in your system for up to 6 hours – something to bear in mind if you work out in the evenings or have trouble getting to sleep!
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Products

Say hello to our new Nespresso® compatible capsules, made with organic and Rainforest Alliance certified Arabica coffee that’s slow roasted for a smooth, rich taste. The best part? These delicious capsules are fully compostable.

 

Our capsules are made from plant-based materials and can be completely broken down in just 12 weeks when composted correctly.

 

If you’re wondering how this differs from other capsules you can buy, most other brands are made from aluminium, plastic or a combination of both. When thrown away, these are highly pollutant and can cause serious impacts worldwide.

 

We’ve been working hard to find a more sustainable solution. By using plant-based materials we’re able to use less energy and produce less greenhouse gases during production too.

 

Try our capsules in three different blends:

 

Rainforest Alliance Americano Lungo:

 

Best served long, our Lungo is bright and bold with a smooth finish. Savour the rich aroma of this Central and South American blend and enjoy a well-balanced cup with a hint of caramel sweetness.

 

Organic Ethiopia Espresso:

 

Ethiopia Sidamo coffee is prized for its floral characteristics; our Espresso is no exception. Enjoy the unmistakable notes of lavender in this exotic cup full of complex, delicate flavours and elegant acidity. 

 

Rainforest Alliance Supremo Ristretto:

 

A short espresso which packs a punch, our Ristretto is full bodied with sweet chocolate notes and a long, smoky finish. Carefully blended from Central and South American beans, this rich cup is the strongest of our capsules.  

 

Look out for our capsules in Coop stores and online on Amazon.

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Coffee Tips, Recipes
A decadent blend of coffee and alcohol, the Espresso Martini is a cocktail that doubles as a delicious treat and a very efficient pick-me-up when the food coma strikes, particularly during the festive season! While they’re sophisticated and taste amazing, the fabulous news is that they’re not too difficult to make.

Say good-bye to the Jaeger Bomb, the real party pleaser is only a few shakes away.

Ingredients

1 shot of Ethiopia Espresso 
1 shot of Kahlua
2 shots of Vanilla Vodka
Ice
Cocoa powder

Method

  1. Pop some ice cubes in your martini glasses and leave to chill.
  2. Pour the coffee, Kahlua and vodka into a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice.
  3. Shake hard, then shake again. The more you shake, the more of a lovely froth you’ll get.
  4. Tip the ice out of your glasses and strain the Espresso Martini into them.
  5. Top with a sprinkling of coffee beans and a fine dusting of cocoa powder.
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Coffee Tips, Recipes
Having a cold coffee is a delightful alternative on a hot summer’s day and while we’re yet to have many scorchers, we’ve made the switch to a refreshing cold brew in the mornings.
Let’s get one thing straight; cold brew is not the same as iced coffee. lced coffee is a regular coffee, cooled down and served with ice. Cold brew on the other hand is brewed for a much longer time using more coffee and cold water, resulting in a stronger coffee concentrate.
Using cold water means the extraction process is much slower, the coffee is generally less acidic and the bitter compounds are left behind, creating a coffee with a sweeter and smoother taste.
Experiment with different blends of coffee and the time you leave it brewing until you have found your own personal favourite.

Try it!

As a guide, we add about one cup of ground coffee to four cups of filtered, cold water, stir and leave covered in the fridge for 12 hours.
You can brew in a container and strain using a cheesecloth, but we think it’s easier to use a cafetiere. Don’t plunge until the 12 hours is up though!
To serve, dilute with cold water or milk. If you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, why not try pouring your cold brew over a scoop of ice cream?

Try our ground coffee range and see if you can taste the difference to when you regularly brew with a Chemex or a cafetiere.

So there you have it, cold brew for you. Give it a go, and let us know how you get on!
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Coffee Tips, Products

Cutting back on the caffeine but craving the comfort and taste of an afternoon cuppa? Try switching to one of our lovely decaf coffees.

We know some of you don’t have high hopes for decaf coffees, but believe us, you will not be disappointed. Our decaf coffees are made from hand-picked, high-quality, Arabica Colombian beans, which are 100% Fairtrade certified.

Instant

The beans used in our instant coffee are decaffeinated using a natural method where water and a naturally occurring chemical called ethyl acetate (which can be found in fermented fruits and molasses) are used to extract the caffeine from the green beans.

Ground

The beans in our award-winning ground coffee are decaffeinated using a different method, where green coffee beans are moistened, then pressurised liquid carbon dioxide is pushed through them, gently drawing out the caffeine.

Using these methods ensures that there won’t be any nasties left behind and you’ll never have to compromise on taste when opting for a cup of decaf. Both our instant and ground coffees are wonderfully rich and velvety with hints of toffee and gentle chocolate notes.

Care to try for yourself?  You can find our decaf coffees online on Ocado and Amazon, as well as in selected Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose stores.

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Coffee Tips

We have discovered the best way to use up our leftover coffee grinds… an exfoliating coffee scrub!

Caffeine has long been known to have positive effects on your skin when applied topically, including tightening and reducing puffiness. So it makes sense that ground coffee would be the perfect ingredient for a DIY exfoliating body scrub. 

 

Here’s how we make ours:

 

Once you’ve finished your morning cafetiere of ground coffee, scoop the grinds out and put them in a bowl.

 

Mix with two tablespoons of coconut oil – we use Lucy Bee as it’s Fairtrade and organic. Tip: we find it’s easiest to mix straight after you’ve finished your coffee, as the warm grinds help to melt the coconut oil.  Play around with ratios to get the consistency you find easiest to use, you can always add more coffee or oil.  Now, you’re ready to use your home-made coffee scrub.

 

Give it a try, your skin will thank you for it!

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