There’s a new bean in town…
After a long but enjoyable search we’re excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with Pact coffee – they’re now roasting our espresso and filter blends for the Larder cafés and we’re looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship. We’ve met their head roaster, their head buyer, their trainers and sales teams, and to a person they’re serious about ethical coffee sourcing and great tasting roasts in equal measure.
Since the Larder opened its doors 15 years ago coffee has been at the heart of what we do. From launching Wanstead’s first independent speciality coffee shop to creating the first and only filter coffee bar for mile around, we’ve tried to put as much focus on the coffee bean’s journey from seedling to the roastery as we do on the final steps from our grinder to your cup.
Our baristas are at the top of their game and use the best kit too, so we can ensure that the beans we work with end up as the best cup of coffee possible. Our customers don’t just expect a great result, they also expect ethically sourced coffee, but much as we’d love to spend time in the hills of Colombia or Rwanda, we can’t control the early steps in the process. The best way we can ensure this happens is to find the right partners.
Ordinarily that means putting our trust in our roaster to be monitoring their own supply chain but that’s not an easy thing for us to monitor. The early attraction with Pact was that they control all the steps that would normally be outsourced to different agents along the route. They know the farmers and they stick with them through the years, then they take care of the whole shipping and customs processes to get the beans to their UK roastery without all the usual middlemen. Their most recent audit shows that this enabled them to pay their farmers an average of 65% above the Fairtrade coffee price (which itself is already above the general wholesale market price).
Paying good money to farmers who operate in relatively poor rural communities is a great start, but we also want to do our small part in addressing wealth imbalances between the genders in these communities too. Pact currently source more than a third of their coffee from female-led farms, and we’re pleased to have included one of these farms as a key element of our house roast. Take a look at our recent blog, where we interviewed Pact’s head of coffee Will Corby, to hear more about their approach to sourcing.
Passion for the end product is obviously vital too, and having visited Pact’s roastery we were impressed with the operation and knew we’d found everything we were looking for. Their head roaster Jonny clearly knows his onions and was a great host at the cupping sessions, and with every bag of coffee heading to the Larder within 7 days of being roasted we know we’re able to ensure it reaches your cup as fresh as can be.
So after an exhaustive review and audit – it’s been one year since we first met the team – we’re now delighted to announce a new Pact at the Larder, ensuring a better result for coffee farmers and a superb result for our coffee-loving regulars.
Whether you enjoy our new house blend in your espresso-based drink, or try a hand-poured single-origin roast at the Filter Bar in Wanstead, we’re looking forward to sharing our new find!