Our house coffees
Single origin coffee
Trail blazers in the speciality coffee market initially focused on sourcing coffees from individual farms. However, with a growing number of organisations striking up direct relationships with groups of farmers in a region or country, this has seen quality improve versus the previous co-operative approach. Single Origin has now become known as ‘single region’ or ‘single country’ coffee.
Single farm sourcing still occurs but volumes can be limited or even wiped out due to a bad harvest. Quality differentials across single farms can also be important, depending on the age of the plants and location on the estate. We aim to offer customers access to some truly unique coffees, but act quick to ensure you don’t miss out.
This is where a coffee might only be available during certain months due to a limited growing season. Or our roasters Dave and Dean might have blended up a seasonal treat such as our Christmas Blend. Subscribers get preferential access to micro-lot and seasonal offerings. Go to the Subscriptions page for more details.
In the midst of running a business, it is difficult to allocate time and resources to travel to origin to source our beans. Instead, we put our trust in expert coffee importers with decades of experience. They pride themselves on ethical provenance sourcing, ensuring the coffee we take time and care to roast is obtained in a responsible and sustainable way. Increasingly, this is done not by large umbrella organisations like Fair Trade, rather by smaller groups with direct contact with specific farms. By cutting out expensive organisation overheads this results in farmers getting a better deal, often more than three times what they would otherwise receive for their crops.
Once the coffee ‘cherries’ have been harvested at the farm, there are three main methods of processing coffee, to produce ‘green’ beans ready for roasting:
Natural / Dry Processed – ripe cherries are spread out onto stone/brick patios and dried In the sun for several weeks. In some regions, they are placed on wooden trestles called Indian Raised Beds.
Wet / Washed Processing – picked cherries are washed in tanks of water and then put through a de-pulping machine where outer part of the cherry is removed. The beans are then left in water for up to 50 hours to remove the sticky mucilage.
Pulp Natural / Honey Processed – the beans are cleaned of impurities and de-pulped or Dry Pulped i.e. mechanically scrubbed allowing an amount of mucilage to be left on the bean. Where there is a high amount of mucilage left, it is known as Honey Process, or a small amount, it is Pulp Natural.
Blending and roasting
Single origin? One of our Pennington House blends? Think of a coffee roaster like a chef. We put the finest coffees together, creating their unique roasting recipe (or ‘profile’) to give you the perfect brew. While not wanting to go all Hipster on you, to ensure every batch of roasted beans meets our high standards, we taste the coffee daily (referred to as ‘cupping’) to ensure high quality and consistency.
‘Suitable for all coffee makers’ is not something you will hear from us. Matching the right size of ground coffee with your preferred machine or device is important to getting the best from speciality roasting. Don’t have a coffee grinder? It is not a problem, we can grind your coffee fresh to order for espresso, filter, cafetiere and pretty much anything between.
Shipping, packaging and
The Lake District isn’t ideal coffee and tea growing country so we can’t avoid having to look overseas for green beans and teas. We can, however, make a difference where possible. We roast on gas as this produces the finest results. Gas also produces only one third of the greenhouse gases that other fossil fuel derived electricity does. When we do need power, we use 100% from renewable sources.
Our tea bag boxes and wrappers are 100% recyclable. So are our loose tea clear stand-up pouches. The tea bag debate has been in the media recently; our view is that customer choice is paramount. Despite claims to the contrary ALL single-use tea bags on the market today aren’t ideal. We encourage you to look at our extensive range of loose teas and tisanes, joining the ever-growing band of people choosing to infuse loose teas, fruits and herbs.
If you get a delivery in a box please recycle or hand it back to us. We love our Penningtons brand, but recognise that ‘other brands are available’ when it comes to cardboard boxes. The multi-layered bags we use to retain the freshest possible product are currently not recyclable. However, return them to us and we will reward your efforts with a discount off your next purchase.