Costa Coffee / Rainforest Alliance

Christmas at Costa

With Christmas fast approaching it was time for the London office’s annual Christmas outing and what better way to spend it than with the lovely bunch at Costa?

The team at Costa kindly hosted a memorable day at their roastery near Waterloo and what a great day we had! After kicking things off with a customary (and delicious) coffee we settled in to hearing about the history of Costa and boy is it a remarkable one at that. From the Costa brothers first selling their Mocha Italia blend in 1971 to opening their first coffee shop in 1978 to now operating in 28 countries around the world, there is certainly a lot for them to be proud of.

For three years running Costa has been voted the UK’s favourite coffee shop and when you see the passion and dedication from the staff behind the scenes it’s clear to see why. After we heard about the history of Costa, we were taken on an exclusive tour around the factory to see where the magic happens. Working from the same roastery that the Costa brother’s set up originally, today the roastery provides 20-30 tonnes of coffee on a daily basis.

After the tour, we were off to the laboratory where the testing of the beans takes place. All coffee beans are checked in four key ways: moisture analysis, screen size analysis to ensure the beans are of the right size, defect count, and most importantly the cupping. This is when the coffee is tasted to ensure it meets Costa’s high standards.

Cupping

Full of coffee, but needing some grub, it was time for our delicious Italian lunch (it had to be Italian didn’t it?). With our rumbling bellies no more, the next activity of the day was barista art! After seeing how they make their espresso and cappuccino, it was time for us to make our own. A whizz of milk, some tasty coffee, and some powder on top and voila there you had some dodgy looking coffees! As fun as it was I think it’s best to leave this one to the experts.

Costa Coffee was the first large coffee shop chain to commit to moving towards sustainable sourcing back in 2008, and today sources 100 per cent of their coffee beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms. Our collaboration with Costa is something that the Rainforest Alliance is very proud of as it is clear that they are a business that are not only committed to sustainable sourcing, but also take innovative steps to manage their waste and recycling.

The Costa roastery is one of the greenest in the world with year on year carbon reduction, an amazing 100 per cent renewable energy supply and naught per cent waste to landfill. To top this off, their paper cups are made from sustainable wood pulp from forests in northern Europe and the thermal cover is made from recycled content.

We all thoroughly enjoyed our day at Costa which was a great way to round off another successful year. The Rainforest Alliance and Costa Coffee have both made some inspiring achievements this year, not only together but on an individual basis as well. This Christmassy day made us proud of our collaboration whilst recognising the steps we have taken to transform the coffee industry and ensure a sustainable livelihood for farmers all over the world.

We look forward to continuing this work next year and working with all our collaborative companies in 2014!

Group 1

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