Alternative coffee brands giving sustainability a shot

Coffee brands are rethinking every step of the process, from sourcing to roasting and selling, in a bid for fair and sustainable brews

workshop coffee’s Fitzrovia coffee bar, left, and a cup of its single origin coffee in a white cup with black print
Workshop Coffee’s Fitzrovia coffee bar, left, and a cup of its single origin coffee
(Image credit: press)

Coffee companies are acting for positive change, making their buying and sourcing processes fully transparent and working with local communities to ensure a fairer process for all.

Easy Jose

Easy Jose bag of Mayni ground coffee in a brown paper package

(Image credit: press)

Easy Jose coffee takes its commitment to sustainability seriously, aiming to act against the coffee industry’s role in the destruction of the Amazon. Co-founders Greg Campher and James Higgs work with remote indigenous communities to develop special blends that will have a positive effect upon both the communities and the local rainforest. Their work with the Mayni community in the Amazon rainforest, who handpick the coffee crop to minimise damage to the eco-system, is part of a fully transparent process that results in sweet and sustainable brews.

Workshop Coffee

Workshop coffee black coffee in a mug

(Image credit: press)

For the last decade, Workshop Coffee has roasted and brewed coffee from its roastery in London and supplied it to the brand’s four coffee bars as well as to wholesale partners including Claridge’s and The Fat Duck Group. Workshop Coffee’s single origin coffees are sourced from 14 countries, in a process that includes fair pay for producers and encourages reinvestment and training at a local level, for coffee the company describes as ‘clean, sweet and fresh’.

Fireheart Coffee

Fireheart Coffee in packets with a cafetiere

(Image credit: press)

Only a year old, Fireheart Coffee is a seasonal coffee subscription service that sends freshly roasted coffee from Ethiopia and Colombia straight to your door. The company roasts its beans on demand – including those which go into its pods – for minimal waste and maximum flavour. Packaging is sustainable too, including the pods, which are plastic-free and compostable, promised to break down in a matter of weeks.

Flying Roasters

Flying Roasters coffee in purlple and black packets

(Image credit: press)

Berlin-based coffee roastery Flying Roasters sources its coffee directly from cooperatives in a bid to ensure fair working conditions in the cultivation and harvesting of the coffee. Working only with small and medium-sized cooperatives and paying a minimum wage almost double that of the industry standard, Flying Roasters also finances the harvest upfront to make it easier for the producers to cover their costs. Its organic coffee is as sustainably produced as possible before making its way to Berlin, where it is roasted slowly at low temperatures for a delicious depth of flavour.

Bottleshot Cold Brew Coffee

Bottleshot Cold Brew coffee in aluminium cans

(Image credit: press)

Just in time for summer comes Bottleshot’s cold brew coffee. Created by steeping ethically sourced Arabica beans (from the not-for-profit Rainforest Alliance) in cold water, the cold brew is less acidic than a regular cup of coffee and also stronger, with one can equivalent to two shots of espresso. Company founders Charlotte Dales and Annie Mitchell are Louisiana natives rethinking New Orleans’ traditional cold brew coffee for the UK. Leftover coffee grinds are donated to a community project, which recycles them in vegetable growing. The coffee, available in two flavours, comes in cans made from recycled aluminium.

Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.