Whole Bean Coffee

Level up the coffee you drink at home with our freshly roasted specialty coffee beans. Barista & Co were named one of the best independent roasters in the UK in 2022, this year we're pushing harder than ever before...

find us in fortnum and mason
find us in lakeland
Milk Pitchers

The Professional Choice

Discover the Barista Pro Pitcher, and learn to become the Master of Milk with a free Latte Art Course with every purchase.
Coffee Makers

Shop by Strength

Our Brew Guide makes it easy to find the coffee maker that brews the type of coffee you enjoy at home.
PREORDER NOW

Core All Grind Plus

Learn more
UPGRADE
£139.99
The Original Coffee Infuser Stick

Brew It Stick

Learn more
For You
£14.99

Frequently Asked Questions about our Whole Bean Coffee

Embarking on a journey into the world of coffee can be both thrilling and intricate. With an ever-expanding coffee landscape, understanding the nuances of beans, roasts, and brews is crucial. In this concise guide, we unravel the complexities, answering your burning questions and simplifying the coffee experience.

Firstly, explore the distinctive characteristics of Arabica and Robusta beans. From Arabica's milder, nuanced notes to Robusta's bold, robust taste, grasp the essentials of these major players.

Next, navigate the diverse world of roasts – from the bright and fruity light roasts to the balanced medium roasts and the rich, bold experience of espresso roasts.

Finally, dive into brewing methods, whether it's exploring the Strong Brew coffee maker or understanding the differences between single origin and blends. Join us on this aromatic journey, where beans, roasts, and brews converge to create a sensory symphony in every cup. Your caffeinated adventure awaits!

Arabica and Robusta are two major species of coffee beans that differ in terms of flavour, growing conditions, and other characteristics. Here are some key differences between Arabica and Robusta coffee beans:

Flavour Profile:

Arabica: Generally considered to have a milder, more complex flavour profile with a range of nuances, including fruity, floral, and acidic notes. Arabica beans are often preferred by those who appreciate a smoother and more aromatic cup of coffee.

Robusta: Known for a stronger, more bitter taste with a somewhat earthy or woody flavour. Robusta coffee tends to have a higher caffeine content, contributing to its bold and robust taste.

Caffeine Content:

Arabica: Contains less caffeine compared to Robusta beans, making it a preferred choice for those who are sensitive to caffeine or enjoy a milder cup of coffee.
Robusta: Generally has a higher caffeine content, providing a more pronounced and energizing kick.

Growing Conditions:

Arabica: Thrives at higher altitudes with cooler temperatures, typically between 2,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level. Arabica plants are more susceptible to pests and diseases, requiring specific growing conditions.

Robusta: Grows at lower altitudes, usually between 600 and 2,000 feet above sea level. Robusta plants are hardier and more resistant to pests and diseases, making them easier to cultivate in a wider range of climates.

Plant Characteristics:

Arabica: The Arabica plant is more delicate and has oval-shaped leaves. It is generally taller and has a longer maturation time compared to Robusta.

Robusta: The Robusta plant is hardier with rounder and more robust leaves. It is a smaller plant and matures more quickly than Arabica, producing coffee cherries in a shorter time.

Acidity:

Arabica: Typically has higher acidity levels, contributing to a bright and vibrant taste in the cup.
Robusta: Lower acidity, resulting in a more straightforward and sometimes astringent flavour profile.

Price:

Arabica: Generally, Arabica coffee is considered more premium and often comes with a higher price tag due to its perceived superior flavour and the challenges associated with its cultivation.

Robusta: Tends to be more affordable, making it a common choice for mass-produced and instant coffee.
In summary, while Arabica and Robusta are both popular coffee bean varieties, they cater to different taste preferences and growing conditions, offering distinct characteristics in terms of flavour, caffeine content, and cultivation requirements. Many coffee blends are a combination of Arabica and Robusta beans, creating a balance between the desired qualities of each.

The terms "light roast," "medium roast," and "espresso roast" refer to different levels of roasting applied to coffee beans, and each imparts unique flavours and characteristics to the brewed coffee. Here's a breakdown of the differences:

Light Roast:

Colour: Light brown, often closer to tan.

Flavour Profile: Light roasts preserve the inherent flavours of the coffee beans, allowing the nuances of origin to shine. They typically have a brighter acidity, with notes of fruit, floral, and sometimes a tea-like quality.

Caffeine Content: Generally, light roasts have slightly higher caffeine content compared to darker roasts because the roasting process doesn't break down the caffeine as much.

Medium Roast:

Colour: Medium brown, striking a balance between the characteristics of light and dark roasts.

Flavour Profile: Medium roasts have a more balanced flavour, with a combination of acidity and body. They may have a bit more sweetness and a slightly fuller mouthfeel compared to light roasts. The origin characteristics are still discernible but may be accompanied by roast-related flavours.

Caffeine Content: Moderate, falling between light and dark roasts.

Espresso Roast:

Colour: Dark brown, sometimes with visible oils on the surface of the beans.

Flavour Profile: Espresso roasts are darker and richer, with a more pronounced body. The flavours of the coffee are influenced more by the roasting process, often resulting in a bolder, more robust taste with caramelized or chocolaty notes. These roasts are specifically designed for use in espresso machines but can also be used for other brewing methods.

Caffeine Content: Contrary to a common misconception, espresso roasts don't have more caffeine than light or medium roasts. The brewing method (espresso) itself extracts flavours differently, giving the perception of strength.

It's important to note that the terminology used for roasting levels can vary among coffee roasters. Different regions and cultures may have their own classification systems. Additionally, some roasters might use terms like "city roast," "full city roast," or "French roast" to describe various roast levels. Ultimately, personal preference plays a significant role in choosing the roast level that suits your taste preferences.

If you're a fan of strong coffee, I recommend trying our Strong Brew coffee maker. This innovative method combines pressurized and immersion brewing to enhance the caffeine concentration in your cup without compromising on flavour. The Strong Brew technique ensures a robust and bold taste, providing the intensity you desire in your coffee experience. Experiment with different coffee beans, grind sizes, and ratios to tailor your Strong Brew to your personal taste preferences. Enjoy the rich and powerful flavours crafted by the Strong Brew method for a truly satisfying cup of strong coffee.

The preference for single origin coffee versus blends is subjective and depends on individual taste preferences. Single origin coffees come from a specific geographic location, allowing you to experience the unique flavors and characteristics of that particular region. They showcase the terroir of the coffee beans, providing a distinct and often more transparent profile.

On the other hand, blends offer a combination of beans from different origins, carefully curated to create a well-balanced and harmonious flavor profile. Blends allow roasters to achieve a consistent taste by blending beans with complementary qualities.

Whether single origin or blends are "better" is a matter of personal choice. If you enjoy exploring the nuanced flavors of different regions and appreciate the diversity in your cup, single origin coffee might be more appealing. If you prefer a consistent and balanced flavor, blends can provide a reliable and familiar taste. Ultimately, the best coffee is the one that aligns with your individual taste preferences.