With cafes closed or operating a limited service, many of us have realised just how much we miss the joy of a carefully made flat white. Fortunately, help is at hand in the shape of regional coffee roasters, who will deliver ethically sourced, fascinating coffees direct to your door and often within 24 hours. Several roasters offer subscription options and prices start at around £6 for 250g. We’ve profiled three for starters – Passion Fruit, Heart and Graft and Second City roasters – and if you like the sound of these there are plenty more to discover. We also recommend Stafford’s multi-award-laden Has Bean (supplying to Pollen, North Tea Power and more), Kickback coffee in Bollington which offers ‘Regular’, ‘Avid’ and ‘Addict’ subscription packs (we recently signed up to the Avid package), Leeds’ award winning roastery, North Star and Neighbourhood in Liverpool (which has a special offer of 2-4-1 on 250g bags).

Passion Fruit Coffee

This South Manchester roastery has two cafes: one in Chorlton (called Bar Be Cue, currently closed) and one in Old Trafford (which is called Corner Shop – see address and opening times below) as well as a coffee subscription service via their website. Subscription options vary. We’ve recently tried the look of the £30 a month package for 250g of coffee a week with postage included which is excellent and offers a range of their roasts throughout the month. Other options include a coffee and chocolate pairing (£12.50 for one bar and 250g of coffee) using considered suppliers such as Edinburgh’s ethical Ocelot chocolate. As for the coffee, Passionfruit works with small independently run coffee cultivators, such as Rwanda’s Mahembe and Jaime Ariza (Columbia). When making a purchase, there are extensive tasting notes and the option to choose roast (single bean, blend etc) and grind (whole bean, cafetière etc). Delivery is £3.50 (free for £30+ orders) or collect from the cafe. Open for takeaway & collection Fri & Sat, 10am-4pm, Covid-19 rules in place.

Buy: Bolsa (£9, 250g) an Ethiopian Limited Edition Micro Lot produced by a single farmer. Ideal for the adventurous drinker, tasting notes include spices, mango and raspberry.

Passion Fruit Coffee Roasters, Corner Shop, 25 Ayres Road, Old Trafford, Manchester, M16 9WA
Heart & Graft Coffee Roastery

Heart & Graft Roastery operates as an online-only shop. The brand was founded by local aficionado James Guard, whose frustration at the lack of speciality coffee in Manchester led to setting up The Coffee Circle in 2012. He was joined by Sean Fowler, formerly the UK’s youngest Q grader (deciding if a coffee is speciality or non-speciality and the man behind one of Pret’s main blends) and together they launched H&G as a cafe in Salford before relocating to Newton Heath. Highlights include coffee by Honduran Miriam Perez, co-founder of COMSA co-op in Honduras, which is dedicated to teaching organic coffee farming techniques – and their house blends which are used in many of Manchester’s finest cafes Choose from Barnraiser (more info below) or 60/40 (£6 for 250g), a coffee is named after its Brazilian / Indian bean origins. It’s a darker blend with plenty of chocolate notes.

Buy: Barnraiser, a massively drinkable carmel-ish blend (£6, 250g) which James hit upon over 8 years ago or Chateau 76 (£10, 250g). This is Myanmar coffee beans harvested by an association of 18 communities, with notes of red apple, orange blossom and shortbread.

Heart & Graft Coffee Roastery, Unit 1 Droylsden Road, 30 Holyoak St, Manchester M40 1HB
Second City Coffee

Second City Coffee is a North West based coffee company with a café in Stockton Heath and an online store. They specialise in wholesale, retail, events, pop-ups, markets, training and consultancy and work with Manchester Art Gallery café, among others. The store offers six coffees covering both single bean and blends. There are four types of grind, two size options (250g/1kg) and two delivery methods (First Class – £3.95 or Standard Class – £2.95). Although there isn’t a subscription service, the online shop is doing a cake and coffee deal in collaboration with local treat maker, Bakesmiths. Each box contains eight slices (we like the look of the millionaire’s shortbread, £12.50) – and you can add any bag of 250g coffee for £19.95 in total.

Buy: Second City’s Signature 2.0 blend (£8, 250g), a medium to dark roast with chocolate notes created from Peruvian coffee beans sourced from the Cafe Feminino Foundation – a female only coffee farmers co-op.

Second City Coffee, Quayside, Wilderspool Business Park, Greenalls Avenue, Warrington, WA4 6HL
Sun 1 Nov
Zarina Akhtar
Published on:
Sat 31 Oct 2020