Flavour Of The Month: Notes Coffee & Selfridges

It’s officially October, which means Autumn is well and truly upon us, Halloween is fast approaching and most importantly of all, it’s time to review another delicious new Coffee Flavour Of The Month!

This month, we’ve got something incredibly special in store for all you coffee cravers, as our selected taste sensation is Selfridge’s all-new official coffee selection, expertly roasted by the revered London outfit Notes Coffee Roasters!

With whole and ground options that boast the very best in South American and Asian beans, this new luxury partnership has produced a truly ‘taste it to believe it’ range that prides itself on delivering high grade, seasonal and single-origin coffee.

And best of all, we can exclusively offer Daily Espresso readers a 10% discount on Notes’ online store this month with the code DAILYESPRESSO at checkout – so you can sample their fabulous wares for yourself!

So without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about the UK’s most exciting new coffee collaboration:

Selfridges & Notes Coffee Partnership

Considered the finest department store in the world, Selfridges’ prestigious brand is completely synonymous with notions of luxury and their iconic food halls in London, Manchester and Birmingham are held in particularly high regard with culinary thrillseekers.

For shoppers with a pretty penny to spend, it’s a go-to destination for picking up rare and remarkable treats from around the globe and so when it comes to coffee… only the best of the best ever makes their shelves.

However, stocking everyone else’s top-class produce obviously wasn’t enough for Selfridges, and the department store is now looking to dip their own toes into the luxurious food and drinks market, with some special own-brand coffee being their first port of call!

As you can imagine though, when it came to choosing who was going to select and roast their very own java, Selfridge’s were never going to settle for anything less than pure excellence.

Luckily for Notes Coffee Roasters… excellence is something they strive for every day.

One of London’s fastest-growing and beloved coffee chains, Notes are incredibly popular with Big Smoke commuters, with 10 coffee hubs dotted around England’s capital.

Marketing themselves as coffee with soul, all of Notes’ coffee is roasted under the eye of co-founder Fabio Ferreira at their East London Roastery and sourced directly from small farms and co-operatives around the world.

After a year-long process which included numerous tasting sessions and fierce competition from a number of rival roasters, Notes finally won Selfridge’s over with their shared passion for single-origin, speciality coffee as well as their ethical business model and support of smaller producers.

And the result? Well, it’s a match made in heaven.

A beauty to behold in both appearance and taste, the finished Selfridge’s Selection features beans and ground coffee from familiar favourites Brazil and Colombia, as well as the newly exotic delights of Myanmar!

Here’s the full range of goodies currently available on Selfridges shelves and their online store:

Coffees Available

Although this range is fairly new to the shelves, there is already an extensive variety on offer to suit the tastes of every kind of coffee drinker. These include:

– Single-Origin Colombian Compostable Coffee Pods (Decaf also available)
– Festive Cinnamon Coffee (Ground)
– Single-Origin Myanmar Coffee Beans
– Single-Origin Brazilian Fazenda Coffee (Ground)
– Single-Origin Colombian Bella Vista Coffee (Ground)

For those of you not in the know, single-origin coffee merely describes a product which has been entirely sourced from just one estate or in some cases a single coffee field! This ensures a nuanced and totally individual flavour profile unique to that farm, meaning for coffee snobs like us, single-origin are the two words that get our heart racing and tongues wagging more than any other!

What We Tried

We decided to sample both Selfridge’s beans and their ground coffee, choosing the Single-Origin Myanmar Coffee Beans and Brazilian Fazenda Ground Coffee.

First, we brewed ourselves up a cuppa of Myanmar’s finest and were amazed by the unusual and unmistakably unique tasting notes which came through.

This is mainly thanks to Notes’ Fabio Ferreira, his small-batch roasting technique and the bespoke roasting profile he conjures up for each crop he chooses. The result is a delicate flavour that somehow manages to completely transform your everyday cup of coffee into an all-new java experience.

The Myanmar beans were a particular hit amongst the Daily Espresso team as not only were there sweet tangs of tea and caramel hints to be tasted but also a warm blanket of blackcurrant-esque tones to be savoured.

If you’ve never had Myanmar beans before, we’d heartily suggest starting with a bag of these, as they really do celebrate the best of what this beautiful country has to offer.

Myanmar (or Burma as you may know it) is a country in South East Asia and despite not having a rich coffee history, it’s arabica beans have recently become something of a golden child for speciality roasters.

Although coffee first arrived in Myanmar in the 1880s from British colonialists, it was only ever produced on a small scale and after British rule was abolished in 1948, Myanmar’s already minimal coffee industry ground to a halt.

However, since agricultural reforms in 2011, the country has made a resurgence in the industry, resurrecting their love of the coffee crop and making it one of their number one commercial exports.

By sourcing their beans from here, Notes and Selfridge’s are helping to change lives for the coffee producers in the nation, who with increased training and taught managerial skills have dramatically increased their cup scores and desirability. So don’t be surprised if you start to see even more Myanmar-sourced java in the future!

After sampling the delights of those beans, it was then time to whip up a cup of the highly anticipated ground Brazilian Fazenda coffee.

A wonderful option for those with a sweet tooth, there were all kinds of subtle impressions to be picked up on here, with many of the team remarking on hints of chocolate, caramel and even a fruity raisin flavour!

One of our team even swore they could taste the slightest hint of cashew nuts, marrying perfectly with the primarily fruity and chocolate notes.

Like all coffee connoisseurs, we’ve had our fair share of Brazilian arabica beans in the past and in truth we’d probably expected a luxurious, but ultimately similar taste experience to what we’ve had before. But this brilliant bag of Brazilian grounds was able to show just how significant a high-quality roast can be when it comes to enhancing natural flavours and mouth-feel, culminating in a cup of coffee that was quite simply unlike any other!

Again, the story behind this coffee is an inspiring one too, as Fabio Ferreira chose to source these beans from an all-female Brazilian farm, created by the IWCA (International Women’s Coffee Alliance – Chapter Brazil). This global organisation’s mission is to advocate the empowerment of women in the coffee industry, from seed to cup and so with every sip of this joe you’re helping to support and improve women’s working rights and standings within one of the country’s biggest industries.

In short, you can be proud to drink Selfridge’s Coffee collection, as they’re looking to support, celebrate and please the people that really matter in this industry – the farmers and the drinkers!

For the Myanmar beans, we prepared a cuppa with our in-house bean to cup machine and for the Brazilian ground, we opted for a pour-over coffee maker, as we believe its simple procedure makes for the most vibrant brews possible! To really savour those unique flavours, we also prepared both coffees black first time round but found in later brews that the results were just as enjoyable with added cow’s or oat milk.

Notes Coffee – The Roasters

Opening their first roastery in 2013, Notes Coffee was born from the minds of Fabio Ferreira and Rob Robinson, two coffee lovers who poetically first met by chance one day at a food market in Westminster, London.

A Brazilian barista champion from Sao Paulo, Fabio had moved to London in 2007 and while exploring a new route home, stumbled upon Strutton Ground street market where Rob ran a small coffee cart.

Unable to resist a quick cuppa, Fabio bought a coffee from Rob, started chatting… and the rest, as they say, is history!

With their sights set on becoming the UK’s number one speciality, single-origin coffee operator and supplier, they now have ten prime London locations (including Rob’s original cart!), serving over 1.4 million cups of coffee every year!

Like any truly great speciality coffee brand, the duo source their beans in an admirably ethical way, opting for direct trade straight from small productions who put as much love, care and attention into nurturing coffee plants as they do roasting and brewing.

And what we really love about these guys is that they’re always looking to make a difference and impact the coffee industry positively when they can.

They often choose specific communities to buy their produce from, which helps make struggling farmers more financially sustainable and their main goal is to help these producers reinvest their money into more organic handling across their estates.

In short, it’s morally sourced coffee that aims to improve farming techniques and management around the world, bringing progress and lasting benefits to communities which thrive or wilt on the success of their coffee plantations.

Other Products

If you like the sound of the Selfridge Selection and its unique tasting notes, you’ll be excited to hear that there’s a whole world of java just like it, all waiting to be discovered over at Notes Coffee’s online shop!

A coffee enthusiast’s dreamscape, the Notes Coffee online store lets you search for beans by country of origin, with Fabio and his team sourcing produce from plenty of exciting countries.

Forget Brazil and Colombia, the tastes of tomorrow are Tanzanian, Guatemalan and maybe even Honduran, as their extensive range provides you with robust, exotic tones you’ve never tasted anywhere else!

And just like those hip and quirky notes picked up in the Selfridge’s Selection, Notes’ own brand body of work is just as special, with their bestselling wares boasting such sensorial notes as apricot, butterscotch… and even wine gums!

Coffee experts that they are, there’s also plenty of brewing equipment and accessories to help you get the very best out of your own cuppa!

Our recommendation though is their new and improved subscription service, sending you a regular monthly fix of regular or espresso coffee, showcasing the best in beans from around the world!

It’s the most satisfactory way to sample the very best in single-origin coffee, every single month!

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