21st May 2021
Bean Smitten Coffee Roasters have been with us from the start and served their award-winning coffee at our launch party! Here we speak to the team in Flimwell about what makes Bean Smitten so special.
Speciality coffee for everyone: There’s a lot of science behind your morning cup of coffee – where and how the beans are grown, the process after they’re picked, how they’re roasted, ground and brewed, they all play a part in how it tastes. Founded seven years ago by passionate former accountant Darren Tickner, we are built on the principle of making speciality coffee accessible for all.
Expertise: In the Kentish countryside, you’ll see smoke and coffee chaff rising from the chimney of the campsite located Bean Smitten HQ. The aroma of roasting coffee beans will have you following your nose to notes of chocolate, popcorn, caramel and more, while the beans turn brown and crack in the rotating barrel of the Giesen roaster.
It is Darren’s view that roasting coffee beans is 50% craft and 50% science. Like baking that perfect cake or fermenting wine, it involves skill and knowledge. With years of roasting experience between us, our team take an artisanal approach whilst harnessing the latest technology to ensure roasts are consistently delicious.
Ultimately each batch is looked after individually, occasionally having to tweak the roaster temperature by hand. We’re always keeping a watchful eye and on standby, ready to release the hot beans at the end of their roast, letting them spill out the belly of the roaster into the revolving arms of the hypnotic cooling tray. We roast in small batches several times a week, guaranteeing our coffee is always fresh.
Our coffee: Our three Great Taste Award Winning blends are available year-round. We have our Classic, with chocolate and hazelnut notes, full bodied, smooth and sweet; our stronger Revive, with flavours of dark chocolate, caramel and brown sugar; and our slightly floral, lighter Contemporary to choose from. The rest of our range is made up of seasonal, single estate coffees changing throughout the year.
Every one of our coffees has individual roasting times. The first few roasts of each coffee are taste compared and used to carve out a roasting profile. This is then used as a reference whenever we roast that particular coffee. That way, we know we are getting the flavours we want from it time after time.
Everybody tastes coffee slightly differently due to our individual unique taste buds. We believe we have one to suit everyone. Tasting notes of our coffees range from fruity, floral, chocolatey, nutty, caramel, aniseed, brown sugar and more. And we always stock a naturally decaffeinated coffee, so no one has to miss out.
Sourcing: We are lucky enough to have access to some of the finest speciality coffees worldwide. All the coffee we buy is traceable to origin. Whether it’s a single estate or farmer’s co-operative, you can be sure of your coffee's provenance.
You can also rest assured that the farmer has been paid a fair price and is additionally supported through programmes of education, technical support, and community welfare projects.
Supplying and support: Working with a diverse range of cafes and businesses across Kent and East Sussex, we support our customers with onsite barista training, arranging equipment rental if needed, and providing ongoing support and advice as their business needs change over time.
Whilst this past year has been challenging for business owners, fortunately we saw a significant uplift in coffee purchases for home use. We think you’ll agree comforts of luxury food and drink was paramount whilst the “Stay at home” rule was in place.
We launched a flexible coffee subscription service in 2020, bringing people the convenience of having one less thing to think about during the pandemic. On signing up, you’ll receive regular deliveries of coffee straight to your door as often as you choose.
Sustainability: Socially responsible choices help us make sure we are using sustainable sources, reducing, reusing and recycling wherever possible, diminishing our environmental footprint.
This is what we currently do - Encourage customers to return their empty coffee bags to be reused or supply their own containers; Non re-usable bags are recycled for us by Terracycle UK; Empty Jute coffee sacks have been crafted into cushions for cafes, upholstered chairs and even had potatoes grown in them!; Nitrogen rich chaff (a coffee waste product) is dug into customer allotments, as it aids plant growth; and our used coffee grounds go into the campsite composter. Where it’s necessary to send goods by courier, we choose to partner with a carbon neutral courier service, as this is very important to us.
Work here is on-going. We will always be searching for ways to improve our sustainability as a business.
TN card partners: We are proud to be TN card partners and have been with Jess since the beginning (serving our coffee at the launch party too!). TN card members can enjoy 10% discount on Bean Smitten coffees with their TN card. Register your TN card with Bean Smitten here.
Members receive 10% discount on online orders with Bean Smitten. Find more details here.