Making life better in coffee growing communities
In 2018 we switched from Swiss Water to a new House Decaf coffee processed using sugarcane. Instead of being grown in Brazil, shipped to Canada for decaffeination then shipped to the UK for roasting; this new coffee was sourced from smallholders in the Cauca & Huila regions of Colombia and decaffeinated in Pitalito, Colombia.
The result? an incredible tasting decaf saving 6000 food miles per shipment and a higher proportion of earnings retained by Colombian farmers.
In 2019 we improved our Decaf further still by introducing coffee from our long-standing partner, La Marianela to be decaffeinated at Pitalto using the Sugarcane method. This move has further improved coffee quality, it means we can guarantee 100% traceability and fresh crop and has strengthened our commitment to La Marianela, one of our most sustainable coffee partnerships.
Better for the planet. Better for farmers. Better for consumers.
Our relationship with La Marianela is built on a commitment to work together to improve quality, volume and yield. We approach this relationship as a true partnership. Two family businesses, sharing knowledge and working together to make coffee better.
Together we’ve worked on experimental lots, diversification and specific flavour profiles. Projects for 2020 include building a new dry mill, harvesting experimental varietals grown exclusively for Extract and building a cupping lab to allow for even more experimentation and diversification.
This picture is taken on the porch of the farmhouse, built by Pablo’s great grandfather on the Marianela estate. On our most recent visit we were greeted, not as business partners, or even friends - but family.
3 More Sustainable Steps
Progress in Peru
When we first visited Sol e Cafe cooperative four years ago, facilities were sparse. An 11-hour drive on poor quality roads. Coffee, processed on tarpaulins on the ground. Reactions were mixed, but amongst scepticism & disinterest we met farmers passionate about producing better coffee. It was a big task. But we were hopeful.
Four years, three visits later. Coffee & community resources have improved year on year. New cupping labs, a processing plant and nurseries mean farmers are now equipped to produce better coffee. Improved transport links mean the cooperative is more accessible to coffee buyers. We were delighted to be shown a new community medical centre, funded by the cooperative.
The impact of this project has been incremental. Thanks to the commitment of Extract, our partners and the Sol y Cafe farmers, we are building trust, increasing earning potential and seeing the positive impact of our work together coming to life.
Ever since Co-founder Samantha thought of the the name ‘Extract Coffee Roasters’ 12 years ago, incredible women have been a part of our business. Head of Coffee, Ashlee oversees all our coffee purchases. 80% of our coffee is roasted by women.
But, female coffee farmers and landowners remain a rarity. Here are the stories of three female farmers we were able to support last year.
This female-grown micro lot was our first 100% traceable Ethiopian coffee. After securing Abebech Tadese’s entire harvest in 2019 we are delighted to have been able to do the same in 2020. Watch this space!
El Guayabito, Honduras
Through the Cocofael co-operative Maria Genoveva Martinez was able to invest in skilled coffee pickers, who pick the ripest coffee cherries resulting in cup profiles of the highest quality.
Kianjiru factory is operated by Margaret Myeri Melambiri, a lady paving the way for women managing mills and washing stations. Drawing on her vast experience, she drives innovation and produces consistently incredible coffee.
This is our 10th year working with this fantastic farm which is part of the Santa Barbara Estate. The estate employs 60 people all year round, who on average earn 30% above the minimum wage. Half of these employees also receive free housing within the farm for themselves and their families.
The Santa Barbara Estate runs an extensive scholarship and financial aid program for worker’s children and even assists long-standing employees to acquire their own piece of land on retirement.
Making the Coffee production better for the environment
Ten years ago, we came across Betty. A 1950s Probat roaster in a state of disrepair, lovingly brought back to life by co-Founder David who knows this machine inside and out. We’ve been working to make her a more modern efficient and environmentally sound machine. In 2019 we went back to Betty, to further modernise this beautiful machine.
Upgrading the burner, adding a new variable fan, rebuilding the cooling tray agitator and rebuilding the chaff box are just some of the changes we’ve made. Most exciting is the addition of an afterburner to eliminate VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from Betty’s emissions - meaning cleaner air for our community.
Burner upgrade. Added 12 more traditional pepper pots burners - 30% increase in fuel efficiency.
Cooling tray rebuild including: a new cooling tray mess, agitators rebuilt with new brushes and bearings ,bearings and agitator gears stripped , cleaned and recut.
A new afterburner. Removing VOCs from our emissions - meaning cleaner air for our community.
Chaff box rebuild and lined with fire cement.
Custom-built sound deadening box added to the loading fan - better for our people and protecting their hearing!
New touch screen for data logging.
Sustainable packaging is high on our agenda. Our challenge to date has been to find a solution which has both a lower carbon footprint, sends less waste to landfill and preserves the quality of the coffee. At times, it felt like we were drowning in greenwash.
Our journey so far has involved feeding compostable packaging to worms, testing anaerobic digesters & lengthy calculations on the carbon footprint of plastic vs paper vs tin.
2020 will be the year that we can bring you a solution which is truly better.
3 More Sustainable Steps
Our Extract T-shirts are GOTS certified organic from UK company Rapanui. The first company to create a circular economy supply chain for clothing. Using their Teemill platform, we can create our incredible organic-cotton Tshirts, which at the end of their lives, are designed to be sent back and re-made into new tshirts, then printed at Rapanui’s solar powered factory here in the UK.
“Every year 100 billion new items of clothing are produced while a truck full of clothing is burned, or buried in a landfill every second. Slowing fast fashion down a bit won't fix it. But when we take the waste material at the end, and make new products from it at the start, it changes everything. That's what we've done.”Find out more
Recycling our coffee waste
Extract Coffee’s ground coffee waste is collected by the Bio-Bee and turned into bio-fuels by award-winning sustainability company, GENeco. So far we have displaced 2707 CO2e, produced 2000 kWh electricity from bio-methane and produced enough bio-fuel produced to power the Bio-Bee for 1995 miles - that’s the same as driving from London to Athens!
Zero-Waste Latte Art Throwdown
Latte Art throwdowns are fun, but sadly wasteful. We were delighted to host Oatly’s first ever Zero-Waste Latte Art throwdown at our roastery last year. All drinks were made using Oat Mylk and then transformed into White Russians afterwards.
We’ve teamed up with Oatly in 2020 to provide coffee for their free pop-up cafes as part of Veganuary.
Play an active role in improving our communities.
Inspiring the next generation of baristas
Last year we spent time supporting Empire Fighting Chance and their youth engagement work. We visited schools and colleges for careers days, and hosted students from the Bristol City Rovers - Empire Fighting Chance apprenticeship programme for immersive day of coffee here at the roastery.
In the summer we ran our first 6 week cafe-skills training course for young people looking to pursue a career in hospitality. Three of these students have successfully gone on to roles with Boston Tea Party.
We want to continue to support the Empire Fighting Chance youth programmes across Bristol, South Wales, Devon, Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. This year we plan to grow our cafe skills training programmes and are excited to be supporting more careers workshops.
3 More Sustainable Steps
STRONG MAN AND STRONG WOMAN RAISE £2500
£2500 was raised for our Grounds Up Charity partners, Hotel School London and Empire Fighting Chance through sales of our Strong People Espresso in 2019. This money will help vulnerable adults & young people through training and mentoring.
“We really can't say thank you enough for this incredible donation and all of your amazing support! We are so proud to work with you all and this donation will really go towards helping to transform our student's lives.”
- Zoe Minihan, The Passage Charity.
“This could pay for 9 young people to develop key life skills through our 20-week boxing and mentoring programme”
– Sophie Birch, Empire Fighting Chance.
Kickflip Deck Amnesty
In March 2019 we launched Kickflip Espresso in support of Ethiopia Skate. A grassroots community bringing skateboarding to young people in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
We started a deck amnesty and set ourselves a target to collect 100 boards to send over to Ethiopia. The response surpassed all our expectations and culminated in us sending over 200 boards to Ethiopia.Watch video
Extract supports Coppafeel at Festifeel
After meeting CoppaFeel founder Kris Hallenga at Do Lectures we were thrilled to provide coffee at their Festifeel event at House of Vans, London. Proceeds from Festifeel will help CoppaFeel continue the amazing work they do to raise awareness of women’s health and the importance of checking your breasts.
Check out more