Globally, coffee is being consumed at a rate like never before. This is great news for the industry, as well as the economies of the coffee origins. However, coffee origins are not only fundamental to the growing and cultivating of coffee but hold a huge barring on the final flavour profiles produced too. In a market where there is huge demand for new flavours, coffee origins are becoming recognisably unique in their own right, similar to that of wine producing regions. 

What is coffee?

Coffee is actually the bean from inside a coffee cherry. Looking similar to a cherry, the fruit is grown on a coffee tree from a region of the world known as the coffee belt. There are two main types of coffee ... 


Arabica accounts for over 60% of the world's coffee and traces it's origin back to Ethiopia. Usually grown at higher altitudes and mountainous areas, Arabica coffee trees require additional care and attention as they are more prone to disease and pests. 


Primarily used in blends and for instant coffees, Robusta has a full, heavy body and around twice as much caffeine. The bean itself is slightly rounder and smaller than that of an Arabica bean and usually grown at far lower altitudes due to the robustness of the coffee plant. 

Bean to cup journey

1. Growing

Once a baby coffee tree is planted, it takes 3-5 years to mature & produce coffee cherries.

2. Harvesting

The cherries usually turn a bright red colour & then the ripest cherries are carefully picked.

Coffee varietals 

Each coffee origin champions its own environment. Each staking a claim that their coffee origin is superior to their neighbours. Be it the amount of seasonal rainfall, shade-grown coffee to coffee grown in volcanic soil, they all have a USP. 

Depending on the country, variety, altitude and even processing method can change the flavour profile of a coffee bean, with certain origins having identifiable tasting notes. The methodology coffee farmers use will vary from region to region; constant experimentation keeps yielding different results, keeping the industry evolving and the coffee origins in healthy competition with one another. 

Here's a simplified version of the SCA (Speciality Coffee Association) flavour wheel to help you pick out those most relevant and recognisable flavours when talking to your customers about coffee. 

Lincoln & York Flavour Wheel

We've pulled out the most commonly identified coffee flavours to help you distinguish tasting notes

3. Processing & Drying

Once picked, they are processed, dried (to less than 12% moisture) & sorted.

4. Quality Tasting

Before the coffee is shipped, a sample is tested for quality by 1 of our 4 in-house Q graders.

What is Q Grading?

Like sommeliers of wine, Q graders are similar in the coffee world. Q grading training is an intense six day course involving 22 exams. It ensures experts across the globe can objectively examine coffee and score them on their many attributes and therefore overall quality. The system quantifies taste attributes such as acidity, body, flavour, aftertaste, uniformity, balance and sweetness to ensure all participants are identifying flavour characteristics in the same way.

Once qualified, the Q grader can score coffee out of 100 as per the SCA cupping protocols. A coffee must score 80 or above to be classed as speciality coffee. 

5. Shipping

The coffee is then shipped to us in sacks which, once emptied, we recyle into carpet underlay.

6. Roasting & Packing

Once the beans are at our roastery, they are tested again for quality & then roasted on 1 of our 6 Brambati coffee roasters.

Roasting at Lincoln & York

An overview of the coffee roasting process here at Lincoln & York site, including a sneak peak at our contingency operation.

The Roasting Process

The complexities of being a coffee roaster can be challenging. There are many stages and aspects to consider throughout the coffee roasting process. What's more is that as coffee popularity heightens, so does the knowledge and demand for more speciality coffees. As a result, we have to remain adaptable, accommodating and produce quality coffee at all times. 

7. Brewing

Brewing coffee doesn't always have to be through a machine, there are many ways to create a good tasting cup of coffee.

8. Training

Serve the perfect cup of coffee with help from our in-house barista trainer & courses.

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