Frequently Asked Questions

Coffee

As a small batch roastery, we have the advantage of being able to roast on demand. Your coffee will always be roasted on the day we process your order. Orders received before 11:00am Monday to Friday will be roasted and shipped the same day.

A lot of what we love about the coffee is lost very quickly once it is ground. We'd prefer you ground your coffee at home, but if you don't have a grinder at home, we can grind the coffee for your preferred brew method. You can select your preferred brew method and grind size on the product page before 'adding to cart'.

 

We use a superior grinder, the Mazzer ZM Digital Grinder, to grind your coffee beans. It boasts a very even particle grind size for better extraction.

 

Our grinds are measured in Microns (µm). A human hair is about 70µm. Espresso grind is the finest (200-300µm) and French Press the coarsest (900-1200µm). We have selected grind sizes based on research conducted by Mazzer.

 

Espresso 350µm (Prosumer Machine)

Espresso 450µm (Consumer Machine)

Stovetop 350µm

Aeropress 400µm

Filter/Pour-over 600µm

French Press 900µm

 

If you would like to experiment with a higher or lower grind size the next time you order, please add a note to your order before 'adding to cart'.

Coffee is a seasonal product with one or in some countries two crops a year. We buy small lots from many farms in each country – so when one coffee runs out, we go right on to the next one we have bought. In some places the farms are very small, just one or two acres, and these coffees change more frequently.
We are sorry we have run out of the coffee you enjoyed last time! We can help with a recommendation if you’d like – just let us know what you had and what you liked about it and we can point you in the right direction.
We recommend using the coffee as soon as you can to get the most flavour from it, especially if it is ground. You will see the roasted date on the pack. We recommend the coffee is best enjoyed within 4 weeks of the roasted date and consumed within 9 months of the roasted date.

No. Strength is determined by the ratio of coffee to water, grind size to contact time and water temperature. Coffee extracts faster at higher temperatures and smaller grind sizes.

 

A light roast does not mean you will have a weak flavoured coffee, nor does a dark roast mean you will have a strong flavoured coffee.

 

A light roasting profile will be used to preserve the natural fruity, sweetness and acidity characteristics of a bean.

 

A medium roasting profile will be used preserve the natural nutty, chocolatey and mild acidity characteristics of a bean.

You may have noticed our products have an SCA score next to each coffee. We pride ourselves on being speciality coffee roasters and the word ‘speciality’ is important to us. It means our coffee has been awarded a quality score of at least 80 or above. We have made a choice to only offer coffees that score 83 and above. Each additional point above 80 is exponentially more expensive. We’ve had coffees up to 88, a Kenyan coffee for which we received a lot of favourable feedback.

But do you know where that Quality Score comes from? And what it can tell you about what’s in your cup? Well, the SCA (Speciality Coffee Association) came up with a system to give every coffee a score out of 100. Here’s how it works...
 

65 to 80 = Commodity Coffee
The type used to make supermarket coffee and instant.

80+ = Speciality Coffee
The flavours are more subtle, the cup more balanced. At Roast Lab Coffee Roasters we only buy coffees 83+.

90+ = Presidential Award
These prestigious coffees make up less than 1% of the speciality coffee market because they are so rare. And very good! Think of the best bottle of wine produced in France that year!

What’s a coffee’s Quality Score based on?
Following a series of ‘cuppings’ from coffee tasting pros, a score is awarded based on several criteria:

Lack of defects
A coffee with any defects is unlikely to score more than 80 points as the penalty for meeting the criteria is so high. Between 1 and 3 points can be dropped if a defect is detected in the cup and multiplied by the number of cups in which it’s present.

Sweetness
There are lots of different types of sweetness in coffee; fruit, honey and sugar are three examples, the more distinct and pleasant, the higher the score.

Acidity
Acidity can be malic (apple), tartaric (grapes) or citric. To get a high score the acidity shouldn’t be overwhelming.

Balance
We all know coffee is bitter but the bitterness can often be pleasant. The best coffees have a perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness.

Mouthfeel
Coffees all have a slightly different viscosity. Think of the difference between the feel of butter, juice and tea in your mouth, if consistent, they all have their own merits.

Flavour
All of the above happens in your mouth, but when you taste something there’s usually a lot going on behind your nose also.

A high Quality Score will reflect well-developed flavours, which might include: peach, chocolate, cherry, blackcurrant and even Earl Grey tea.

Shipping

Orders received before 11:00am Monday to Friday will be roasted and shipped on the same day.

Our ‘Standard Delivery’ option uses Royal Mail 2nd Class postage for orders under 2kg. Royal Mail aims to deliver your parcel within 3-5 business days.

 

Our 'Express Delivery' option uses Royal Mail 1st Class postage for orders under 2kg. Royal Mail usually delivers your parcel next day but may take up to 3 business days depending on your region.

We use Hermes couriers for all orders over 2kg and they aim to deliver your parcel within 3-5 business days.

Our 250g coffee packaging conforms to the Royal Mail Large Letter format and should fit your letterbox. Larger order will be sent as a small parcel and will not fit through you letterbox.