Frequently Asked Questions
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)
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'.
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.
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 can be malic (apple), tartaric (grapes) or citric. To get a high score the acidity shouldn’t be overwhelming.
We all know coffee is bitter but the bitterness can often be pleasant. The best coffees have a perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness.
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.
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.
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.