Someday soon we'll all be able to gather in a large group, spoons in hand, and all join in on a big, beautiful public coffee cupping. Sharing slurps with friends, spitting into cups, slurping some more, offering tasting notes that surprise and delight. Laughter in the air, can you hear it? Well, until that glorious day, we can lean back on the wisdom of coffee-tasting experts—like the fine folks at Cuppers Choice Coffee Roasters in fabulous Sheffield, England.
We were immediately taken aback by the beautiful packaging at CC and then taken even further aback once more after reviewing the selections currently on offer at their online webshop. We had to learn more about this cupping-forward operation, so we spoke with Jordan O’Shea digitally. O'Shea represents one-third of the small cupping team and works alongside colleagues Jasper Dumas and Thomas Oliver Miller.
This interview has been gently edited and condensed.
Hey Jordan! Can you tell us a bit about how Cuppers Choice Coffee Roasters got started—your team is a crew of industry pros, tell us about where y'all started and how you got here!
Started as everyone does it seems. Baristas side-stepping into the wider industry. Harley and Jasper were part of another roastery that supplied Jordan’s shop with coffee, but that operation just didn’t suit us as people. Something had to change. Then we met Thomas who loves spreadsheets. Cuppers was born and we won’t stop until we get a Sprudgie!
Tell us about your current coffee offerings—looks like CC has some special stuff.
We live up to our name Cuppers Choice. We are vigilant in our selection process to find under-represented coffee to showcase alongside industry favorites. This year we have chosen to herald Rwandan coffee. By presenting an entire offer list from Rwanda parallel to our usual list, we have increased buying power, enabling direct sourcing and an even clearer path from producer to consumer. Outside of The Rwanda Project, we work with [importers such as] Caravela, Raw Material, Kamba, and Cafe Imports, as they have proven to have amazing practices and amazing flavors in the cup.
Do each of you have a favorite cupping spoon?
Industry secret: bent soup spoons make great cupping spoons, but we’re so open for endorsement. Send spoons.
Who designed your packaging?
We all conceived the ideas, we knew we had to stand out and wanted something with a quality old-school cigarette style. We commissioned a traditional sign-writer, Kieran Harper (@kharpersigns) over a graphic design house, as his hand drawn style was exactly what we were looking for.
How would you describe the look of your logo—from here it looks as if it has a nice vintage feel.
Diamonds are forever. We went for an ornate take on vintage cigarette branding, with a hint of americana. Jasper always preaches that you should save minimalism for the bathroom. Jordan loves minimalism but never gets his way. Harley simply wanted gold on it. Thomas loves spreadsheets.
You mentioned sustainable packaging—tell us more about what makes your packaging eco-friendly.
Yes, our packaging is fully recyclable and/or compostable. The only thing that isn’t is the sticker, but as we said before, diamonds are forever! We are working on that though, our aim is to get more and more sustainable as a company, whilst maintaining the idea that ethics should not be a gimmick or USP. The whole industry should be going down the same root, which is very exciting!
Where is your coffee available?
Predominantly available in the UK, with increasing slots in the Middle East and mainland Europe. We hate Brexit, bring on more EU clients! Of course online internationally too.
What's next for Cuppers Choice?
Trips to origin. Trips to the pub. Build a future. Build a mini-ramp. Win a Sprudgie.
Learn more about Cuppers Choice Coffee Roasters from their official website and follow Cuppers Choice on Instagram.
Coffee Design is a feature series by Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge. Read more Coffee Design here.
All media courtesy of Cuppers Choice.