Coffee

We take coffee seriously and we think that only the best quality is good enough for our guests

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Sustainable coffee sourcing

At Espresso House we want to take responsibility for the full coffee circle to ensure we are part of a sustainable coffee future. The first step towards this is to create and maintain good relationships with our farmers, to know where our coffee has grown and under what conditions. We believe that close relationships and cooperation is the way towards transparency and sustainability in the value chain of coffee.

We are serious about providing our guests a high quality, sustainable product assortment relevant for each country. Our core product, coffee, is sourced from different coffee regions around the world and then carefully roasted in our own roastery in Länna, located just outside Sweden’s capital Stockholm. We serve our coffee both hot and cold, in different sizes and flavours, with seasonal relevance and to the taste of our guests.

At Espresso House, we think that only the best quality is good enough for our guests. Therefore, we have decided to only serve Specialty Coffee from selected farms and cooperatives. Specialty Coffee means that the coffee scores at least 80 points on a 1-100 scale, which makes it the highest quality coffee in the world according to the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). We are today one of the largest coffee shop brands to offer this high quality and by this we are able to make better coffee more accessible. Our Signature Brew, Seasonal Brew and Espresso blend are always Specialty Coffee.

Coffee Sourcing Program

We want everyone to be able to enjoy a good cup of coffee both today and in the future. To serve not only the best coffee but also a coffee that has been sustainably produced is something we strive for and we believe that relationship and cooperation is the way to transparency and sustainability in the supply chain of coffee. Therefore, we visit farms or cooperatives regularly where we show our support and commitment.

In addition to our Supplier Code of Conduct, we are guided by our Coffee Sourcing Program. The program contains routines, actions and principles which we have to adhere to in our work towards ensuring sustainable sourcing of coffee. This program includes internal farm visits and self-assessments and external third-party assessments of the coffee farms and cooperatives. The coordination of the work is done by an internal Coffee Council with members from both Espresso House and Johan & Nyström.

On site we make assessments based on the Global Coffee Platform (GCP) Baseline Common Code framework. The framework follows a number of internationally recognized standards within the Economic, Social and Environmental dimensions. In 2019 we visited 20% of our coffee producers and had several trips planned for 2020. Due to travel restrictions, all planned visits were not completed during the year and we had to cancel some trips. However, we did manage to visit 15% of the producers before March 2020.

In addition we make use of third-party verifications of our coffee farms and cooperatives to ensure sustainable farming practices. This is undertaken by Enveritas.

Our three pillars of sustainable coffee sourcing

Social

No Child labor
No forced labor
Minimum wage respected
No discrimination
Clean water
Decent housing
Worker Rights and benefits
Freedom of association
Written contracts
Occupational health and safety

Environmental

No deforestation
No pollution
Biodiversity protection
Soil conservation
Water conservation
Energy conservation
No GMOs
No banned pesticides
Safe chemical handling
Pest and disease management

Economic

Above the poverty line
Transparent pricing
Ethical business practices
No forced land evictions
Sustainable production
Quality improvement
Traceability
Access to training
Access to finance
Records kept

Our responsibility – from bean to cup

Our coffee commitment is to source Specialty Coffee, with responsibility from bean to cup. In addition to our own internal farm visits and assessments, we initiated in 2018 third-party assessments for our coffee farms and cooperatives to provide independent validation of our supply chain performance.

Our goal is to have 100% of our coffee volumes verified by 2022. Espresso House Group is working with Enveritas, an independent, nonprofit organization that verifies coffee purchases for sustainability, traceability, and improvement activities. Enveritas helps us to gain a deeper understanding of the farming practices because it provides us with truthful, independently-verified sustainability claims about products we purchase.

The Enveritas approach

The aim of Enveritas is to help, in particular, smallholder farmers participate in a globally sustainable coffee industry. The majority of smallholder coffee farmers are excluded from high-value sustainability markets, not necessarily because their practices do not meet standards, but because it is more challenging to verify their activities. These farms are small, they are not organized into groups, their supply isn’t aggregated consistently, and they live in places that are difficult to reach.

Enveritas closes this gap, by travelling to these places and verifying their sustainability practices, without any cost for the farmer. Interviews and observations on site are conducted with the farmers. The field assessments are evaluated against Enveritas standards, which cover three pillars of sustainability including social, environmental and economic dimensions.

The verifications

Since 2018 we have verified 60% of our total coffee volumes. The verifications have been undertaken in Brazil, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Colombia, and Honduras. In 2021 we will continue the work and assess an additional seven suppliers in seven different countries also including Peru and El Salvador this year. The aim is to assess further 20% of the volumes in 2021. Our goal for 2022 is 100% of our coffee volumes verified.

Our own Roastery

Our coffee beans are roasted in our very own roastery located in Länna just outside Sweden’s capital Stockholm. The roastery source and roast all the coffee for Espresso House and Johan & Nyström. Brand new facilities were built in 2017, which makes it one of Europe’s most modern roasteries of Specialty Coffee.

The Roastery itself is run by a professional team of 28 passionate, and coffee loving persons who believe in better coffee for the people. Specialty Coffee roasting is an art in itself, which requires a high degree of knowledge and understanding. At our roastery we are committed to craft roasting, using the slow roasting method to ensure that every batch of beans is roasted to perfection. The beans are carefully selected and sourced from all around the world.

In 2020 we roasted just over 1000 tons of coffee beans. The roastery is continuously working towards reducing its environmental impact. Our outgoing transportations (within the Nordics) from the roastery are 100% climate compensated, and whenever it is possible we also try to streamline the transports with our tea supplier in Germany to ensure that no transportations are running empty.

The Roastery takes organic waste seriously and we do not want to waste any scraps from production. While we are unable to control coffee waste at every stage of the supply chain, we have a responsibility to minimize waste in the roastery wherever we can, Today, organic residuals from the roasting process are separated and sent to either farmers or to bio-heating facilities. We have also have in the past years collaborated with Foodloopz who wants to help companies reduce their foodwaste. We have in total donated 200 kg coffee and now Foodloopz ensures that the coffee is coming to use instead of being thrown away.

Organic Coffee

Sustainable agriculture requires an understanding of the surrounding ecosystem. It protects biodiversity while meeting the needs of the farm, and with an aim to be able to care for the soil for future cultivation and production. Such farming supports organic farming methods as it avoids the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides that can be harmful to wildlife and cause health risks.

The organic coffee we have had in our coffee shops have been going under different names in the past years, and in 2020 we served organic coffee under the name of our ‘Special Brew’, which represented 47% of our total sold filter coffee that year.

Furthermore we also have an organic brew available amongst our products in retail stores. The Espresso House branded organic coffee is certified and labeled with the EU logo for organic production, which guarantees that the EU rules for organic farming have been respected.

Coffee Community Support

At Espresso House we place high value on creating long term relationships and close dialogue with our farmers. By working closely together, we are able to identify needs and to contribute positively to the farmers and their families by helping with support in meaningful projects. We are aware that the coffee we source is from regions with various socio-economic challenges, and therefore strive to identifying projects that are designed to support the social and economic development.

Planadas in Colombia 2020

Last year this brought us to Planadas in Colombia, where we source our fine Seasonal Brew. In this area we have established a Farmer Field School in co-operation with our local project partner Caravela and their PECA program (short for “Grower Education Program” in Spanish). The Farmer Field School allows teaching and sharing of knowledge on specialty coffee production and how this can be linked with sustainable farming practices and farm management.

The project has provided both physical and virtual classrooms for the farmers and in 2020, a total of 43 farm workshops and 55 farm-visits were undertaken by the PECA agronomists. A total 206 farmers have benefited from the project.

Furthermore, the project has contributed with 10 000 facemasks and 400 litres of sanitising gel for the farmers and their families. It also undertook 10 trainings to replace migrant workers by community workers. This had to be done to be able to ensure to have enough local workers during the harvest when migrant workers were restricted by not being able to travel to the farms.

This is a project Espresso House will continue to support in 2021.

Jimma in Ethiopia 2019 and Quillabamma in Peru 2018

In 2019 we decided to support our coffee producer Ibrahim Hussein in Jimma Ethiopia, with funding towards the construction of a medical clinic. The goal is to improve access to health care for the community. The medical clinic is scheduled to be finished in 2020 and is estimated to benefit 2500 people in the area. We have so far donated $ 20 000 towards the project, and will follow up closely on the progress.

Prior to this, in 2018 we contributed with the same amount of $ 20 000 towards a school project for the coffee farmers children in the region of Quillabamma in Peru. The aim of the project was to build a proper school canteen and to buy a school bus to enable children that live far away to access the school easier. The project was finished successfully in 2019.