Posted Thu Feb 13, 2014, 4:19pm Subject: Pact Coffee - UK Subscription Service?
Just finished trialing out Pact Coffee Subscription Service over three bags, loved the experience, but not totally sure about what to make of the coffee, and freshness. They are still offering $£1 bag as the first bag if you sign up (though you can just cancel I think). Anyone else got any experience or opinions on Pact? Anyone tried any other UK Coffee Subscription services?
Just ordered some Hasbean to try next, thinking of trying TwoDayCoffee in Bristol - any other particular recommendations?
DavecUK Senior Member Joined: 21 Sep 2005 Posts: 1,404 Location: UK Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Thu Feb 13, 2014, 6:18pm Subject: Re: Pact Coffee - UK Subscription Service?
I had a look at the website for Pact Coffee., they seem quite shy about the coffee roasting operation. None of the staff profile are of their master roaster (or any coffee roaster). There are no photos of the roasting operation, no videos of them roasting coffee. There is a mention of roasting in Wimbledon, and one or perhaps 2 references only about roasting by their team in London. However, no biopic of the roasting team, details, photos and videos of their roastery. This is surely the heart of their operation?
So do they actually roast their own coffee, or do they pay a company to roast it for them? If the latter, do they simply repackage it?
It's a legitimate question, because the website is spectacularly lacking in information about roasting and there appears to be no staff members who are roasters? Now assuming they do indeed roast their own coffee, they would be well advised to have a lot more information about it and the roasting team who work for them on the web site.
Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 1:02am Subject: Re: Pact Coffee - UK Subscription Service?
Good challenges Dave.
So website is definitely very User Experience (UX) focused, and aiming to try and create a more mass market up out of specialist coffee, so smoothing and simplifying. Article here on the founder, talks a little about the business model, and some of the backing - things like Virgin Wines. Click Here (techcrunch.com)
Pact are just over in Bermondsey in the Biscuit factory which is near my works Southbank office, and invite people to pop in here, so next time I have to go to London I'm going to try and go and check it out. Will look out for some of the questions you raised. https://www.pactcoffee.com/about
Whilst their site is great for the happy path to sign up for coffee, it does make getting low level detail a bit harder. You have to search through the blog to find out quite a lot of things. I've had a quick wade through. This is Gabrielle their head of coffee, I've emailed the address she lists here to see if she would like to log in here and talk about their roasting technique. http://blog.pactcoffee.com/2013/11/14/ahoy-gabi/
pactstephen Senior Member Joined: 27 Feb 2014 Posts: 1 Location: London Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Rancilio Grinder: Vario Drip: v60, Burco system
Posted Thu Feb 27, 2014, 8:34am Subject: Re: Pact Coffee - UK Subscription Service?
Hi guys, thanks for your question. Stephen, thank you also for the detailed review. We all loved reading it at Pact HQ and it's given us lots to think about.
Dave - we’ve been talking for a while about explaining our sourcing and roasting process on the site/blog, but CoffeeGeek.com almost seems like a better forum to do so!
In return for the transparency I have a request of my own; give us your honest feedback. We’re a small business but growing fast, and would love your help in shaping what we’re building. Some of you are customers, others will be in the future. By telling us what you want we will be able to build a better service, which is our single-minded mission.
So, to answer your question…
Three groups of people help us to ship coffee we love.
The Coffee Hunter: We work with Will Corby at Mercanta to source the best seasonal green coffees available. Whilst we’d love to go to origin ourselves (I mean LOVE), it would be impossible to maintain the range and quality of coffees we offer by doing it this way. Another challenge would be getting to know the farms and their practices well enough to be certain we are maintaining our Pact with growers.
The Roast Master: Our search for the UK’s best roast master was a long one. We spoke to a lot of people, from the Twitter celebrity roasters, the competition winners, and the old hands. In the end it was Peter James at James Gourmet who we fell for. He’s not just an alchemist when it comes to roasting, but he understands what we’re trying to achieve, and supports our mission of getting the UK drinking better coffee. We all love him a bit.
Our Community: Once we have a short list of green coffees from Will, they are test-roasted and delivered to Pact HQ in Bermondsey. We’ll cup them together as a team and then invite 10-20 members of the community in to give us their feedback. Their reaction is the single biggest filter we have once Will has given us a table of beauties. Once we’ve chosen a green coffee we love it’s sent to Peter, who will come up with 2 or 3 roast profiles he thinks do the coffee justice. Our community cups these, and we pick the best. Pact ends up with something that’s well-sourced, well-roasted and vetted by people who matter the most!
The Footnote… Pact is laser focused on making our community happier. As a small team, it’s not easy to maintain a range of regularly updated, world-class coffees or customer service worth talking about, but we won’t compromise on either. If you think you can help us then email me (Stephen@pactcoffee.com) or call me at HQ (0207 231 2047). We have an open-door policy, a knackered but comfy sofa and a cracking cup of coffee on offer.
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