Batch works a little differently from other roasteries on our list. Think of it as a curated platform for the best single-origin beans from roasters across the UK and Ireland, including Rounton, Caravan, and Olfactory. Each is expertly reviewed in-house, before selecting those to showcase. Essentially, it’s taken the guesswork out of trawling individual websites, and guarantees top-quality coffee via its convenient coffee-club model.
No matter how you take your morning brew, if you’re serious about achieving a barista-worthy coffee at home, it’s crucial to start with quality whole beans. Why? We won’t bore you with the science but, put simply, whole beans don’t oxidise as quickly as ground coffee, ensuring your cup tastes as fresh as the roasters intended. If you’ve ever bought pre-ground coffee from the supermarket and found it lacking oomph, that’s likely why.
Luckily, there’s a whole host of indies who will deliver freshly roasted coffee directly to your doorstep. In doing so, you’ll be supporting both the growers and roasters at the source and enjoy a higher quality cup – sounds like a win-win to us.
But there’s no point investing in quality beans if you’re not going to treat them with the grind they deserve. As a rule, it’s always best to use beans within three weeks of roasting, and grind them just before brewing.
Much like another beloved, morale-boosting household staple, the potato, beans are best stored in a dark, dry place. We can’t get enough of the Airscape, which works by expelling oxygen and moisture from the beans to enable them to retain their freshness and flavour for longer. Plus, the sleek, black, stainless-steel canister looks way chicer on your kitchen side than that battered old coffee tin you’re holding on to. Trust us.
As with anything, it’s a matter of personal preference. The variety of beans, country of origin and the darkness of the roast will all have an impact on the final flavour, as well as how you brew it. Like your coffee dark, chocolatey and rich? Try South American beans. Prefer bright, floral and fruity? Chances are you’ll be a fan of African. And the added bonus of buying from an independent roaster is that they can help guide you through the selection process. If in doubt, give them a ring and chat about what you like before you click and buy online.
How we tested
We believe the best coffee comes from freshly ground beans, so we tested all the coffees below using just-opened bags of whole beans, ground electrically then brewed using an espresso machine. To begin with, we prepared each using the same ratio of grinds to water, to ensure an even playing field. Then, to choose our favourites, we adjusted the quantities until we reached the optimum brew.
The best independent coffee brands for 2022 are:
- Best independent coffee brand overall – Batch coffee: £17.99, Batchcoffee.co.uk
- Best for supporting coffee-growing communities – 92 Degrees coffee: £6.95, 92degrees.coffee
- Best afternoon pick-me-up independent coffee brand – Fireheart coffee: £10.95, Fireheartcoffee.com
- Best independent coffee brand for moka pot brewing – Gentleman Baristas coffee: £10, Thegentlemanbaristas.com
- Best Colombian coffee beans – Hermanos coffee: £12.50, Hermanoscoffeeroasters.com
- Best independent coffee brand for beginners – Union roasted coffee: £8, Unionroasted.com
- Best independent coffee brand for dark-roast drinkers – Barista & Co coffee: £7.49, Baristaandco.com
- Best independent coffee brand for espresso – Modern Standard Coffee momentum espresso: £6, Modernstandardcoffee.co.uk
- Best independent coffee brand for flat whites – Climpson & Sons the estate: £9, Climpsonandsons.com
- Best independent coffee brand for light-roast fans – Nørlo coffee: £9.50, Norlo.co.uk
- Best Peruvian coffee beans – Hinba coffee: £9.25, Hinba.co.uk