Sunday, 18 October 2015


Coffee brisbane (25)I love a good decaffeinated cappuccino. They are not easy to find, as although most decent coffee shops have decaf, a few don’t.  As part of my quest for the ultimate decaf I had gone to all the large coffee house chains and often had rather bitter coffee so I could hold my head up and truthfully say I didn’t go to Starbucks or Caffe Nero when they were denounced as tax avoiders. If you have to use one of the huge coffee house chains, say in an Airport where you have no choice, use a Costa Coffee1, they are owned by the Whitbread Group2 who actually pay tax!. 

However this post is not about them.  I am going to look at types of coffee, both those we drink in cafes and those we have in the house.

One of my favourite suppliers of coffee is illy.3&4  You usually get a really smooth coffee in an illy coffee shop. They also have Responsible Supply Chain Process Certification from DNV (Det Norske Veritas). Unfortunately they are a multinational so I will not be drinking illy coffee till after Christmas when I plan to check the environmental credentials of Multinationals and integrate the good ones back into my life.  Illy will be going back in!

I also like Lavazza5&6 coffee, they too are a multinational business.  They have websites for 21 different areas.  I scanned through their sustainability report though and it looks good.

I didn’t realise it but Nescafe7 is part of the Nestle8 family. Boo Hiss I say.  Nestle is still taking water from a drought ridden Californian National Park on permit which went out of date in 1988.9  I seriously don’t want to be buying any of Nestle’s products. 

Kenco started life as the Kenyan Coffee Company but over the years has been owned by many different firms and is currently owned by Mondelez International.10  Mondelez is the new global snacks business which has been split from Kraft Food Inc.11  As well as Douwe Egberts12 is also owns Tassimo and 7 foreign coffee brands as well as Cadbury’s and many others. It goes without saying that Kraft is a huge multinational and I will not be using any of their products, ever.

As you can see in the Wikipedia article13 below Kraft Foods Inc split into two.  The new company Kraft Foods Group Inc is to concentrate on the US market and Mondelez on the rest of the world. Maxwell House14 is still owned by Kraft Foods Group Inc. which is shortly to merge with Heinz15 into the Kraft Heinz Company.  Very confusing! I will miss Heinz tomato soup and ketchup.

Carte Noire16 is a brand in the Douwe Egberts12 range and therefore owned by Mondelez (see above.)  If it is as immoral as its sibling Kraft I will never be using Mondelez products either.

Rombouts17 is a Flemish company; hence a multinational but has a whole range of fair-trade coffee.

Melitta18 is a German company so it too is a multinational in the strict sense of the word. I have never actually seen it here but according to the web it is in the top ten coffees drunk in the UK.

An Edinburgh company which you wouldn’t believe are a multinational are Brodies1867.19  My cousin liked their coffee so much that I had to take one kilo of the stuff with me to Minorca when I visited. Brodies are part of the Massimo Zanetti20 Group who also own the Segafredo coffee brand.

At the moment I am drinking coffee (literally) from Taylor’s of Harrogate,21 they are a Yorkshire family firm and have been producing tea and coffee since 1886. 

I am also going to try the Edinburgh Tea and Coffee.22  Company’s products as they are actually based in Portobello and they are organic and fair trade.

Artisan Roast23 is an Edinburgh coffee company that also have five cafes and no foreign affiliations.

Another family firm I could try to get coffee from is Rington’s.24 They deliver your tea or coffee to your door and have done since 1907.



  1. Where does the Co-op stand in your multinationals list? They used to have a very good easy quaffing organic fairtrade coffee wnich seems to have vanished from my local store.

  2. Try the Taylors of Harrogate coffee. I am drinking co-op decaff coffee it is also nice, often if you try a different store you will find it. But you can request the management get it in. Worth a try!