Monday, 3 February 2014

Puro Fairtrade Coffee - a Review

When Puro Coffee approached me and asked if I would like to review their coffee, I was very happy to accept their offer. The name was vaguely familiar to me but it isn't a brand of coffee that you can buy in the supermarket. Eager to find out a bit more about the company I went to their website and realised I had most likely already enjoyed their coffee whilst visiting a National Trust site.

In the UK, every National Trust site serves Pura coffee as well as restaurants like Gourmet Burger Kitchen and The Real Greek, large offices such as Innocent Drinks, opticians like Vision Express, hairdressers like Headmasters and golf clubs like Wentworth. Puro Fairtrade Coffee was created in 2005 by Miko, a Belgian company which has been roasting coffee for over two centuries and it's fantastic to see that Miko is working extremely hard to reduce its carbon footprint by, for example, installing solar panels on the roof of its Belgian distribution building and heating the offices during the winter months by using the heat generated by the air compressor used for packaging saving more than 20,000L of gasoline a year, awesome!

In 2007 whilst some of the Puro Fairtrade Coffee team were trekking through the Puro Ecuadorian Rainforest Reserve, some new species of orchid were discovered and one of these orchids was later named Teaguela Puroana (Puro Orchid). In 2008, together with Sir David Attenborough, the company launched a webcam in the rainforest to the media. It is also interesting to note that in 2012 Miko deservedly won a business charity award for the partnership between Puro Fairtrade Coffee and World Land Trust.

The parcel I received included all three blends of coffee and the Puro Noble Decaf (which I particularly wanted to try since I regularly drink decaf) all wonderfully presented in a rustic hessian bag. I was extremely delighted to discover that it also included and a lovely cup and saucer.

Handwritten labels were attached to each of the blends describing the coffee in detail.

If you notice, the coffee is not only Fairtrade but also shade grown, something I hadn't heard of before so I went to the website to find out a little more about this and apparently "shade grown coffee encourages the preservation of trees native to the area or re-planting of trees that once stood on the land to provide this essential shade. This is great for biodiversity and helps enable growing coffee in harmony with the environment."

Through the Puro brand, alongside Fairtrade, the company are anxious to communicate the threat to rainforest and the need to preserve it. After oil, coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world, so imagine the amount of coffee consumed every day all over the world. By putting messages on their cups and sharing their stories and videos with clients and consumers, the company believes they can make a real difference and prove to other organisations that people and the planet are just as important as profit. This short documentary reveals the story behind Puro Coffee.

The coffee is described on their website as follows :

Puro Noble

Type: Fairtrade, Shade Grown
Variation: Also available in Decaf
Origins: Peru, Honduras, Guatemala, Uganda
Finest Arabica content: 80%
Premium Robusta content: 20%
Description: The complex character of this blend comes from the mild and smooth yet floral Guatemalan high grown Arabicas skillfully blended with the Peruvian Arabicas for a perfect balance of flavour. Through the addition of the premium Robusta, a hint of dark chocolate is injected into the cup thus ensuring this blend works well in all situations.

Puro Fuerte

Type: Fairtrade, Shade Grown
Origins: Peru, Honduras, Guatemala, Uganda
Finest Arabica content: 50%
Premium Robusta content: 50%
Description: Wow, good morning and a warm welcome from this intense fiery blend. This dark roasted blend of high grown Arabica’s with the finest Ugandan Robusta’s creates a warm balanced cup with lively fragrant flavours, which when added to perfectly tempered milk creates a bitter sweet chocolate.

Puro Organic

Type: Fairtrade, Organic, Shade Grown
Origins: Peru & Honduras
Finest Arabica content: 100%
Description: This amazingly delicate blend is distinctive in flavour. It combines beautifully soft notes of chocolate with citric over tones that gives it a fruitiness whilst adding natural sweetness.

The coffee above and in the cup below is the Puro Noble Decaf. I don't add sugar or any sweetener to my coffee but I do usually add some almond milk. However, I can truthfully say I really enjoyed this blend black. Not at all bitter, it was rich and full bodied yet also mild with a surprising slightly sweet flavour. Could I taste the hint of chocolate? I'm not sure but there was definitely no after taste which you can sometimes experience with decaf.

My daughter (a very keen coffee drinker) tried the Puro Organic and the Puro Fuerte black without any knowledge of the blend she was drinking and this was her opinion :

Puro Organic : Smooth, sweet and easy to drink, silky and smooth in texture, fruity but with a taste of Madagascan chocolate and above all very drinkable.

Puro Fuerte : A very nice, warm flavoured, everyday coffee and unlike the Puro Organic she didn't detect any notes of chocolate or fruit.

I tried the Puro Fuerte black and with almond milk. I particularly enjoyed it with the almond milk. It was so very smooth, rich and delicious.  In fact, everyone who drank the coffee remarked on the silky, smoothness of all the blends.

Disclosure: I received these products from Puro for review purposes. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.