The fair trade fortnight began February 27th and ends this Sunday (March 12th). Fairtrade Fortnight is a fun-filled highlight of the year, when campaigners, businesses, schools and places of worship show their support for the farmers and workers who grow our food in developing countries.
I was asked to take part in a coffee taste challenge by Greggs, who are probably better known for their pies and cakes. The challenge involved being sent vouchers to buy coffee from Greggs and other well known coffee outlets and comparing them all, rating and seeing which I liked best.
I could choose any type of coffee I wanted and chose Latte at Greggs and three other coffee shops – Costa, Starbucks and Cafe Nero. Latte being my favourite coffee as it’s quite mild, and creamy.
Starting with Greggs: I found a Greggs in my local town centre with a “sit in” option rather than taking it away. Greggs Latte costs £1.80 and contains 111 calories. There is an option of vanilla syrup for a small charge (which I had)
Greggs Latte looks like a regular latte, creamy on top mixed with steamed coffee. It comes served in a throw away cup which is no doubt down to the fact that Greggs is more of a take away venues rather than eat in. Unfortunately this does let the drink down a little on the whole visual appearance. The aroma was fairly strong for a latte and I do drink a fair few of them. Now for taste – I did find this Latte a little on the strong side for my personal taste. I am sure that if you prefer a stronger coffee then this will be fine but I found I had to add extra sugar just to sweeten it up a little, even with the vanilla syrup.
I thought the coffee was good value and seems reasonably priced at £1.80.
Each coffee bean from Greggs is 100% fair trade. The information van be found easily on their web page.
Costa – Caramel Latte. A while after Greggs I went to Costa and got myself one of their caramel lattes.
Yes I had one for the bus home too. Costa latte costs slightly more than Greggs. They do 3 sizes and for a medium latte which is a similar size to Greggs its £2.85. There are a few other flavour options here including amaretto and hazelnut.
The latte does vary in appearance depending on whether you stay in or take it out but I did notice that the milk did not look quite as frothy as Greggs.
The aroma was also fairly weak. The taste was much milder than Greggs and no sugar was needed but I thought it was perhaps a little too weak and flat for a proper latte.
Costa coffee is Rainforest alliance certified. Costa has its own independent charity – Costa foundation which aims to relieve poverty in coffee growing countries. Again this information was easy to find.
Cafe Nero – At cafe Nero I ordered their salted caramel latte. This cost £2.95 for a regular (stay in) cup.
I really liked the whole appearance of this one. Although not in a tall latte glass, I do think this resembles how a proper Italian style latte should look. Very creamy with swirls of coffee on top and the creamy texture stays until the bottom.
The aroma was fairly strong but the whole of Cafe Nero does have an overall coffee aroma in the air.
Taste – I was slightly let down by the taste of this one. It was not awful and quite sweet whilst being a bit stronger than Costa. However it seemed to have an almost burnt type flavour and I’m not sure if this is down to the salted caramel flavour or not.
I managed to find that Cafe Nero also works with Rainforst alliance but there does not seem to be much other information about their coffee.
Starbucks – Here I ordered one of their medium size burnt caramel lattes.
Starbucks was the most expensive, costing £3.55. They also gave me the option of whipped cream on top which none of the other venues did. The coffee came served in a take away type cup, even tho I did state staying in so maybe this is just the norm.
The visual appeal of this one is extremely tempting, it looks very upmarket and even a little festive.
Aroma – I could smell a lot of cream and caramel. The coffee aroma seemed mild.
Taste – I cannot fault this one at all. Perfect latte taste for me, not too strong and not too mild and the cream adds an extra layer of sweetness on top of the already sweet flavour.
I really enjoyed this one but at £3.55 a go, it’s a dear do for one a day and also loaded with sweetness and sugar.
Starbucks coffee is ethically sourced and accredited by Conservation International Their coffee is also accredited by Fairtrade and the information is easily found on the internet.
Overall coffee ratings!
I am marking each coffee out of 5. 5 being the highest score (superb) and 1 being the lowest (poor).
Greggs – 3
Costa – 2
Cafe Nero – 3
Starbucks – 4
Therefore in my coffee taste challenge Starbucks wins it for me and would have been given a 5, had it not been the most expensive one. The coffee from Greggs was just a little too strong for my palate but I’m sure strong coffee lovers will enjoy it and it is the least expensive one.