The best ethical coffee from independent brands

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hether you choose Fairtrade, go plastic free, opt for sustainably grown or choose a brand that empowers women, your morning cup of coffee can have an impact on a wide range of social and environmental issues. Here's our round up of the best ethical coffee available from independent brands.

Image credit: Blue Goose Coffee

Ethiopian compostable Nespresso® compatible coffee pods

From £5.50

Blue Goose Nespresso® compatible coffee pods topped the list in Which? Magazine’s ‘Best compostable coffee pods‘ test.

Grown as a ‘garden coffee’ in smallholder plots in the world-renowned coffee region of Yirgacheffe, expect floral, sweet, bright flavours and aromas.

Image credit: Coromandel Coast

Coromandel Coast Chola Blend

From £7

Coromandel Coast source and roast shade-grown, speciality-grade coffee from the ancient lands of southern India. They are the first coffee roaster in the UK to align their impact with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

From this blend, you can expect a medium dark roast with flavours of oak, toffee and blackcurrent.

Image credit: Bird & Wild

Bird & Wild RSPB bird friendly coffee

From £6

Bird & Wild only roasts seasonal coffee certified as Bird Friendly & Shade-Grown by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Centre. Bird Friendly Certified coffees are grown on forest farms that protect the diverse tree canopy, providing a haven to threatened migratory birds, insects and other wildlife.

Expect a smooth coffee with dark chocolate tones, balanced acidity and bright floral aromas. With a % of sales donated to the RSPB.

Image credit: Coffee and Kin

Coffee & Kin compostable Nespresso® compatible coffee pods

Starter pack £24

These Nespresso® compatible coffee pods are 100% plastic free, fully compostable, ethically sourced and packed with seriously tasty specialty coffee.

In the Discover capsule, you’ll find hints of chocolate and spicy pepper from India, honey, orange and apricot from Nicaragua and delectable cookies and brown sugar from El Salvador.

The Explore capsule is deliciously smooth, nutty and sweet. You’ll find hints of honey, roasted hazelnut and orange from Honduras and dark chocolate, caramel and raspberry from Brazil.

Image credit: Dear Green

Dear Green: Ethiopia – Odaco – Natural 

From £6.55

Dear Green is a coffee roaster and supplier of exclusively ‘speciality’ grade, ethically-sourced coffee beans. This coffee scores 89 Specialty Points, sourced from micro-lots which limit production to focus on the quality of the beans. 

 

Named after The Odako tree where the community meets to resolve conflicts in the area. Expect a vibrant coffee bursting with flavours of peach and mango.

Image credit: Land Girls

Land Girls Sumatran coffee

From £8

This coffee is grown by a women-led cooperative in Sumatra, set up to help local women provide for their families. You can buy their whole or ground beans via Land Girls, a UK-based business which celebrates inspirational women farmers, producers and makers who continue to go against the grain by supporting themselves and their communities around the world. 

 

Expect an intense, earthy coffee, dark and spicy with hints of citrus and apricot to add sweetness.

Please note: every effort has been made to check the ethical and sustainable credentials of the companies mentioned, based on publicly available information on their website. Where brands have sponsored their listing or content on this site, or we have provided an affiliate link, these will be clearly marked as such. We don’t promote brands in these ways without speaking to the brand directly to check their credentials first.