Discover the best websites for coffee, tea and chocolate. With so many brilliant websites out there, we take a look at the very best online.
BEST COFFEE WEBSITES
Crave a caffeine fix? Whether it's pure roasted Arabica or a very Italian bean for your espresso, this list of the best coffee websites will help you discover a delicious new brew.
Family-run, artisan Devon-based Coffee Factory gets our vote. ‘Like all fruit, coffee is seasonal which means our coffee offerings are constantly changing throughout the year,’ says a spokesperson. Inspired by a trip to Australia, where the coffee offering is outstanding, the owners Danny and Justine spotted a gap in the UK market for a decent coffee shop. They opened the Sublyme Café (which they have since sold) and so began their business journey. They started importing, roasting and supplying their own coffee for wholesale and mail order. The Coffee Factory works closely with the best farmers across the world sourcing great beans.
Pact Coffee stands out because everything is done with care. For starters, by trading directly with their farmers, Pact Coffee can cut out the middleman and pay farmers a better price for their top quality beans. The coffee beans are then roasted in-house at their London HQ in Bermondsey. Roasted coffee takes up to seven days before it’s ready to drink and that's exactly when they'll send you your order, so you won’t accidentally drink an acidic one. Even the bags of coffee are designed with thought; they come in letterbox-friendly packages so you don’t need to wait in. Delivery is customizable; tell the site how much coffee you’ll need and they’ll set your deliveries to suit. If you’re off on holiday, you can pause or cancel orders at any time. Or you can opt for their one-off bag purchases.
YORK COFFEE EMPORIUM
For a truly immersive coffee site, scroll over to the York Coffee Emporium site where you can search for flavour notes you know you like and find something a little different. Chocolate and caramels? Nut and spice? Fruit and Berry? Find a coffee that works for you. York Coffee Emporium sources high quality coffee beans and loose leaf tea from around the world and then freshly roasts and hand packs them at their York-based roastery. You can order a coffee gift subscription or gift sets such as the Hario Buono Drip Kettle, or opt for custom made. Select from coffee or tea type, then grind setting as well as cup or cafetiere size.
FINE COFFEE CLUB
Love the ease of a Nespresso system? But hate the price of their coffee pods? Fine Coffee Club offers the best value for Nespresso compatible capsules that will fit neatly on your display stand. You can save up to 58% compared to the main brand. The capsules are completely recyclable and eco-friendly and here’s another tip: the coffee can be scraped out and put in your plants ground to add nitrogen to your compost.
We love coffee, but we are British after all. What’s more appropriate than tea, then? Here’s our selection of top tea websites to peruse.
RARE TEA COMPANY
Shop from Rare Tea Company and you’ll be in good company. Some of the most prestigious hotels, chefs and finest restaurants such as Noma, Gordon Ramsay and Claridges, work with Rare Tea Company. It is a small, independent company based in London and run by Henrietta Lovell, fondly known as the Tea-Lady. The site specializes in rare white teas that are sourced in small quantities from mountain tea gardens in the region of Fujian, China where tea has been cultivated for 5000 years.
THE EAST INDIA COMPANY
While the East India Company sources teas and gifts from all over the world, it remains a quintessentially British brand. Granted a Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 1600, The East India Company was founded to explore the mysteries of the East. Today, the company offers a wide range of exclusive and exotic ingredients from around the world. First introduced by The Company to Britain as a gift to the King in 1664, tea soon became an inseparable part of British culture. Today, its meticulously curated tea library offers over 120 varieties to satisfy curious minds and connoisseurs alike.
When Teapigs launched in 2006, it shot to becoming the best brand for tea lovers. Founders Nick Kilby and Louise Cheadle met each other while working for a big tea company where they learned everything about the quintessentially British drink. They created Teapigs and launched their tea temples, essentially a roomy, biodegradable pyramid mesh bag containing high quality, whole leaf tea. Teapigs is now a social media savvy brand that sells to over 30 countries and offers 28 varieties of teas and herbal infusions.
Last but not least, we look at the best sites for chocolate. Because life is bitter enough, so better put some sweetness into it. Dark, milk, white, sweet, hot… how do you like your chocolate? We searched the net for the best chocolate sites and this is what we found.
It is the originality and quirkiness of Hotel Chocolat that makes it stand out from the other sites. To start with they are one of the world’s few chocolate makers to actually grow cocoa giving them a deeper understanding in what makes chocolate special. When the first Hotel Chocolat opened its doors, in 2004, its mission was to start a revolution in British chocolate. They create chocolate that is different to the norm; instead of a bar of chocolate divided by regular bite-sized pieces, their bars of chocolate, inspired by the shape of molten chocolate, are made into their now iconic Giant Slabs.
Finally a chocolatier that creates packaging as exquisite as its contents. Prestat’s most famous customer has got to be Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. ‘I also adore so-called truffles as Prestat makes them,’ said Dahl. It is one of London’s oldest chocolate shops, having been established in 1902, and has been awarded two Royal Warrants: from The Queen and the Late Queen Mother. The artisan truffles get our vote.
If you want to be sure that the chocolate you taste is also made the good way, then Chocolate Tree is a good choice. Thanks to this website, you’ll only have to face the guilt of pleasure and calories, certainly not the ones that would come from enjoying something that could easily be not 100% ethical. Chocolate Tree creates exceptional chocolate, whilst connecting their customers with the whole process and origin through authentic transparency. The chocolates are made in small batches using fresh, premium, ethically sourced ingredients and without additional preservatives to give the best in natural flavours. It is also the only company in the UK to use its own in-house bean to bar chocolate.
AMELIA ROPE CHOCOLATES
Judging by the number of Great Taste Awards that have been given to ethical chocolatier Amelia Rope, you know this is a site worth discovering. Having struggled herself with weight problems, Amelia knows how tricky it can be to enjoy when you’re trying to lose the pounds. The whole point is to replace your fix of cheap highly processed chocolate with a touch of top end chocolate; you will discover this is a great aid to bidding farewell to unwanted weight.
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Updated February 2019