Michelin-starred coffee delivered: Ashley Palmer-Watts launches Artisan Coffee Co
Michelin-starred chef Ashley Palmer-Watts has launched his first venture since leaving The Fat Duck Group in 2019, after over 20 years with the culinary institution. Artisan Coffee Co provides a range of fresher and noticeably more delicious coffees – in all formats, from beans to ground, pods and brew-in-cup bags – delivered directly to customers’ doors. Palmer-Watts and his team were determined to create a range of coffee that would appeal to everyone, no matter how they take it, without any compromise on flavour or quality, and without the need for barista-level skills or expensive equipment. They believe roasted whole beans can be the route to a great cup, but opting for the convenience of ground coffee, or beans, pods or brew-in-cup bags, shouldn’t mean settling for second best in terms of flavour and enjoyment. We did a full-on tasting experience and we can confirm that Palmer-Watts took this project very seriously, building upon the level of detail that he is known for in the food industry.
Artisan have created 30g ground coffee sachets, which are revolutionary to the home coffee drinker. The minute a standard 240g bag of ground coffee is opened it is depreciating in aroma, leading to loss of flavour. Designed to preserve freshness and flavour, these smaller sachets are delivered in recyclable boxes, to be opened each morning, thus maintaining the aroma, taste and freshness of the coffee. By pushing the boundaries and adopting a meticulously scientific approach to taste and flavour, the team at Artisan Coffee Co have crafted an at-home coffee experience that they consider second to none.
Palmer-Watts says: “Artisan was an attractive opportunity to innovate and tackle coffee from a different angle. Whole bean coffee tends to get all the attention, yet requires considerable investment in time and equipment, and by no means guarantees a great cup. Often, the simpler and more popular brew methods can be somewhat basic in terms of character. I felt very strongly that convenient coffee needn’t be dark, bitter and lacking in depth, just as I believe delicious, distinctive, characterful coffee can be approachable and convenient. Having drawn upon 20 years of knowledge from working with Heston, I have taken time to analyse people’s relationship with coffee, whilst adopting a meticulous approach to maintaining consistent quality and flavour; I feel this has provided us with the opportunity to make a difference. I can’t wait for people to try it!”
As head of product development, Palmer-Watts works with a team of Q Graders (the coffee industry’s equivalent to a wine sommelier) to create masterful blends of delicious specialty-grade beans. By combining specific beans and roast profiles, he and his colleagues have precisely tuned each character for consistently brilliant results across all brew types. They also offer a range of hand-crafted, meticulously developed chocolates to add an extra dimension to the experience. Generously sized and finished with distinctive stencilling, each “Chocolate Flight” has been carefully matched to a parallel coffee, using encapsulated flavours to amplify the characteristics of their partner coffee and elevate the flavour profiles in each.
Artisan will launch with the following six characterful coffees, with bags starting from £9.50 (working out at just 31p per cup):
The Heroine – choc’n’nut nirvana
The Big Shot – dark and memorably rich
The Smart Cookie – sumptuously smooth
The Genius – wondrously complex
The Enigma – plum perfection
The Dreamer – sweet harmony, a deluxe decaf
Each coffee is bursting with the flavours described on the pack – easy to understand and even easier to drink. For example, The Heroine has been conceived as a “daily hero”, with familiar yet memorable notes of dark chocolate, caramel and hazelnut, and works brilliantly with milk. For those who like a more complex cup, The Genius has intricate notes of pecans, raisins and malted cocoa, and for those after an exceptional anytime brew, The Dreamer is a spectacular Swiss water decaf with velvety notes of milk chocolate, honey and walnut.
Artisan’s unique Aromax50 is a pioneering process that locks in twice the aroma, and thus twice the flavour, of any alternative coffee solution. No matter how each member of the household prefers to drink their cup, Artisan Coffee Co’s entire range will be available online in whole bean, ground sachets (both in filter and espresso blend), pods and brew-in-cup bags. The ordering process will be as easy as following a digital chart: which way do you take your coffee, using which accoutrements, and so on. Customers can choose their favourites for one-off purchases or gifts, but they will also be able to customise their monthly order as a subscription service to suit the varying preferences of a household. For the additional confectionary dimension, the hand-crafted chocolates paired with each of the above coffees include the following:
The Heroine – dark chocolate with hazelnut and caramel
The Big Shot – marbled dark and white chocolate
The Smart Cookie – caramelised chocolate, salted biscuit and nibbed cocoa
The Genius – milk chocolate with caramelised pecan and raisins
The Enigma – dark chocolate, raspberry, raisins and apricot
The Dreamer – milk chocolate, walnut and honey
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For further information and to place an order visit the Artisan Coffee Co website.