Union hand-roasted coffee is a small company that is dedicated to the joy of high quality arabica coffee
Excitement, passion, partnership. All these have defined Union. Since we were founded by Jeremy Torz and Steven Macatonia in 2001, we've been a proud part of the story of UK coffee. And a proud partner to hundreds of coffee farmers, worldwide.
Don't drink and walk
It's hard to imagine today, but in Britain a few decades ago, you’d never see someone drinking a takeaway coffee in the street.
There were no baristas. There was no café culture. No-one paid much attention to the quality of their coffee.
So our story begins in San Francisco, where Steven and Jeremy were working. One day, they ducked into a tiny café. Inside, they were roasting fresh coffee. They watched the beans come tumbling out of the roaster: hot, fresh, aromatic. And that was that.
Self-confessed coffee obsessives
Inspired, they threw themselves into the world of coffee, learning anything and everything they could.
Then they decided to bring that West Coast inspiration to London.
So they quit their day jobs. Packed up, shipped out, settled in, started pitching. Sold everything they had to rent a workshop and buy a roaster. And a fax machine (cutting edge, back then).
In good taste
Union was stirring – in more ways than one.
It was a whole new approach to coffee. Buying great coffee, roasting it in small batches, creating a more flavourful cup. Even talking about a more flavourful cup - and introducing flavour profiles - was new.
Little did we know: an even more meaningful union was waiting to be discovered.
The coffee farmers who stopped farming coffee
In 2001 Steven and Jeremy were in Guatemala, on a research trip, when Arabica prices fell to their lowest point in 30 years.
They saw, first hand, the impact on farmers, who now couldn’t earn a living from coffee. They saw fourth generation farmers pull
up their coffee trees - their birthright - with their own hands.
Farmers had never been part of the coffee story. They were anonymous even to exporters, combining their crop into one mill.
Steven and Jeremy wanted to do things differently. They bypassed the brokers. Invested long-term in farming communities. Paid farmers not just a minimum wage - but a living one.
Telling new coffee stories - together
Today, Union does more than tell our farmers' stories: we create new stories together.
We work together, long-term, pooling our knowledge - on coffee varieties, harvesting techniques, sustainable farming, washing and drying - to create the perfect cup of coffee.
Because great coffee doesn't just make conversation. Great coffee is made from conversation.
That's why we've introduced CoffeeClub. So coffee lovers can get a constant stream of new flavours and styles to talk about, as often as they like.
Ours is a worldwide union - one of farmers, roasters, and all lovers of great coffee. All living, loving and speaking coffee.
Join the conversation.