We are four coffee-loving friends who in September of last year decided to quit our jobs, Leave The Herd Behind,and start Black Sheep Coffee.
We set out to shake up the specialty coffee scene that seemed to focus only on light-roast, 100% arabica coffee. We could not find any good or valid argument that explained why robusta could not yield a great cup of coffee if sourced ethically and processed with the same amount of care as with a specialty grade arabica. In fact we found that robusta offered some amazing properties that we wanted to explore and share with the world.
☕ Higher level of caffeine - Naturally :)
☕ Higher level of protein, which makes for a much richer crema when brewed as an espresso
☕ Lower acidity, which makes it easy to digest, even in the morning on an empty stomach
☕ More body which makes for a stronger taste that really punches through the milk when brewed as a latte or a flat white
☕ A different taste profile - unlike typical arabica coffees that are often described as floral, or fruity with notes of citrus, robusta is earthy with notes of walnut and dark chocolate.
We knew that developing a premium 100% robusta coffee would be a challenge because good robustas are hard to find. Most robustas out there are mechanically processed, mass-produced and used mostly to make instant coffee.
We thought: what if we could find robusta growers who focused on quality and processed the beans ethically and with the same amount of care as do the specialty grade arabica farmers of this world?
This is how Robusta Revival came about. We went completely against the market trend and quickly became the Black Sheep of the London coffee scene.
Our brand ethos is about doing things differently, questioning the establishment and tradition, challenging the status quo, breaking the rules, and not following trends blindly, but instead constantly rethinking accepted beliefs and Leaving The Herd Behind.
After almost a year of operations, we managed to open five different pop-up cafés, create 15 jobs, supply over 25 restaurants/hotels/cafés in the UK, reach the shelves of established retailers like Whole Foods Market, build great partnerships with established brands like Urban Outfitters who opened a Black Sheep espresso bar inside their Marble Arch flagship store on Oxford Street or San Remo (sponsor of the UK Barista Championship) who picked us as their distributor in London.
Our dream is to open our first permanent café in London so that we can keep serving our existing customers, get new ones, and keep on developing new, unorthodox coffees to constantly surprise people's tastebuds with new flavours.
We've worked out that £22'500 would be the bare minimum to open our café.
We tried to come up with cool and exciting pledges for those of you who will support us. Here are a few pictures of what you will be getting:
The Latte Art Class with Valerios will teach you how to make this:
The T-shirts will look something like this:
The bags of coffee will look like this:
The Handpresso will look like that:
The Cupping Session with Kerstin and the Black Sheep Team will be like that:
The aeropress will look like that:
The Trips to Colombia and India will look like that:
Here are a few links from some media coverage:
Risks and challenges
The main risk that we face is not reaching our target of £22'500, which is what we've worked out to be the bare minimum to open our new café.
Apart from opening the café, there are no risks of not being able to deliver on the pledges that we promise because we have already developed the product and we have it in stock.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)