A couple of weeks ago Costa Coffee invited myself and two journalists down to their Roastery in Lambeth for a top secret intimate tasting class with their coffee master Gennaro Pelliccia ahead of their brand new coffee launch!
I’m a massive Costa Coffee fan so I was super excited when I hopped on my train to London with specific instructions from Gennaro not to eat anything spicy 24 hours before our tasting, no coffee in the morning or strong perfumes – serious stuff! The roastery was a lot smaller than I thought it would be with a close team of workers (a lot of whom are Italian themselves!) roasting away beans for all of Costa’s Coffee Shops AND Costa Express machines (yes, they’re exactly the same beans) across the world! Apart from one factory in India, this little roastery in Lambeth supplies everyone with their wonderful coffee and it has done for the past 43 years, it was quite incredible to be there learning about how costa works and the history of this fantastic brand. Last year I had the privilege of visiting the John Smedley factory in Matlock which was completely fascinating but about four times the size of Costa’s roastery so I was really surprised at just how tiny the Costa factory was considering just how much they produce and how spotless it was throughout – no rogue beans rolling around anywhere! After our tour we were taken into the lab to do some tasting…by far the best part!
Gennaro is Costa’s Master of Coffee and it’s his job to taste all the coffee costa produce to make sure it’s up to brand standard and contains no defects. Trained by the costa brothers themselves Gennaro has worked with Costa for over 20 years and seriously knows his stuff which was clear right from the beginning of our tour along with his true passion for coffee. We each took a palette test to make sure our tongues were all on the same page and practised by identifying smells which was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be! We then moved on to tasting a range of coffee using beans from the different origins using our newly learnt ‘spoon slurping and spitting technique’…yes, it was as attractive as it sounds!After our tasting we finally got to learn about and try the brand new Old Paradise Street No.3 Limited Edition Roast designed (and poured!) by Gennaro himself. Costa’s Mocha Italia house coffee blend falls in the toasty, nutty category, but this new limited edition blend contains 100% Arabica Beans (they’re the really good ones) and has more of a dark chocolate aroma with a hint of pepper – it’s delicious. Not being a black coffee drinker normally myself, Gennaro made us each a Cortado so I could really taste the difference of the new blend – it’s refined and fresh, I loved it.
“Having worked at Costa for almost 20 years, it has been a privilege to create the first new Costa blend since Sergio and Bruno Costa created Mocha Italia in 1971. The Old Paradise Street Limited Editions reflect how consumer tastes are changing and how their palates have grown increasingly varied. There’s also a growing appetite for the customisation and personalisation of drinks which the introduction of the Limited Edition roasts will satisfy.”
My day at the Costa Roastery was so much fun and completely mesmerising, I’ve always been someone who loves to know how things work and I can now sleep at night knowing how they make de-caff coffee too! Costa’s new blend is simply stunning and only 20p more in store so definitely grab yourself a Flat White, Esspresso or Cortado the next time you’re in…but be quick because it won’t be around forever!
Read more about Costa’s new Limited Edition Old Paradise Street No.3 Blend on the costa website
Have you tried the new Old Paradise Street Roast?
Tweet us @xameliax @costacoffee and let us know what you think!