Passion and forward-thinking

Bright Note was created by our founders Steven and Jeremy back in 2002. They wanted to create a blend that showcased the natural characteristics of coffee and introduce coffee drinkers to a lighter and brighter roast profile, whilst remaining accessible. They decided on three different components: a Brazil Natural, a Brazil Washed and a Guatemala Washed – the former would bring depth, chocolate and nut notes whilst the latter would brighten up the cup with a soft citric acidity. The Brazil washed would link the two together creating synergy. Our delicious Bright Note was born!

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Spring is upon us and with it the promise of brighter and warmer days. This new spring blend Equinox (our seasonally changing blend) will reflect this long awaited change of season and gently awaken your senses like blossoming buds after a cold spell- it’s one of the most balanced Equinox we’ve created with a soft citric acidity, a fruity sweetness and sweet and rich chocolate and nutty overtones.

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With the chance of crisp, chilly days still a threat, grab your last chance to enjoy our Winter blend. This medium to full-bodied, harmoniously layered blend is the perfect solution to melt away the last of the winter blues with aromas of plum and candied orange peel, and a lingering vanilla and butterscotch finish.

The elegant sweetness of Liberación from Guatemala is underpinned by the sparkling, citrus acidity provided by Ethiopian Homacho Waeno and complimented by essences of candied fruit from Sumatra’s Gajah Mountain. To finish there’s a creamy butterscotch toffee aftertaste, courtesy of the Bello Horizonte Natural from El Salvador.

How to serve

As an espresso: it’s full and rich and this brewing method will show off the fruity plumlike notes, sweet zesty orange with a nice vanilla butterscotch finish.

With milk: as a flat white or latte, it’s at its best as a small serve of 6-8 ounces to retain the notes.


Enjoy it with


orange gingerbread with cream cheese frosting

Discover the beans

Bello Horizonte, El Salvador

Papaya lemon herbal apple and wine sweet toffee

Varietal – bourbon

Process – natural, sun-dried


Gajah Mountain, Sumatra

Plum, blackberry and sweet candied fruits and a deep rich body

Varietal – typica, bourbon, tim tim

Process – sun-dried


Liberación, Guatemala

refreshingly fruity with notes of floral jasmine

Varietal – bourbon, pache, typica, catuai

Process – washed, sun-dried


Homacho Waeno, Ethiopia

sparkling sweet citrus acidity medium body with a lingering honeyed aftertaste

Varietal – mixed heirloom

Process – washed, sun-dried


Winter Birdhouse photo from Tom Bee’s photostream under a Creative Commons licence

This week we officially launch our new espresso blend “Rogue”. Gestation started back in June 09 when Andrew Tolly at Taylor St Baristas came to us with his desire to create an espresso that would continuously challenge his baristas so they could hone their skills discovering new and different flavours in the espresso blend they use in their shops every day.

With Andrew, Jeremy and Vic, we started with our palette of single origin coffees. We needed to understand the flavours each produces in espresso shots and then with the influence of steamed milk and make adaptations in the roasts to define and refine the nuances. Over the coming months, stealing time where we could, we began putting the coffees together.

In some sessions, after extensive espresso tastings our brains were scrambled and couldn’t speak in complete sentences from the effects of caffeine—it’s a wonderful feeling.

Then through the week, texting and emailing our tasting notes … “I’m getting lots of cocoa, big body, a hint of wineyness…..- works very well in milk: is smooth, rich and chocolatey.”

By November we felt we we’re getting close so we sent out “No Name” to get feedback from friends.

“I was dialled in on the grinder from the word go, and every single shot has been coming through beautifully rich. I’ve only tried it as a flat white so far (my staple diet), and it pushes all the right buttons -lots of body and sweetness, pleasing fruity high notes……. So I think my machine must be well-matched temperature-wise
My tasting headline – ‘Apricot and cinnamon crumble’.

After a few more tweaks—”can there be too much blueberry?” We introduced “No Name” into Taylor Street Baristas shops for a soft outing. We got some great comments and we’ve worked to get more familiar with the roast style over the last few weeks. As roasters, our philosophy is to introduce some of our personality into the coffee; those roast notes of caramel, chocolate & cocoa: it’s what defines us and contributes more to the intrinsic and complex fruited & floral notes from the bean.

So now we can introduce Rogue: by name and by nature.

An espresso blend designed to change. We believe that Rogue takes an original approach as it is not a traditional ‘seasonal’ espresso, nor do we intend it to be conventional in concept either.

It is a little bit roguish.  It doesn’t aim to mute flavours so that we can maintain a consistent flavour profile.  It is designed to change in order to highlight and promote coffees that are in their prime and to showcase the diversity of coffee.   

The coffees we use to create Rogue will centre on those exclusive to Union.  These coffees are special, unique, and exceptional and a direct result of a trading model that is focussed on quality, but benefits everyone in the supply chain.

Experienced Baristas like the ideas of seasonality, new flavours, knowing about the farmers and about the coffee processing techniques. It has to be real and it’s a natural evolution for anyone who is becoming more interested in coffee.

This is part of the concept behind Rogue espresso. It is a little unconventional in that it is not just a blend focused around 3-4 flavours and designed to be constant throughout the year. It is a blend that has a distinctive character now, layered and complex but perhaps dominated by the new crop Gashonga that is really outstanding at the moment.  This is going to change in a month or so as new-crop Lambari from Brazil and tge latest organic Sumatra Gajah arrive. If they work well in the blend or are particularly exciting we’ll adjust the blend, if not, we’ll add something new and explore a different flavor route.  The blend will change as the new crop coffee harvests move from the northern to southern hemispheres, and not according to our Autumn Winter Spring & Summer.

Rogue is currently composed of four origin coffees, two different processes from Lambari farm, Brazil, our Harar, Gashonga from Rwanda and Gajah Organic Mountain from Sumatra. These have been selected, not just for their flawless quality, but also to reflect quite different and individual flavour notes that also harmonise. We have spent the last 8 years working directly with small farmers and this work is showing dividends in the form of outstanding and vibrant coffees. 

But, even the best coffees in the world—on a journey from origin to the cup—can be ruined at the hands of a poorly trained barista.  Extracting the best flavours by manipulating coffee and water volumes, pressure, temperature and time is a treacherous craft that only skilled and knowledgeable hands can consistently do well.  A skilled barista needs to identify the desired flavours and manipulate all these variables to bring these out. This metaphorical ‘graphic equalizer’ of flavour will not be set to the accepted equilibrium—muting the flavour notes as they change over time. In the shops, it will be enhanced by the Taylor St Baristas,  who can create different flavours by adjusting shots to allow each of the coffee origins to sing its arrival. The collaboration with Taylor St developing this blend has benefited from their passion and dedication to getting the most from our coffees. 

Does coffee have a gender? We want Rogue to change ‘her voice’ over time, yet still keep her soul; it will take a skillful barista to get to know her personality and then the delight as her character changes. I hope you like her.

Flavour notes: Intense almond and fruited aroma, fragrant with winey floral notes, the espresso shot gives an overlaying of marzipan, plum with a cocoa finish and lingering creamy body

Rogue is roasted every Friday, sleeps through the weekend gaining vigour, and dance into the new week.

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