Coffee in front of the fire
The story of our coffee

Our coffee at South Sands is supplied by a local Devon company, Owens Coffee.

The freshly-roasted coffee is hand-packed by the Owens’ production team and delivered to South Sands straight from the Roastery here in Devon, where our trained baristas get busy ensuring that the coffee tastes great every time! This elaborate journey behind every sip means next time when enjoying your early morning pick-me-up looking across South Sands Beach, you will have a better understanding of the humble Baya coffee bean.

More about the origin of our coffee;

Owens Coffee has been roasting 100% certified Organic and Fairtrade coffee since 2010. Owens was the first dedicated organic coffee roaster in the South West. Choosing to roast organic coffee only was unusual at the time even throughout the UK.

At Owens’ energy efficient premises off the A38, is a state-of-the-art production facility and shop/takeaway. This is a contemporary space where the team welcomes its visitors, offers tours, demonstrations, barista training, coffee experiences and cupping sessions. Unique experiences include a Home Barista Masterclass and a Coffee Tasting & Brewing Course. These courses are taught by the same team who train and support Owens trade customers, which includes our baristas here at South Sands!

Sustainability is at the heart of Owens Coffee. That includes looking after the people and communities involved in producing the coffee, as well as the environment. At South Sands we use Baya coffee beans. Baya is an Owens Coffee house blend. The beans are grown by organic coffee farmers in the Batak region of Sumatra, the Santa Barbara region of Honduras and the Okapa region of Papua New Guinea.

These Arabica beans are shade-grown at higher altitudes, between the height of 1968 ft - 6561 ft. The alternative to shade-grown coffee is coffee which is grown in full sunshine. Sun-grown production speeds up the process for coffee companies looking to provide faster/cheaper coffee with bigger profits, but this has also been responsible for deforestation in many coffee-growing countries around the world.

Organic farming methods mean that coffee plants are grown beneath the canopies of other trees and planting (bananas, for example). This means that the beans ripen more slowly, which contributes to a fuller flavour profile without the need for deforestation or any nasty chemicals. Organic farming methods use natural fertilisers (often the waste which comes from the cherries themselves is put back onto the land to help fertilise the soils), natural ways to control pests - encouraging wildlife which feeds on them to thrive in areas where coffee plants are grown, and organic farming certification requires that farmers adopt recycling and reuse techniques wherever possible, including for precious water supplies.

The Owens’ beans we use at South Sands are certified organic by the Soil Association for full traceability. Strict procedures and quality control means freshness and flavour benefit from certification. The coffee is also Fairtrade certified, which not only guarantees a fair price is paid to the farmers and their workers for the beans, it also provides an additional Fairtrade Premium for farmers to invest as they see fit, PLUS the benefit of being backed by a global organisation with an infrastructure that offers high-quality advice, supports growth and is helping to combat the impact of climate change.

When Baya beans reach the Roastery in Ivybridge, they are clean-roasted using a high-tech, smoke-free Loring roaster. The Loring is arguably the most energy efficient model on the planet; it uses 80% less energy than other roasting equipment. It is cleaner for the operators, and the environment PLUS, with fewer emissions throughout the roasting process, it locks in flavour, producing superb tasting coffees.

The roasting profile of Baya has been developed to provide a deep, spicy, darker roasted blend which has flavour notes of spicy dark chocolate and a sweet brightness to it.