As sustainability around plastic bottles and the very recent announcement that Waitrose is ditching disposable coffee cups is all over the news, Percol coffee seems to have timed this pop-up to near perfection.

Sure the promise of espresso martinis was very welcome, but it was the very strong sustainability element that really drew me in.  Of course, the timing isn’t a coincidence, it’s also UK Coffee Week.

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So from Wednesday 18 – Friday 20 April, you can visit the excellent Percol immersive pop-up coffee shop in Shoreditch and see how you can make small changes to your daily coffee routine to become more sustainable.

Pop in and you’ll see why it believes it has earned the world’s most sustainable coffee shop title in various ways. Perhaps most importantly, all coffee is ethically sourced and served in reusable cups.

But the perks don’t stop there, as customers will be able to buy the reusable cups on site and will receive free coffee for the duration of the pop up if they do. BOOM! Or if you bring your own reusable cups they will also receive a free Percol coffee.

To put things into perspective, there are 2.5 billion single-use coffee cups thrown away every year in the UK alone. Percol has pledged to help make a difference. So the popup is entirely single-use-plastic-free. Milk is being sourced from Parker Dairy’s a local dairy and using only glass bottles and dairy alternatives are being supplied in recyclable packaging and there will be no disposable straws or stirrers.
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But it goes further than that, with Percol will be limiting the amount of paper on site and operating a cashless operating system, with receipts emailed to customers. Cloths will be washable and no blue paper roll will be used.

Any paper that is used will be recycled responsibly. I also had a chance to try the exercise bike that is being used to demonstrate how much energy is needed to power certain elements of the coffee shop; for example, pedalling for five minutes will power the coffee machine for 11 seconds and four minutes will power the fridge for 15 seconds.

I managed the challenge in a hugely (IMHO) respectable time of 14.59 seconds, giving me a potential bronze winning status on the leaderboard.
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The brand might not be the sexiest coffee brand on the street, but I remember them fondly when Fair Trade coffee was really growing in popularity, and wanting to make consumers more mindful of how much energy it takes to power the gadgets they have in their homes and lives, is a noble one, this isn’t just a fluffy PR story.
We caught up with David Brooks, MD of Percol Coffee and asked him a couple of questions about the Pop-up.

Q: What was the inspiration behind the pop-up? Is sustainability a new approach by Percol? Our brand is built on the foundations of responsible sourcing and over the last 30 years we have used direct and traceable supply chains and supported independent certification bodies to ensure that the people and environments that grow our coffee are supported, respected and protected. Climate change poses a real threat to the future of coffee production and as more people are becoming aware of the devastation being caused by mass consumerism, it felt like a relevant time to enter the conversation. We wanted to show consumers that together, by making small changes to our daily coffee habits, we can make a big impact.

Q: Percol was a pioneer of Fair Trade coffee in the UK, how does that fit with the sustainability message and how are Percol and Fair Trade helping to make growers be more sustainable / environmentally aware? Fairtrade is more than just paying a fair price to the people that grow our coffee. The Fairtrade Standards include guidelines that promote environmental protection and agricultural training for farmers to be able to cope with environmental changes caused by climate change. Without the understanding and knowledge of how to be more environmentally friendly, it is difficult for farmers and coffee growing communities to see a positive future in this industry. A big part of what we do is increasing demand for certified coffee so raising awareness of the challenges that these farmers face is important.

If you want to take away ground coffee to use at home, there’s a station with three different types to choose from. For the Nespresso fans out there, they also have plant-based capsules, so if you can’t do away with the convenience, you can still reduce your impact.
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If you want great coffee and a clear conscious, get yourself along. Finally for those who love espresso martini’s, the vodka comes courtesy of FAIR.
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When: Wednesday 18th April – Friday 20th April. So be quick
Where: Unit 8, Old Street Station (near the magic roundabout entrance)