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Jack Merriman

Content Marketing Manager

When it comes to finding the perfect coffee supplier for your business, it’s essential to make an informed decision. With numerous options available in the UK, selecting the right coffee partner can significantly impact the success of your venture.

Let’s first get something out of the way: Yes, we’re a coffee supplier.

But, we haven’t gotten to where we are now by partnering with business that don’t align with our ethos, brand, products, and services. So, in this guide, we’ll walk you through the crucial steps and considerations for choosing the ideal coffee supplier and how to make a decision based on your needs.

Get to Know Your Coffee Needs

Before diving into the selection process, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of your coffee requirements. Consider factors like the volume of coffee you’ll need, the types of beans you prefer, any special services or equipment your business requires, and (if budget is tight) what kind of sacrifices you’re willing to make to cut costs. As a quick checklist:

  • Coffee Quality / flavour profile
  • Type of coffee machines
  • Additional equipment and gear
  • Staff training (what is your turnover like?)
  • Coffee volume
  • Insurance for repairs
  • Budget

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Coffee Supplier

Selecting the right coffee supplier involves evaluating various factors to ensure a perfect fit for your business. Here are the key aspects to consider:

The Supplier’s Quality of Coffee

The quality of coffee beans is paramount. Look for suppliers who provide high-quality, freshly roasted coffee beans. Consider whether you prefer single-origin beans, blends, or other specialty coffees.

The truth is that many wholesale coffee companies will provide a range of coffee brands and levels of quality, so this may not be the absolute deciding factor between suppliers. So, it is worth considering your target audience and demographic, what style of coffee they may prefer, whether your coffee needs to be organic/fairtrade, and whether it needs to be traceable back to the farm, and narrowing down your selection from there.

Learn more about our various coffee ranges and request a no-obligation free sample: Our Coffee Brands.

Range of Products & Services

Evaluate the range of coffee products and services offered by each supplier. Some may provide a comprehensive package, including coffee machines, brewing equipment, barista training, and repairs and maintenance, while others may focus solely on coffee beans.

Be cautious when a supplier provides just one line of coffee machines, beans, grinders etc. as they will be motivated to sell you exactly what they offer, rather than what is best for you. Make sure to do your research and ask why you are being recommended specific products.

Ethical Sourcing and Sustainability

Many consumers today prioritize ethical sourcing and sustainability. Investigate whether the supplier supports fair trade, direct relationships with coffee farmers, and environmentally friendly practices.

Consider whether your customers expect (or would benefit from) a coffee range that does good for the growing community and is able to tell the story of the farmers. Or, whether your customers are unlikely to ask where the coffee comes from and your priorities are more aligned with price. There’s no shame in this, but it’s important to be honest.

Customer Service and Support

Excellent customer support is crucial, especially if you’re new to the coffee business. This is one area that people often neglect to consider before making their decision on a coffee supplier and comes around to provide a lot of frustration especially when they have gone with a more affordable option. Consider the level of support, training, and maintenance services provided by each supplier, and weigh up these factors against your budget.

Coffee Supplier Price and Contracts

Review pricing structures and contract terms carefully. Be wary of hidden costs and ensure that the pricing aligns with your budget and long-term business goals. Get to know the various ways in which you can buy a coffee machine, how much it’ll cost to repair if something goes wrong, and what kind of factors affect the overall pricing of your contract. Once you are informed, make sure to compare coffee suppliers on the merits and flexibility of their pricing and contract agreements.

Learn more: How much does it cost to fix a coffee machine? , Coffee machine finance options, explained , Our pricing page , How much does white label coffee cost?


Top UK Coffee Suppliers for Your Consideration

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the top coffee suppliers in the UK. While we’re confident in our own offerings, it’s essential to explore your options and choose the supplier that best aligns with your needs.

Bridge Coffee Roasters

Location: Cardiff, Wales & Clerkenwell, London. Specialties: Specialty Coffee Beans, SCA Barista Training, Equipment, Service and Repairs. Key Points: Founded in 1985, Bridge Coffee Roasters have a rich history in the coffee industry. They focus on helping wholesale customers achieve consistency and high quality coffee.

Bewley’s Tea & Coffee UK

Location: Dublin, Ireland. Specialties: Blend and single origin coffees, specialty teas, ethical sourcing. Key Points: Established in 1840, Bewley’s is a leader in ethical sourcing and provides a wide range of coffee and tea products.

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland

Location: Milton Keynes (head office) and Dartford (roastery). Specialties: Total Coffee Solution, branded white label coffee, equipment, training. Key Points: UCC is a global coffee supplier with tailored solutions and a strong commitment to customer satisfaction.

Tchibo Coffee UK

Location: Hamburg, Germany (origin), UK (wholesale coffee services). Specialties: Wholesale coffee solutions, competitive pricing. Key Points: Tchibo offers a variety of coffee solutions to businesses across industries, with a focus on affordability.

Matthew Algie

Location: Glasgow, Scotland. Specialties: Sustainably produced coffee, professional training, coffee machines. Key Points: Matthew Algie is known for its sustainability efforts and extensive support for independent cafes.

There are many companies who solely offer white label coffee to customers around the UK and globally. We’ve compared the best white label coffee companies in our blog here.

We Might be a Good Fit

Now you know what to look out for, why not see what we're all about?

Explore Bridge Coffee Roasters