The rarest coffees, from the world's most exceptional estates
Sea Island was born in 2007, in the wake of the Third Wave Coffee movement. After decades of trading green (raw) coffee beans from the most renowned coffee estates through our sister company, our founders recognised that they should use their sourcing experience, existing relationships, and product expertise to make the world’s best coffees directly available for coffee connoisseurs to drink at home.
The world’s very finest coffees tend to come from high altitudes on tropical islands like Jamaica, Hawaii, and the Canary Islands, and it was in recognition of this agricultural phenomenon that we named ourselves Sea Island Coffee.
Stemming from a life-long love of coffee, our vision has always been to source the rarest and most exclusive coffees from around the world and make them directly accessible to consumers who would otherwise be unable to experience some of these wonderful origins.
Now after 15 years of operation, Sea Island ships to more than 70 countries around the world and stocks the largest collection of single origin coffees in the UK. As the popularity of coffee continues to increase worldwide, we remain committed to sourcing an ever-increasing range of exotic coffees, never compromising on quality.
Coffee can only be considered truly great if it is grown and cultivated with respect for both people and planet. We source all our coffees directly from origin, typically from a specific estate with whom we have maintained a personal relationship for years. Sourcing from origin ensures that most of the value created by the coffee goes directly to the farmers who own, run, and work year-round on these farms.
Though our coffees come from origins that are far away and exotic, the relationships we have with those we source from are close and personal. For over two decades, we have been visiting origins and forging long term personal relationships with the coffee farmers; in the case of Jamaica and St Helena, we have even invested directly in the estates we buy from, such is our belief in their coffees.
Most importantly, with all the growers we work with, we require evidence that the agricultural methods employed are built on a long-term commitment to sustainable and ethical production. Many of the single estates and co-operatives from which we source are organic and fair trade certified whilst others are working with the Rainforest Alliance and Utz. To read more about our values, please read our Ethics page.
We source our coffees from only the world’s most renowned estates and origins, which have been widely recognised for producing exceptional, often award-winning beans. All these coffees have distinct taste characteristics that are totally unique from one another, and each provides a completely different drinking experience.
Each of the coffees that we offer is the result of unique combinations of the right soil, topography, and climate, with superior and often highly delicate coffee plants. Many of these coffees come from small islands with limited cultivation acreage and tiny annual yields, making them exceptionally rare and difficult to get a hold of.
At Sea Island we offer several rare and unusual bean varieties that are not typically available to the average consumer from other specialist coffee retailers. For more detailed information on our rare bean varietals, please take a look at our bean guide.
The price of our coffees reflects the labour-intensive nature of growing and reaping small batches of artisanal processed coffees in extremely remote locations. Because the best coffees tend to come from small remote islands very limited acreage and a high risk of natural disasters, the costs are often very substantial and quantities available very limited.
Cheap coffee found in Supermarkets is typically a very poor reflection of the hard work and time that went into growing, harvesting, and processing the beans. Cheap coffee is available oftentimes only by using unethical, poorly paid labour and cost-cutting production methods that destroy the original flavour of the bean.
The higher volume speciality and commercial grade coffees you see on the high street at coffee shops and chain retailers tend to be traded under 'Contract Pricing'; by contrast, the producers of our coffees set their own prices, insulating them from fluctuations in commodity pricing and thus giving them a sustainable pricing regime that keeps them in business, pays their farmers fairly, and provides them with the ability to continue producing their extraordinary coffees to the highest standard. The majority of our coffees are sorted by hand and processed by artisanal and labour-intensive methods that take time, patience, and respect the unique characteristics of the beans.
All our coffees are roasted in small 1kg batches in accordance with the demand for each variety. Every coffee is roasted, ground, and packed to order to ensure that every cup tastes as fresh and vibrant as possible upon receiving. This is a freshness that supermarket coffees simply cannot match.
Most of our coffees are ‘medium roasted’ unless otherwise stated or requested, though some varieties come slightly darker or lighter than others depending on the bean’s properties – we continuously perfect the roast profiles for each of our coffees to ensure maximum flavour and preservation of its delicate tasting notes.
Our roasted coffee comes inside special resealable bags with an exceptionally strong oxygen barrier, designed to keep your coffee fresh for as long as possible. A one-way valve allows the Co2 produced from roasting to 'gas off' slowly, preserving the coffees unique flavours for many weeks.
For the discerning drinker who hates waste as much as we do, we use recyclable packaging for our products wherever possible. Our green (unroasted) bean bags, Nespresso compatible pods, coffee sachet boxes, gift boxes, and tins are all 100% recyclable.