Yay! a UK group!
This means that people will actually know what I'm on about if I mention Nero. Woopedoo.

Anyway, I have an opportunity for you:
I am off to Caffe Nero HQ in London next week, to cajoul, persuade and possibly harass them into helping me out with my Phd research. So far they are being very secretive about what their coffee blend actually is, where is comes from, and how they choose it. I'm hoping that by visiting, I can get them to spill the beans (groan!!)

If you have a burning questions you really would like to ask the somewhat faceless company right now, please let me know and I will do my best to find out!!

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what did you find out??
To be fair, they were A LOT more helpful that I'd first thought. The guy I talked to was the buyer - in charge of choosing the suppliers of all the food, other drinks, and of course the coffee. Contrary to what you might think given the company has won numerous awards for the coffee, Nero don't actually roast it themselves. They get it from Langdon's of London, who are part of the Coburg Coffee group - they do all the importing and exporting with Mercanta, and Langdon's roast it to a blend designed especially for Nero. The Nero blend is made up of 7 different beans, 1 is Indian robusta, the rest come from various parts of central and south america, including Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico, but he was obviously not going to divulge the full recipe to me!
More interestingly, this guy and my former manager at the Nero branch in Durham both assured me that Langdon's was based on the Isle of Wight. This made me worry, because I'm in Co. Durham, how on earth am I going to get to the Isle of Wight for research?? I searched google endlessly and couldn't find anything about Langdons being there - no address, phone number, nothing. I did find a number for their head office in London, so I called them, asking if I could go to the Isle of Wight to go see it roasting, The bloke their just laughed at me - why did I want to go there?
Langdon's of London roaster is based in Woolwich, as in North London. It might be vaguely near the Isle of Dogs, but certainly not the Isle of Wight. So Caffe Nero have a VERY VERY strange view of the world, it seems. This has amused me greatly!!


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