Jericho Coffee Traders was launched when James Armitage mounted an espresso machine on the back of this Vespa three-wheel moped and started selling espresso, americano and latte in the Oxford’s streets and at farmers markets.

Oxford Mail:

Seven years later, Mr Armitage is a husband, a father and an owner of Jericho Coffee Traders, a robust company with two locations in Oxford. It is also the first speciality-coffee venture in the city that has its own roastery and the moped still visits every South Oxford Farmers Market.

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For some time now Jericho Coffee Traders’ team’s goal is to make their operation greener.

“It first tarted some time ago, when we started selling reusable cups”, he says. “Then we started charging 10p for paper cups and giving a 10p discount for bringing your own cups.

“And once you start doing it, you just keep going, experimenting, re-examining where you are.

“Some things come naturally, such as making all our deliveries with Pedal & Post bike couriers. It is not only ecological, but also allows us to bypass traffic queues, drive outside the road network and deliver in peak hours, when the council restricts business traffic.”

Oxford Mail:

Now the company is the first in Oxford to sign up permanently with the Co-Cup a scheme aimed at replacing one-use paper cups with cups customers can return to any place signed up to the scheme, where they are washed and reused. Mr Armitage’s wife Lizzy explains the scheme, and adds: “If more places would join, that could go so well.”

With biodegradable paper cups not as ecological as they appear, Mr Armitage is proud of the recyclable packaging his company uses.

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“We started with bio-degradable bags first, but, from what I’ve learnt, The Vale of White Horse’s compost-processing system won’t take them because it takes too long for them to decompose. It is the same with paper cups, they’re picked out and sent to incineration.”

Now the company has signed up with a producer of coffee bags that are not only recyclable, but also produced in a carbon-neutral way.

Mr Armitage adds: “Now we focus mostly on reusable packaging, especially where we’re delivering to other businesses. So I might say we operate by a WWGD principle. It stands for ‘What would Greta Do?’, he goes on, describing the 16 year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s appearance at the UN summit as “really scary”.

Oxford Mail:

In the roastery, the Osney Mead branch manager and master roaster Stretch prepares a 5.5kg batch of hard, green beans from Brazil, which resemble pistachio nuts more than than coffee. After 11-13 minutes in the roaster they crack like popcorn.

“Brazil is quiter than Columbia, which cracks quite loudly,” he says.

“Later there’d be a second crack... but we never go that far.”