A NEW independent coffee house that shares its home with a repair shop on Cowley Road is celebrating a top hygiene rating.

The appropriately-named GigaBean (a play on the word gigabyte), started serving customers in August.

Set up by Sam Earle, the business is a new venture for the 26-year-old who has swapped computers for coffee.

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He explained: “I used to work at Mac Simple so when they moved to Cowley Road this year I thought it would be a good time to start the business and we share the space.

“It’s something I’ve been interested in for a while but I’ve never done anything like it before so I’m starting small.”

Mr Earle, who came to the city to study at Oxford Brookes University and now lives in Abingdon, said things were going well so far for the new coffee shop, which offers takeaway as well as having a few tables for people who want to sit inside while they enjoy their drink.

He said the business was attracting a mix of customers but students were a large percentage of trade, as well as those who had come in for Apple repairs.

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Mr Earle added of sharing with his former colleagues: “I think the guys also like having a free coffee every once in a while.”

He continued: “The response has been overall good, the coffee is a bit cheaper than other places and we have a special offer for early birds of £1.50 a cup.”

There is no skimping on quality though, with GigaBean exclusively using coffee locally roasted by eco-conscious business Jericho Coffee Traders.

Mr Earle said he already knew the team behind the venture, which was founded a decade ago by James Armitage and his wife Lizzie, and it had been another push for him to start the coffee shop.

He added he was not tempted to add pastries or other food to the shop, which only sells coffee at the moment, saying: “I listen to what customers want for the future but I’m happy sticking with the coffee for now while things are new."

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When Oxford City Council's health team visited the new business for its first inspection this week they were impressed enough to award it the highest hygiene score.

Posting a picture of the new five star rating on the cafe’s twitter account, Mr Earle said: “We are pleased to say that we got five stars on our food hygiene rating.”

Explaining why he was so happy about the score, he explained: “I think it is really important to have that top score because it is something people look at before they visit somewhere these days.”

For more information visit the GigaBean Facebook page.