Remember how I said I drink a lot of tea? Recently, Tom and I have been harbouring an obsession for coffee. We don’t NEED it we just REALLY like the taste of it (…is that textbook addict denial?) It’s just so appealing to drink during winter.

These are some of our Fairtrade favourites to drink at home. Now I’m no coffee connoisseur and I’m not too fussy to drink instant coffee. But there’s good news even if you like your home-brewed coffee to be slightly fancier: a large range of Fairtrade coffees – be it instant, ground, capsules, or whole beans – are now widely available for you to make and drink at home. Enjoy!

Ethical credentials: Fairtrade


1. Republica


Republica is more expensive than some of the other brands, but it sure tastes good. The folk at Republica describe the Cuban as “rich and full of zest” and the Colombian as “creamy, caramel, and medium bodied”. My layman’s description: the Colombian is mild and sweet (and, as an added bonus, makes me remember the time Jack and I spent a few days at high altitude on a coffee plantation in Salento, Colombia!). The Cubano is stronger with a slightly more acidic taste.



Availability: Coles and Woolworths stores and online (in Australia).

Price: $10 – $10.99AUD for 100grams.

Range: 100% Cubano, 100% Colombian, Decaffeinated (in instant). Ground coffee, whole beans and those sachets that make instant cappuccinos and mochas by Republica are also available at Coles.

P.S. Republica is a carbon-neutral company. Cool!

2. Coles Fairtrade IMGP1671

More Fairtrade goods from Coles. Yay, Coles! (Now. If only they could bring the ethics of their store-brand clothing, ‘Mix’, up to the same level. Mix was implicated in the Four Corners investigation into the ethics behind brands operating in Bangladesh.)

My layman’s description: the Fairtrade Gold is as strong as the Republica Cubano, but not acidic. I prefer it, because I like my coffee to be smooth rather than bitter. I think that’s the goal of blending; to fuse the distinct tastes of beans from more than one area to achieve a altogether different (and sometimes improved) flavour.



Availability: Coles stores.

Price: Between $5.40 and $5.95AU for 100grams.

Range: Fairtrade Medium Roast Blend and Fairtrade Gold. To me, there isn’t much difference between the Fairtrade Gold and the Medium Roast in terms of taste. If anything, the Medium Roast seems slightly sharper. Coles describes it as “sourced from distinctive regions of Africa and Asia creating a robust, smooth coffee with delicate characteristics.”***

***Update 23/09/2013 In response to an email from my pal, Cam, Coles described the difference between the Fairtrade Medium Roast Blend and the Fairtrade Gold:

Thank you for your email regarding our Coles Organic Fairtrade Gold Freeze Dried Coffee and Coles Organic Fairtrade Original Granulated Coffee.

Upon receipt of your correspondence, we were in contact with our National Quality Team. They have advised that the majority of coffee products are derived from Arabica beans. It is the predominant species grown though robusta is slowly growing.

The difference between the two coffees is the method in which they are made. The basic principle of freeze drying is the removal of water by sublimation.

Coles also stock their store-branded whole coffee beans.


3. Macro Wholefoods Markets IMGP1701

I know I’ve been harping on and on about the Fairtrade stuff that’s available at Coles, but Woolworths can hold its own! Hooray!

Annnnd… This is where I show my lack of coffee knowledge. This coffee has a full, sweet flavour – but I’m not sure whether it’s the blend or the fact that it’s ground coffee (and percolated coffee is sweeter).

The fresh food people (i.e. Woolworths) say this coffee is “rich with undertones of citrus berry fruits, chocolate, and a little cinnamon to form a beautiful smooth and sweet crema“. They also say this: “the coffee we have sourced is Peruvian Arabica coffee mostly grown in the Andean foothills of central Peru….with it’s steady temperate tropical climate allowing the coffee cherries to ripen slowly, developing fully all its flavours. We have been working with our supplier to provide a unique coffee with more balance between body and acidity.”


Availability: Woolworths stores.

Price: To be confirmed (it’s been a while since I’ve bought it – this packet has gone a long way!).

Range: Dark and medium roast. IMGP1704

4. Grinders Coffeetn_grocery_packs

Availability: Coles and Woolworths stores.

Price: $9.20AUD for 200grams.

Range: Espresso and crema.  I’ve spotted these only recently and I’m yet to try either. The Crema is described as “perfect for lovers of smooth, mellow coffee”. Sounds like me. The expresso is for “lovers of rich, full flavoured coffee”. In theory, espressos have bite and earthiness.

5. Oxfam7865226

Availability: Oxfam online or in stores. In Coles stores.

Price: $9.75AUD for 250grams

Range: World blend (Oxfam and Coles), East Timor blend, Africa blend, decaffeinated (Oxfam).


6. Coles Finest

fairtradeExciting news! In July, Coles released these single origin coffee pods – the first in Australia that are Fairtrade AND compatible with Nespresso machines.

I don’t have a Nespresso machine, so I haven’t tried these yet. If you have, tell me what you think!

Availability: Watch out for these to start being stocked at Coles stores.

Price: $4.20AUD for 10.

Range: Like the Nespresso pods, these capsules are rated for intensity; Level 10 for the most intense (Sumatran beans) to Level 7 for decaffeinated Colombian.


Republica (from $10.85AUD for 200grams), Coles ($13.00AUD for 1kg), and Coles Finest ($8.95AUD for 200grams) each have whole beans available at Coles.

Also check out Jasper Coffee, which has a huge range of Fairtrade coffees available from central America, Thailand, Ethiopia, East Timor, and more from $12.95AUD for 250grams. The best part? You can choose your grind: whole beans, plunger, espresso… you name it!

Do you prefer to buy your coffee out? No problem – stay tuned next week for Part 2, where I’ll share places for you to get Fairtrade coffee when you’re on the go.

Yours Fairly,



1 Comment

  1. Kali
    June 20, 2015 / 12:32 PM

    I was googling to find out if Coles Fair Trade coffee was any good and you showed up! I don’t know why I didn’t just look here to begin with! Silly me! Thanks Ash :) x

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