How long does coffee keep you awake for?

If, like us, you just can’t get going in the morning then you’re not alone. The UK, formerly known globally as a nation of tea drinkers, have switched our allegiance to coffee. We drink around 90 million cups a day. The majority of us drink most of our coffee in the morning, but we also like it after meals and some of us drink it well into the evening.

How does caffeine work?

As we all know, the ‘active’ ingredient in coffee is the stimulant caffeine. This has a half-life of around four to six hours, which means that after that period you’ll have processed around half of the caffeine you drank. The best-known property of caffeine is that it makes us feel more alert, so if you drink a cup of strong coffee at 11pm, it will still be in your system at 5am. This could affect sleep patterns. If you drink coffee late in the evening, it might even make you feel more tired than usual the next day. Caffeine works by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain. Adenosine is the chemical which causes sleepiness, so blocking it helps you feel more alert. The adenosine builds up as the caffeine wears off, so you may get hit with a big dose in the morning.

When to drink coffee

If you have trouble sleeping, then it’s best to have your final coffee of the day after lunch so that your body has time to process it before bedtime. Alternatively, you could try switching to decaff in the afternoon.
Our decaffeinated coffee is made with a water process for purity. It’s lovingly roasted to create the same delicious taste as ‘full fat’ coffee – all that’s missing is the caffeine. You can find out more about our fantastic decaffeinated coffee beans here, available at competitive wholesale prices.

All about dried milk

Here at the Wholesale Coffee Company, we talk a lot about…erm…coffee. Not surprising, really – after all, coffee is what we do. Did you know, though, that we also stock high quality powdered skimmed milk? Sometimes, it’s just not practicable to use fresh milk and that’s when it’s useful to have a good quality alternative. We’ve already talked a lot about the process of producing our premium coffee. Have you ever wondered about the process behind powdered milk? After all, fresh milk tends to be a bit on the liquid side – and it goes off quickly when not refrigerated, as well.

How is dried milk made?

Producers start the process of creating dried milk starts by evaporating it to around 50% of its previous volume. This creates a thin, creamy paste which they then spray into a heated chamber. On contact with the heat, the liquid almost immediately evaporates leaving dried particles behind. As manufacturers remove the volatile elements of the milk along with the liquid, the resulting powder has a very long comparative shelf life, sometimes even years. It retains the same nutrients, doesn’t need to be refrigerated and can be reconstituted into fresh milk with the addition of water. Dried milk is useful for all sorts of products including baby food, baked goods and sweets. It’s much less bulky and therefore cheaper to transport than fresh milk, so it’s often used as an ingredient. Directors even sometimes use dried milk in films as a substitute for cocaine, where they want a white powder that looks the part!

We’ve carefully formulated our dried milk to be the perfect partner for coffee. Wherever you may wander, if you don’t have access to a fridge then our premium skimmed milk is a healthy, practical choice. For details of our great value, top quality coffee take a look at our main coffee beans page.

Coffee waste helps rainforest recover

We’re a sucker for a good coffee news story, and here’s one that’s good news for the rainforest as well. Home gardeners have long been aware that used coffee grounds can make an efficient fertiliser as it’s rich in nutrients. Now, researchers have upscaled the experiment and spread industrial loads of coffee pulp onto degraded farmland. The results, according to the research team, were ‘dramatic’.
In 2018 the team, led by researchers from the University of Hawaii and ETH-Zurich, spread a whopping 30 dump truck loads of coffee pulp onto farmland in Costa Rica. The land, which had been tropical rainforest until the 1950s, had become degraded and infertile. The scientists marked out one third of an acre to receive the coffee, and another third of an acre to be a test area. The latter was left unfertilised for comparison.

Coffee ‘jump starts’ growth

The land was left to its own devices for two years, when researchers returned to find a staggering differences in the two parcels. Dr Rebecca Cole, lead author of the study said: “The area treated with a thick layer of coffee pulp turned into a small forest in only two years. The control plot remained dominated by non-native pasture grasses.”

Researchers believe that the coffee pulp worked in two ways. First as a fertilizer, to help species get established. Secondly as a mulch to keep non-native grasses from taking hold and strangling the growth of trees. “Our study highlights the significant potential for using agricultural waste, such as coffee pulp, to jump start forest succession on degraded tropical lands,” said Dr Cole. She pointed out that it was a win-win situation for farmers. Coffee pulp could not only become a new source of income for producers but also help to restore areas of forest previously cleared for farming.

To find out more about our coffee, all top grade and available at great wholesale prices, take a look at our coffee beans page.

Italy applies to get espresso ordering protected by Unesco

As regular customers will know, we like to keep our finger on the pulse of global coffee culture. Italy has a long history with coffee, with Venice being one of the first ports in Europe to import coffee in the 16th century. Many of the standard coffee terms we use every day are Italian, including latte, cappuccino and espresso.

Now, Italy is pushing for its coffee culture to be protected as part of Unesco world heritage. This means it has cultural, historical or scientific global significance. Rather than putting forward the whole of Italian coffee culture, officials are campaigning for Unesco to add the act of ordering an espresso to their list.

Campaigners feel that in Italy coffee isn’t a drink, it’s a ritual and part of the national identity. The campaign has already found favour with the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and it now needs to go before Unesco itself for approval.

Coffee shops an integral part of Italian culture

According to deputy minister of agriculture Gian Marco Centinaio the submission is more important than ever. We’re all working to repair the social relations fractured by Covid, and for Italians reclaiming their coffee shop culture is a big step forwards.
Italy has already registered 15 ‘intangible’ Unesco assets with more on the waiting list. These include Alpinism, traditional violin craftsmanship and falconry. As one of the countries the world really associates with the culture and drinking of coffee, we think Italy should get approval. We’d love to see coffee culture recognised by Unesco!

For more information about our top class coffee beans and coffee accessories, all available at competitive wholesale prices, take a look at our main website We’ve everything you need for your coffee business – or just for your own domestic use. And remember, next time you order yourself a cup of espresso, you could be paying tribute to a Unesco-approved activity!

Uk consumers embrace new methods of buying coffee

Times of international crisis can drive forward technology at a faster pace that usual. The pandemic imposed severe restrictions on the whole hospitality industry, but it just made us more creative! With customers needing lower contact options, retailers introduced contactless payment, online ordering via apps and drive through pick up.

According to Project Café UK 2022, Allegra World Coffee Portal’s annual analysis of the UK’s branded coffee shop market, 61% of the 50,000 people they surveyed downloaded a coffee shop app in 2021. While some stores are experimenting with delivery, others have opened drive throughs to allow customers to enjoy their regular coffee in a safe environment.

UK coffee market sees strong growth

The survey also reveals that the UK’s £4.4 billion branded coffee shop market grew by almost half (43%) over the last 12 months. It’s now regained 87% of pre-pandemic market value and the number of outlets is greater than in 2019.

Still challenges ahead for UK coffee market

2021 was a really tough year for retailers with staff shortages and new Covid variants. Dynamic retailers were quick to try and adapt, offering click and collect services, takeaway options and loyalty schemes.

According to the report, “Coffee shops continue to be an intrinsic part of communities and daily routines across the UK. Meanwhile, sustained consumer interest in higher quality at-home coffee and premium equipment looks set to elevate standards across the market.” So, more customers want better coffee – and that can only be good news.

If ‘better coffee’ is something on your shopping list, then may we direct you to our coffee beans page? We supply top quality coffee to the domestic and commercial markets at great wholesale prices, so you won’t run short. We’ve got a range of strengths and blends to suit all tastes and budgets, and we’ve even got a sample pack if you can’t decide!

The real cost of coffee in 2022

As regular readers will now, we generally like to give our blogs a fun twist. We like to track down the weirdest coffee fads or most interesting health research and generally share our love of all things coffee. There’s something happening right now though that we can’t give any kind of twist to, and that’s a desperate shortage of high quality arabica coffee. Arabica is the more expensive and better flavoured of the two main varieties (the other being robusta), and it accounts for around two thirds of world production.

Arabica shortages worldwide

The shortage has mostly been caused by extreme weather conditions such as unusual frosts destroying crops. There’s also been a knock-on effect from Covid which has affected shipping worldwide. This isn’t a problem with a short-term solution, as growers will have to wait for crops to recover.

The retailers’ dilemma

This has meant a rise in arabica bean prices of up to 80%, and it’s left retailers with a problem. Do they put prices up dramatically, or compromise on quality by mixing cheaper robusta beans into the mix? Sourcing beans at all is also more difficult as more retailers are chasing less supply.

Here at the Wholesale Coffee Company, we faced the same dilemma as everyone else. We’ve decided that we can’t compromise on our quality as our customers have got used to a certain standard and trust us to supply it. While we are having to pass a cost increase onto our customers, we are absorbing the majority of the increase ourselves to thank customers for their loyalty.

While our prices may unavoidably have to alter a little from time to time, you can rest assured that our quality won’t – our blends will taste as delicious as ever. To find out more about our coffee, all available at great wholesale prices, visit the coffee beans page of our website.

Chocolate, coffee and wine: are the festive three good or bad?

At this time of year, chances are we’re hitting the foodie triumvirate of chocolate, coffee and wine harder than ever. With selection boxes and Christmas tipples a-go-go, we probably need the coffee just to manage the rest of it! Are these three festive staples really good or bad for you, though?

Are wine, chocolate and coffee good or bad for your heart?

Professor Thomas Lüscher, former editor of the European Heart Journal, the world’s top specialist cardiovascular journal, has given his expert opinion on this burning question.

He does make the point that there are lots of factors to be taken into consideration, including quality and quantity. Dark, bitter chocolate is apparently a ‘joy’ for our cardiovascular system, while coffee can be protective when taken at the recommended dose of around four cups a day. Professor Lüscher himself apparently drinks ‘several’ espressos a day. Choosing the right chocolate is important, as milk chocolate contains fewer flavonoids and lots more fat and sugar than its bitter cousin. Adding lots of cream, full fat milk or sugar to coffee will also counterbalance any health benefits by adding fat and calories.

What do the experts think about coffee, wine and chocolate?

Professor Tim Chico from the University of Sheffield, who specialises in cardiovascular medicine, agrees with Professor Lüscher’s findings that chocolate and coffee can be linked with a lowered risk of heart disease. Both experts agree, though, that wine is at best neutral and at worst detrimental. While small amounts of both coffee and chocolate come ‘recommended by experts’, wine is best kept for an occasional treat.

We think that the most important aspect of coffee is the quality, and there we’re ahead of the game! Our coffee beans are processed in house for quality control, and packed for freshness. Did we mention the great wholesale prices, too? To take a look at our range, visit the coffee beans page of our website.

Top 5 Christmas gifts for the coffee lover in your life

Have you got a loved one that you struggle to shop for? Well, if they love coffee then look no further. As well as being the nation’s favourite hot drink (yes, even ahead of tea!), coffee is a complex brew with lots of gift potential. Here are our top ideas:

Great gifts for coffee lovers

The perfect mug: According to research, coffee actually tastes better from a thin, porcelain mug rather than a thick pottery one. This is because the thinner china allows you to drink the coffee at the correct temperature. Weirdly, studies have also shown that coffee tastes better from a white mug. We’re not sure what the rational is behind this one, but it may be psychological in showing off that rich coffee colour to best advantage. Why not treat your recipient to the ‘perfect’ coffee mug, and have it personalised with their name or a suitable message?

Coffee accessories pack: If you’re feeling creative, make up a coffee accessories pack tailored to your recipient. For example, you could pack it with chocolate sprinkles, posh sugar swizzle sticks, tall spoons, mug cosies and flavoured syrups.

Coffee selection pack: forget chocolate, the best selection boxes come filled with coffee! Our sample pack contains four 500g bags and is great value at £17.95. Also available in a decaf version.

Nibbles pack: put together a bag of festive nibbles to complement coffee, from biscuits to mince pies. A batch of homemade brownies is a pretty failsafe choice!

An ‘on the go’ mug. If your recipient is a true coffee lover then they’re not going to want to be separated from their favourite brew by mere distance. Get them an insulated travel mug, and their coffee can go wherever they do.
For a great selection of coffee beans at competitive wholesale prices, take a look at our main website

Festive hints to upscale your coffee this Christmas

Fancy adding a Christmassy twist to your coffee to get you in the mood? Here’s our list of quick tips to add a festive flair. Jingle bells, jingle bells…

Easy Christmas coffee recipe ideas

Add a dash of cinnamon flavour. Cinnamon is a quintessential Christmas scent and flavour. It’s a quick and easy way to get yourself in the festive mood. Add a cinnamon stick to your coffee and let it steep for five minutes or so, add a dash of cinnamon syrup to your mug or sprinkle a cappuccino with powdered cinnamon instead of chocolate. If you really love cinnamon, you could try everything at once!

Add a slosh of brandy. The quickest way to warm up when it’s cold outside! Add a small dash of brandy to a standard black coffee, add a little sugar and a spoonful of cream and you’ll be feeling toasty in no time.

Create your own festive blend. If you either grind your own beans or brew from ground coffee, then you can get creative. Add some fresh orange zest, a teaspoon of nutmeg and a sprinkle of ginger (either fresh or powdered) to the coffee grounds as you brew for a little extra zing.

Go sweeter. The taste of caramel is very comforting, so for a quick and easy upgrade just add a shot of caramel syrup to your coffee. For a fancier drink, top with whipped cream and crushed butterscotch.

Pep things up. Add a peppermint candy cane to a milky latte. Use the stick to stir, and as it dissolves you’ll get a hint of sweet peppermint flavour.

For everything you need to get you though the festive season, take a look at our main website. We stock great quality coffee beans and ground coffee as well as accessories, all at competitive wholesale prices.

Our top ten favourite coffee facts

Coffee has been drunk all over the world for hundreds of years. It’s no surprise that there’s a whole network of facts and fiction about our favourite drink. We’ve put together our ten favourite facts to help you understand just how extraordinary coffee really is.

Top ten coffee facts

According to the British Coffee Association (BCA), the representative organisation for the coffee industry and the voice of UK coffee, the industry creates 210,000 jobs in the UK alone. This includes people like importers, roasters, wholesalers and retailers rather than those in the hospitality trade.

Another fact courtesy of the BCA is that ground coffee and single-serve coffee pods are increasing in popularity. This is especially among younger buyers.

In the UK alone, we now drink a staggering 95 million cups of coffee every single day.

Surprisingly, the country who top the list of coffee consumers is the Netherlands (not the US), at a hefty 8.3kg per person a year.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the largest cup of coffee ever measured in at 22,739.14 litres. Phew – we wonder how many biscuits they’d allowed for!

Instant coffee accounts for only 13% of all coffee drunk globally. No wonder that most people prefer it fresh!

Back in the 18th century, famous French writer Voltaire reportedly drank around 40 to 50 cups of coffee a day!

‘Cappuccino’ coffee is so called as it resembles the black habit of the Capuchin friar, which had a white hood.

Composer Bach loved coffee so much that around 1732 he wrote a ‘Coffee Cantata’, about a woman struggling to overcome her addiction to the drink.

When it first came to Europe in the 16th century, coffee was known as ‘Arabian wine’.

Here at the Wholesale Coffee Company, we specialise in supplying delicious, high quality coffee to commercial and domestic customers at great wholesale prices. To find out more or browse our range, please visit our main website at