Frequently Asked Questions – Hummingbird Coffee

Your cart is empty

Looks like you haven't added anything to your cart yet.

Grand Total $0.00

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between a blend and a single origin coffee?

‘Single origin’ means the coffee was grown in a single country or region. A blend is where coffees from more than one origin are mixed together to create new flavours.

Different origins have different characteristics and respond differently to roasting. That’s why we treat each one individually and hand-roast each origin separately before blending, to enhance its natural flavour.

How should I store coffee to keep it fresh?

Roasted coffee needs to be kept away from air and moisture. Our packs have a special one-way valve that keeps oxygen out while letting natural gases escape. They’re designed to keep your coffee fresh for several months if unopened. For maximum freshness, we recommend buying your coffee weekly and storing open packs in airtight containers in a cool, dark place.

How can I get in touch about your coffee?

We’d love to hear any feedback about our coffee. Whether you have a question, comment or complaint, please get in touch with ourCustomer Servicesteam who will be able to help you.

What if the grind size doesn’t look right to me?

We test the grind of every batch before each production run, but what ends up in the packet depends on several factors. Even the weather on the day of testing has an impact! The appearance of the grind doesn’t always impact the coffee in your cup, so it’s the result that’s most important. If you think there’s a problem with your coffee, please get in touch with ourCustomer Servicesteam who can help resolve the issue.

How do you remove caffeine from your decaf coffee?

Our decaf coffee is a seasonal bean from either Honduras or Peru that’s decaffeinated using water. It’s Fair Trade and Certified Organic, so there are no nasty chemicals in any part of production.

To remove the caffeine without chemical solvents, we use – the Mountain Water Process, which takes place in Mexico.

In the decaffeination processes, green coffee beans are immersed in water to gently extract the caffeine while leaving the flavour intact. The water is then removed, filtering the caffeine out before the beans are dried. The resulting coffee is 99.9% caffeine free, and we test it periodically to ensure it meets the New Zealand labelling standards for decaffeinated coffee.

Hummingbird Coffee has a Certified Organic Management Programme, so all our processes have been verified by an external auditor – allowing us to label our packs as Certified Organic.

What’s the normal level of caffeine in coffee, and how much is in your decaf coffee?

It’s hard to say what a 'normal' level of caffeine is in coffee beans. That’s because caffeine levels vary depending on where the beans are from, and each blend is made of many single origins. What we can say is that decaf needs to have less than 1g of caffeine per 1000g of coffee to be compliant – that’s no more than 0.1%.

How fresh are your beans?

We have very high quality standards, and our beans turn over very quickly and roast in small batches daily. We deliver direct to all our customers including supermarkets. Ideally, beans need to de-gas for a few days before being drunk. This allows the natural gases to settle and move past the grassy, astringent flavour of a fresh roast. Our packaging contains a one-way valve to allow gases to escape, while keeping air out to prevent the beans from oxidising.

Fair Trade can mean so many things – what does it mean to you?

We were the first coffee company to directly import Fair Trade Organic coffee into New Zealand, which we began doing in 2004 alongside Trade Aid. We still enjoy the same close relationship with Trade Aid, and jointly we import green beans directly from co-operatives into New Zealand.

We also have long-standing relationships with the co-operatives we purchase from, in most cases spanning over a decade. We regularly send our roasters to some of the origins we buy from, to build good working relationships and see first hand how things are progressing.

Quality is the best opportunity for farmers to get a better price for their beans, which is why we only buy specialty-grade coffees. We pay a premium of 20 cents per pound of coffee for community development, of which 5 cents goes to quality improvements and the other 15 cents goes to social initiatives. We also pay an organic premium of at least 30 cents per pound, which promotes sustainable farming processes. In addition, we pay quality premiums and spend above the Fair Trade minimum price of $1.40 per pound.

Is all your coffee Fair Trade?

Yes. A commitment to Fair Trade is a core part of our business. Since becoming the first coffee company to directly import Fair Trade Organic coffee in 2004 we’ve evolved our products to now be completely Fair Trade Organic.

Fair Trade isn’t just a great way to do business, it also helps create high-quality coffee. We pay a premium that supports community development and sustainable farming practices, while ensuring our farmers are paid a fair price for their specialty-grade beans.

Is all your coffee organic?

Yes. We have consciously evolved our coffee range to become 100% Certified Organic and Fair Trade. The quality of these coffee beans and the assurance of no nasty additives means choosing organic coffee is a better way to do business, as well as being the right thing to do.

What’s your strongest blend?

This is tricky to answer, because flavours can be interpreted differently depending on a person’s palate. For example, some would interpret the depth and flatness of a dark roast as strength, while others would think the same of the acidity created by a lighter roast.

As a rough guide, here are some of our more complex blends (in no particular order):

- Italian Espresso (lingering flavour; good body)

- Re:Start (a little bit of dark roast with an earthy, dark chocolate undertone and some berry notes)

- Oomph (punchy with bite)

- Crave (balanced body and acidity; quite smooth and well-rounded with some extra flavour notes)

- New Orleans (nutty and slightly smoky; good body)

Our top four sellers are Oomph, Restart, Crave and Nectar (with Nectar being medium to mild and smoother, with a clean finish).

Which of your blends is most like the Air NZ blend? 

The Air NZ blend is quite unique due to the combination of origins within it. All our blends are different, but the one that shares a key origin in similar proportions to the Air NZ blend is Crave, so perhaps give that one a try.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Contact Us
We use tracking technologies for advertising purposes. For further information please refer to our privacy policy. Please decide if you agree or not.
I Agree
I Do Not