Team up with longstanding friends who have been on the same journey, and who you share one big passion with away from the career and aspirations which brought you together? Sounds good to us.
In 2012, aspiring athletes Callum, Phil, and Owain joined the national cycling team, dreaming of becoming Olympic Champions. It is a job that saw them travel throughout the world, but wherever they went, they aimed to seek out the best coffee in town.
5 Rings Coffee
Philip Hindes was Olympic Champion 2012 & Rio 2016 and is aiming for Tokyo 2020. Owain Doull was the 2016 Olympic Champion and is now Team INEOS Creative Director. Callum Skinner was also a 2016 Olympic Champion and is now a Freelance Marketeer and Director of Operations at 5 Rings.
They are part of a generation when cycling really came to the forefront of British sport, and it is a bond that has seen them join up for their next project.
There is no denying that they’re good at cycling, but now they want to also take on the coffee world. Their hunt for the best coffee around the world had mixed success according to the three, so crafting their own was almost a clear next step.
They have two clear values: sustainability and perfection. The farmers they work with are supported. The coffee comes in 100% recyclable packaging. Everything is sustainably sourced. Because they know that coffee is more than just a drink these days – it is a full journey, and they are clear about where the coffee is from, the variety of beans, and the process in which the coffee cherries were dried.
Every coffee blend is also given a name which is a nod to an event in their careers which changed the course of their luck or made them into the sportsmen they became. Blind Faith and Cali Crash are aptly named (although you’ll have to buy the coffee to get the card which tells you the story behind the words).
They also sell a blend called Break The Chain, which isn’t just a cycling term. 50% of all proceeds from this coffee will be donated to Andy’s Man Club, a men’s mental health charity. Their group sessions are changing the lives of the attendees, with just under 1000 men going to their 28 clubs throughout the UK every week.
It’s an important topic for the founders who have all been personally affected by mental health and again shows that their new-found adventure is more than just about the caffeine hit.
5 Rings Meadowbank Café, Edinburgh
Not content with just making the coffee to sell, the team also opened their own café in Edinburgh in October 2020.
They partnered with Meander Apparel and are hosting the coffee shop in their store, and it was an important step for 5 Rings as they wanted a way to get closer to their customers.
It’s called Meadowbank, after the late, great Meadowbank Velodrome which was the starting point of many a cycling career, including that of Callum Skinner. They have even used part of the old track in the café, as the serving station.
You can book Experiences to meet the guys, too, who will tell you all about their Olympic journeys, as well as being able to attend a short barista class on how to make the perfect flat white.
33 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2HN
What We Tried
We were lucky enough to get our hands on a bag of Blind Faith, and a bag of Cali Crash. We used whole beans.
Both are very different; the former is rich and chocolate-y, with hints of nuttiness too, so the Ferrero Rocher tasting note hits the nail on the head. You certainly get the smell of the Brazil Nut when you open the bag, and there is that underlying sweetness there which is perfect and comes through when tasted. Plus, it smells pretty divine when being ground.
As for Cali Crash, the caramel and fruit flavor offers something a bit sweeter and lighter. The scent of caramel and fruit upon opening is clear, and the apple flavor came through strongly for some of the Daily Espresso team while raspberry was there for others. There was a tangy aftertaste, but it is as refreshing as you would expect from a lighter fruit-based coffee.
Each bag comes with a card detailing information about the blend, the beans and the story behind the name as discussed. You also get a roast date so you can consume it within three months, and a bit more info about the company.
Coffees are available as Beans or Ground (for either cafetiere or stovetop). All beans are roasted and ground by the trained baristas on-site, or by one of the three founders.
Why Choose 5 Rings Coffee?
- Fresh new startup business
- Great coffee with great anecdotes to go alongside the history
- Three people with a genuine passion for coffee, putting what they know into making it
Dan is a former competition barista and has been honing his knowledge of coffee for over two decades.
He has worked in coffee farms in Peru, as well as roasters in Australia. He now trains new baristas and hosts cupping experiences in Austin.