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Why Grumpy Mule

Now, we’ve all enjoyed a good cup of quality coffee from Grumpy Mule, whether you’re staff who rely on the classic cappuccino to kick-start your perfect day, or students who love to treat yourselves to a delicious mocha after a lecture. Whatever your refreshments needs, Grumpy Mule is always on hand to deliver!

Despite its great success over the past eight years, how many of us actually know the reason behind the name ‘Grumpy Mule’?

Rumour has it that this is how Ian Balmforth, the company’s founder would describe customers before they’d had their morning brew. However, we all know that isn’t true at our University!

Mules have often been used on both larger plantations and coffee estates and by smallholder farmers to move harvested coffee cherries down steep and challenging hills in order to reach processing stations or markets. This is because the finest coffee beans grow at higher altitudes in both mountainous and tropical conditions. In recent years, this vital step has often been carried out frequently by pickup trucks – having said that, there are still numerous farmers who rely upon mules for assistance.

Okay, so why are these mules grumpy?

There is a big misconception that mules are bad tempered and stubborn, which is not actually the case – they are highly intelligent creatures that represent the best of both the horse and donkey.

The name ‘Grumpy Mule’ symbolises the demanding work and effort that goes into the farming and production of great coffee, and this hard graft and commitment leads to a higher-quality product.

As market leaders and experts, the company prides itself in directly sourcing, roasting and distributing some of the most interesting and exciting coffees from around the world. They are brought to the UK where an experienced team monitors each step of the roasting process along with the use of ultra-modern roasting facilities. Once completed, the coffee is delivered to our very own Grumpy Mule shop on campus for us all to enjoy.

So next time you’re ordering your espresso or latte, think of the mules, farmers and experts out there and all that they do to bring us the best quality coffee.

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