On our way down to Penzance from London, we stopped off at the Eden Project to have a quick look around (we only had an hour and a half) and to see what their coffee was like - with 6 cafes / eateries serving coffee, we assumed it must be good!
Entrance was £22 for per adult, which made it rather an expensive quick trip. Nevertheless we paid, entered and headed down the hill, straight through the gardens to the biomes. The first biome we entered was the Rainforest Biome where I quickly spotted an area / hut dedicated to coffee. There were hessian sacks, jars full of coffee beans and an information board labelled “The Eden Coffee Story”. Here they explained how Eden had asked Origin (a Cornish coffee company) to find a selection of 3 coffees that were sustainable grown. Origin recommended 3 farms and cooperatives in South America for Eden to support that are all Rainforest Alliance Certified.
After spending about 40 minutes in the Rainforest Biome, we headed for the Mediterranean Biome. Here I found a chilli plant called “Coffee Bean”. This unusual chilli plant grows round chillis that mature from green to orange and eventually red – reminiscent to a ripe coffee cherry, hence the name!
After our quick tour, we were in need of a coffee; we headed straight to the little cafe at the front of the Mediterranean biome. At 4pm, an hour before the biome closed the cafe was closed.
The Bakery, situated in-between the two biomes was our next choice. With coffee cups hanging from large wooden benches and an espresso and filter machine on show, we thought we were guaranteed to find a great cup of coffee here, but alas, it was also closed an hour before closing! As the outside cafe also looked closed we headed back up the hill, through the gardens to the visitor centre cafe.
The cafe was hugely unexciting. We ordered a double espresso, which was served in a huge cup (rather than the expected small sized double espresso cup) and a cappuccino. When I asked where the coffee was from, the lady behind the till said she didn’t know. She then picked up a bag of coffee and said Origin – she made no reference as to whether the coffee, was one of the Eden Projects supported coffee farms. Paying for our coffee, we sat on small round wooden tables. I am sad to say that both coffees were hugely unexciting and rather dull.
Despite all of the cafes being closed, The Eden project is definitely worth a visit – the Biomes are truly wonderful – just make sure you get there before 3pm to ensure everything is open!