Lisa Andrews – The redemptive power of coffee

Lisa Andrews
The redemptive power of coffee


I got here yesterday and let me tell you I cannot wait for my turn. As suspected, this is no ordinary roastery and, as Mum told anyone who would listen before I left, I’m no ordinary coffee bean. I’m a bona fide Redemption Roasters coffee bean. That means I have both ethical credentials and social purpose. How’s that for a banging CV?


When I heard these guys were training young offenders to become roasters and baristas, how could I not apply? Apparently, there’s about three tonnes of us passing through every week now but, man, the competition was hot. You have to be pretty tasty to get yourself on this list.


The roastery is in Aylesbury prison but another bean told me they have coffee shops around London, as well as a wholesale business and barista academies at a bunch of other prisons, too; teaching lads where we come from, how we’re sourced, how to grind us, froth the milk, that sort of thing. Some even learn how to run their own coffee shop.


Then when the lads get on the road – that’s prison talk for being released – Redemption Roasters either hire them themselves or use their wholesale network to help them find jobs.


And it really matters – I heard Britain has one of the worst reoffending rates in all of Europe. And that prisoners are 50% less likely to reoffend if they have skills and a job. Talk about swapping prison bars for coffee bars.


Hang about, someone’s coming. That’s it, I’m up. See you on the other side!

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