Engineers in the Antarctic have gone from sub-zero temperatures to 200 Degrees – but it’s not a catastrophic case of global warming, just coffee.
Some caffeine lovers will go to the ends of the earth for a decent cup of coffee but on this occasion it was the coffee that travelled more than 10,200 miles to keep scientists fuelled in harsh conditions.
Workers were desperate for a quality coffee so Nottingham company 200 Degrees stepped in to help.
A member of the British Antarctic Survey visited 200 Degrees roast house in Meadow Lane to discuss the chances of getting a good quality coffee and the challenges of brewing in temperatures that average -49°C in winter.
Since then coffee beans and machines have gone out to the Rothera Research Station, the logistics centre and home to a number of biological laboratories.
For 200 Degrees, which started with a coffee shop at Nottingham’s Flying Horse Walk before expanding to major UK cities including Birmingham, Leeds, Cardiff and Liverpool, it’s the furthest their coffee has travelled.
The coffee experts recommended a reliable high volume machine for a breakfast time drink that produces fresh coffee for the same price as the scientists’ old instant powder – along with a grinder to grind the beans fresh every morning.
Another important accessory was urns to keep the coffee hot when they take them out into the field to conduct experiments such as tracking ice shifts on nearby ice shelves, taking core samples of ice deep beneath the surface and tracking migration patterns of wildlife such as the penguins or seals.
Bean-to-cup machines were also sent out for use in the breakout rooms to provide espresso-based drinks at the touch of a button.
200 Degrees’ director Tim Vincent said: “Our compromise here was that they had to use powdered milk, as cows are in short supply in the Antarctic.
“We programmed and commissioned the machines here in the UK and sent them out with a pack of wear-and-tear spare parts to enable simple maintenance to be done on-site throughout the year.
“We’ve had great feedback about the quality, and we are proud to have found a way of delivering great coffee to a dedicated team working in such a harsh environment.
“The biggest consideration was reliability, as engineer call-outs would obviously be impossible.”
John Cole is one of the engineers who has been drinking 200 Degrees coffee for the last three months.
He said: “There were around 120 on station this season, so naturally, there will be a mix of people. Some tea drinkers, some people that don’t drink hot drinks (madness in my mind), people who will drink any coffee put in front of them and of course, those people who can appreciate good coffee.
“There were many people on station that fall into the last bracket, and I can confidently say that the 200 Degrees coffee was a massive hit.”