Indie Oxford Interview: Emily from Horsebox Coffee

 In Indie Oxford Interviews

I chat to Emily from Horsebox Coffee all about how the business came into being, inspiring people to have achieve barista style coffee at home and why sustainability is high up on their agenda.

Hey Emily, so, tell me about your Horsebox Coffee and why you decided to set it up?

I spent my career in London working in Speciality coffee and loved it. I knew when I moved back home to Oxfordshire with my young family that, when they were a little older, I would get back into it. I was just really keen to share my passion locally. Roasting was always the dream primarily as being a roaster is a key step closer to the growers at origin. We now have so much choice of growers we work with, so much knowledge about the provenance of the beans and the opportunity to build long term relationships. Roasting also means that we can supply wholesale.

Training is my other great love (see more about our workshops below!) and it’s great I get to do this through Horsebox Coffee. The role of the barista is often overlooked when really they are a crucial factor in the flavour of the end cup – both commercially and at home!

Horsebox Coffee Oxford

Horsebox Coffee, as the name suggests, runs out of a horsebox when you’re not roasting at the farm. Do you feel you benefit as a business not having a fixed retail premises?

I am not sure we do benefit as such – a fixed retail premises would be lovely one day. However, the beauty of the horsebox is being mobile and we can move about and serve coffee to so many different people. At the same time we only operate locally so still feel very much part of a community.

What makes you tick at a business owner?

People and working alongside a committed and passionate team and with other like minded business owners. Sometimes it’s just the simple interaction of serving someone a cup a coffee to be proud of and having a little chat.

Horsebox Coffee Oxford

Do you have a favourite Horsebox Coffee?

No. I love them all for different reasons it would be too hard to pick a favourite!

Horsebox Coffee has a strong focus on sustainably produced coffee. Can you tell us a bit more?

Yes, it is something we have always been committed to in our operations and will continue to do. We rescue and re-use where possible, use compostable packaging and stay local by using locally sourced organic milk. At origin we work with small scale farmers that use traditional sustainable farming methods.

We’re particularly proud of rescuing the Horsebox – it was well used in the 80s and 90s to transport Solomon, Joker and Brightstar to shows and events but after many years in a barn now sees us travel around the county serving coffee. You can see the transformation the box went through over on our website.

Horsebox Coffee Oxford

You’re keen to teach people about coffee and run workshops on the farm – what do people learn and how can they book on?

Our workshops include a roastery experience, home barista or home brewing. Our course are fun and interactive and designed to develop skills and just open up the possibilities with coffee. They’re a great way to learn more about coffee and we’ve just released our next lot of dates. Get booking here as they fill up quickly!

Finally, one of the best parts about being an indie businesses is building connections with other like-minded businesses. What are your three favourite indies in Oxfordshire?

Red Hand Gang –  a little biased as we are old friends, but I am so proud of Abi and her super cool, creative, and simply gorgeous kids stuff.

Jericho Coffee Traders – James and team have been so supportive of us in our journey…

The Orange Bakery – Just very cool, one thing done well, simple and wholesome. We love that.

orange bakery

The Orange Bakery

Like the sound of Horsebox Coffee? We certainly do! You can find them in the following places or book on to one of their upcoming workshops here.


Oxford University Museum of Natural History – Every Saturday from now until Saturday 31st August
Cliveden Literary Festival – Saturday 28th – Sunday 29th September


Cholsey railway station– Mondays-Fridays 6-10 am
The Wandering Feast – Wednesdays & Thursdays
The Goring and Streatley Regatta and River Festival – Saturday 20th July
Culhambury Festival 2019 – Saturday 27th July (1.30 – 5.00pm)
Bloodhounds Lifeline Dog Show, Benson – Sunday 28th July


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