'Roasted Replica' of cricket's most famous trophy rises from the Ashes in Birmingham

July 30, 2009 // Franchising.com // England have 'bean' the best team on the pitch so far in this summer's quest for the Ashes, and today (28 July) in Birmingham former England great Phil Tufnell experienced what a series win might taste like.

Recognising the legendary 'roasting' skills of fans and players alike during the passionate Ashes contest, Costa Coffee has created the world's first life-size Ashes urn made entirely from coffee beans, dubbed the 'Roasted Replica.'

Costa Coffee, experts in the art of hand-made coffee, and fresh from a win of its own in a head-to-head taste test with rivals Starbucks, commissioned local artist Richard Glover to re-create the urn using only coffee beans.

The fragile process took the equivalent of a Test match to complete (five full days) and consists of hundreds of carefully selected roasted Costa Coffee beans of all shapes and sizes.

Phil, who never got his hands on the real thing himself during his playing days, couldn't wait to cradle the tasty replica.

Phil said:

"Getting my hands on this impressive work of art is very exciting, and although I can't guarantee it, I'll do all I can not to drop it!

"I can however guarantee that I'll continue to give the Aussies a good 'roasting' during the Edgbaston Test and hope the England fans do the same."

Richard Glover from Solihull who sculptured the urn on behalf of Costa Coffee said:

"It was a real challenge to re-create something that is so small and iconic using purely coffee beans.

"Positioning and placing each bean individually was a very intensive process which took me five days to complete. One good thing is it probably smells a lot nicer than the ancient real urn!"

Jim Slater, Marketing Director from Costa Coffee said:

"The baristas in our stores make every coffee skillfully by hand, using focus, timing and precision to serve up the best quality coffee. Handmade to perfection is key to how we make coffee at Costa which is why challenged a skilful artist to re-create the famous urn by hand using coffee beans.

"Cricket, coffee and winning are huge English passions. We chalked up wins for two of those passions when we beat our rivals Starbucks in a recent independent taste test, so we know what it feels like to be crowned as the best, and we hope the England team and fans can do the same."

To keep in the spirit of the friendly banter surrounding the Ashes and its own battle against another team in green, Costa compiled its own version the famous Ashes poem - see below:

 When Costa serves up the urn, the urn; Coffee lovers return, return; Fans in red sing long and loud, Those in green not so proud, See the victors with the urn, the urn; While the rest, yearn, yearn. 

Notes to editors:

Taste test background information:

*In March 2009, Costa revealed that 7 out of 10 "coffee lovers" preferred Costa cappuccino to that of its leading competitors in comprehensive blind taste tests across a number of British cities.

334 coffee shop users in Sheffield, High Wycombe and Glasgow were asked to indicate a preference between Costa, Nero and Starbucks. This sample provides highly robust and accurate data.

In blind head-to-head paired comparisons, Costa was the clearly preferred cappuccino at the 95% confidence level. This means that if the test was repeated 100 times, the same or very similar results would occur at least 95 times.

Preference for Costa's cappuccino was remarkably strong in comparison to competitors among those who identified themselves as "Coffee lovers", With 7 out of 10 preferring Costa (with 72% preferring Costa versus 28% Starbucks; and 69% preferring Costa versus 31% Nero). Significantly, coffee drinkers who prefer Caffè Nero and Starbucks as their main outlets preferred Costa cappuccino over their preferred retailer's product.

About Costa:

Costa was founded by Italian brothers Sergio and Bruno Costa in 1971.

Costa's in-store baristas are all coached in the art of coffee making.

Costa Coffee was the first UK coffee shop chain to commit sourcing Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee. Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee will be available in all markets by end of 2009.

Costa set up a registered charity (no.327489) in 2006 called 'The Costa Foundation' to help the communities within the countries from which Costa sources its coffee beans. The Costa Foundation has now built and runs 12 schools, with more planned.

Costa is part of the Whitbread family of brands.

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