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Documentary series. Gregg Wallace is in Derbyshire at an enormous coffee factory where they produce 175,000 jars of instant coffee every day.

Gregg Wallace is in Derbyshire at an enormous coffee factory where they produce 175,000 jars of instant coffee every day. He follows the production of freeze-dried instant coffee, from the arrival of 27 tonnes of Brazilian green coffee beans right through to dispatch. Along the way he chills out in a freezer cooled to -46 degrees Celsius and discovers how they give you that hit of freshly brewed coffee smell when you pierce the foil lid. They extract the aroma and put it back in just before the instant coffee granules head into the jars.

Meanwhile, Cherry Healey learns about the chemistry of coffee. She finds that roasting alters its chemical composition, and listens for the 'first crack' as steam splits the bean along its seam. She also goes cold turkey on caffeine, giving up her coffee habit for five days to understand how this most commonly used psychoactive drug affects her body and brain. She discovers that the caffeine withdrawal headache is due to increased blood flow to the brain. And she is at Kew Gardens, where they have concerning evidence revealing that climate change is affecting coffee harvests worldwide. Cherry samples a brew made from the beans of a coffee species that could cope in these warmer growing conditions, and which could ensure a future for the daily cuppa.

Historian Ruth Goodman investigates the origins of instant coffee. She tastes a version that looks very like axle grease which was drunk during the American Civil War in the 1860s, and finds out why it began being referred to as 'a cup of Joe'. She also visits the site of the UK's very first coffee house, which sprang up in a London churchyard in 1652, and learns that the early passion for coffee led to the founding of modern institutions, including the Stock Exchange, auction houses and newspapers.

59 minutes

Last on

Tue 23 Jul 2019 20:00


Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:07


    Slide In

  • 00:08

    Jason Mraz


  • 00:09


    Living For The Weekend

  • 00:11


    I Am Not a Robot

  • 00:11

    Clean Cut Kid

    Leaving You Behind

  • 00:12


    I Am Not a Robot

  • 00:13

    Tom Walker

    Just You & I

  • 00:15

    Katy Perry


  • 00:20

    Agnes Obel

    Red Virgin Soil

  • 00:21

    Agnes Obel


  • 00:21

    Alexandra Savior

    'Til You're Mine

  • 00:22

    Rae Morris

    Under The Shadows

  • 00:25



  • 00:26

    Maroon 5


  • 00:26


    Coffee & TV

  • 00:27

    Clean Bandit

    Symphony (feat. Zara Larsson)

  • 00:28

    Lily Allen

    Friday Night

  • 00:30

    Lily Allen

    Friend of Mine

  • 00:31

    Ed Sheeran


  • 00:32

    Little Mix

    Shout Out To My Ex

  • 00:33

    Richard Strauss

    Also Sprach Zarathustra

  • 00:35

    Jerry Goldsmith

    Alien End Title

  • 00:35

    Rag’n’Bone Man


  • 00:41

    Count Basie & His Orchestra

    Jive At Five

  • 00:41

    Saint Motel

    You Can Be You

  • 00:42



  • 00:44


    Nothing Will Be Bigger Than Us

  • 00:52

    Olly Murs

    Better Without You

  • 00:46

    Milky Chance


  • 00:54

    The Chainsmokers

    Something Just Like This

  • 00:57

    Alan Walker



Role Contributor
Presenter Ruth Goodman
Presenter Cherry Healey
Presenter Gregg Wallace
Production Company Voltage TV Productions Ltd
Music Steve Tait
Sound Geraint Lewis
Sound Simon Cross
Director of photography Chris Titus-King
Camera Operator Rhys Plume
Colourist Tim O'Brien
On-line editing Jamie Home
Re-recording mixer Michael Wood
Runner Celeste Harper-Davis
Runner Alex Masters
Production Coordinator Rachel Drew
Production Coordinator Lily Jane Stead
Production Manager Samara Friend
Editor Matthew Reinders
Editor Ben Nugent
Assistant Producer Katie Louise Clarke
Assistant Producer Pete Matthews
Assistant Producer Fran Jarvis
Producer Phillip Smith
Executive Producer Jon Alwen
Executive Producer Sanjay Singhal
Director Emma Pound
Series Editor Amanda Lyon


  • Tue 17 Jul 2018 20:00
  • Sun 22 Jul 2018 19:00
  • Wed 1 Aug 2018 01:15
  • Tue 23 Jul 2019 20:00