When you think about the best coffee available in Britain right now, Blackburn might not spring to mind as a hub for the top roasts.

But that’s where you’re wrong. Exchange Coffee Company, which has a shop, coffee bar and its roastery in the town, along with its Clitheroe base, has long been established as one of the top producers of coffee in the country.

In this year’s Great Taste Awards, announced earlier this week, Exchange was award four stars by the Guild of Fine Food for three of its products.

Its Tanzania Kongoni Estate coffee was awarded two stars by the Guild and its expert judges, while its Colombia Arhuaco got one star for its espresso version and one star for the filter coffee version.

So, when we have such exceptional coffee right at the heart of East Lancashire, it’s only right that we put it to the test and see just how good it is.

Visiting Exchange Coffee Co. in its quaint Fleming Square shop is like stepping into drinks heaven, with coffees and teas as far as the eye can see. The smells and sight of so many varieties of coffee is quite the sensory overload.

To my delight, they have some Kongoni Estate in, and the staff are more than happy to pack up a bag and grind the beans to my specification – I’m a Hario V60 dripper kind of guy.

Lancashire Telegraph:

The coffee’s smell permeates through the bag and I can’t wait to taste it. While brewing it up I noted it is darker roast than normal, a good sign it's going to have a strong depth of flavour.

With my first sip the immediate thought is: “Damn, that’s a good cup of coffee”.

It has the gentle balance of bitterness and sweetness of top quality dark chocolate, the mouthfeel is silky smooth and it has the subtle sharpness of a lime.

The flavour is full-bodied without being overpowering, and the flavouring delicate without being washed away by a splash of milk.

Exchange say it has “delicious fruity berry flavours reminiscent of fruit salad sweets and rum and raisin ice cream, topped off with a wonderful brown sugar sweetness”, and it’s hard to disagree.

At £4.75 for a 125g bag the coffee is fairly priced and you can get it in whatever grind you want. We would have loved to have tried the one-star Colombia Arhuaco too, but unfortunately it wasn't in stock when we visited.

Exchange Coffee Company has a coffee house, roastery, shop and private dining space in Fleming Square, Blackburn, along with a coffee bar in Blackburn Market.

There is also a coffee house, roastery and shop in Wellgate, Clitheroe, the same in Gargrave Road, Skipton, North Yorkshire, and a coffee bar in Todmorden Market Hall in Burnley Road, in the West Yorkshire town.

At The Old Baptist Chapel in Islington, Blackburn, it also has a roastery which houses its wholesale warehouse and roastery, barista training centre, showroom and repair centre.