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All you need to know about olive oil

Our olive oils

All Amfora olive oils are true extra virgin, come from a specific terroir, and are top quality representatives of their region of cultivation. We source our products from family producers who want to invest to improve their production but are paid only low prices in their domestic market and from the big bulk buyers.

We carefully select our oils in close contact with the producers, through tasting, testing, and understanding the method of growing, harvesting and milling, through to certification. We follow closely the bulk packaging and transport so we can be sure we’re getting the right product and test it again on arrival. Finally, we transfer it ourselves into bottles and containers and then ship it to you!

This way, you can know that not only are you helping farmers get fair prices for their work, but you’re also getting the very best product that region has to offer, at a great price. Unlike supermarket olive oils, Amfora oils come without the risk of adulteration. You can be sure you’re getting the real stuff!

How to select a good olive oil?

First ensure that it is a true extra virgin olive oil. This is harder than it sounds. Almost every bottle on a shop shelf will say “extra virgin” – but it probably isn’t. Rather it’s likely a blend of oils of different quality from different regions, only some of which may be extra virgin. So buy extra virgin oil from a single producer or a single region to have the best chance of getting something good. Avoid bottles that simply say “product of the European Union” or supermarket “own brand”, “Pressé à froid”, “premier pression” – these statements sadly mean nothing now. And if it’s the cheapest on the shelf? You’ll likely be getting what you pay for.

Make sure you can find the date of the harvest and that it was this or last year. If it just has a sell-by date, count back 18 months or 2 years and that was when it was bottled. The harvest may have been 1 or even 2 year before then! Olive oil is at its best when it’s fresh. You should only be buying oil from the latest harvest.

Finally, tasting is the best test. Does it have a grassy or fruity taste on the tongue? Does it have a peppery, spicy finish that might even make you cough? Bingo. It’s probably a good one.

Of course, you can just buy any of Amfora’s range of olive oils and know that we’ve taken the trouble to make sure you’re getting all the benefits of a real extra virgin olive oil! But if you have to buy someone else’s, keep these tips in mind. 

Discover all our olive oils

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All about our producers

Our Greek farmers

Olive oil is a family tradition for our producers. The trees have been handed down the generations, and some can be very old indeed. One of our farmers says some of his trees were planted during the time of the Byzantine emperor Justinian, who died in 565 BC! Though his wife says he’s making it up.

Making excellent olive oil is part of their and their families’ history and identity. Up until Amfora came along it didn’t make them much money. The majority of our farmers sold their products in bulk through the local olive press, keeping what they needed for themselves and family and friends. Most of it got shipped to big factories in the south of Italy and mixed with olive oils from other countries (and sometimes things that aren’t olive oil), to be stored in vast tanks for sometimes more than a year. The mixtures would be sold to big brands, remixed again, put in a bottle with an Italian-sounding label on it, and shipped to supermarkets.

Everything that made their extra virgin olive oil precious and unique was lost.

In the meantime, young people in these farming communities see no future in olive oil production and are leaving for the cities. Just the older people remain, and as the population shrinks more and more of the olive groves are left uncultivated, returning to a wild state.

We founded Amfora to try and break this cycle! We find ambitious producers who make quality olive oils, want to make even better ones, and who want to invest in their business. We sign long term contracts with them and pay them more than they could get from selling at the mill. We’ll pay even higher prices as their quality improves. We cut out the middleman, so despite this, our customers get great prices. They also get great quality olive oils, as fresh as can be, coming from a single producer they can trust. Our farmers get the certainty to invest in their businesses, fair prices, and hopefully something to pass onto the next generation. Most of all we give them the chance to sell their products they invest so much love and hard work into, to consumers who really appreciate the difference.


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