Archives for posts with tag: brewing

Coffee business is not just about London, Manchester or Edinburgh.

There is a real excitement and buzz around the world of coffee: from roaster to barista and caffeine addict as well.

Britain seems to have ditched the afternoon tea and biscuits for something more exotic with a coffee and a brownie (other cakes are available in general).

It is not rare to see people have two or three cups of coffee with some variations: espresso, filter (V60 or aeropress), flat white. All of these will bring something different to the palate and taste buds. Rather comforting and there is also this caffeine hit. If your barista is skilled enough the ground will be different between a clever dripper and a cafetière or americano.

So what is happening in the South West of England? Nothing related to cream teas this time or pasties, but the launch of something rather exceptional:


South West Independent Coffee Guide - launch 17/10/14

South West Independent Coffee Guide – launch 17/10/14

For more information read full article HERE.

It can feel like a private event but it is also open to the public as long as you turn up with an exclusive and limited ticket available from Eventbrite for just £9.99 (+ booking fee £1.25).

The evening will be at Extract Coffee Roasters in Bristol from 7pm.

…UK’s premiere of highly acclaimed US film A Film About Coffee will be screened as part of the VIP launch celebrations. Craft Brewer Wiper & True will provide a pop-up bar for the evening… it’s going to be quite a party…

A Film About Coffee poster

A Film About Coffee poster

But why is this all like a secretive ceremony happening in a warehouse? Some might say it is a kind of cult where only professional hipsters king/queen of latte art are allowed to turn up!? Absolutely not! It is simply the celebration of something new and unique with a lot of fun around it.

Coffee owners/barista aren’t pompous or boring people but more like open minded and witty. Just look at what takes place during UK Barista Championship: it is a competition about coffee and methods of brewing as well as creativity and knowledge.

Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood is a prime example as he gave a lesson regarding water quality and the effect on coffee.

Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood - All about water (photo by Kate Beard)

Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood – All about water (photo by Kate Beard)

What he said was and is really important if you are after that perfect cup of coffee – not missing the correct ratio and respecting the extraction time.

Making coffee is like cooking: you have some ingredients and you want/need the best – giving the opportunity to deliver high quality in order to release full flavour and maximum aroma to the drink.

Having the South West Independent Coffee Guide (SWICG) available soon, it means that there could be a lot of positive changes at the horizon. Could Cornwall and Devon become the new destination for a (coffee) road trip instead of crowded London with numerous Tube strikes?

Devon is already famous for its fabulous coastlines (thank you to recycle schemes) and beautiful seaside resorts – but this new book could drag even more/new visitors to the English Riviera and British countryside. Roasting coffee is not an urban activity as such. In fact, there is an interesting read published by the Food Mag – visit the dedicated page HERE.

The Westcountry is not that boring – and if this was the case why are there so many holidaymakers playing on beaches, trekking on Dartmoor or even Londoners taking a break in this part of England?!

This forthcoming coffee guide is without a doubt a win-win for this area of the United Kingdom but also for everyone involved in the coffee culture!

It is obvious that water without coffee and vice versa will result of an empty cup, shop and no business.

Some coffee roasters or in fact most of them, are traveling the world to source that perfect and tasteful green coffee bean which will give a kick to your taste buds once roasted.

The coffee can have a ton of different flavours according to its origin and the way it is handled by the head roaster.

It all depends how long it is kept hot and at which temperature. Too dark could be awful but too light would produce a coffee without character.

But this is not all: the water is as important as the coffee.

The actual water can give an extra (unwanted) after taste. Or you might go to an espresso bar and love the coffee there. You then buy 250g of it and when at home using your own barista tools and gadgets it is completely different because your water is not filtered and has a different composition.

“We’ve found that the water composition is key to the proportions of sugars, starches, bases and acids extracted from a particular roast.” – Source

The University of Bath has teamed up with the UK Barista Champion (Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood from Colonna-Smalls) in order to define which type of water will be ideal to make perfect coffee.

In other words, the water could be like the sauce with the meat/fish/vegetables. It has to enhance the aroma and taste of the main ingredient. The sauce mustn’t be over powering or the food itself would just be like boring texture. The water plays the same role when preparing a coffee.

In the coffee industry everything is important even how much water is used and the length of brewing a pour over. Specific scales are available.

There is a correlation between cooking and making coffee: it is about respecting the proportions and getting quality components.

A barista must be as skilled as a head chef or a sommelier.

There is a complete presentation about this – check the video HERE.

But this kind of “know how” is not just in food or coffee. It is what makes the actual activity successful. Forget the instant coffee jar and attend a cupping session to explore and discover the nuance between a bean coming from Ethiopia, Rwanda or South America. Each profession applies the same attention to details from bespoke bicycle maker to website and graphic designer. It has to be faultless and match the potential customer’s expectation.

Coffee tastes classifications

Coffee tastes classifications

Overall water is important on a global scale. So much so that some architects have also worked hard in order to maintain an ongoing and smooth flow of water when we are opening our taps from kitchen sinks to showers.

Water Tower

Water Tower

There are several ways to brew coffee.

Intelligentsia has probably the best and rather stylish videos covering many aspects of it.

In this particular case it is all about pour over.