Brewing & Storage
A fresh roasted bean's flavours are very perishable and vulnerable to loss of the fine flavours they possess.
Unopened our hand-packed range has a life of 6-8 weeks, however, in general, wholebean coffee begins to lose its flavour when left out after one week, while ground coffee can do so within an hour.
Because it has a longer shelf life than ground coffee, it is advisable to invest in a small burr grinder if you regularly enjoy your morning wake-up call. This way, you can grind your beans as and when you fancy a cup.
Do make sure, however, that it is a burr and not a simple blade grinder, as the latter has a tendency to chop rather than grind beans, which will prevent you from achieving the consistency needed to deliver our coffee's exceptional flavours. You can pick up a good burr grinder for as little as £50 on the high street.
The best way to store coffee is in the freezer. This is because the inert environment will help to lock in the fine flavours over a much longer period of time. This method of storage is especially recommended if you are a low volume user of fresh, ground coffee.
When taking coffee out for brewing after freezing it, always ensure that you take out only as little as is needed, and return the rest of the pack back to the freezer, immediately. This is because if kept out for long periods of time, the coffee grounds will develop condensation on them, and thus destroy the flavours – particularly if this water is then re-frozen. Coffee does not like frequent extreme changes of temperature.
If you are using wholebean coffees, these can be stored in their bags at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.
Never store your coffee in the fridge – not even in an air tight container. Fresh roasted coffee is incredibly hydroscopic, and will quickly absorb odours in the air. A fridge normally contain strong aromas, which will then be transferred to your cup.
Although some people swear by Tupperware containers, kilner jars and the like, it really doesn't have to cost you anything to ensure your coffee keeps fine flavours.
Fresh air is coffee's greatest enemy. Oxygen and moisture within the air is quickly absorbed by the roasted beans, at the expense of its inherently delicious flavours.
What it's about
How much fun do you want to have? We are not talking about bean to cup automatic machines here - theres only a couple of buttons and knobs on these so not much we can play with - read the manual and taste looking for body and a natural sweetness alongside the intensity. The following is for 'traditional' machines with filter handles and uses the 'double basket' for a double espresso or two singles.
What you'll need
You'll need a good quality espresso machine and portafilter (Gaggia, Kitchen Aid are two good brands), coffee, a grinder, a measuring spoon or scales, tamp, and appropriate cups
1. Grinding is one of the MOST important aspects of preparing great espresso. Coffee must be ground fresh (within an hour) for best results and the machine must be clean and fully warmed up. Grind using a good quality Burr grinder for even particle size and extraction.
2. Remove the filter handle form the machine head and fill the basket with grounds - slightly heaped. Tap the portafilter lightly on the table to settle the grounds and with a finger resting on the rim of the portafilter gently wipe left to right over the grounds to level them and remove excess.
3. Use a tamp tool to compress the grounds in the basket. Apply the tool flat and press with your weight to use about 15-20Kg pressure and ensure that the grounds are solidly packed. If you invert the portafilter the grounds shoud stay put!
4. Before loading the portafilter back into the machine, flush hot water from the head for 2-3 seconds or longer if your machine produces steam and water in a hissing sound - let the flow settle to remove over temperature water then load the portafilter. Use this water to preheat your cups.
5. Load the portafilter and dry the cups, place under the spouts and activate the brew.
6. Watch the extraction - it should take a moment or two after pressing the button for the flow to start. Flow should be slow and steady - not a drip-drip, and a full shot should take between 18 and 25 seconds to pur ajust one fluid ounce (about 28ml). The flow should look like honey from a spoon. stop the extractin when you get the required volume or just as you start to see a blonding in the crema.
7. If the flow was too fast (espresso feels thin and sharp) grind finer, or coarser if the time was too long or the shot tasted bitter or harsh. You can also experiment with the fill and tamp pressure - all of these aspects will affect the flavour of the coffee significantly.
What it’s about
great for an intense and bittersweet rendition of many different coffees. If you like your coffee with bite and intensity, this may be for you although it is easy to burn the coffee - a little care will provide great rewards.
What you’ll need
You’ll need a stovetop / Moka Pot, an electric kettle or other device to boil water in, coffee, a good quality burr grinder, a heat source (electric or gas stove), hot pads, a bar towel, and cups.
1. Although often referred to as an espresso maker, these great little gadgets do make a strong coffee but not quite to the same dense viscous style as an authentic espresso machine. As it brews fast, a fine grind is needed - just slightly finer than filter-fine. Very consistent Burr grind is required, blade grinders will not give good results.
2. Fill the lower reservoir with hot, just boiled water to a line just below the safety valve on the side of the reservoir. Don’t fill with cold water or the coffee grounds will bake before the water hits and the flavour will be flattened. CARE - metal will now be hot, handle with a cloth
3. Drop in the filter basket and add your ground coffee to the rim. Gently level out the grounds with a finger run over the top and lightly pack the coffee down into the basket to remove any voids. Ensure no grounds are left on the rim or in the screw threads.
4. Carefully screw on the lid taking care not to spill the water inside and use a cloth to avoid scalds - do not over tighten
5. Place the brewer on the stove - if gas don’t have flame too high or the handle may burn. Watch the brew with lid open and remove from heat as soon as a constant stream of coffee starts to appear in the top section. Close lid and leave to finish brewing.
6. Pour as soon as finished and do not leave to sputter all the water into the top container. Keeping the brew short will enhance the taste and body in the coffee.
7. Sip and feel the magic at work.
What it's about
From a heyday in the 1970's these machines are once again becoming popular as coffee lovers re-discover single origin coffees and their sublime pleasures versus Espresso For best results, grind your coffee fresh before use. Use a Burr grinder that cuts the beans in a controlled way for more consistent extraction. Blade grinders chop the beans very unevenly leading to bitter coffee. For Filter coffee grind medium- fine, so that the water collects enough flavour as it passes quickly through the grounds
What you'll need
1. If using a permanent filter, ensure this is clean and free of oils. If using paper filters, use white non bleached and run small amount of water over to remove any starchy taste
2. Measure with scoop provided by manufacturer or traditional dessert spoon - one per cup as indicated by the capacity of the machine (e.g. 10 cup machine - 10 scoops). DON’T SKIMP as this will only make your coffee bitter. Filter machines are very inflexible and only really work best when brewing their full capacity. if your coffee is too strong add water AFTER brewing to preserve the correct balance but diluted to your preference.
3. Fill machine resevoir with fresh cold water and switch on to brew. AS SOON as the water stops flowing in a constant stream from the filter into the jug, pull the jug away and discard the filter and used coffee so that over extracted drops do not fall into the jug. drink immediately or transfer to a thermos jug. do not hold the coffee on the machine hotplate (will turn bitter within 20 mins)
What it’s about
Just making a comeback now, the vacuum pot brewer or Syphon was invented in the 1830's and it amazingly one of the best ways to brew a flavourful and smooth cup of coffee. Water hits the coffee (with a little practice) at perfect temperature, and is filtered back into the pot for a clear sediment free sweet brew.
What you’ll need
You’ll need a syphon, coffee, a grinder, a measuring spoon or scales, hot pads, and a heat source.
1. For best results, grind your coffee fresh before use. Use a Burr grinder that cuts the beans in a controlled way for more consistent extraction. Blade grinders chop the beans very unevenly leading to bitter coffee. For Syphon brewers we reccomend a filter (medium -fine) grind as the water does not spend long in contact with the grounds and this may need some experimentation to get the best flavour. watch the coffee as it drains into the lower bowl after brewing - if it is sucked down at a fast rate then go finer, if the top bowl is left with standing water then the grind is too fine - go coarser.
2. Measure your coffee into the top bowl after fitting the cloth filter and restraining with the spring clip. Dose - usual rules apply - 7g per serving so 21g for a 3-cup and 35g for a 5-cup
3. Fill the lower bowl with water, enough for your required brew volume. Water can be added hot from a boiled kettle to speed things along or the whole thing can be heated on a stove or with the spirit burner provided with the brewer.
4. When the water gets near to boiling point, gently fix the top bowl in place and watch as a small amount of water rises into the top. Stir briefly to ensure all grounds are wetted and place lid on top.
5. As all of the water rises intot he top bowl, move the spirit burner 3/4 out from under the lower bowl, leaving just enough heat applied to hold the brewing coffee in the top bowl for half to one minute. You can control this contact time - longer if you want the coffee to extract more and produce a stronger cup but be careful not to overheat and crack the lower bowl.
6. After the holding time between 30 and 40 seconds, remove and extinguish the burner and marvel as the coffee gently returns to the lower bowl, perfectly brewed and free of grounds. Once empty, remove the top bowl -CARE, all glass parts will be very hot.
7. Pour and enjoy
What it’s all about
OK There are a couple of ways to do this thing, the better is referred to as the inverted method - a little trickier to use the measuring points on the side but it’s a cleaner and more controlled way of using. You will need to experiment a little with the holding time and how fast to press but this gadget, perfect for travel makes a great cup with a wide range of coffees.
What you’ll need
You'll need an Aeropress, coffee, grinder, a measuring spoon or scales, kettle
1. For best results, grind your coffee fresh before use. Use a Burr grinder that cuts the beans in a controlled way for more consistent extraction. Blade grinders chop the beans very unevenly leading to bitter coffee. Start with an espresso grind or just marginally coarser, this is a quick steep method so fine is needed to extract the flavour. You may find some experimentation needed to get the best flavour. Always try to balance increasing strength (extraction) and therefore bitterness with the natural sweetness of the coffee - less water, more coffee makes a better 'concentrate' that can then be drunk straight as an espresso or diluted with hot water to taste
2. Insert plunger into top of larger tube stpping the plunger at the first number and stand the assembly upside down on the table. For a 'double shot' equivalent or to dilute up to a 200ml mug, use 15-20g ground coffee
3. After boiling, allow kettle to cool for 30 seconds then slowly add water up to about half full in the tube. Stir for about 10 seconds using the plastic stirrer provided then let it steap for about 20 - 30 seconds.
4. Place filter paper in the black perforated cap and screw onto the aeropress tube
5. Invert the assembled Aeropress over a mug and using about 4Kg pressure, press slowly and steadily until all the water is expelled through the grounds into the cup. Do not force this as there can be a risk of spill and splatter!
6. Remove the aeropress from the cup and taste the brew. It should be full bodied and intendse - dilute out with hot water to taste.
7. Sip and ruminate on how easy and inexpensive a great coffeemaker can be while enjoying your new brew.
What it’s all about
A 21st century update to the old fashioined one cup plastic pot drippers that your mother used to get at the hairdressers! You get to choose the coffee
What you’ll need
You’ll need a dripper funnel, coffee, a filter paper, a grinder, a measuring spoon or scales, a cup for waste, kettle and a mug for your coffee.
1. For best results, grind your coffee fresh before use. Use a Burr grinder that cuts the beans in a controlled way for more consistent extraction. Blade grinders chop the beans very unevenly leading to bitter coffee. For individual cups of filtered coffee grind very fine, just slightly coarser than espresso to slow the water as it passes through the filter.
2. When using paper filters, always go for oxygen whitened as they are cleaner in taste than 'natural brown' and are whitened without use of any chlorine products. Before adding the ground coffee, rinse the paper through with a quarter of a cup of hot water and discard.
3. Measure the coffee, for an 8oz (220ml) cup, use 15-20g ground coffee. In single cup brewing we often use more than the traditional ratio of grounds to help slow the water as it passes through and increase depth of flavour
4. After the kettle has boiled, allow to rest for 30 seconds then gently pour just enough water to cover (wet and allow to swell) the grounds. Stir the grounds making sure all of them are covered.
5. Pour the rest of the water in slow gentle pours. One of our Hario Kettles with a long narrow spout is ideal. Gently pour the water in the middle in a circular motion and create a bloom. Pour till you've reached a the top of the dripper.
6. As soon as you have collected a cup full, move the filter over to a spare cup and leave to drain
What it’s all about
one of the simplest and easiest ways to make great coffee.
What you’ll need
You’ll need a cafetiere, coffee, a grinder, a measuring spoon or scales, a timer, kettle and cups
1. For best results, grind your coffee fresh before use. Use a Burr grinder that cuts the beans in a controlled way for more consistent extraction. Blade grinders chop the beans very unevenly leading to bitter coffee. For cafetiere coffee grind coarse and allow a long (4 min) extraction time for a rich and balanced brew.
2. Measure the coffee - use 7g, per serving,about one heaped dessert spoonful per cup. An 8-Cup cafetiere will take 55-60g for a full rounded brew.
3. After the kettle has boiled, allow 30 secs or so for the temperature to drop below 96degrees C then briskly pour just enough water to saturate the grounds. Swirl the bottom of the cafetiere to thoroughly wet the grounds as they bloom up.
4. Pour the rest of the water to fill the cafetiere to just below the rim or spout. After a few seconds gently tap the cafetiere on the table to knock back the head created by fresh coffee gassing off on contact with the water. For best results, after one minute stir the grounds briefly and top up with water if required.
5. Gently place the lid with the plunger resting on top of the grounds and leave for another 3-4 minutes
6. Gently plunge the coffee and enjoy.
7. Don’t hold cafetiere brewed coffee in a thermos, drink immediately - use less coffee and water if you only want to half fill