Perfect gifts for Father’s Day

Fathers-Day-lifestyle

Have you been asking yourself ‘what can I get my dad for Father’s Day?’ and coming up stumped? If your dad is a coffee lover, of any kind, we’ve got all your gift needs covered. From the recent convert to the seasoned experts, we have a gift to suit him.

 

For the gentleman drinker

If your dad prefers a smooth clean cup with minimal fuss, we suggest our perfectly appointed Father’s Day Coffee Gift Set with two sure-fire winners, Asprotimaná, Colombia and our Equinox Seasonal Blend. The presentation box also includes an Aeropress, a clever little gizmo designed to make brewing coffee easier, with no mess. Perfect for dads who like to tinker! If you’re not familiar with this simple gadget take a look at our clip on how to use it to brew quickly for a great result.

For the refined classic

If you’re spending Sunday with dad enjoying a good, old fashioned roast; bring a bag of coffee to round off the meal. You can’t go wrong with Union favourite Gajah Mountain, Sumatra, Indonesia. It’s a trusted classic and bound to appeal to even the most conservative of palates. With flavour notes of plum, blackberry, sweet candied fruit and a deep rich body, it makes for a sublime late afternoon pick me up. And one that will score you a brownie point or two. If your dad is a classic, refined gent then this is the coffee for him (and you).

For the daredevil

Rogue is an old faithful here at Union, but it’s never too familiar. It’s loved, but prone to unpredictability. It was a blend of coffees, now we’ve created it as a single origin espresso, from flavio salles machado (FAF) microlot 560/562, brazil. But it’s always the product of extremely hard work. This microlot is carefully hand-picked then meticulously dried. If your dad’s still the punk who never backed down, then Rogue’s unpredictability is exactly right for him. It’s complex, spiky and prone to go, well…rogue. If your dad’s up for accepting a challenge, the reward from Rogue is a super clean, sweet coffee. Let him put his coffee mettle to the test with this one.

 

Or if you’ve just not decided yet what would make the perfect gift for dad, you can browse our full Father’s Day Gift list.

 

go on, make his day

 

Best Served Chilled

COLD_BREW

 

It’s hard to tell how the weather is going to go this summer, as I write this it’s overcast, muggy and humid. Even though the sun might not be out, I need something to cool me down. Luckily for me I have just the thing, Cold Brew Coffee.

Cold brew is simple to make and makes the perfect long drink to enjoy in the sun. It’s the ideal accompaniment to lazy afternoons spent with friends and a barbecue. Cold Brewed Coffee keeps you cool without the need to resort to something stronger. Chilled on the inside, chilled on the outside.

How to brew

Cold brew requires a bit of foresight because of the extended steeping time, but the rewards are there for a little patience. Using the immersion method below produces a naturally sweeter cup, with a tingly sparkle to refresh you on a hot and sultry summer day. This brewing technique highlights some of the subtle floral and fruit notes found in high quality coffee, that may be more muted with hot brew.

You don’t need special kit. There’s no need for filtering if you follow our guide. Really it’s just coffee, water, a big jar and something to strain it with. Cold brew lends itself beautifully to making large batches, and keeps for up two weeks in the fridge. That’s a workflow I like. By brewing your own coffee you know you’re getting the best out of your precious coffee. It’s all win!

What you need:

How to make it

  • Grind the coffee beans to produce a coarse grind, similar to cafetiere grind, or slightly coarser if possible. If you’re unsure what that looks like, click here for a handy comparison.
  • Place the coffee in the muslin cloth and tie the top with kitchen string to create a large “coffee bag”
  • Immerse the bag into the fresh water, kneeding a little to ensure the coffee inside is throughly wet
  • Leave to brew at room temperature overnight (10-16 hours)
  • Remove the bag and give it a squeeze
  • Bottle your brewed coffee, and refrigerate for a couple of hours to chill

 

Play around and adjust ratios and the brew time until you get the balance you like. Tweet us your version of the recipe at @unionroasted!

 

Buy Yayu Wild Forest, Geri Cooperative, Ethiopia

 

Coffee Cocktail Recipes for the Weekend

cocktails

This week I took part in the UK Coffee in Good Spirits 2015 Competition (and came a very respectable third place). Now that the dust has settled I thought it would be a good opportunity to share with you the two recipes I presented to the judges.

 

I have 3 good reasons why you should break out the cocktail shaker this weekend and try something a little cheeky (minus the “bantz”).

1. It’s looking promising for some good weather and with that comes barbeques. What’s a bbq without homemade boozy drinks?!

2. This Saturday is World Whisky Day. It would be rude not to mark the occasion.

3. These recipes are really rather good. I promise you won’t have tasted Irish Coffee quite like this before.

So now I’ve made your excuses, let’s get into the recipes…

 

irish_coffeeCold Irish Coffee

This was my left field entry into the competition. it’s a well known drink, with a great creation story, but it is always served hot. So why serve it cold? I found that with the ingredients served cold it brought out all the tropical fruit character of the coffee. The hot coffee was bringing out too much of the flavour of the whisky cask and you couldn’t get all the nuance of the Los Lajones and so creating the drink cold allowed all the flavours of the coffee (as well as the whisky) to come through on the palate. Try it, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

For 2 Irish Coffees You will need:

  •  Espresso Machine and grinder (although you could use aeropress)
  • 2x 240ml wine glass
  • Aeropress
  • Clip top (Kilner Style) bottle
  • 22g Los Lajones Natural Caturra, Panama
  • 30g Orange Blossom Honey
  • 50ml Dalmore 15 Year Old (sorry Ireland but I found Scotch pairs better with the Los Lajones)
  • 150ml Double Cream
  • Bar spoon
  • Small sieve (optional)
  • 340ml jug (optional)


Directions:

Brew espresso to this recipe: 22g Los Lajones Natural Caturra. Delivering 35g of espresso in 30 seconds.

Using the inverted aeropress method, pour the 3 double espressos into the aeropress, add the washed filter in the cap and press the espresso through into a jug to remove the crema. Add 220ml of iced water, the whisky and the honey and divide into two glasses.

Add the cream to the clip top bottle and shake vigorously until you hear a change to the sound the cream makes as it thickens. Keep shaking gently until the cream feels thick. For a really glossy finish, strain through the sieve into a small jug.

Slowly pour the cream over the back of a bar spoon onto the coffee – it should float.

This will be quite unlike any Irish Coffee you have ever had before: the cream coats the inside of your mouth and has the texture of chocolate melting in your mouth. The cool coffee and whisky underlayer has the flavour of pineapple, mango and passionfruit. It is cold, refreshing and luxurious. For a REALLY indulgent experience, why not try with Los Lajones Geisha Sweet Princess?

 

marmalade_crescendo

Marmalade Crescendo

This cocktail has all the characteristics of a classic Ethiopian coffee – floral, citrus and a long fruit finish, but in an accessible cocktail for people who don’t “get” Speciality Coffee…..yet! It’s amazing how alcohol can change one’s motivation!

For 2 Marmalade Crescendos You will need:

  • Espresso Machine and Grinder (although you could use aeropress)
  • 2x250ml Champagne coupe glasses
  • 21 g Yayu Wild Forest Geri Co-Operative, Ethiopia
  • 15g Orange Blossom Honey
  • 100ml The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
  • 60ml Grand Marnier
  • 20ml Limoncello
  • 60ml Taittinger Champagne
  • Ice
  • Shaker can
  • Strainer & sieve
  • Edible Flowers (Maddocks Farm organics)

 

Directions:

Brew espresso to this recipe: 21g Yayu Wild Forest Geri Co-Operative, Ethiopia. Delivering 22g of espresso in 22 seconds.

Add crushed ice and Limoncello to the glasses and roll them around to coat the inside, discard the Limoncello (I recommend having it as a warm-up) Add 30ml of Champagne to each glass.

Add the gin, Grand Marnier and espresso to the shaker can, top with ice and seal with the glass. Shake vigorously until the can has frosted and the glass has cooled.

Break the seal, and double strain into the glasses. Garnish with edible flowers.

This will be like the experience of drinking Ethiopian Coffee only cold, and boozy! Up front florals, lemon acidity and a long Seville Orange Marmalade finish with a sparkly effervescent mouthfeel.

 

cheers

 

 

Have a great weekend everyone. I’m confident you will if you follow these simple steps!

Coffee in Good Spirits 2015

Dave_BannerDave Jameson the reigning UK Coffee in Good Spirits Champion is back again for more: follow our resident cocktail guru’s journey to this year’s Coffee in Good Spirits competition!

Last year I entered the UK Coffee In Good Spirits Championship to see what competing was like, and was surprised and overjoyed when I won. I went on to finish 9th in the World Championships in Melbourne and was firmly bitten by the competition bug. So much so that I have taken a year out of judging competitions to focus on competing. This is the story behind the drinks I will be presenting at the UK Coffee In Good Spirits Championship this year.

Geisha experiments
Part of the feedback I received last year was that although I was using outstanding coffee (Los Lajones Natural Queen Geisha), it was hard to see how good the coffee was through the ingredients I used. My first thought for this year was: how do I create a cocktail which can accurately and fairly represent Geisha and reflect the unique and special nature of how it is grown, processed and delivered?

I began to think about which drinks I perceived as being of very high value and quality – like a Geisha. I kept coming back to Champagne as the logical option. Geisha and Champagne means a seriously high-end cocktail by the end of the process!

I developed the recipe further, researching traditional Champagne cocktails, and started to look for a gin which would be a good match. I tested several gins (terribly hard work) and found that The Botanist, distilled by Bruichladdich and flavoured with 22 wild foraged botanicals from Islay, was an ideal match for my coffee. Subtle, light, delicate and floral. All World Championship cocktails have to include Grand Marnier so my recipe washed out to be 50ml gin, 30ml Grand Marnier and 45ml espresso, shaken over ice, strained and topped up with 10ml of Taittinger Champagne. The finished cocktail takes the character of the coffee – sweet, fruity, floral and sparkly – and amplifies it!

cocktail

My only issue was that having spent six months developing the recipe, we had exhausted our stock of the Geisha I had been using. This prompted a fairly frantic re-evaluation of the recipe and I decided to use another coffee, the Yayu Wild Forest from the Geri cooperative in Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia.

I’m super-proud of my finished drink. It’s delicious and garnished with White Winter Borage flowers, which remind me of coffee blossom. I think it looks as good as it tastes!

Reinventing the classic Irish Coffee
Irish Coffee was created as a winter warmer to perk up passengers disembarking from a Pan Am flight to Shannon in the 1940s. It does a great job of heating you up on a miserable day, but in mid-May, at the Olympia (known to be the hottest place in London at all times) I knew it was going to be a bit difficult to make it truly enjoyable. I have been experimenting extensively with a number of coffees and a number of whiskies to try to find something I enjoy as much as the recipe I used last year. Eventually after much to-ing and fro-ing I decided to re-use the recipe, albeit with espresso instead of aeropress. There’s another subtle difference too: I am serving it cold!

Irish

We know that cold coffee works. Cold Brewed coffee has been the break-out success of the past few years, and ice blended drinks earn more for their coffee shop retailers than coffee over the summer. We also know that hot spirits can be a bit overpowering. By adding 10g of muscavado sugar syrup, 25ml of Dalmore 15 Year Old and 3 espressos made with Los Lajones Natural Caturra to a shaker, shaking until cold then layering room temperature cream on top, you make something fundamentally different and interesting. At room temperature, fats take on a really beautiful mouth-coating quality – imagine melted chocolate. By using cream which is slightly warmer you deliver unctuous luxurious mouthfeel, and by keeping the coffee cold you can taste the sweetness and the fruit as well as the best parts of the whisky. This is incredibly drinkable!

It’s quite a gamble to take this approach. Although not explicitly prohibited in the rules, I’m sure that the intention is that Irish Coffee should be hot. It could catastrophically backfire on me, or it could be a great success. I’ll let you know 😉

Thanks for following my progress this year, if you would like to know any more about any of my recipes please tweet me @davidjamesonuk

(I’ll be sharing the two cocktail recipes mentioned in this post later on this week.)