3 Common Home Espresso Mistakes

3 Common Home Espresso Mistakes and how to fix them

If being at home more has led to you purchasing a new espresso machine then this article is for you. Your new machine is sitting on the counter waiting for you but before you start, let’s talk about three common mistakes made when making espresso at home.

Using the wrong water

Coffee is approximately 98 percent water. If you don’t like the way water tastes when you drink it on its own, you will most likely not enjoy the espresso brewed with that water. It’s similar to cooking with wine — you want to use a wine you enjoy drinking, so you will enjoy the taste of the food!

Hard water will cause scale build-up which will result in your machine having a short life. Purchasing an espresso machine is an investment and so you want to look after it, so that it will last for many years to come.

If your tap water is delicious — and not hard — then congratulations, you are very lucky! If this is not the case then filtered water or bottled water are great options. Beware though: distilled water won’t do a great job, as your water needs some minerals to extract those tasty flavours.

Not cleaning your equipment

As we’ve previously mentioned, we want your machine to last a long time. Proper cleaning is one of the most important factors in prolonging your machine’s life. Small everyday cleaning tasks will keep your machine in its prime. Waiting until it stops working to give your machine a clean is too late. Some basic cleaning tasks include:

  1. After you brew an espresso shot, it’s important to immediately flush, or purge the group head. Take your portafilter out as soon as you can after pulling your shot and wipe it clean. Place the portafilter back on the grouphead and run water through.
  2. When steaming milk, purge the steam wand by placing a rag over the end of the steam wand and turning it on for one to two seconds before steaming your milk. This ensures you aren’t getting any residual water from the steam wand into your milk. Be sure to wipe down your wand with a damp towel every time after you use your steam wand.
  3. At least three times a week, give your portafilter and basket a good soak using a detergent specifically made for espresso machines. Place your portafilter in hot water along with some espresso machine cleaning powder, for about 10 minutes, rinse and dry. Now the machine …take your portafilter and use a “blind” basket (a basket with no holes) or a backflush disc to backflush your grouphead. Grinds and oils get stuck back in the inner valves of the machine and you need to flush them out. Add a small amount of Espresso Machine cleaning powder and lock the portafilter into the group head and run the water for ten seconds and then turn the water off for five seconds. Repeat this process three times. You’ll know it’s clean when you take the portafilter out and the water in the blind basket has no grinds left. Replace it with your regular basket and run water through the portafilter and basket. Discard the first espresso shot you pull after cleaning to be extra sure there is no residual cleaner left behind.
  4. Soak your steam wand with water for 15 minutes.

If you brew more than two espresso beverages in a day, we recommend doing the last two steps almost every day.

Using too young or too old coffee

We all know that fresh coffee gives us the best brewing experience. But did you know that there is such a thing as coffee that’s too fresh? When coffee is roasted, a process called degassing occurs. When coffee is roasted, carbon dioxide is created inside the bean. A lot of the gas is released in the first few days after roasting. The released gas creates air pockets, which can disrupt the contact between the coffee grounds and the water. This causes an uneven extraction of the flavour and aroma in the dry coffee.

Have you ever brewed coffee that you at first did not enjoy, but you tried again two days later and it tastes much better? That’s degassing at work! The right amount of carbon dioxide stops the coffee tasting stale and flat. About three to five days after the roast date is right around when degassing has started to slow down. There are less air pockets for better, more even extraction! This is why we ship all our coffees on a 48 hour delivery so that they have time to degass before you receive them.

Around two weeks from the roast date is when coffee begins to have less carbon dioxide — and just as having too much carbon dioxide can affect espresso brewing, so can too little! A solid time frame for brewing espresso at its peak flavour is three to 14 days.

 

 

 

 

What coffee filter should I use?

What coffee filter should I use?

 

If you are a filter coffee lover then obviously you care about enjoying the hugely varied flavours and tastes available in speciality coffee. The process of making a filter coffee can be more of a ritual then other brewing methods, with brewers taking care to ensure every aspect is carefully considered, but one thing which people sometimes overlook is the humble filter.

Filters obviously vary widely depending on your brewer; with the variety of filters open to you depending on which brewer you are using; the Aeropress has metal and paper options and so does a drip brewer but the larger coffee percolators tend to only have paper filters available.  So, the best filter for you depends on what you are looking to get out of your cup of coffee but there are a few factors when choosing a filter. We’re going to take a look at a few …. let’s start with the basics.

 

What is a coffee filter?

Basically, the filter’s purpose is to allow water to come in contact with the ground coffee and then pass through the filter, separating the brewed liquid from the grounds. Filters come in a variety of sizes depending on your chosen brewer, they can be conical for brewers like the Chemex or the v60, flat bottom for the Kalita Wave or disc shaped for the AeroPress. Filters can be made of from paper or metal or even cloth and they all will change the end result in the cup. Metal filters range widely from a mesh screen through to microscopic hole sizes and patterns which can get close to being as fine as a paper filter. Paper filters can be as varied, with the thickness of the paper playing a huge roll in the final outcome. V60 filters use a thinner paper than the Chemex which is almost 3 times thicker; the thicker Chemex filter is going to allow the least oil and solids to get through. The Kalita Wave, the other major paper filter pour-over device, matches closer to V60 than Chemex in terms of filter paper thickness.

Going from heaviest to lightest, the coffee filter material spectrum is this: mesh filter, cloth filter, laser cut metal filter, thin paper filter, thick paper filter.

There are two main factors when choosing a filter, how it affects the taste and how easy it is to use.

 

How does the filter affect cup profile?

This is perhaps the most important factor when considering a filter. In general, the larger the holes in your filter, the more body the cup will have. This is because the larger holes allow more oils and solids to pass through, giving the coffee a weightier mouthfeel. Materials like cloth and metal are going to edge more towards allowing more of these through. On the other end of the spectrum are materials like paper that don’t allow nearly any oils through. Paper filters can produce cups that are generally described as “clean” or “light” or “delicate” in flavour. Paper filters are designed to get the more delicate flavours out of the coffees, by having a very fine filter the water is in contact with the coffee for longer and it is able to extract the more delicate flavours.  The mesh, metal, and cloth counterparts do a much better job of creating a more full-bodied cup as the liquid does stay in contact with the ground coffee as long but it’s able to keep hold of the oils as it passes through the wider mesh type filters

What makes a filter easy to use?

There are two main considerations when determining a filter’s ease of use: consistency and setup/cleaning time. A filter might make a great cup of coffee time after time but can be a real pain to use.  Its best to work out what your tolerance is; or really …. how much you care.

In general, filters with larger holes tend to be more consistent – producing a good result time after time. Paper filters, especially thicker Chemex-style ones, are prone to getting different results caused by small variances in how you apply water to the coffee grounds —how fast you pour, where on the brew bed you concentrate the pour, etc, all these can have dramatic effects on the overall brew time and the final taste of your coffee.

When it comes to setup/clean-up, the paper rules the day; just pop it in your coffee maker and go, and when you’re done, you just throw them away. Metal and cloth filters are all made to be reusable—which is great—but this also means you have to clean them. Metal filters are more easily cleaned with a quick rinse after use while cloth filters require a lot more work, perhaps even a full-on hand washing or trip to the washing machine

In addition, if you are using a natural/unbleached paper filter, you should give it a rinse first. This will help remove the cardboardy taste it can impart.

On the note of eco-friendliness, the edge has to be given to the reusable filter here. Part of the paper filter’s ease of use comes from its disposability. A good metal filter could last you years but a paper filter’s lifecycle is about five minutes. Now, the environmental impact of the paper filter can (and should) be mitigated by adding it to the compost, but for a variety of reasons this isn’t always a viable option, so the reusable filter still wins out.

So now you have a basic understanding the best thing to do is to experiment. Perhaps try a few different filters out and see which ones you like most …. And which ones you have the patience to entertain.

 

 

Myths About Coffee

Myths About Coffee

There are some well-known ‘facts’ about coffee. Things we have been told or read about which are just accepted … but not all these things are true. Here we be-bunk some of the most common coffee fables.

1.Drinking coffee in the evening impacts on sleep

This is one of the most believed myths. An irrefutable fact. It’s probably so easily believed as It makes sense that by drinking something high in caffeine will impact your sleep.

However, according to a fairly extensive study conducted by  Florida Atlantic University this is not actually true. They monitored 785 people for over 14 years, documenting their consumption of caffeine and keeping sleep diaries to work out how long and how well the participants slept for.

They were able to determine from this study that there was no correlation between caffeine consumption within four hours before going to bed.

They didn’t measure caffeine dosage and were unable to take into account individual variations in caffeine tolerance, but 785 people is a fairly conclusive trial size and allows for a confidence in the results.

Great news for all coffee lovers!

2. More than one cup of coffee per day is bad for you

The general upheld belief is that too much coffee is bad for you. One coffee is ok but any more than that might be bad for your general health. This is an old wives tail which is still widely believed today.

However various modern studies & trials have shown that drinking up to 6 cups of coffee a day is perfectly ok and that actually on the whole coffee is VERY good for you.

It has been proven to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s & Dementia, Parkinson’s & strokes. It may help to reduce chances of developing certain types of cancer. It can help to prevent depression, and generally has a positive impact on mood.

Two very large-scale scientific studies including over nine hundred thousand people, have suggested that coffee drinkers are less likely to die from natural causes in general than non-coffee drinkers.

Coffee is packed with antioxidants, which are thought to be largely responsible for the health benefits.

3. Coffee causes dehydration

This is another one which has been generally considered to be true but again it turns out to be a case of a little bit of knowledge being dangerous.

According to Dr. Daniel Vigil, associate clinical professor of family medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, while coffee and tea are mild diuretics, meaning that they cause your kidneys to flush water and sodium sodium through urine, you take on more water while drinking coffee (and tea) than the volume of water which is flushed out as a result.

In other words, the water your cup of coffee will contain will more than outweigh the slight dehydrating effects of caffeine. The water content of a cup of coffee is about 99%, so caffeine would have to have a huge dehydrating effect to outweigh the water you’re consuming along with the caffeine.

4.Coffee makes you need to poo.

While it would appear that for some that drinking a coffee in the morning makes them need to visit the bathroom, it appears that this isn’t the case with everyone. According to a recent study coffee has this type of effect on under one in three people.  So, it would appear that coffee isn’t the universal laxative that it has the reputation of being.

The study showed that coffee consumption stimulated intestinal movement in 29% of the 99 people studied, and that the effects of caffeinated coffee was only 23% stronger than decaf (& of course decaf contains a tiny fraction of the caffeine).

So, what is it about coffee that keeps around one in three people regular?

Well, there are a number of potential factors that scientists believe could be behind this. It could be due to the increase in gastrin, a peptide hormone which stimulates secretion of gastric acid & aids contractions of the gastric smooth muscle. It could be due to production of another peptic hormone cholecystokinin (or pancreozymin), which stimulates the digestion of fat and protein.

The reality is that we simply don’t know and there would be lot of work to be done to determine exactly what it is, as there are nearly a thousand compounds contained in coffee. But whatever it is, this study does at least suggest that coffee only has a laxative effect on some people, not all.

 

 

 

 

 

How to make the perfect cafetiere coffee

Top tips for the perfect cafetiere coffee

As more and more people are enjoying speciality coffee at home the humble cafetiere is becoming increasingly popular. It’s a staple of most peoples kitchen cupboards and a cheap and easy way to start enjoying freshly roasted coffee at home.

We have put together this post to give you a quick over-view of the Cafetiere and provide some handy tips for getting the most out of it. We have handy brewing guides and videos online and so if you need more detail then click the link at the bottom of the page for further info.

Ok… so let’s start with the basics, a cafetière, or French press, is a heatproof jug, typically made of glass or steel. It uses a strainer attached to the lid to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid whilst extracting their rich flavour.

To brew coffee, you place ground coffee in the jug and cover with hot water; once the coffee has brewed, you plunge the strainer to separate the grounds from the coffee, leaving your perfectly brewed coffee to pour from the spout and the grounds remain secured in the base.

Simple right? Well, yes, it is and that’s why its popular but there are a few things you can do to really improve the taste of the coffee.

The first and most important part is obviously to use freshly roasted coffee. This is really important as coffee starts to come bitter and tasteless within a few weeks of roasting. If possible, always grind your coffee fresh as it will go stale much quicker when pre ground. All our coffees at Beans Coffee Club are roasted fresh – not only that but they are matched to your taste and brewing method.

The next tip is to clean the cafetière before you use it; if you don’t clean it properly it will make your coffee taste a bit bitter and dirty. This might sound obvious, but it is one of the things most people don’t do. Also, you must always pre-warm the cafetiere with hot water (this helps keep your freshly brewed coffee toasty warm until it’s ready to be served). Just pour some hot water in the empty jug before you add the grounds and leave it for a minute or two before discarding. Easy.

While you are heating the jug, it gives the freshly boiled water a chance to cool down a little; we recommend using slightly cooled boiled water as freshly boiled water will kill some of the taste of the coffee. So, warming your jug with the freshly boiled water gives the rest of the water a chance to cool, perfect.

 

We also recommend that you use filtered water, it’s not important that its bottled, you can use tap water that has been in a water filtering jug, just some basic filtering to remove the strong-tasting elements of tap water makes a big difference.

Once you have placed your ground in the jug cover them with water; it’s pretty important to leave the coffee to brew for approximately 3–4 minutes. This gives the coffee time to infuse and for all the flavours to come out of the grounds.

Using a spoon, it’s a good idea to remove some of the grounds floating on the top of the coffee (often referred to as “the crust”) – this will vastly reduce any sediment and improve the taste

Finally make sure you smoothly press the plunger down to the bottom so that you donbt agitate the coffee grounds too much as they can come through the filter and affect the taste of the final cup.

Serve and enjoy the rich, smooth taste of the perfect cup of cafetiere coffee.

 

For videos and more detailed ‘step by step’ guides click HERE to check out our coffee school.

 

Thanks for visiting. If you don’t already follow us why not link us up on social to get more handy hints and tips for enjoying fresh coffee at home.

 

Thanks

 

Beans Coffee Club

Festive Coffee Cocktails to try this year

If you are on our site and reading our blog, then the chances are that you love coffee.  For those of you who also enjoy a tipple every now and again, we thought that we would share some delicious and fun ideas as to how to combine coffee and alcohol.

So here’s our top 5 festive Coffee Cocktails to try this Christmas:

 

Irish Coffee

 

Often not seen a as a cocktail as such, but more as a boozy coffee to enjoy at the end of a meal, this drink consists of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar, stirred, and topped with cream.

If you are not a fan of Irish whiskey, then this does also work with Bailey’s or Kahlua instead.

 

Ingredients2 tbsp double cream (or squirty cream if preferred), 150ml freshly brewed black Beans Coffee Club coffee, 50ml Irish whiskey (of if you prefer Bailey’s or Kahlua), ½ – 1 tsp brown sugar, pinch freshly grated nutmeg.

 

PreparationPour the coffee into the glass/mug, add whiskey and stir in the sugar. Gently float lightly whipped cream on the top and sprinkle the nutmeg over the cream. Serve hot.

 

 

Espresso Martini

  

The espresso martini is a classic coffee cocktail made with vodka, espresso coffee, coffee liqueur, and sugar syrup and is served cold.

 

Ingredients: 100g golden caster sugar for the sugar syrup, ice, 100ml vodka, 50ml freshly brewed espresso coffee, 50ml coffee liqueur (something like Kahlua), 4 coffee beans (optional decoration).

 

Preparation: Pop your serving glasses in the fridge to chill.  Over a medium heat stir the sugar in a pan with 50ml of water and bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat and once the syrup has chilled, pour 1 tbsp into a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice, the vodka, espresso and coffee liqueur. Shake until the outside of the cocktail shaker feels cold.  Now it is time to serve, so get your chilled glasses and pour the strained drink.  Finish with with coffee beans if you like.

 

 

Cold Brew Negroni

The Negroni is a classic pre-dinner cocktail from northern Italy. This is created by stirring so no shaker is required.

 

Ingredients: 25ml of cold brew, 25ml of vermouth, 25ml of Campari and 25ml of gin.

 

Preparation: This is super simple – add all of the ingredients in a hall ball glass and stir.  Garnish with a twirl of orange zest, which has been cut over the glass to release the essential oils to the top of the drink.

 

 

Black Russian

Another classic and super simple coffee flavoured cocktail, the black Russians do not normally use fresh coffee but rather coffee liqueur, however, that’s no reason why this cocktail would not taste even better when you use freshly roasted speciality coffee from Beans Coffee Club.

 

Ingredients: 20ml cold brew 40ml vodka 10 ml coffee liqueur.

 

Preparation: This is super simple – add all of the ingredients in a hall ball glass and stir (no need to use a shaker).    If you prefer a white Russian then simply pour some fresh cream on the top.

 

 

Hot Rum (Jamaican) Coffee 

Our final recipe it the not so famous Hot Rum Coffee which is the most robust drink of our list.

 

Ingredients: 20ml dark rum , 20ml coffee flavored liqueur , 235ml brewed coffee , 2 tablespoons whipped cream , 1 chocolate covered coffee bean  (optional).

 

PreparationPour the rum and coffee liqueur into a coffee glass, then add the hot coffee. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and finish with a coffee bean.

 

All that is left to say is, please remember to drink responsibly and

from all of us here,

 

We wish you a merry Christmas.

 

Richard and Fiona at Beans Coffee Club

Using non-dairy milk in Coffee

Which non-dairy milk is best in Coffee?

As we have been asked this question quite a lot recently, we thought that we would write a quick post on what we know.

Firstly who is asking? Well a range from people really, from those who have dietary restrictions or dairy allergies to people who have, for whatever reason, decided to cut out completely or reduce their use of animal products.

Secondly, you have probably noticed that more and more alternative milk brands are offering barista versions of their milk, this is great news and only echoes the importance of us, coffee drinkers, when it comes to milk – yay us!

In this post, we detail eight alternatives to dairy milk and some key factors that you may want to consider when understanding how compatible they are with coffee. We will cover off how they taste and how well froth/foam/stretch which is critical if you love a latte, cappuccino or flat white.

So without further ado, here there are in alphabetical order…

…..

Almond Milk

Almond milk is a popular choice when it comes to using nut milk in coffee. It comes in several flavours, and many is available as sweetened and unsweetened.
Almond milk nutty flavour can sometimes taste bitter which is why many prefer sweetened almond milk in coffee for a smoother taste. The nutty taste may also overpower or work against the flavour of your coffee so do be careful with how you use it.

 

Can Almond Milk make a frothy Coffee?
You can create a silky foam with almond milk but do be careful as it can separate when heated. It is also worth knowing that though the foam will sit nicely on top of your coffee it could create a watery drink underneath.

 

Is Almond Milk good without the froth?
Unfortunately, almond milk can curdle in coffee. To combat curdling, avoid pouring cold almond milk into very hot coffee.

…..

Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is not as nutty as other nut-based milks and has a creamy texture that mimics dairy milk. It is slightly sweeter than most kinds of milk which is great for the sweeter toothed coffee drinker and is full of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.

 

Can Cashew Milk make a frothy Coffee?
Yes, though like most alternative milks, Cashew milk will produce larger bubbles.

 

Is Cashew Milk good without the froth?
Unfortunately, Cashew Milk can curdle when you add it to your hot coffee. This is caused by a reaction to the acidity or hot temperature. If you think temperature is the problem, try warming the Cashew milk first and slowly adding the coffee.

…..

Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk has a thick texture and a strong but sweet flavour. You may have noticed that this exotic alternative has started to milk an appearance in some mainstream coffee shops, which shows that with some coffees it pairs well and is becoming a favourite dairy alternative for coffee drinkers. That said, you do need to be mindful with what you use this milk in as it could work against or even overpower the tasting notes of the coffee

 

Can Coconut Milk make a frothy Coffee?
Yes, Coconut milk can make a frothy coffee. Due to coconut milk being high in fat, it froths up a lot, like cow’s milk.

 

Is Coconut Milk good without the froth?
If you add cold Coconut Milk to hot coffee it will curdle. Like most plant-based alternatives it is best to warm the milk first and then add the coffee.

…..

Hemp Seed Milk

Hemp seed milk has a slightly nutty or vegetal flavour with a thin texture that dissolves easily. As the taste is not overpowering it works well with most coffees. This is a popular plant-based milk because of its high protein content. The hemp plant contains trace amounts of THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) though not enough to cause psychoactive effects.

 

Can Hemp Seed Milk make a frothy Coffee?
Similar to Soy, Hemp seed milk steams well because of its high protein content.

 

Is Hemp Seed Milk good without the froth?
If you add cold Hemp Seed Milk to hot coffee it is likely to curdle. To avoid this simply warm the milk first and then add the coffee.

…..

Oat Milk

My personal favourite and it seems that I am not alone as this is quickly becoming the leader of alternative milks to use in coffee. Made from only three ingredients oats, water, and occasionally canola oil, it creates a rich, full-bodied non-dairy milk which is often associated with whole dairy milk.
The other positive surprise about Oat Milk is that though it is indulgently creamy it is actually one of the better non-dairy milks health-wise as it high in fibre, contains very little fat without sacrificing the protein that you can get from dairy milk.

 

Can Oat Milk make a frothy Coffee?
Yes! Oat milk may take a little longer to froth (in comparison to cow’s milk) and will produce larger bubbles but you will be able to create latte art.

 

Is Oat Milk good without the froth?
Oat milk rarely curdles in coffee regardless of whether it is hot or cold.

…..

Pea Milk

Pea milk is smooth and has a neutral taste, it has a relatively high protein content compared to other non-dairy alternatives and it also contains a healthy dose of potassium.

 

Can Pea Milk make a frothy Coffee?
Pea milk is good at making a frothy coffee due to its high protein content. The foam created by Pea milk is silky and is good for latte art.

 

Is Pea Milk good without the froth?
Pea milk may occasionally curdle, which is why we would recommend that you warm it first.

…..

Rice Milk

The ultimate alternative for coffee drinkers with allergies and lactose sensitivities, Rich milk is both nut and soy-free.
Rice milk is super versatile due to its neutral taste; however, its thin and watery texture does not give coffee the creamy consistency.

 

Can Rice Milk make a frothy Coffee?
No. Rice milk does not contain enough protein to create a satisfactory froth.

 

Is Rice Milk good without the froth?
Though less than other alternative milks, Rice milk can have a tendency to curdle. Try heating the milk slightly and then add it to your coffee to avoid any curdling.

…..

Soy Milk

Soy milk has a smooth and creamy texture with a relatively neutral taste. Many brands do not leave any noticeable aftertaste. Soy is now the old kid on the block and has been an option for many years, which is why it is easily accessible and is relatively affordable.

 

Can Soy Milk make a frothy Coffee?
Soy milk’s can produce a foam similar to that of dairy milk, so get frothing and start practising that latte art.

 

Is Soy Milk good without the froth?
Soy milks without preservatives may be more prone to separating. When the soy milk curdles in coffee it is a reaction to the acidity or hot temperature. We recommend that try pouring warm soy milk into your serving cup and slowly adding the coffee to avoid it curdling.

 

We hope that this has helped.

Exclusive Interview with rugby star Elliot Daly

Rugby Star and Beans ambassador Elliot Daly gives us his thoughts of Rugbys return post Covid

Six Nations veteran, Saracens super-star and self-proclaimed coffee addict, the England full-back, who is known for his versatility, was the second-youngest player to represent Wasps when he made his debut against Exeter Chiefs at the age of 18.

Daly’s speed and long-range kicking ability has made him extremely well regarded at club and country level. He has represented England at U16, U18, U20 and Senior level including winning an U20 Grand Slam in 2011 and reaching the Junior World Cup final in the same year. Since making his Senior debut for England in 2016 he won back-to-back Six Nations Championships in 2016 and 2017 and has was an integral part of the recent 2020 winning side, in total he has gone on to make over 40 appearances for the Senior team.

Coffee is an important part of his pre-game training ritual; he will have a coffee before every game to help with energy and concentration. Keen to ensure he is drinking the best coffee he enjoys Beans Coffee Club as it helps him enjoy an incredible selection of coffees matched to his taste.

With the 6 Nations won and this year’s Autumn International rugby matches well underway we caught up with Elliot to see how the return to Rugby is going and how the new rules are affecting the game.

 

 

How is the return to rugby?
It has been brilliant to get back out there. It’s great to get back doing what we love and we are very thankful we get to do that in the current climate.

How do you feel about playing without an audience?
It is certainly different especially in some of the bigger stadiums. But it is something we have to get used to pretty quickly. You get energy off the crowd and now we have to drive that from within.

How are the preparations for the Autumn internationals etc?
The camps have gone really well so far. I have really enjoyed getting back to camp with the England lads. The standard always seems to increase and that is brilliant as it makes you a better player.

What about grass roots?
Grass roots rugby is key to the development of rugby players in this country. It has been difficult to see the light through the COVID pandemic. Every time we step on the field we want to make those fans proud.

How are you managing to keep motivated?
Motivation is an easy one for me. You come into England campaigns to get better as a player and to push the team forward in anyway you can. That is hugely motivating for me and everyone here. Also we are motivated to play as well as we can and make England proud in this tough time.

When and how did you become a coffee fan?
I have loved coffee since I was probably 18/19. I just enjoy the social aspect of it and the fact that you can get so many different types/methods they produce so many different flavours. I started with a standard cappuccino with lots of chocolate on it as that’s what my mums drinks; but now strictly flat whites and filter coffee.

How did you use coffee in your pre match preparations?
I always have coffee on the day of a game I feel it gets me alert as I wake up in the morning and ready for the big day I have ahead. And with that it is always in my daily routine so don’t want to change that.

How to ensure you have a good supply of coffee?
I was very lucky to come across beans coffee club. For me it is perfect to be able to order quality coffee from all over the UK and for it to be delivered to your door is such a bonus. I love to try different coffees for espresso and filter so for me it is perfect.

Have you managed to convert fellow players to good coffee?
I feel I have got a few more people on board but to be honest there is a great coffee culture around the lads at the moment

 

 

 

 

 

Which type of coffee grinder should I buy?

Blade Vs Burr Grinders

If you’ve made the decision to invest in a coffee grinder and started to look around you might have noticed that there are two different types burr grinders, and blade grinders, but what’s the difference and does it matter?

Well, one of them is consistent, durable, and produces uniform coffee grounds. The other is cheap, uncontrollable, and a waste of your time.

Don’t be tricked.

Any type of coffee grinder is an invest and we are here to help you make the right decision. By the end of this article, you’ll know which type of grinder is which.

Blade Coffee Grinders

Blade grinders are all made with the same design: a double-pronged single blade spins rapidly, chopping up anything it touches. They are generally not designed for coffee and can be sold as spice or but grinders. Generally, they only have a single button that, when de-pressed, causes the blade to spin.

When they are used to grind coffee, the blades blast the beans into a bunch of differently sized pieces. The grounds fall to the bottom of the chamber where the blade is and get chopped all over again. The boulders (big grounds) stay towards the top, occasionally getting hit by the blade.

This grinding style creates grounds beans of irregular shapes and sizes. Sometimes, half the beans are left unground and the heat produced by the rapid spinning can impact the flavour of your coffee, removing some of the fresh flavours that you have paid a premium for.

Different sized grounds brew at different rates, so coffee produced with grounds from a blade grinder will taste unbalanced and disappointing. This type of grinder is normally found at any kitchen shop, but they won’t provide you the coffee experience you deserve.

Pros

Convenient – Press a button for a few seconds, and you’re done

Accessible – Find one easily in a high street shop

Inexpensive – It will cost you less than £40

Cons

Inconsistent – You never know what size your coffee grounds are going to be.

Cheaply Made – not built to last.

Heat – Eliminates a lot of the flavour

Uncontrollable – No option to choose grind size.

Burr Coffee Grinders

Burr grinders are very different than blade grinders. Rather than a spinning blade these consist of two pieces of metal or ceramic called Burrs which have ‘teeth’. These two burrs can be set to different distances apart – the grinder funnels the beans, a few at a time, through the grinding area where the beans are ground to a uniform size. These uniform sized grounds, when brewed, extract the coffee at the same rate and produce a balanced brew – exactly what you’re after if you’re considering a coffee grinder.

The burrs themselves perform a lot longer than cheap metal blades and they create very little heat during the grinding process, leaving the flavours intact.

Burr coffee grinders allow you to adjust the size of your coffee grounds and as different coffee makers require different grind sizes, you’ll be able to use any coffee brewer you want, like a french press or stovetop brewer or an espresso maker.

You can also make tiny grind size adjustments to refine your brew, something that’s incredibly important to get the best out of different beans – every bean requires a slight adjustment to the grind to get the best out of it.

Burr grinders can open up the world of fresh speciality coffee by revealing the benefits of grinding fresh rather than buying pre ground coffee, delivering improved flavour and enabling you to use a variety of coffee brewers and empowering you to make small adjustments between brews to improve your coffee.

It’s no wonder why burr grinders are the industry standard across the globe – and should be in your home too!

Pros

Uniformity – Grinds coffee beans to a uniform size.

Adjustable – Allows you to grind coffee to a variety of sizes for different brewing methods.

Cons

Uncommon – You’re unlikely to find this type of grinder on the high street

Higher Cost – You’ll need to invest at least £100 and up to £500+

 

While a blade grinder will slightly improve your coffee game, a burr grinder will totally transform it. When it comes to returning on investment you can’t beat the burrs – especially if you go for a less-expensive manual coffee grinder.

 

 

 

Top tips for storing your coffee

At Beans Coffee Club all our coffees are roasted to order by our amazing roasting partners shipped direct to our customers for the ultimate freshness. We believe fresh beans deliver the best quality cup of coffee.

Of course, it’s really important to store your beans correctly to protect their freshness. Our coffees are shipped in bags with zip locks which is great for short term storage; but if you take a few weeks to get through a bag we recommend investing in an airtight container.

Here are 3 tips to consider when purchasing your container and storing your beans

  1. Use an air-tight container – air will make the beans go stale so being airtight is vital
  2. Make sure its non-see through – sun light will affect the beans and impact the taste, so an opaque container is essential.
  3. Store at room temperature – a cool place is also helpful so don’t keep them out in the sun or on a radiator.

These tips are especially important if you use pre-ground coffee, because of the increased exposure to oxygen pre ground coffee goes stale much quicker than whole beans. We recommend buying whole beans and only grinding the amount you need immediately before brewing.

Storing your coffee in this way can keep beans tasting fresh for up to 6 weeks. Sometimes you end up with just too much coffee or you unexpectedly have to go away, and you will want to store them for longer than this …. then what?

Freeze your beans!!

There are quite a few different views on whether or coffee should be frozen or not. The debate is still on-going … however …. if you have a lot of coffee you’re not getting through then doing something is better than doing nothing.

The main thing to consider is that coffee absorbs moisture, odours and tastes from the air around it so if you do freeze or refrigerate it then you have to be careful.

Most home storage containers will still allow a small amount of oxygen to get in, which is why food stored a long time in the freezer can suffer freezer burn. Therefore, it is essential to use an airtight container to refrigerate or freeze your beans.

If you do freeze your coffee, then when it comes time to take it out remove only as much you need for a week at a time and then return the rest to the freezer quickly before any condensation forms on the frozen coffee.

Allow your coffee to defrost thoroughly before use and the taste should not be affected by the freezing process.

 

Hopefully with these tips and tricks you can keep your fresh coffee for as long you need too.

 

 

 

 

Meet the Roaster – New Ground

Here at Beans Coffee Club we are all about championing the roasters which is why we started the ‘Meet the roaster’ series.  The idea is we visit our roasters, have a chat and share their stories and views etc.

 

A few weeks ago we popped over to have a socially distanced meeting with Dickon at New Ground coffee, why not watch the video to hear what they had to tell us.

 

 

Who are the founders of New Ground?

So I am Dickon, I am one of the co-founders of New Ground with Joel.  Between us both we came up with an idea of roasting coffee and using it as a social enterprise.

 

What sparked your interest in coffee?

At one point in my life about 10-15 years ago I got really into coffee.  I think it started when one of my mates bought me an AeroPress for Christmas one day and that was it, then it’s a big black hole of different coffee roasters and different processing, and so it was 10 or 12 years of building up.

 

What sparked your interest in creating a social enterprise?

67% of prisoners reoffend within the first year if they don’t have a full time job.  And it’s about 70% stay out of prison if they are given employment, which is an amazing is stat and so we were like right there you go that’s the stat that we really want to attack, so let’s get these guys straight out of prison, let’s re-employ them, let’s train them and try and get them out into the industry.

 

Why coffee?

So for retraining people in a new industry they can go down roasting, or baristaring, or engineers, machine techs, or, you know, salesman, there are so many different avenues that they can go down, so it’s a perfect platform for what we want to do as a social enterprise.

 

How do you work with farmers?

What I kind of feel is, that we are so small that that direct trade with that farmer, could be way bigger if that massive company called Olam does it for us and then we buy of Olam.  Olam have the capacity to be a much more beneficial impact on that farm there and so that’s why we have done that rather than go directly to the farms, ‘cos they can help much more than we can.

 

What tip would you give to somebody who is new to coffee?

Buy an AeroPress.  The amazing thing about those are they are super easy to clean, you literally just pop the puck out, give it a wipe and it’s pretty much done.  They are so versatile you can stick almost any grind size of coffee into an AeroPress and adapt the way you make it to work with that grind size, so I just love the versatility of an AeroPress.   And you can just stick it in your bag and take it anywhere with you as well. So, that’s my number one tip for making good coffee, get an AeroPress.

The next one would be; get a grinder.  There’s nothing like freshly ground coffee.

 

Why do you like being part of Beans Coffee Club?

With you guys championing independents and quite a few independents as well, is just going to help to change people’s mindset and the way they drink coffee.  Maybe I won’t go out for that Café Nero or Starbucks (sorry to name drop) round the corner, I’ll get great coffee straight to my door and I now know how to brew it properly and that is 100 times better than the coffee I get around the corner, and cheaper and more ethical and it’s helping out independents; so that’s what I love about Beans Coffee Club is the increased awareness that they are bringing to multi roasters as well, not just us.

 

Find out more about New Ground here:  https://beanscoffeeclub.com/roasters/new-ground-coffee/

View the video and more content from Beans Coffee Club here: BeansCoffeeClubyoutube

What to do with your Coffee Grounds

As a Beans Coffee Club member, chances are you love coffee and therefore drink a lot of coffee. A question that we are often asked is what can I do with the grounds that left behind after I have enjoyed my brew?

There are several great ways to use used coffee ground, so next time your knock box is full, why not reuse this amazing stuff in one of these 7 creative ways.

1. Help your garden grow

Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen (which worms love!), calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and chromium, making them a great fertilizer for your garden.

Coffee loving (or acid-loving) plants like azaleas, hydrangeas, blueberries, and lilies will thrive from the coffee, as will root crops, like radishes and carrots. Just be careful not to add grounds to areas where you’re growing plants that could be damaged by a boost in soil acidity, like tomatoes.
All that you need to do is spread them around your garden or rake them into the soil between seasons. Once this has been completed all that is left to do is relax with a cup of coffee!

2. Natural pest and insect repellent

Using coffee grounds as a pest and insect repellent is natural, effective and inexpensive.
In your garden scatter coffee grounds in areas to create a barrier for slugs, snails and even ants as they don’t like the acidity compounds of coffee.
If you need to repel mosquitos and other flying bugs then place coffee grounds in bowls nearby or sprinkle them around outdoor seating areas.
Coffee can even scare fleas off your pet! Create a coffee ground wash. Just make sure you do this outside – you don’t want fleas jumping all around your house in a frenzy!

3. A Natural Cleaner

The abrasive texture of coffee grounds makes them ideal for scrubbing hard-to-clean kitchen items such as your sink, cookware, utensils or your grill.
All that you need to do is sprinkle the grounds onto your kitchen item and scrub as usual to scrap away any build up or hard to remove food.
Make sure you rinse thoroughly afterward and avoid using coffee grounds to clean any porous material, as they can cause brown stains.

4. Natural skin exfoliation and cellulite solution

Effectively exfoliate your skin with a paste made from (3tbsp) coarse coffee grounds and (1tbsp) some coconut oil. While you rub this amazing paste over your skin you can will also increase blood flow, which aids in overall skin health.
There are also claims that this amazing paste (if use for 10 minutes twice weekly) can help to break down fat and increase blood flow, which can decrease the appearance of cellulite.

 

5. Stimulate Hair Growth

We have all seen the adverts for the caffeine shampoos; well there’s truth in their claims, as test-tube studies have found that caffeine does stimulate human hair growth
As with skin exfoliation, exfoliating your scalp with coffee grounds to help remove the build-up and dead skin cells yields positive results as the caffeine increases blood flow and therefore accelerates hair growth.
All that you need to do is massage a handful of coffee grounds into your scalp before you shampoo. Then wash your hair and rinse as normal.

6. Repair Scratched Furniture

If your wooden furniture is scuffed or scratched, then reached for the used coffee grounds, mix them with some water to make a thick paste and rub the paste into the scratch. After 10 minutes, simply wipe away the paste with a cotton rag to reveal the improved wood as the coffee will have buffed out the scratches and stained.
If the scratch is still too light then dab it further with some coffee, until the desired colour is achieved; waiting a few hours between applications.

7 – Wake up and smell the coffee

If you love the smell of coffee then why not make some candles with your coffee ground!?
As the candles burn down, the grounds become exposed to the heat and the smell of coffee fills the air; and what’s some studies suggest that just smelling coffee may help reduce stress, increase positive thoughts, and even increase problem-solving abilities! What is not to love?
Why not up-cycle an old coffee mug to make your candle in!

 

What is a ‘Flat White’ & how is it different from a Latte?

Flat whites have seemingly taken over the world; the fashionable espresso drink has become so main stream its now the most popular coffee at McDonalds – but do you know the difference between a Flat White and a Latte?

What Is a Flat White?

In basic terms a flat white is an espresso with steamed milk on top, like most coffee shop drinks. The difference between the array of different coffees on offer in your local coffee shop is the ratio of espresso to milk and the consistency of the steamed milk.
The flat white is considered a “strong” espresso and milk drink due to the ratio of espresso to milk – a latte is about 4:1 milk to espresso making it a very milky coffee – whereas a flat white is between 2 or 3:1 making it much stronger coffee experience. The milk is also a lot more textured with micro foam bubbles – in comparison the latte milk is not quite so light.

The Flat White History

The first known description of a flat white appearing on a menu was in the 80s in Sydney, Australia, where the coffee culture has been mainstream for a long time. As coffee shops and cafés became more popular around the country the term “flat” was adopted to describe an espresso based drink that wasn’t overly foamy.
In traditional Italian coffee drinks – cappuccino and latte – there is a distinct difference between hot milk and stiff foam. The cappuccinos being a very foamy drink vs the hot milk of the latte. The Australians discovered a new way of drinking espresso and milk together, and the flat white was born.

How it’s Made

As already mentioned coffee shop drinks are all made out of essentially just two ingredients; but there are a number of variables that can be adjusted to create distinctly different beverages: temperature, texture, and ratio of coffee to milk.

A flat white is made with a micro-foam milk, creating a unique texture and flavour profile. When milk is steamed the texture is changed – depending on how it is steamed – the barista technique takes a lot of training to master. Flat White steamed milk has small, fine bubbles with a glossy finish. The milk and foam should be fully combined; rather than separate and distinct like they are in a cappuccino. In a flat white, everything is integrated and there isn’t a stiff foam at the top.

To create microfoamed milk it is necessary to integrate air into the milk while it’s cool – the milk shouldn’t be steamed above 135 Fahrenheit, as the sugars start to break down beyond this temperature. Whole milk is at its sweetest point between 130 to 135 Fahrenheit; this lower temperature creates a pleasantly sweet flavour profile without the need for any added sugar. This maybe one of the reasons the drink proves to be so popular.

 

 

Similar Drinks

Following the success of the Flat White many similar styles of drinks have started appearing. Coffee shops and cafes around the world have started offering new and stylish variations based on smaller volumes of milk and velvety smooth milk. The cortado is starting to become increasingly popular; smaller again then the flat white it is typically 1:2 parts espresso to milk) or an eight ounce latte (one to three parts espresso to milk) — it all just depends on how much milk to espresso you’d prefer, which in turn determines the caffeine strength and overall strength of your beverage.

How to Make it At Home

Pull your favourite espresso shot, steam your best microfoam, and dilute the espresso with frothed milk, not exceeding a one to three espresso to milk ratio in your cup.
Pro tip: focus on incorporating small sips of air with the steam wand at the beginning of the steaming process, while the liquid milk is still cool, in order to create a uniform texture.

 

 

 

 

Chilled coffee drinks to cool you down!!

Summer has definitely arrived in the UK…. Woohoo. After a mild June we had a few days of 30 degree heat and it looks like it’s here to stay. When it’s so hot you might not be hankering after a hot drink but rather reaching for the ice trays but there are a number of ways to still enjoy the taste of your favourite coffee.

Cold brew coffee is HUGE in some countries such as the US or Australia but is still relatively low key in the UK. Some of the high street chains such as Starbucks or Costa offer iced Frappuccino but these are more sugary sweet drinks then the sophisticated cold brew options available in other countries.

Did you know its super easy to create an iced coffee at home and tastes just as good if not better – don’t think that cold coffee is a taste compromise.

When roasters cup their coffees (the process of evaluating taste profiles of roasted coffee beans) its normal to cool the coffees to room temperature for a final taste. Cool coffee allows you to understand the true flavours that might otherwise be masked by heat. If a coffee doesn’t taste good cold, then it’s not great coffee.

The same methods which make a good cup of hot coffee also produce great chilled or iced coffee.  We are going to talk you through 3 different methods for you to try….

 

Iced Latte

Pros: Cooling off with a refreshing iced latte is one the fastest ways to enjoy iced or chilled coffee. This simple drink doesn’t need pre-planning, only needs a handful of ingredients and is perfect for a hot weather caffeine cool down.

Cons: The only catch is you do need an espresso machine….

Ingredients

  • 2 espresso shots (60ml)
  • 1 tsp sugar, honey or maple syrup
  • ice
  • 100ml whole milk

Method

  1. Pour a double espresso from your machine into a tall glass
  2. Mix into the espresso a small amount of sugar or honey
  3. Fill the glass with ice
  4. Pour over the milk BUT don’t stir it; let it combine slowly as you drink it for that extra cool marbled Instagram effect

 

Cold Brew

Pros: Cold brew is incredibly straight forward, you don’t need a lot of equipment. It’s as simple as mixing ground coffee with cool water and then leaving it in the fridge overnight. The added bonus with this is that you can make a big batch of it to last a week or two… its also tastes delicious. The slow cold steeping process makes a smooth, mellow cup of coffee that has very little acidity or bitterness.

Cons: You do need to plan ahead as it takes time. You have to use a lot of coffee in one go to make a big batch

Ingredients

  • 200/250g of coffee (pre-ground for cafetiere or whole beans)
  • A grinder if the beans aren’t pre ground
  • A large jug
  • 3 pints of water
  • Filter paper or cheese cloth mesh
  • Ice

Method

  1. Grind the coffee beans into a coarse grind if not already ground
  2. Combine the ground coffee and water in the jar.Stir to incorporate.
  3. Steep the coffee overnight in the fridge. Cover and refrigerate the cold brew for at least 18 hours or up to 24 hours.
  4. Strain the coffee concentrate. Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a large measuring cup. Slowly pour the coffee concentrate through the strainer. Depending on the size of your strainer, you may need to strain the coffee in batches. Fight the temptation to squeeze or press the coffee grounds in the cheesecloth. You can also use a filter paper over a vessel to pour the coffee through
  5. Transfer to the cold brew to a clean jar for longer-term storage.
  6. Make your iced coffee. To serve, fill a glass with 1 cup ice cubes. Pour 1/2 cup the cold brew over the ice, add 1/2 cup cold water, and stir to combine. Add cream or milk if desired and enjoy.

 Cold Brew Cafetiere

Pros: This is effectively the same as the Cold Brew process above but a simpler method using a cafetiere ( or French press ) meaning you don’t need separate jugs or filters paper. It is perhaps the easiest way to cold brew. You also don’t need to invest such a large quantity of coffee in one go; making in an ideal starting point for someone who wants to experiment.

Cons: Again, you do need to plan ahead as it takes time

Ingredients

  • 90g of coffee (pre-ground for cafetiere or whole beans)
  • A grinder if the beans aren’t pre ground
  • A large 1 litre cafetiere
  • 900ml of water
  • Ice

Method

  1. Grind the coffee beans into a coarse grind if not already ground
  2. Add the grounds into a cafetiere
  3. Slowly pour 900ml of room temperature water into the cafetiere in circular motions to fully immerse the grounds.
  4. Use a spoon to stir and push the grounds down as you don’t want them to float at the top.
  5. Cover with the plunger (or anything else that will cover the top if it doesn’t fit on the shelf) and leave in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
  6. After 12/24 hours press the plunger down, but not all the way as you don’t want to release the bitter flavours.
  7. Pour into a glass, add ice and enjoy.
  8. Add cream or milk if desired and enjoy.

 

Hints and tips

  • Single origin coffees with delicate floral or citrus notes work best
  • Grinding you own coffee fresh will get the best flavours
  • Using a course grind is essential
  • If making in larger quantities use the coffee up within 2 weeks

 

We hope you enjoy experimenting and trying new ways to drink your speciality coffee.

 

Many thanks

 

The Beans Team

 

 

 

How to make frothed milk in your cafetiere

Making frothed milk in your cafetiere

Espresso machines are obviously the easiest way to bring the barista experience into your kitchen. The problem with these machines is that they can be quite bulky and very expensive.

If you love coffee shop style coffee but don’t want to splash out on an espresso machine, then this is the article for you. We’re going to tell you how to get frothed milk with your trusty French press, some differences between steamed and frothed milk, and some examples of how to use it.

 

Frothing milk

Let’s start with the basics – frothing milk at home is not the same as the milk you get in a coffee shop; as this is steamed milk which requires a full-on espresso machine. What we’re talking about is replicating a similar experience with frothy milk.

By steaming milk a baristas is able to create very fine and precise foam that’s great for making latte art. Learning to control this process is very difficult and takes weeks of daily practice. Frothing milk is less precise but is more accessible – rather than needing an expensive machine frothing is more about using simple tools available at home to froth the milk such as a French press or even a blender. The end result is not as smooth as steamed but it is tasty, it’s really easy and it’s a great way to enhance a basic home coffee.

‘Frothing’ works better with hot milk, as the protein molecules unfold and trap air as they cool down and curl back up. Having said that frothing cold milk will work if you want to use it for iced drinks but it won’t be as creamy.

You’ll also get a better froth by using whole milk as there are more proteins and fats in the milk increasing the creaminess of the foam.

 

 

The process

  1. Heat your milk.
    You can either heat your milk in a saucepan or use a microwave. If using a saucepan bring the milk to a simmer and stir occasionally to prevent a thin layer from forming on the top. Turn the heat off once you see steam coming from the milk. If using a microwave then start with 30 seconds, stir, then heat again in 15 seconds increments until the milk starts to steam.
  2. Pour into a French press.
    You can use any French press but the smaller ones work better as you can get greater movement. Fill no more than a third of the container.
  3. Start pumping.
    Keep the plunger towards the top and pump 20 – 30 times. Then put the plunger towards the bottom and pump a further 40 – 50 times.

What drinks can you make

There are loads of different drinks or ‘style’ of drinks you can make and the best thing to do is just experiment and see what you can come up with. If you want a bit of guidance to get going, then here’s 3 ideas for you:

  • Latte — this is simply French for “coffee with milk” – which specifically means coffee with hot milk added. Different from white coffee; which is coffee with cold milk. Traditionally made with an espresso base and hot water this can be replicated with a cafetiere. So simple – just make a great cafetiere (brewing guide available HERE) – and then pour the warm creamy frothy milk on top for a ‘Latte’ style experience.
  • Cappuccino — Moka-pots make excellent concentrated, espresso-style coffee and you can use your frothed milk to make an awesome cappuccino style drink. Create your stovetop espresso and then using a spoon take a big dollop of the foam from the top of your cafetiere and plop it on top; simple and super tasty.
  • Iced Drinks — Top your cold brew coffee with a small bit of cold-frothed milk to give it a foamy finish. An excellent and easy way to create a smoother flavour and creamier body.

 

Summary

While frothing isn’t quite as precise or refined as steaming, it’s an effective and simple way to give yourself the pleasures of foamy milk at home without breaking the bank. And, if you’re starting out with specialty-grade, freshly roasted beans, you’ll find that the milk can enhance each coffee a little differently.

The resurgence of Decaf Coffee

Decaffeinated coffee has, for a long time, had a very bad reputation, even being frowned upon by the coffee industry its self. Derided as tasteless and full of chemicals, it has been largely ignored and only offered by roasters out of necessity. However, in recent years, there has been a decaf renaissance thanks in part to the health benefits which are being realised as well technological breakthroughs which have allowed for huge improvements in taste.

There is a large amount of data to suggest that drinking caffeinated coffee a day is perfectly healthy and can be advantageous as part of a physical training programme but decaffeinated coffee has many benefits. Besides the obvious case for pregnant and breast-feeding women many people find that caffeine disrupts sleep, raises blood pressure or makes them anxious. Then there is a spikes and troughs in energy that caffeine can cause if drunk throughout the day and while previously anyone who enjoyed a cup of coffee had no decent decaf alternatives now there are more and more great decafs out there to try.

The advancement of the decaffeinating processes has had much to do with the improvement in taste. Historically there were a lot of harsh chemicals used in the process, like benzene, a solvent now known to be a carcinogen, so roasters would only use the lowest quality beans. There are now 4 different methods used to extract caffeine from beans. Two direct methods which still employ chemical solvents, although at safe levels, and 2 more modern methods that don’t involve chemicals. The Swiss Water process is the best known. It involves soaking Green coffee beans in water, which dissolves the caffeine. The other process Is known as the ‘Sparkling CO2’ method where the coffee beans are soaked in liquid CO2, the same gas used in sparkling water, and under certain conditions the caffeine can be extracted and filtered out, leaving the flavour compounds unaltered. Both modern processes are favoured by independent roasters as they are believed to leave most of the flavour compounds intact.

With roasters finally embracing decaffeinated coffees there are more and more great tasting fresh coffee options available from some of the country’s best roasters. One of the easiest ways to explore fresh speciality coffee is with a subscription, they tend to have flexible delivery options and they get shipped fresh from the roasters straight to your door for an ultimate fresh experience.

Beans Coffee Club is currently the only service which offers a variety of decaf coffees to try from a selection of the country’s best roaster’s in one subscription. So if you are keen to try some of the exciting new decaf coffees available why not take out a decaf subscription today.

What your coffee choice says about you??

Apparently, you can tell a lot about a person based on what type of coffee they drink. So the next time you order a coffee in Starbucks you might be giving away a lot more about yourself then you realised.

Based on an article in the journal Appetite, people who like their coffee black are more likely to be ?antisocial? and espresso drinkers are hard working. Read on to discover what your coffee choice says about you.

Cappuccino – If you?re a coffee drinker who enjoys the milky, foamy warmth of a Cappuccino, you are likely to be an optimistic individual. You can be a little sensitive at times (perhaps only when someone forgets to sprinkle chocolate on the top of your coffee) Cappuccino drinkers are also incredibly sociable and really enjoy spending time with their friends. Although they do have a tenancy to be controlling at times, so perhaps let them choose the venue for your next catch-up.

Instant coffee – If you like your coffee in your favourite cup and made quickly in the morning, then you’re a laid back instant coffee drinker. You know how to prioritise in life. You are also probably pretty good at multitasking. Plus, you’re also good with your money, so any budget is in safe hands with you.

Black coffee – Ah, a purist. Black coffee drinkers are straight forward, no nonsense people who can be quite stubborn as they’re set in their ways. Despite being occasionally quiet and moody, they will on the whole like to avoid situations involving any sort of conflict.

Latte – You latte drinkers are lovely people aren’t you? You like to please others, and are generally probably better at looking after their friends and family than themselves. Anyone who loves a latte is likely to be laid back. You also enjoy being comfortable. You’re quite content to spend evenings chilling out, perhaps watching their favourite TV shows

Flat white – If you’re a flat white drinker, you’re probably the least likely to wonder what your coffee choice says about your personality! You also love to be spend time with friends and are probably pretty close to your family. If you like to change up your order with modern milk choices such as soy or almond milk, you may be adventurous (or just coping with a pesky dietary requirement!)

Espresso – People who choose Espresso tend to be hard working and confident. They are pretty busy individuals who don’t have much room for ‘me-time’ in their daily lives. They are also great multitaskers, so probably make great parents!!

Double espresso – Intelligent and sophisticated individuals, double espresso drinkers can have wild imaginations. However, you wouldn’t know that as they tend to be quite private people too!

Iced coffee and Frappuccinos – Mochas, caramel frappuccinos, the latest Starbucks cookie crumble creation – people who pick coffees with a twist are young at heart and socially bold trendsetters. They love to have fun and are usually spontaneous. So, get ready to go along with their latest ‘great idea’ at any moment!

Filter coffee – Some of your best attributes are that you are reliable and loyal. You are also likely to be quite a sensible individual. So, if you have a friend who likes to drink Frappuccinos, you’ll be reluctant to go along with all of their many weird and wonderful plans.

If you love making coffee at home why not check out our personalised subscriptions. With the biggest selection of coffee, from the UK’s best roasters, we match customers too coffee based on their individual taste and brewing preferences.

So, whether you’re a hard working espresso drinker or a reliable filter drinker you are guaranteed to receive coffee you are going to love.

Take the quiz HERE to find your perfect coffee match today.

 

 

Article based on: Sagioglou C. & Greitemeyer T., Individual differences in bitter taste preferences are associated with antisocial personality traits, Appetite (2015), doi: 10.1016/ j.appet.2015.09.031.

Refer a Friend and earn £5 off your next bag

Hi

Friends don’t let friends drink bad coffee!!

We’ve launched a great ‘Refer A Friend’ campaign which gives you a chance to get £2.50 OFF your next coffee.

Tell your friends, family and work colleagues about the UK’s best coffee subscription and when they sign up you’ll both get £2.50 off your next orders. There is no limit to the number of friends you can invite so get sharing for great savings.

You don’t even need to be an existing customer to shout about us – if you haven’t signed up yet simply create an account to get started.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Either sign into your account or create a new account HERE
  2. Click on ‘Referrals’
  3. Use our handy buttons to share your code on Facebook, Twitter or by email

 

Here’s a little reminder about why we are worth shouting about.

International Coffee Day

Beans is proud to be involved in celebrating International Coffee Day.

 

ICD happens every year on 1 October and is a chance for the world to come together to celebrate coffee and recognise the millions of people across the globe – from farmers, to roasters, baristas, coffee shop owners and more – who work hard to create and?serve the beverage we all love.

We thought that this event was a perfect fit for Beans as our mission is to make it easy to explore the world of speciality coffee, to discover new amazing roasters and coffees and help brew the world’s best coffee at home.

As part of the celebrations we are launching an online event offering 40% off your first bag of coffee when you take out a subscription with us. Simply use the code ICD40 at the checkout.

This discount will be absorbed by us and will not be passed on to our suppliers. It is our way to say thank you to all of the farmers, roasters, producers and a way to invite you to experience and explore more ethically sourced and delicious coffee every day.

 

Click here to find out more about the amazing work surrounding this event.

 

Click here to subscribe to our service and explore more coffee.

 

Discount T&C’S: Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. Only one per person. Only available on a personal subscription. Expires on 06/10/2019

Different Brewing Methods – an easy guide

Do you already have a preferred brewing method or are you new to speciality coffee and keen to explore and learn more about different ways to enjoy your coffee?

Selecting a brewing method is down to personal preference – if you only drink coffee on weekends and have spare time then the Pour Over or French Press would work for you. If you travel a lot, then the AeroPress is great. If you want to enjoy drinks similar to that in a coffee shop, then invest in an espresso machine. If you are not sure, then why not try them all?

In this post we will guide you through the basics of some of the most common brewing methods, so you can either learn more about the brewing method you are already using or maybe decide on a new one to experiment with.

Remember: for a step by step guide you can check out our brewing method guides here.

Below is an overview and comparison of each brewing method.

 

Pour Over

Manual Pour Overs are a cheap and quick way to start enjoying fresh coffee. This particular brewing method is good for bringing out the subtle flavours of coffee and lends itself to a lighter roasted coffee. Using a cone and a filter, Pour Overs come in a variety of sizes and options from the cheap plastic, but very effective, V60, to the beautiful ‘design classic’ Chemex. There are options which allow you to brew for a single cup up to 8 cups. They can be portable, easy to clean and the best entry level brewing method to start enjoying the true flavours of specialty coffee.

 

French Press

The French Press is one of the most commonly recognisable brewing methods and an easy way to make full-bodied coffee. The French Press process allows the grounds to soak in water for four to five minutes before plunging and this allows for a stronger taste and bolder flavours. You can purchase a French Press from most supermarkets for just a few pounds or you can invest in a high-quality press which will last a lifetime. While it can appear to be really easy to make a French Press coffee there are a few tips and tricks to really getting the most flavour of your beans so don’t forget to check out our brewing methods here.

 

Espresso

Espresso provides a really concentrated extraction of flavours and is the base for the majority of coffees available in coffee shops – from Flat Whites to Americanos – they always start with a single or double espresso. An Espresso machine uses pressure to force hot water through the coffee grounds. This method is suitable for coffees which are a bit more robust and carry a bit more flavour so you need a least a medium roast as the delicate flavours of a light roast would be lost and result in a dull coffee. Espresso machines can be very expensive, but an entry level one can start from as little as £200.

 

AeroPress

The AeroPress is cheap, easy to use and durable which makes it the go anywhere option for the adventurous types who enjoy a decent coffee no matter where they are. It uses a paper microfilter it produces a clean, full-flavored coffee and is a great option to have in the cupboard to enjoy at home or throw in your backpack ready for your next adventure.

 

If you would like a step by step guide for each of the brewing methods, then please check out our Brewing Guides page here.

 

We hope that you enjoyed learning more about the different brewing methods and that it helps you to get the most out of your personalised coffee subscription.

3 tips to making better coffee at home

If you are here on the Beans website –  the only personalised coffee subscription featuring some of the UKs best coffee roasters – then we are pretty sure you already aware that buying fresh specialty coffee beans is really important to a quality cup of coffee but what else can you do to ensure that you’re getting the best experience, whatever your preferred brewing method?

Here are 3 tips to making better coffee at home:

1. Use a Burr grinder.

The biggest impact you can have to the taste of your morning coffee is grinding your coffee fresh, grinding whole coffee beans and using them immediately rather than buying ground beans. The reason behind this is that the compounds in coffee start reacting and changing when exposed to air, coffee which has been pre-ground starts to go stale within minutes, no matter how you store it. By grinding your beans at the time of brewing you are going to be getting the best flavours from them and using a Burr grinder rather than a blade grinder will provide a more consistent grind allowing for better extraction of those flavours. Burr grinders can cost several thousand pounds but they don’t have to be expensive, they start from as little at £50 for a great hand grinder, so if you want to improve your morning coffee this is the best place to start.

2. Use a digital scale

Making coffee can be a bit of a science, how to extract the best flavour from the best beans consistently, time after time, can take a long time to master. We are aware that not everyone has the time or inclination for this but one small change you can make to ensure that your coffee tastes great every time is to weigh your coffee beans or ground coffee. Follow our brewing methods for a guide on the different weights to water ratios depending on the brewing method used. Using any common kitchen scale will help bring consistency to your brewing method but some are better than other as they can more accurate or water resistant.

3. Use clean water

The water used can often be over looked as having an impact to the taste of your coffee but the quality of your water can vary greatly depending on where in the country you are and as it can make up to 98% of your drink it important to ensure its as clean as possible. Using a Brita Filter to filter your tap water at home can massively improve taste and odour. If you purchase bottled water we recommend spring water rather than simply ‘drinking water’ and never use distilled water as its lack of mineral content actually makes it corrosive to your equipment.

These easy to implement steps will really help you to explore and enjoy coffee brewing at home. We want to help you get the best experience possible from your coffee subscription so don’t forget to check out our brewing guides here and also check out our store if you want to check out some great grinders and scales to use at home.

Thanks

What are coffee tasting notes?

At Beans, with our personalised coffee subscriptions, we try and take the guess work out of exploring the world of speciality coffee. Our clever quiz matches you to coffees we are pretty sure you will love but you are also able to browse all 150+ of our coffees all in one place. If you want to freely explore some of the best speciality coffees from some of the UKs best roasters one of the easiest ways to know if you are going to love a new coffee is to review the coffee tasting notes, but what are tasting notes and how can they help you find new amazing coffees you will love drinking?

Chocolate, Nutty, Caramel or Peach are all flavours you might see detailed as flavour notes, but this doesn’t mean that the coffee has been flavoured, they are the natural characteristics of that particular bean and the way it has been roasted and the brewing method used. In a similar way to wine or beer coffee has very complex flavour notes which are impacted by where or when it was grown, processed, roasted and brewed. Arabica coffee can have thousands of unique chemical compounds so if you taste Dark Chocolate in the cup you are tasting a similar compound to that actually found in dark chocolate. Some of those flavours are full in your face and some are much subtler and depending on your own palette you will be drawn to some more than others. You can try and pick out certain flavours by brewing two coffees side by side using the same coffee brewing method, and trying each one in turn. Go between them and try and distinguish the different flavours between them. A coffee tasters flavour wheel can help you identify certain flavours, start towards the inside of the wheel, with the broader categories, and move towards the outside to pinpoint more specific flavours. It can take practice but can be really fun to do and will help you understand what coffees you should be trying in the future. A flavour wheel can see here on the SCA website. To see more information on coffee brewing methods you can check out our brewing method pages here.