Thursday, 27 December 2007
Drinking your coffee when it is completely cold will help you to identify any undesirable tastes lurking in your cup, such as burnt or bitter notes. Try it and see what you discover.
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
You will see we have our website up, and I am pleased to tell you that we have the Swissgold (1 cup) filters in stock now, and we will also stock an entry level burr grinder before the end of January to give anyone who would like the opportunity to start buying their coffee as beans and grind as required, rather than purchasing ground coffee.
You do not need to lay out several thousand pounds on an espresso machine and grinder to expose you taste buds to first class coffee. Once you taken the first step in that direction of course, do not be surprised if you do find yourself begging for a bright & shiny espresso machine long before next Christmas!
So our first task for 2008 is to get the coffee flowing again in our enlarged premises roasts that we moved into last week.
Don't be surprised if you see my personal favourite in the line up (I will state my bias clearly right now, it is from Papua New Guinea). While not best suited to espresso, in single origin form at least, I think our PNG coffee has an unparalleled exotic richness in the cup when paired with the Swissgold filter. I would also concede that it is not to everyone's palate, but teamed with a fine Swiss chocolate with a high cocoa content it is undeniably a personal favourite.
On the topic of favourites, so many people have told me over the years how much they enjoy Brazilian coffees. Well I have heard it from too many for them all to be wrong, but I must concede that I have never had the opportunity to have a really satisfying coffee from Brazil. It is one of my goals for 2008 to hunt down & learn how to roast to perfection a coffee from Brazil.
In the meantime enjoy a safe & refreshing Christmas-New Year & we look forward to seeing you early in 2008.
Thursday, 22 November 2007
Thanks for stopping by,
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
Monday, 19 November 2007
So, what to do we thought to ourselves? Not ones to give up on a challenge easily we went out and tried all kinds of coffee making contraptions over the last 3 years, of vary cost and complexity. And guess what? We have clear winner!
The Swissgold filter.
In our opinion it knocks spots off anything else we tried on taste alone. Its closest rival in terms of affordability and ease of use, the paper filter cup, was let down in our long term test on taste and finding ourselves short on paper filters when we needed one most! A paper filter absorbs many of the oils in the coffee (which transport many of the complex flavours in the coffee) and prevents them from making their way down into your cup, and our taste tests confirmed this.
The Swissgold filter is well made, incredibly simple to use, affordable, and can be cleaned in seconds with a quick rinse under the tap. But most importantly they make fantastic coffee.
It really is this simple:
The 22K gold plated filter in all its glory
1. Ensure you centre the filter on top of your cup so it won't topple off and burn anyone
2. Add coffee to taste - say a rounded table spoon for starters (we have found it is remarkably tolerant of different grind sizes & can't really explain why, other than to say that this certainly isn't the case for the paper filter systems)
3. Place the insert in after you have added the coffee
4. Carefully add the water
5. Yes, it does take a while to filter through, but trust us - it is well worth the wait!
Watch this space for more exciting news on this product in the next few weeks
Monday, 22 October 2007
Unplug the grinder from the electricity supply.
Turn the grinder upside down to empty all the coffee beans in the hopper into a tray
See if you can spot the stone jammed between the top and bottom burrs
Set the grinder to the coarsest setting available
(i.e. move the burr heads as far apart a possible)
Turn the grinder upside down again and see if you can tip the stone out, as it should have come loose.
If this doesn't work refer to the instructions that came with your grinder.
It may need to be returned to the retailer as stones can be difficult to remove from some grinders due to their design.
While we try our best to remove stones from our coffee, some still make it through.
We do apologise if you are ever inconvenienced by a stone from our coffee jamming in you grinder.
If you turn your grinder off as soon as you hear an unusual noise you will usually be able to remove the stone before it jams between the burrs.
Monday, 1 October 2007
Domestic coffee grinders are one of two designs. They are either a spinning blade (propeller shape), like an upside down lawnmower, or a tapered male and female burr design. A blade grinder will simply smash the beans up, rather than cut them, and as a result the grinds will vary greatly in size. While you can get away with a blade grinder for making filter coffee, it will simply not suffice for espresso. Yes, burr grinders cost substantially more, but they require an electric motor that is a lot more powerful, and all the load bearing components need to be a lot stronger than just a propeller flying about.
I have tried to set my grinder to a finer setting without switching it on and now nothing happens when I switch it on! What now???
Turn the grinder off immediately - this is the important thing to remember.
Then simply turn the grind several settings coarser and turn the grinder back on and it should start working again
If nothing happens after you have set the grind much coarser, the grinder is mostly probably fitted with an overload switch that has tripped (designed to protect the electric motor from exactly this kind of thing!), so push the overload switch to reset it.
Moral of the story: only change your grinder to a finer setting when it is switched on!
Monday, 24 September 2007
We owe the Italians so much for bringing art into our everyday lives. Expressed in the spheres of fashion and design, and in particular industrial design, they have brightened the lives of countless millions. As a nation they have contributed so much in making our world more vibrant and exciting, and in my view, more enjoyable. Imagine a world without Ferrari, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Prada, Leonardo da Vinci, Sophia Lauren, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Maserati, Ital, Pinanfarina, Guigaro, Ermenegildo Zegna, FIAT, Lancia, Versace, Lambretta, Alfa Romeo, Zagato? So much so that the word 'Italian' has almost become synonymous for style.
That said, don't let anyone tell you that all the coffee in Italy is great - this is an extension of reality. But the best are superb, and we measure ourselves against them. We don't imitate any of the Italian espressos, and this will become evident from the moment that Londinium espresso flows over your lips. What we do share with our Italian friends is the life force & artistry that we put into our work. From whence do we obtain these distinguishing ingredients for our espresso? From complete enjoyment and satisfaction in our in work, that's where. Ask an Italian artisan next time you are there and we wouldn't be surprised if they give you a similar answer.
Any grinder will jam if you try to set a finer grind (i.e. bring the burr heads closer together) when it is not switched on! I have a Mazzer grinder at home, the same model that you will see in many cafes and restaurants and it is a great grinder that I would recommend to anyone if price is no hindrance. The point is that I can easily jam it solid if I try and adjust the grind finer setting when it is switched off.
Most people know espresso as a nasty, burnt, & bitter beverage, and regard it as unfit to drink. Londinium Espresso changes this.
Even amongst coffee aficionados and roasters you will often hear the view expressed that espresso can be made with any low grade Robusta beans that you have to hand, and roast them to the point of exhibiting burnt notes. It's true, and this is often the way it is done. Our point is it doesn't have to be this way.
We use Arabica beans almost exclusively, but our Kickstart roast is 100% Robusta beans as they contain approximately twice the amount of caffeine of Arabica beans. While it doesn't have the same complexity and nuances in flavour that our Arabica roasts exhibit, but we defy you to tell us it isn't the best coffee to get you started for the day. We do not follow that predominant school of thought that all Robusta coffees are of poor quality. High quality Robusta beans will give a superior taste to a low quality Arabica.
Don't believe us? Well think about this. A 3.41 litre bottle of milk costs around £1.68. That latte you're drinking might have 250ml of milk in it, for arguments sake, costing 12p using these numbers. The coffee at many establishments is likely to be costing around £5.50 a kilogram. It is unlikely that more than about 14g of coffee used to make your latte, so that gives us a cost of 8p per cup. That's why we call it coffee flavoured milk! The vast majority of the coffee offered for sale is so poor that people have taken to drinking it with large quantities of milk and sugar to make it more palatable.