Category Archives: Coffee

Adventures in Coffee… Hurrave for the Holidays

Just before Christmas I took a trip to Cirencester, which is about 15 miles from where I live and is very close to where I do all my lake swimming. I was recommended Rave Coffee by someone at my running club and had to make a trip out to their roastery and café to try for myself.

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I have a local coffee roaster!

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I decided to stock up on a blend and single origin bean and have a flat white (with the Christmas Blend) in the shop.

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It’s a lovely little shop front where you can see into the back where all the good stuff happens. It’s on a little industrial estate, but it’s on the right side of town for me.

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Over Christmas I enjoyed the Hurrave for the Holidays Blend and loved it. It is decribed as chocolate spice and winter berry. I found it very smooth and warming and have really enjoyed it with espresso based drinks. I have also had it in the French press with milk and it works really well. There is a bitterness to it when served just black, but it is a nice bite and if you are in the mood it works very well.

I looked around the Rave website before taking a trip out there as I like to research my buying options. I decided I wanted a blend and single origin as they recommend these are used for different types of drinks.

Blends  – “Our espresso blends have been specially developed for milk based espresso drinks. The blends mix single origins, from around the globe, to balance their characteristics and flavours.”

Single Origins – “We have a fine online selection of single origin and single estate coffees that can be enjoyed in a variety of brewing methods. We roast these coffees lighter to preserve the characteristics of the coffees origin. They can be enjoyed as black filter or espresso but only use a small amount of milk if making a cappuccino!”

I’ve also bought a single origin bean and will post about that later in the month.

Rave coffee is my new favourite and local place to go for good quality beans and coffee trip stop.

Adventures in Coffee… Costa Sticky Toffee Latte

Christmas coffee’s this year are not living up to my expectations at all.

They are all TOO SWEET!

I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I have lost my sweet tooth, when it comes to coffee. I now prefer really nice black coffee, or maybe with a dash of milk. A latte now feels like a meal to me, rather than a drink. It’s just too much and takes away from the actual coffee.

I have given another new one a go recently and that was the Costa Sticky Toffee Latte. This was is sweet, but it has a burnt toffee flavour, which is nice (for a little be). I should have order the smaller size, but as I was waiting around for my car to be cleaned I thought I better lengthen my stay.

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I also asked for no cream, but they were so busy and disorganised I couldn’t be bothered to ask for to be remade. Cream is a bit no-no for me – unless it’s proper cream, which only gets served at high-end hotels nowadays.

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Overall this wasn’t too bad, but still overly sweet for me. I will probably treat myself to an eggnog latte from a another chain at some point before christmas, but I feel I may be disappointed this year, which makes me sad.

However I did just find a local coffee roaster and bought their holiday blend, which is rather nice – that coffee adventure to follow soon :)

Adventures in Coffee… Praline Cappuccino

 

It’s my favourite time of year and the Christmas coffees are back on the menu. I’m a bit late as they have been back on the menu since the start of November, but I have been saving my tastings for towards December in the spirit of Christmas.

Costa have brought out a few new drinks this year and I decided to try the Praline Cappuccino at this month’s work bookclub.

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To be honest this is just syrup added to a cappuccino concoction. It was quite sweet and I think maybe I am going off my taste for sweet coffees as I didn’t really enjoy it as I thought I would.

 

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What I did love though was the coffee sprinkles that turned gold on top of the form! It made it feel quite Christmassy – although it hasn’t really come out in the photo very well.

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Adventures in Coffee… October Hasbean

 

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This month’s coffee was my last from my Hasbean subscription (hopefully not forever though) and it was a coffee from one of my favourite coffee producing countries – Guatemala!

I have made the effort this months to try this coffee every way I can – espresso, latte, french press, pour over – and my favourite was actually the latte, followed by the pour over. It just went really nicely with milk. The espresso on it’s own was more acidic than the pour over and french press, so that is probably why the addition of milk worked well as it kept the acidity in the coffee, but smoothed it over with milk.

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I love my matching Bodum cups – I also the same in an even larger size I tend to use for tea!

Here is the last In My Mug link for a while. It is still on my wish list to do a full In My Mug subscription where you get a different coffee each week and can follow the videos along.

I love finding out more about the coffee’s I am drinking. I have a soft spot for Guatemala coffees – I think I have just had some excellent coffee that happened to be from this country, which started in Seattle.

Coffee Tasting

I’ve been doing some research on coffee tasting (and tea, but I’ll keep that for a separate post) as I don’t feel my reviews are up to the standard I want. I also want to be able to remember what I like about each coffee so if I want to I can order it again. I’ve found with the subscription I forget which ones I like and to be honest which ones have been sent to me.

Details about the coffee – where it was grown and who by, as well as the processing and roasting method

Smell – smell the coffee before tasting as you pick up more

Slurp – slurp the coffee around the mouth to get the palate covers and should enable the more subtle flavours to come out

Aroma –  the way the coffee smells, such as earthy, spicy, nutty

Acidity – refers to the tangy sensation that you feel on the tongue and sides of the mouth. Coffees with high acidity tend to be described as bright and crisp, while low acidity coffees are described as smooth.

Body – this is the weight or thickness of the coffee on your tongue.

Flavour – this is how the coffee tastes and is detected in different parts of the mouth

Based on my research I am going to start incorporating these aspects into my coffee tasting adventures. I have taken this from the Moleskine coffee notebook and have downloaded the templates from their website to stick into my notebook.

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