Category Archives: Coffee

Adventures in Coffee… Small Batch Goldstone Espresso

 

 

This was a random find in Brighton in April. I have been following lots of coffee shops on Twitter and Instagram and Small Batch was one of them, so when I passed it while out shopping with friends I had to pop in and get myself some beans as well as trying a cold brew on a super hot day.

I was a little disappointed in the selection and because the shop was so busy on a Saturday afternoon I felt the staff weren’t really able to spare the time to help a growing customer, so I just went with the blend that sounded nice from the packaging. 

For some reason I stopped having a morning espresso before work for a while so buying this got me back in the habit and I really enjoyed it.  The blend of bens from three regions was nice and worked well for me. I liked the smoothness of espresso as well as the slight bitterness of the aftertaste. A lovely blend to start the day with.

Adventures in Coffee… Rave Cuban Serrano Superior

 im no sure how I missed this one, but I finished this coffee back in January and never posted about it.

  

This was a single original coffee and one I was recommended as one for drinking in a French press and black. I mostly drank this in a fresh press, but also I have tried through the pour over. I think this is my first Cuban coffee. I probably need to make a searchable list to check out what I have tried and what I haven’t tried. I can’t say this was one I would get again, but it was differnt and I like different. It wasn’t as smooth or bold as I was expecting a itch the tasting notes being nutty, chocolate and smokey. I found it a bit Erie acid is than I was expecting. I will be going back to Rave in Juen to pick up another blend and another single origin to take me into summer. 

 

Adventures in Coffee… London Coffee Festival 2015

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This last weekend my friend Ingrid and I went to London for the weekend for the London Coffee Festival. I like London for all the events that are on, but a weekend is enough for me. It was super busy! We gave up on the tube pretty soon and wandered from Covent Garden to the Tower of London, via Borough Market and Tower Bridge. It was great to just wander and catch up. We also spotted two Shaun the Sheep art works!

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We also found The Hummingbird Bakery and had the most amazing cake! Mine was the lemon raspberry three layer cake and Ingrid had the raspberry cheesecake brownie. Both were amazing!IMG_0712

We went to the coffee festival on the Sunday. It’s held at The Old Truman Brewery near Brick Lane. Ingrid and I stayed near Liverpool Street Station for easy access to transport and easy walking distance to the Coffee Festival. I could not believe have busy it was. The queue went around the street and although it moved quickly it was a bit crazy.  

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Once we were in it was great to wander round. We decided to buy nothing on the first lap to make sure we didn’t spend too much. We tried lots of samples from lots of different vendors – Union, Grumpy Mule, Freehand, Costa, Starbucks, and a few others I’ve forgotten I’m sure.

I was really impressed with the Starbucks stand. They focused on their reserve blends . We tried a cold brew and mint sparkling coffee, both of which were lovely. I loved all the coffee cup art. They also gave us both free samples of each of the 4 coffees they had to try. Thanks to Dan for sorting that out for us.

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We wandered around more and looked at the different cups, teas, machines, and people around the place. It was hard to spend that long at any stand as it was so busy. I would have liked to learn more about brewing techniques, but we didn’t get to the demo area until we had finished. I was surprised that a few stands where we asked about the some of the brewing techniques the people there couldn’t explain how it impacted on the coffee. I felt a few people there were just sales people who hadn’t even read up on what they were selling.

I did like the art and displays around the place though. It definitely had a quirky atmosphere.
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If I went again I would probably go in twice to have some more time to talk to the vendors about the farms they buy from and the different brewing techniques.

The last thing we did was go to the martini bar for an espresso martini. The guy on the bar was fun and chatty as he made our cocktails.

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We really liked the cocktails. Neither of us had tried one before and although I do like martini and have all the ingredient required to make this, I have never done so. I think I might in the summer if we are drinking in the afternoon, but I wouldn’t want this as an evening drink due to the espresso required.

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I came home with the free Starbucks testers and a bag of Freehand coffee the guys on the stall kindly let me buy although they were only using for drinks at the festival. I went over especially at the end of the session to buy from them and almost wasn’t able to, but they were super nice and let me have a bag of the Peru beans to take home. I can’t wait to try it out!

I do love coffee, but I will say we were over caffeinated after 3 hours in the festival. All I wanted was water for the rest of the day. So many samples in so little time was a bit rough on the body. However it was super nice to try from small scale roasters and now I have a list of them to find online to allow me to try different beans and blends. Also I can find them on my wanderings too!
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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 :)

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