Category Archives: Coffee

Adventures in Coffee… Starbucks Reserve East Timor Ermera

The second of the reserve samples I got from the London Coffee Festival. I have continued to use this mainly for espresso before heading off to work each morning. 

This was slightly more acidic than the No 11 reserve, but again had a lovely crema coming out of the espresso machine.  I would say this was a lighter coffee than I would normally go for. For me lighter means more acidic and less smooth. It had a lingering after taste that I find a little too much. As always it’s nice to try something different.


Adventures in Coffee… Starbucks Reserve No 11

This is first of the coffees I got from the London Coffee Festival. 

The Starbucks booth was giving out samples of their reserve collection. The last time I tried the reserve roast was in Seattle. I know a lot of people stay clear of the big brands, but I think they have made coffee accessible to the masses in a way that small coffee roasters would not be able to do. But then once people enjoy coffee that can do as I did and start searching for local or independent coffee roasters and get the next experience from there. 

I have to say also that the Starbucks booth was one of the best at the festival as they had plenty of staff to talk to about the coffee. Most so the other stalls were so busy you couldn’t get near a actual person, which was the one disappointment of the festival for me. But the coffee was amazing at every booth I went to!


The No 11 reserves was a nice. I really enjoyed this as an espresso and a French press. It was smooth and had a lovely cream come through the espresso machine. It was nice to get access to the and another three reserves to samples. 

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


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!

Shaun the sheepmap Shaun the Sheep

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.  

starbucks cups

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.

Starbucks coffee

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.
coffee machinescoffee sacksscience coffee

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.

espresso martiniespresso martini 2

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.

espresso martini 4 espresso martini 3
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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