News / Coffee

My love of Oily coffee

Two new dark roasted coffees.

 I have sourced a couple of coffees to add to our collection, both selected for being Fair Trade and Organic or Rainforest Alliance as well as producing a great cup of strong coffee when roasted ‘Oily’.

The first is from Ethiopia, and is a Yirgacheffe from the Negele Gorbitu Cooperative.

Founded in 1995 the Negele Gorbitu Cooperative comprises of nearly 1,000 producers. Most Ethiopian Co-ops use traditional organic farming methods but Negele Gorbitu with the help of Oromia Coffee Farmer’s Cooperative Union helped provide the funding to enable both Fair Trade and Organic Certification.

This certification has allowed them to implement investments in a new school for over 300 students as well as a medical facility.

At 1,960 meters above sea level, Negele Gorbitu is in a prime location to produce a classical Yirgacheffe with good citrus tones and the characteristic bergamot finish. The coop operates two washing stations and consistently turns out high quality coffee. The berries are hand-picked and only the best are selected.

As you are aware my love for Oily coffee is well known, so we have Dark Roasted these beans as they respond particularly well to this treatment, producing a pronounced sweetness and still retaining some floral notes.

 My second choice was from Central America, Nicaragua. I have always enjoyed Nicaraguan coffee and the quality is usually very good, this Nicaragua Finca Santa Luz Rainforest Alliance is fantastic.

The Santa Luz farm is found four kilometres North-east of the small town of El Tuma, based in the mountains of Matagalpa and has been Rainforest Alliance certified since 2003.

Coffee growing started in this area of Matagalpa in early 1920’s when a new road connected the then village of El Tuma with the big City of Matagalpa.

Finca Santa Luz covers 158 hectares, of which 97 are dedicated to coffee. There are a total of 127 hectares suitable for coffee and the rest are woodlands and administrative areas. The altitude of the coffee plants at Santa Luz are between 700 and 900 meters above sea level, therefore, producing Strictly High Grown (SHG) coffee, smooth and well balanced. The farm has built its own ecological processing plant which produces this very good quality coffee.

This lovely bean has responded very well to dark roasting and produces a lovely strong cup with a sweet after-taste and great body. I love it.


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Dark Roast Cuban Coffee The Best

I love Cuba and I love Cuban Coffee, for me it has to be dark roasted, this roasting brings out the oils and the delicious flavours that genuinely transport me back to Havana. The coffee there is usually espresso but I enjoy mine in a cafetière when I can’t be bothered to fire up the espresso machine, and it still tastes fantastic. Up in the mountains it is roasted in a simple pan above an open fire, the roasted beans crushed and then hot water added, stirred and let the grounds sink, an astonishing experience, especially as you can sit under the coffee trees full of flower, green and red cherries.
Cuban coffee is one of the best in the world, personally I think rivalling Jamaican Blue Mountain. The Sierra Meastra range of mountains includes the steepest and highest mountain, Pico Turquino at 2005 metres. This high grown coffee is definitely special and is one of Cuba’s highest grades that are produced; it is also called Extra Turquino Special.  Sierra means mountain and Meastra is mistress.
Most Cuban coffee makes for a fantastic espresso but can be prepared in whatever is your normal method. Cuban coffee rarely appears on the International market, due to the North American illegal and immoral boycotting of Cuba, but hopefully this will be re-appraised now Obama and Raul Castro are talking.
Coffee was first grown in Cuba in 1748, but it was in 1789, with the arrival of thousands of French planters from Haiti, that Cuban coffee cultivation first really took off. The main coffee strains grown are Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, Catui and Catimor. The cherries are wet processed (Lavado) and then sun-dried.
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London Coffee Festival 1 of 2


Bit late on this one but you know how tempis fugits…
Anyway just wanted to give a quick resume of the London Coffee Festival at the lovely Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. 
It really was a great day from start to finish - the weather was superb and it seemed a shame to be spending it indoors, up until we got inside when we were enveloped by the heavenly smell of roasting and freshly brewed coffee. It was a very well attended show, (expecting 22,000 visitors) with an eclectic group of visitors (he's referring to beards...H).
While Helen sat herself down for a Social Media seminar from We Are Spectacular ( it was brilliant, thanks Mark!–H) I went off for a meander and bumped into a fellow coffee roaster and supplier, Jim Lee of Lee and Fletcher. We went to see what times the world’s biggest cupping was being held, at
D R Wakefields, a global green coffee importer, and two o’clock meant we could join it after lunch. We listened in on ‘An Overview of the Australian Market’, and wandered off to find a cup of coffee.
Jim and I made our way through some of the smaller aisles and found a wonderful company who imported micro-lots from her home country of Guatemala; we were both very excited by the idea of a yellow cherry micro-lot from Huehuetenango, and who wouldn’t be.

We played around on an exhibition that was selling a brilliant device called an AeroPress, invented in 2005, which uses air pressure to improve extraction of flavour. We tried two differently prepared cups, prepared in front of us using the same water, identical Ethiopian beans, same grind and roast but one made with the AeroPress and one made with the popular mini Pour-Through method. Astonishingly the AeroPress was vastly superior in its flavour and surprisingly in its depth of body. Watch World Champion Barista Gwilym Davies showcase it here.

I was feeling ‘lunchy ‘ by then so phoned Helen to find out where she was. “It sounds like you’re speaking with your mouth full!” I said. Turns out she’d found the chocolate hall and was making short work of the samples…

It wasn’t my idea of lunch so we dragged her out of there and made our way to the Curry Mile for a cracking lunch courtesy of Bengal Village

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Three New Coffees...

Helen has let me have a go at blogging, and as we took delivery of three new coffees last Friday, I have taken it upon myself to 
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