14 December 2014

The Skint Foodie Christmas on a Budget

Nothing gives me more joy than to receive a recommendation from  a coffee customer, especially one who writes a food blog  The Skint Foodie   He mentioned liking our Ethiopian Yirgacheffe in an article which was in The Guardian and Observer  in November. Mr Monsoon thinks we should try the Christmas menu ourselves this year.  Maybe we will!   If you look on the blog there's a great piece on Amsterdam. If we visit there in the New Year for the Coffee Fest I will be taking some of his notes with me!

28 September 2014

Our Customers have Great Taste!

Monsoon Estates was awarded gold stars for 4 of their coffees at this years National Great Taste Awards. We are simply over the moon! It is a fantastic result as only 2.9% of all entrants were awards 2 gold stars and we got 3 of them! A fourth coffee was also awarded gold!

{{{awards}}}

This is our 3rd year entering the competition with previous wins in 2012 and 2013 and we are delighted with the results this year. We entered some of our customer’s favorites and it would be fair to say that they have GREAT TASTE!

How does it all work?

Over 400 judges, including 40 specially trained food writers inputting judges’ comments, come together at 50 judging days from April through to mid-July including a week in Belfast, specialist test centres for tea, filter coffee and espresso, with the remainder done at Guild HQ in Dorset. The judges, from all corners of the food world, blind-taste in teams of 4 or 5 ensuring we get a balance of expertise, age and gender.

9 July 2014

New Coffee

Our latest offerings

Mexican Terruno Nayarita Reserva  - one of only 12 bags produced!  
Terruna Nayarita means 'from my land'.  This coffee is cultivated by a group of cooperative farmers close to the volcano cerro San Juan. It is grown at an average  altitude of 1000m in rich volcanic soil.  Beans are a mix of Caturra and Catuai  mostly shade grown and is a washed coffee. A little bit nutty with good acidity and Mr Monsoon assures me has a little citrus fruit too.  I think this is best in filter/cafetiere but he loves as espresso! Medium roasted, and although not the strongest coffee in the world, has a lovely flavour.

Swiss Water Decaf Brazilian - Great little coffee, slightly sweet and slightly chocolatey.  Here is a little from their web site!    

Brazilians consume a ridiculous amount of coffee – close to 20 million bags a year and growing – second only to the US. Fortunately for us, what they consume is mostly Conillon Robusta and lower-grade Arabica.

We recently upgraded the specs for our Decaf Brazils, now using only 17/18 Strictly Soft Fine Cup (SSFC). The 17/18 screen size has a far more consistent flavor without the pungent fruit notes that can turn up in smaller-bean Brazils (an indication of varying bean maturity). We have selected Cerrado for the region and cup profile – mild and sweet, great body – nice on its own, but also versatile in blends, as an espresso component, or for flavoring.

Swiss Water Decaf Premium Espresso Blend - This has a more complex flavour than the Brazil. See below for their description as I can't better it!

With our Premium Espresso Blend, you get coffee that shows balance, depth and Indo/Asia on bass, liveliness at a range of roasts. Brazil on rhythm guitar, washed Latins playing lead, and a dose of exotic naturals playing tambourine. The tasty result: chocolate and caramel flavors with a touch of natural fruit, just enough acidity to provide a balance of sparkle, and sweetness riding a long, smooth finish.

Pull shots with enough depth and sustaining crema you'll be surprised its decaf. Amaze your friends!

On the way we have some new harvests from Papua New Guinea, a new El Salvador Pacamara and fingers crossed that our beautiful Balmaadi Estates coffee from India is as good as I remember!

3 June 2014

Cold Brew Blends

Now that the warm weather is here I'm being asked a lot about iced coffee and cold brew! Iced coffee is just hot brewed coffee that is allowed to chill and served over ice. Cold brew is made with cold water. Coffee grinds are steeped in cold water anything from 10 - 20hours. I usually soak mine overnight then filter with filter papers and store in the fridge. I try make it quite strong and pour it over ice! You do use more coffee. I've seen recipes from 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee to 3 of water up to 1 to 5 of water! I'd suggest start with 1 cup of coffee and 4 of water and try it. Adjust for your palate.

Some can be quite lovely black without sugar - others benefit from a little sweetness either from milk or sugar (or both). Condensed milk is fantastic especially with my dark roasted Monsoon Malabar! Cold brew has less acidity than hot brewed coffee. It also should have less bitterness. A different flavour profile entirely. Whether it has more or less caffeine I'm not quite sure! Cold brewing extracts less caffeine although steeping for several hours will extract more! If I get to the bottom of it I'll let you know!

28 March 2014

PNG Sigri

Our beautiful Papua New Guinea Sigri has been a massive hit and I love it! Although I managed to secure quite a lot this year it won't last for ever! Our Nicaraguan Elephant has sold like the clappers! Unfortunately this one is coming to an end. I'm trying to find out if there may be any more on the horizon.

25 January 2014

Cafetiere Coffee

Hello from our little coffee roastery in Stratford upon Avon

A really simple and easy way to make a great cup of coffee is to use a Cafetiere sometimes called French Press or Plunger. We're often asked how to brew coffee with this method so here are a few tips.  Just remember to brew the coffee and drink it straight away. If you leave it stewing in the pot the result can be quite unpleasant! 

  • Bring the water to the boil and allow it to cool while you get everything ready for your brew!
  • Using water slightly off the boil ensures that the flavour of the roasted coffee is not altered
  • Preheat the Cafetière
  • Similar to a teapot, in order to get the best brew heat the cafetière using a small amount of hot water.
  • Use medium to coarse ground coffee
  • Using the correct grind of coffee is essential to getting a great brew in a cafetière.  If your grind is too fine the drink will be cloudy and maybe even a little powdery in taste.  Too coarse and the drink will be weak
  • Use one heaped dessert spoonful of ground coffee per cup, obviously add more if you are using large mugs.
  • Place the ground coffee into the cafetière and pour a little water over the grounds and swirl them through it.
  • Pour in the rest of the water and stir gently, if needed, to cover the coffee grinds.
  • Place the lid on the cafetière with the plunger fully raised
  • Allow the coffee to brew for four minutes
  • Gently press the plunger down all the way
  • Be careful to press the plunger down straight, if you try to push from an angle some coffee grains may escape into the brew.
  • Pour and enjoy!