I’m a big fan of espressos, brewed with home grinded beans on my manual Flaire espresso maker. I’ve just opened a bag of Karinga AA beans from Gardelli coffee, and I must say, this stuff is ace! Really rich and full flavoured!
One of these:
Jura F70 bean to cup machine.
And some of this:
Taylors of Harrogate Hot Java Lava beans.
First, let’s talk about coffee. When I lived in London my coffee of choice came from Monmouth Street coffee house. it’s boring I know but it was always Colombian. Now in the Cotswolds I use Rave coffee in Cirencester; but its coffee varies and is inconsistent - of course it depends upon plantation, season and the ultimate roast and grind. As it happens I’m now drinking The Waterside blend, which some friends gave me after they had celebrated a birthday there.
Now the geeky bit; I’ve used a La Pavoni espresso machine for twenty odd years, but now prefer to use an Aeropress. But if I want a hit of ristretto I power up the beast; and I’m rather partial to a slice of lemon zest in my coffee: ristretto romano. This was a trick I learnt in Zagreb, but I don’t know what it’s origins are. And I like a glass of water, a la Viennese.
I grind by hand, despite having a couple of grinders, one burr and the other blade (now relegated to use with Indian spices). For the Aeropress is use a Salter and for the La Pavoni a Made By Knock grinder (they also make good tampers)
Oh dear - now here is a thread I can get really geeky on, now that kit has been pictured as well as beans mentioned. But which coffee am I drinking is a question with a varying answer. It changed this morning as I used up the last of one bean and opened a new pack. The new one is Rwandan if I remember correctly, purchased from Atkinson’s, Lancaster. This week I am using an espro press (triple filter to stop the water taking more flavour from the grounds after you want it to stop) as I am spending a few days away with family and it is a bit of a drag to make four coffees one by one with V60 (the normal pour over method, though I also use chemex from time to time).
So, to grinders. I have two in regular use. The first is the niche grinder, used for pour over:
The second is the hg one, used exclusively for espresso:
And the espresso machine, a londinium 1, which was my 50th birthdays present. From me to me!
Beans? Bought regularly from Atkinson’s of Lancaster. Pricey and a bit full of themselves, but a good range and very consistent. Another regular is northern edge In Berwick upon tweed discovered on holiday there. Free post if you buy a couple of kilos, but this week free anyway. Foundry roasters in Sheffield - very excellent indeed but expensive. Have some really very lovely coffees. Occasionally buy from exchange in Blackburn (they have shops in clitheroe where I go and Skipton as well I think) but they have a tendency to burn beans (I have a v low tolerance for roast that is too high) and are inconsistent. Roberts of Mawdesley (on a Farm shop development) are v good value but the higher roast espressos (they have three espresso blends) are a little inconsistent and can tend to burnt flavour. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head!
Oh, and Manchester coffee festival (cup north) in November is a fab experience but it’s torture not gulping a full cup of awesome coffee down at every available opportunity - need to avoid or you can overdose on caffeine about 8 minutes after arrival
Forgot to mention that I also roast my own beans for espresso from time to time…
Small Bialetti moka pot. Coffee from Waitrose, own label, ground by them. This week it’s Costa Rica, last week Ethiopia, possibly Sumatra next week.
Bialetti is cleaned something like every third day. The main care I take is that the coffee is not allowed to stew, and the ground coffee is stored in an airtight container.
Apologies if none of this has been niche enough!
You have some nice kit here. I thought about getting the hg one but from memory it seemed like a bit of a faff getting it ordered and shipped. I opted for a Kinu grinder instead
The bialetti moka pot is fantastic! Still use one for long coffee drinks.
When I hot married in Italy a few years ago, we gave them out to our guests as wedding favours!
Equipment - Mazzer Mini grinder; Rapha Rocket expresso machine with obligatory Rapha/ Chris King tamper(!).
Coffee - normally I buy Lavazza beans (dark package). I have just said my farewells to friends visiting from Jamaica and am particularly looking forward to opening the pack of Alex Twyman Blue Mountain coffee. He is no longer with us, but when I lived out there in 1990’s he entertained a group of us one day on his cantilevered verandah suspended over the mountain edge and served up freshly roasted coffee from his plantation (followed by home made mead). I’m sure it won’t taste anything near as good as my memory tells me, but it will be great to raise a coffee cup and salute Alex for his perseverance through some very tough times.
I enjoy Waitrose’s own beans from time to time. Must check on my next trip.
As for the Bialetti what can be more authentic?
I used a Guzzini for ages until I got an induction hob - still miss it, but hated cleaning it if I had forgotten to do it for a while.
I also have a made by knock grinder. It has a fantastic grind but it gives me sore arms if haven’t used it for a while!
I’m intrigued with this lemon idea… Do you just add a slice once you’ve poured an espresso?
Have a bash at the Taylors Hot Java Lava beans I mentioned above … they’re a real full flavoured, smoky tasting mouthful.
I’ve just contacted Knock because I can never get the grind knob in the right position … they are checking for upgrades / refinements.
It’s just a twist of lemon zest / rind over which you poor your espresso.
I’m now checking how I can clean up my Guzzini for use on the hot plate. … Aluminium (?) just grows this crud … perhaps a steradent will do?
I will - I’ve noticed them before but have not dipped my toe …
Not seen that one! Looks interesting. I was fortunate to know someone locally who sold their HG one to me - I probably wouldn’t have got round to ordering one myself - a faff, as you say. The results are excellent
I have a couple of made by knock grinders, lovely pieces of kit. They both need a bit of fettling - one doesn’t hold the setting at all (like that from new)and the other is off centre I think (dropped it ). Think they are based in Edinburgh where my daughter is about to start at uni so need to look into taking them back there
I sense those Java beans go all the way to 11, Dave!
Yes in Portobello.
Peter Kirkpatrick has helped me sort out mine.
Excellent. I met him once. I think he is decent at customer service once you have bought something but his products have often been too successful at launch and he has not been good at responding to queries. engineering is his strong point not mass production
They do indeed … but then, as a full fat, Marlboro Red devotee, they need to!
(I know it’s not big, and it’s not clever, but as a now fully retired elderly person, it’s far too late to be changing the habits of a lifetime).