Monthly Archives: February 2009

I’m Drinking Square Mile Coffees

Yes ! It’s finally here, after several months of waiting, Square Mile Coffee Roasters have now started roasting specials coffees for sale. OK ! a brief history as to why I’m excited by this particular coffee roasters – the 2007 and 2008 World Barista Champions, James Hoffmann and Stephen Morrissey respectively together with another lady – I think her name is Anette – teamed up and because of their love of coffee, I guess, decided to take this to the next level and opened up a coffee roaster in London. They do mail order all over the World, which suits me fine, because with the current currency crisis, it is now about the same price for me to order coffee from London, including postage and packaging as it is for me to buy my current 1.2 kg monthly consumption of coffee in Vienna. On coffee sizes, Square Mile sell a minimum of 350g sizes and on my first order, I was able to order my monthly supply in 3 bags, which took a very impressive 3 days to arrive.

They also roast twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays, so try and place an order about one week before you want to drink it, so that when it arrives, it has “de-gassed” for a recommended one week before you start extracting it. For more about Square Mile Coffee Roasters, please visit their website on http://shop.squaremilecoffee.com/ or just click on my blogroll to the left.

Now to the coffee. I’m not going to go into too much detail but I will just give you a taster of my experience and in a move away from tradition, use some wonderful shots of the stuff to reflect my tasting experience. My first experience was actually at Flat White in December 2008 during my last visit to London, as Square Mile now supply the coffee for Flat White. I bought a 350g bag for me to take back to Vienna, which I think contained some Central American coffee (secret blend, which Square Mile were not disclosing when I asked naturally). Why Central America ? Well ! from my experience I find Central American coffees really blend with well poured milk based espresso drinks.

Still with blends, Square Mile naturally have their Winter Espresso blend, but not wanting to hide anything and I must confess, this is the first time I have seen a roaster disclose the composition of their blends, they show you right on the packet what’s in their blend.

 

Winter Espresso Blend

Winter Espresso Blend

Naturally, it’s nice, clean, sweet, dark and rich espresso, with complex tones for me, and during the last big snowfall, I was inspired to rush out and take this pic, naturally called Winter Espresso “Blue” – the blue is for the wonderful blue sky that reflected on the snow white of the cup and the snow.

Now, a coffee that features rather little in the Winter Espresso blend is the Muchoki Peaberry from Kenya, which had a tart cherry taste for me when brewed as an espresso. So, I’m going to go out on a limb here and recommend this coffee for filter or Cafetiere style coffee as the strength can be minimised by having a longer contact with water. In any case, to show off the lovely dark colours of this coffee, I took this pic in my new Bodum cup.

Now, off to the other part of the World, Central America, which by going through the coffees on sale at Square Mile, is their favourite pat of the World to get coffee. I’ll start with a mouthful, which I love saying to myself, El Molino de Santa Rita El Salvador. A “nutty” taste for a cappuccino. Still in Central America, we move to Costa Rica, for some the best coffee resides here with high acidity, a clean taste and with complex flavours. I tried two from Square Mile, the first, La Rosa, which unusually has low acidity and one I favoured for cafetiere style coffee after lunch at work.

However, in following with a family tradition, one which my daughter seems to have picked up when eating her favourite food, I’ve saved the best for last and it is…. El Portillo Cup of Excellence – wow !

I haven’t been this excited about a type of coffee for for a while. So, in order to get a really good feel for this coffee, I cleaned out my grinder, studied the beans, which look lovely close up.

 

El Portillo Beans

El Portillo Beans

Got out my La Marzocco Bottomless filter not to miss a moment

 

El Portillo Naked

El Portillo Naked

OK! I’m beginning to sound a little bit OTT here, but life is short and sometimes you’ve just got to be bothered and committed to going all out. I extracted it into my espresso love cup, newly bought for me by my darling wife, just to capture the love of this very special bean.

El Portillo Espresso Love

El Portillo Espresso Love

I liked it so much that as someone that tries to share lovely experiences, took it to work and shared it with colleagues. What was amazing, was that one of my colleagues, who doesn’t really drink speciality coffee, but tastes wine, described the coffee almost to a “T” as described by Square Mile on the package, toffee, caramel, heavy mouth feel and complex. It’s really versatile as a coffee and I mixed it with another Square Mile coffee, Los Luchadores Espresso Pacamara- El Salvador, which made a nice cappuccino and inspired me to pour this little flower.

El Portillo Cappuccino

El Portillo Cappuccino

For me, no doubt it is really special brewed in a cafetiere, which is what I’m doing with it now, after every lunch time. I noticed that it smells like toffee and tastes like caramel and the aroma just permeates my room so much so that any of my colleagues coming into the room notices the lovely aroma. I’ve just checked on Square Mile’s website, but this lovely bean is no more…. all good things must come to an end boo hoo, but I trust that the guys will find a suitable replacement. Buying coffee from Square Mile is highly recommended by moi.


Have a Date With….

Cappuccino Date

This picture is for those who want to celebrate their love….. of C_FF_E

OK ! get ready for tomorrow – flowers, all things red, perfume, etc – but of course, don’t forget the coffee.  Enjoy the picture.

From Coffee With Love no less, xxx.


A Coffee Recipe – New Age Cappy

I haven’t really ventured into sharing any type of recipe on this blog yet, because I assume that all those visiting have read through the main website (wishful thinking) or are pros. So in order to stop embarrassing myself and having a barrage of criticism, which would be good for raising the profile of my blog, I’ve avoided this, of course until now, so I’m taking the plunge from this day forth…. wish me luck.

In most cafes, whenever you get served a cappuccino there is always a tendency to sprinkle chocolate powder on top of an exaggerated dense air foam. However, in the top cafes, where they know what they are doing, they avoid these type of gimmicks and just give you the real stuff, espresso and well frothed milk, without heaps of foam. So one day I was thinking, if I had a cafe (one of my dreams) and wanted my customers to still get their kick of chocolate sprinkled cappuccino, how would I serve it. This may not be original, but then I thought, “I wonder if I sprinkle some chocolate powder on top of my espresso before I poured my micro-foam frothed milk on top” and so that is exactly what I did last Sunday, so here is what I call “New Age Cappy“.

New Age Cappy

New Age Cappy

New Age because it relates to serving coffee well and Cappy, well as a short trendy name for Cappuccino of course.

Step One: Make sure you extract a thick crema espresso, because when you sprinkle the hot chocolate powder on top, it will have to sit quite comfortable on top without a threat of falling through the crema cloud to the bottom of the cup.

Step Two: Froth your milk properly so that you have micro-foam qualities if not as soon as you pour the frothed milk on top, it will just move the chocolate powder away to the side of the cup with no real design to impress your friends…. hmmm ! Again, I am assuming that you have been practising milk frothing techniques for over two years like me or are a trained pro.

Step Three: Pour the frothed milk into the cup, tilting the cup slightly and making sure the beginning of the pour goes below the crema cloud, before finishing off over the top. I can’t show a picture of this, as I only have two hands and didn’t trust my daughter with my $750 camera, but I plan to do a short video on this God willing sometime in the future. What you should get in any case at the end, is nicely poured cappuccino but with the chocolate sprinkles sitting on top, meshed into the coffee and the frothed milk, so that every sip will end up being unique no less. The final version should look like the picture at the top, but just to give  you a closer look, see this one up close and personal.

 

New Age Cappy Close

New Age Cappy Close

You see, it wasn’t that difficult after all. I don’t have a patent on this, but if you try this after reading my blog, think of me and tell your customers about my blog – that will do.

Ciao and have nice weekend.


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