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THE CHATTERBOX – FIRST EDITION 2018

The Chatterbox; news and views from The Coffee Den.

Plenty of “Chit Chat”, anything we want to “Shout Out” about and occasional “Juicy Gossip”!

Published occassionaly and doesn’t cost a bean !

LATTE LOVE

A little love from us to you as it’s February – 10% DISCOUNT on all coffees until end of Feb. Simply use the code Latte Love at the checkout on line.

DE-CAFFINATED Coffee

ACPC Pichanaki – Peruvian Decaffinated Coffee. Our customers in the shop tell us it’s the best De Caff that they have ever drunk and some even ask to check that we haven’t given them full caffeine by mistake!

COFFEE BAG BUNTING

A quick and easy decoration for the windows –

the shop felt bare after taking down the Christmas decorations.

Coffee cookies

Keeping up with the current ‘Vegan’ trend i did a little experimenting in the kitchen and came up with these cookies. I substituted the rice flour for coffee grounds, which kept the graininess but also added flavour – then dipped in cinnamon and sugar made them quite tasty. Definately a healthier alternative to the usual high sugar biscuits and cakes.

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THE CHATTERBOX NEWSLETTER – December 2017

The Chatterbox; news and views from The Coffee Den.

Plenty of ‘Chit Chat’, anything we want to ‘Shout Out’ about and occassional ‘Juicy Gossip’

Published occassionaly and doesn’t cost a bean!

14 days to Christmas LAST DAY FOR POSTING TUESDAY 19TH DEC

SHOP NOW [https://www.mrduffinscoffee.com/shop-online/]

COFFEE DOUGH DECORATIONS

This was a twist on the traditional salt dough recipe, i just added some used coffee grounds. They added some colour and after a coat of varnish resembled German Christmas biscuits!

1 cup salt, 2 cups each plain flour & coffee grounds. Roll and cut out shapes. Bake at 150 degrees for @ 1 hour or until hard.

KEEP CUPS

Despite our take away cups being compostable, we do like the idea of re-useable cups. They have been manufactured as ethically as possible and in the UK. Designed to fit espresso machines and not to compromise the taste of your drink. There is enough plastic in 20 disposable cups and lids to make one Keep Cup – so if you are a regular take away drinker maybe it’s time to consider a Keep Cup.

RWANDA – NYUNGWE

It’s taken us a while but finally we have roasted this as a Single Origin – it’s usually found in our ‘Juicy Gossip’ blend. It’s been on sale in the Coffee Den today and the customers have been picking out the flavours; Raisin, Vanilla, Cacao and Tangerine.

Kokoa Selection Treats

Mmmmm these chocolate treats just in from Kokoa are divine. In fact i’ve convinced myself that the beans are actually good for me!

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THE CHATTERBOX NEWSLETTER – November 2017

The Chatterbox;news and views from The Coffee Den.

Plenty of “Chit Chat”, anything we want to “Shout Out” about and occasional “Juicy Gossip”!

Published occasionaly and dosen’t cost a bean !

Orange and Coffee Liquer

I came across this recipe and couldn’t resist trying it out. Very straight forward; orange, coffee beans, sugar and alcohol in a jar and left for a while! No previous experience required, adjust according to taste – and i do keep tasting a sip here and there and have made a few adjustments!

Recipe taken from ‘The Flavour Thesaurus’ by Niki Segnit – great book for cookery enthusiasts.

MANCHESTER COFFEE FESTIVAL – formaly known as ‘Cup North’

We popped down to Manchester and flew back after sampling some fabulous coffees made by fellow northern coffee roasters …. and one or 2 rougue southerners had managed to book a stall too! If you have never been to a Coffee Festival then i reccommend it goes on a ‘to do list’. It’s an ideal way to sample a variety of brews,have a go at ‘Cupping’ and generally just soak up the coffee vibe. There are always lots of other coffee related products to peruse eg milks, chocolate, tea and errrr……. i came home with some peanut butter!!

Early Bird Tickets are on sale now for The London Coffee Festival 12 – 15 April 2018

Read More [https://www.londoncoffeefestival.com/]

THE HAMPER TREE

It will look more like a tree as of 1st December, but you can get the idea! Just a reminder that last posting date is wednesday 20th Dec for Christmas Coffee. More gifty items do keep being added to the shop, the latest being Storm Tea and Gift Vouchers to be used in The Coffee Den.

Read More [https://www.mrduffinscoffee.com/shop-online/]

COFFEE PLANTS

 

Just a quick update for those of you who have been following The Coffee Plants. Positioning them on a sunny window sill has brought them on a treat, combined with regular watering! The tallest plant has grown @ 15 cms since April. The dilema now is that they need re potting and should i thin them out? And if that is the case where am i going to put all these plants!!

Ahh Christmas gifts maybe?

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THE CHATTERBOX NEWSLETTER – October 2017

 

The Chatterbox; news and views from The Coffee Den, plenty of ‘Chit Chat’ anything we want to ‘Shout Out’ about and occasional ‘Juicy Gossip!

First Edition and doesn’t cost a bean – published occasionaly!

The North & North Wales

It’s here the third edition of this great guide book and yes we are in it, page 85! Atkinsons of Lancaster kindly hosted the launch event which we went along to. We did put Abbi’s name forward for the Latte art throw down but she was having none of it – those of you who have been in The Coffee Den are well aware of her artistic milk skills. We have plenty of copies available, either on line or in The Coffee Den.

BUY NOW [http://www.mrduffinscoffee.com/products/gifts/]

Craft Chocolate

These bars of chocolate are a feast for the eyes never mind the palate! I am aware of the saying ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’ – but it is the wrapper that i’m drawn to when choosing these bars!! We are slowly tasting them all, either by purchasing a bar ourselves or kindly customers letting us sample their purchases!!. I will be putting a small selection on the web site, for the full range visit [http://cocoarunners.com/shop/by/bars/]

BIKE RACK

Having observed unrelaxed customers,twisting and craning some even leaving their seats to make sure that their pride and joy had not been ridden away, i felt it was a good idea to install a bike rack. Feeling the same way about my own pride and joy i could fully sympathise with them.

On the otherhand there is the added bonus of preserving the windows as i watch less carefull riders let the handle bars crash on to the glass!

It blends in rather nicely too with the wall which is why i thought it necessary to draw your attention to it!

COFFEE BEER

Or more accurately called Tiramisu Beer. We were really chuffed to be asked by Hawkshead Brewery if we could supply them with coffee for their new invention. Matt (Hawkshead’s Head Brewer) came along with another from Cigar City Brewing (USA Florida) to do a cupping session to establish which beans would be perfect for the brew.

It’s a strong stout 10%, best drunk cold and in sensible quantities!

It can be purchased from selected independent specialist craft beer shops around the country and Hawkshead Brewery. The last batch didn’t hang around for long,it was immediately shipped to Sweden.

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….How Does your Garden Grow?

We had a customer recently in The Coffee Den who was telling us about his success growing a coffee plant as a house plant. It did eventually flower and each year he would harvest about 40 grs of coffee! This story pricked my conscience  and later that day I took a good look at my plants.

I must confess that I have neglected the plants somewhat, and as a result there appears to be quite a lot of brown dried up leaves. This I hope is as a result of less than consistent rainfall which the plants thrive on in their native growing environment.

In their current environment it means I’ve been rather slack in the watering department, despite walking past the plans at least twice a day! However on a more positive note they do seem to continue to throw out new shoots at the top of the plant …. so not dead yet!!

With renewed enthusiasm I set to and wiped the dust from the leaves so that once again they were evergreen! There are 5/6 leafy stems in each pot and I’m unsure as to how many one would remove – if any? I decided to thin out a few of the stragglers that were being over shadowed.

I have re positioned the plants so that they will be consistently warmer and benefit from a little sunshine, I’ve also been spraying them with water trying to re create the rainfall effect …not entirely sure this is necessary but it feels satisfying!!

Only 1 1/2  years to go until the possibility of flowers appearing!

Fancy having a go at growing your own house coffee plant? www.coffeereasearch.org

 

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How Much ?!?!

Pricing …….urghhhh

Get it right happy days, get it wrong and customers will go else where!

The coffee industry can be unpredictable and volatile, susceptible to fluctuations in the weather and the exchange rate which are beyond the coffee drinkers control.  Environmental organisations such as Fair Trade and Rain Forest Alliance  are working hard to  put procedures in place, trying to secure stability and protect the growers and producers.  Read Holly Bowmans blog  www.northstarroast.com for an interesting and thorough account of the financial challenges that face the coffee industry.

Once the coffee has arrived at the  Roasters/ Coffee shop/ café it then starts to acru further costs. These are unavoidable in order for business to thrive see www.carvetiicoffee.co.uk  Gareth has given an excellent account on pricing  a cup of coffee. Business ethics and principles vary and this is when the final consumer can make their choice in how they support the industry. Remembering that their cup of coffee is not necessarily a quick fix but an experience too!

To sum it all up very succintly Mcdonalds latest advert

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kra1eWAiKvE  has drawn attention to the Artisan or Craft or Handmade industry which ever it may be (Beer, Bread, Cheese, Chocolate  etc etc) which encompasses passion, dedication, commitment and transparency; and sometimes that is worth paying for!!

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A beginners Guide To ‘Looking for Blueberries’

Have you found yourself reading coffee labels or coffee menus and thinking “Really this will taste of bluberries or maybe caramels or even nuts? and what you really want is a cup of coffee that tastes of …..um, well… coffee!
Are you influenced by this description, maybe put off, or do you rush home to make a brew with anticipation, only to be left disappointed and feel like reporting them for trade descriptions!
Is it a case of The Emperors New Clothes or is all the coffee geekery justified? Read on as I’m hoping to make the business of flavours make a bit more sense.

Example of Flavours, Processing Method and Variety

Our coffee drinking habits vary, for some it’s a ritual, a ‘fix’ before functioning, for others it’s a social activity where the focus of attention is on the ‘Chit Chat’ and not necessarily what’s in the cup!! However times are changing, The Third Wave Coffee Generation is all about appreciation, noticing what you are drinking and it’s origins. As individuals become more knowledgeable and discerning as will the opportunity to choose your beans and brew methods.

So that you can participate and decide for yourself  I’ve diluted the geekery  to awaken your tasting and smelling senses.  Let us commence with the seed…..

COFFEE
Coffee plants thrive either side of the equator along a recognised ‘Coffee Belt’ otherwise known as the Tropics. The conditions are; rich soil,moderate sun & rain @ 20 oc and up to 2000 meters a.s.l . The altitude, geography, climate and terroir can influence the flavour profile in this early stage.

Very high altitude –  1500m  –  Fruity,Complex,Acidic,Floral
High                         –  1200m  – Nutty,Cocoa,Vanilla,Citrus,Earthy
Medium                   –  900m    – Smooth, Sweet

 

The coffee industry deals with 2 species of coffee plant; Arabica & Robusta. Arabica is considered to be the superior bean with plenty of flavour . It is these nuances of flavour that we are aiming to identify. The 2 varieties of Arabica are Typica & Bourbon, which in turn have produced mutations & hybrids such as; Caturra, SL 28, Mundo Novo and  Catuai to randomly select a few examples. Farmers are now seeking out favourable qualities & cultivating species for desirable features & flavour profiles. Robusta on the other hand is high in caffeine with less flavours, it can be found in some espresso blends and  can be used to add some extra kick.

Despite the Green Bean containing these flavour profiles, in it’s current state it is a fairly tasteless hard seed – if eaten reminds me of chewing hay stalks! They are however made up of carbohydrates, sugars, water, amino acids, fibre, proteins, organic acids, minerals, lipids; caffeine & trigonelline which are both alkaloids & responsible for the bitterness. It is these ingredients along with hundreds of other chemical compounds which are waiting to be released. I found this handy pie chart which helps to visualise the make up of ingredients.

Diagram from How to Make Coffee

PROCESSING
Once the beans are ripe and harvested the next stage to influence the flavour profile is the processing.
Processing is removing the layers of skin, pulp & mucilage from the seeds and has a profound effect on the flavour of the Green Bean. There are 3 ways and these too are being included in a coffee description . Farmers currently tend to choose a method depending on finances and natural resources  available, rather than the potential flavour profile.

NATURAL – The fruit is left intact & laid out on patios to dry. This can take many weeks & care is taken not to let rot/mould or fermentation set in. This process allows the fruits sweetness to transfer into the seed. Once the flesh has become dark, shrivelled up & dry, it is peeled off the bean. The resulting flavour is said to be complex, rich bodied, with sweet & wild berry flavours.
WASHED – The soft flesh is literally washed off leaving a sticky shiny mucilage attached to the stone. This contains sugars & pectin & has to be soaked off, followed by a period of fermentation. The fermentation process ranges from hours to days & needs to be managed well in order to obtain higher acidic coffees – as seen with Kenyan coffees.
SEMI WASHED – AKA: Honey Processed & Pulp Natural. These are a combination of Wet & Dry processing. After the pulp has been removed the mucilage is allowed to dry around the bean for 5 – 14 days. The end results are characteristics nearer to the dry process – giving a lot of body but low in acidity.

Are you beginning to get a feel for the complexity of  this coffee business AND I haven’t got to the roast or the brew yet!!

ROAST
We now have Green Beans bursting with fats & sugars, acids & alkaloids, but in order to transform this into a palatable flavoursome format for us to enjoy they need to go for a roasting!! The science behind the roasting process and the reactions that take place  are complex, therefore I will be brief and move on quickly!

It is the roasters responsibility to unlock the beans potential, dictated by the desired finished product & it’s intended brewing method. Roasting a bean is similar to roasting other  foods, in general….underdone it is raw and green, overdone it is caramalized and smokey, neither are to everyones liking! A fine balance is required between the cooking temperatures & time in order to achieve the desired flavour profile.
The Third Wave Coffee movement is experimenting with lighter green roasts, by shortening the roasting times in order to pick up on the nuances of flavour and appreciate the characteristics of the beans origins. These beans are then brewed in a manner for us to best experience the flavours. For example  drinking an  espresso will give you a better chance of finding your blueberries than a cappuccino.  Green beans that have been roasted for longer will become more developed, bringing out or introducing other flavours, which can be heavy and smother the lighter notes.

LOOKING FOR BLUEBERRIES

Sensory Analysis have you heard of it? – that’s the scientific discipline used to evaluate coffee’s characteristics. It combines the use of all the senses, however it is Taste + Smell that give the flavour perception of coffee. At The  Manchester Coffee Festival The guys from Origin Coffee were conducting an experiment to demonstrate how that equation works. I used a Jelly Bean and a Coffee Bean, pinched my nose tightly whilst  eating  –  noting it was tastless, on releasing the nose the flavour exploded becoming apparent and much easier to identify.

Coffee Tasters Flavour Wheel – From Counter Culture Coffee

The ‘Coffee Tasters Flavour Wheel’ is a resource used in the industry to analyse and describe coffee flavours.
On first glance it is an overwhelming mass of nouns, but it has been cleverly designed to make evaluating the taste process simpler. Coffee Cuppers, (‘Cupping’ being the professional term for tasting coffee) base their assessments around Sweetness, Acidity, Aroma, Mouthfeel & Balance. It is easy enough for you to replicate at home.  When you are out and about drinking coffee sticking to black coffee makes it easier to pick up on the flavours.  The wheel is designed with the Generic flavours forming an inner circle, as you become more skilled in your ‘sensory analysis’ you move outwards. If you can identify the  generic flavours then you are well on the way to being able to ascertain what you do and don’t like in a cup of coffee.

I find acidity and fruits hard to identify. This is partly due to pre conceived ideas and expectations but also because acid comes in different forms (- there are over 30 in roasted coffee) for example Citric, Malic, Lactic and Acetic. Acidity is a vital ingredient to a good cup of coffee but it has to be balanced correctly along with the sweetness & bitterness. For more detailed info see http://legacy.sweetmarias.com/library/weblog/what-acidity-regards-taste-coffee.

When I first began ‘cupping’ I had a tendency to group all acidic flavours as citrus, until I had my own ‘Eureka’ moment! Whilst researching for this ‘Chatterbox’ feature I was concentrating whilst eating Blueberries and Raspberries and did notice the tartness. Hang on a moment I thought, that’s acidity! But it can’t be, these should be sweet & yummy & eaten with cream & meringues and are deliciously sweet!! At this point i went to look at the flavour wheel and yes there they were – Blueberries and Raspberriess  tucked in between Cranberrys & Blackcurrants – at last I’ve found you!

Although I must admit that I couldn’t actually identify the blueberries as a flavour but I was able to find the ‘Berry Fruits’ notes ……or maybe that idea was put in my head!!

Although these  fruit flavours can be present in the cup, it is  very easy to have swallowed a mouthful of coffee whilst chatting with a friend or looking at a screen and  you have missed it! It may be that you want an all round good mouthfeel with flavours that YOU like and asscociate with a good cup of coffee. As it is coming down to personal preference we are lucky to have such a wide choice of coffees made available through independent coffee shops and even the supermarkets are becoming receptive to the smaller roasters.

I hope now, that Coffee Lables and Menus will make a little more sense to you and you will feel confident to begin  really tasting what is in your cup.   If this has awakened your desire to become more knowledgeable there are plenty of resources and courses available. Just one last little reminder – the barrista is instrumental in the final stages and a potentially good flavoursome  brew can be ruined! Hey Hoy the joys of coffee geekery!!

TOP TIPS

I couldn’t have written this article without the help from: How to make Coffee – The Science Behind The Bean By Lani Kingston The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee By J & K Freeman,T Duggan, Curious Barrista’s Guide to Coffee  By T Stephenson and The Coffee Atlas of the world By J Hoffman

The flavour tests offered by Origin Coffee, Union Coffee and Heart & Graft at The Manchester Coffee Festival 2016

Visit https://sca.coffee/  The speciality Coffee Association for a list of providers of Sensory Analysis Courses.

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THE NEW COFFEE DEN

Firstly apologies for being behind with this latest edition of The Chatterbox.  It is with good reason, we have opened our roastery to the public….and it has been the school holidays and we’ve been selling our coffee and ice cream at festivals!

Initially behind darkened windows it was merely ‘juicy gossip’ in the village as to what or who was moving into the vacant premises on Staveleys Main Street, next to the Spar Shop. It took 4 weeks of hard graft to transform the old Starlys Spice shop into Mr Duffins Coffee Den.

Why the move? Well, we wanted to ‘Shout Out’ about our coffee, spill the beans and share the love of coffee! Also the Giesen coffee roaster is a fine piece of equipment and deserves to be on show. The thought of moving  it was a little stressful but once underway it went very smoothly – thanks to some helping hands. Just the other day  a Dutch customer  who was resting whilst walking The Dales Way couldn’t resist commenting on the quality of the machine and also correcting my pronunciation of ‘Giesen’!

This was an ideal  opportunity for us  to offer the coffee for sale whilst we are on hand roasting and packing. And of course it provides an outlet for my cooking and crafting projects.

The premises are warm and inviting, once inside it’s easy to relax and while away the day – watching the roaster in action or the village life passing by. The décor is a combination of industrial and up-cycled with a professional finish! As we have had so many compliments about the finished look it is only fair to give credit to those responsible – Andy Smith – Special Spaces, Gary Naylor – Staveley – Electrician, Lee Anderson – Joiner, Simeon Noble –  Staveley Gas Services, Linda Anderson – Interiors, Chris Nelson –  CN Metals, Mike  – Ormrod Signs and David & Jason the Mill Yard Handy Men.

 

Given that the village already has plenty of eaterys we are sticking by our ethos of being a Coffee Roastery with a piece of cake! For the time being I’m sharing the baking amongst the locals  – Sarah  – Thelma the Tiny Tea Room, Cumbrian Artisan and myself.

Ahh yes the aprons – never has an apron been so much admired! These are the handywork of Martin @  Slow Loris Textiles. Made from hemp they wear beautifully and the finishing touch of the embroidered logo was thanks to Gillian Hartley –  design@belleandgrace.co.uk

And so to the coffee, Mr Duffin now has the opportunity to roast all the single origins and  share  his enthusiasm with the customers. These have been very well received as people are loving the opportunity to try a new variety. Currently, while we get established and adjust to our new working space we are offering coffee made on the espresso machine. However there are plans to offer other brewing methods and probably some fun evenings of tasting and slurping!

CAFFIENE COOKS

I found this recipe in Elizabeth Davids ‘Italian Food’ and thought it sounded pretty yummy and worth a try. It’s certainly very quick and easy to prepare.  At the time I didn’t have a sieve to hand and thought it wouldn’t matter, however I was left with a few white lumps which were not pretty but did not effect the flavour!!

Ricotta al Caffe – Cream Cheese with Coffee serves 4 people

8 – 10 oz Ricotta ( or cream cheese )                                                                                                             

Ricotta Coffee Pots - from Elizabeth David Italian Cookery
  Ricotta Coffee Pots – from Elizabeth David Italian Cooks

4 – 60z castor sugar

2 – 4 dspn freshly roasted coffee, very  finely ground       

2 oz rum

Sieve the cheese, Add sugar, coffee and rum. Stir until smooth and thick. Put into small pots and put in fridge to set. Make 2 hours before serving to allow coffee flavours to develop. Keep in fridge. Serve with fresh cream and thin wafer biscuits.

Or in our case eat straight from the pot!

 

PLANT LIFE

Based on the amount of new growth the Coffee plants continue to thrive well in the bathroom. I have removed the plastic cover during the summer months. There appears to be a few brown tips on some of the leaves, is this an indication of ‘not thriving’? I shall just have to wait and see if the whole leave turns brown and dies.

 

CRAFT CORNER

Keeping with the 101 uses of a coffee sack theme, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to wall paper the toilet! It needed a make over and here it is!

Having never wall papered before it was a messy experience and my only tip is that I needed plenty of paste and a large brush. I couldn’t resist getting the sewing machine out and creating a couple of pictures to decorate the doors.

TRIVIA

It takes 5 years for a coffee tree to reach full maturity, although it may flower from 3 years and can live up to 100 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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London Coffee Festival 2016

I set off to the London Coffee Festival with slightly reluctant feet – unsure of what to expect and how I was going to cope drinking all those coffees!
Guess what? I skipped home high on the buzz and vibe from the coffee world …. actually I fell asleep on the train!!

It was a fantastic opportunity to see a wealth of coffee related products and meet enthusiastic people who love what they do. I need not have fretted, all of my extracurricular interests were covered – plants, craft, cooking and a little bit of trivia – thanks to
www.grumpymule.co.uk

Mr Duffin and I did have a “Work agenda” – certain items had to be sourced for our customers; Tea – we liked fellow Northerners www.brewteacompany.co.uk and Hot Chocolate www.Kokoacollection.co.uk and www.Cocoarunners.com. But in between we were free to sample all the wares on show.

I actually began the day with a Japanese Green Tea from www.Ochaandco.com, it was rich green in colour with full flavour, quite different from previous China Green Tea experiences.

My stomach was now prepared for the onslaught of caffeine – we managed to share 16 espressos between us during the day. Some from our favourite, familiar and experienced roasters where it’s good to chat and exchange views. Mr Duffin likes to check that he is ‘Roasting Right’ and knows what he’s aiming for.

Whilst chatting with Henrik at www.Climpsonandsons.com my eyes were drawn to the Coffee plants that adorned the stand. I was hoping that Henrik would be a fellow green fingered enthusiast who could give me a few tips on successful coffee plant rearing ……but alas he confessed that this was the ‘2nd lot’ of plants that had been bought ….after the “1st Lot had sadly died. I felt rather smug about my success in ‘Kew Bathrooms’ – see earlier post in The Chatterbox.

Mr Duffin was drawn to www.AltWien.at an Austrian roaster based in Vienna. The incentive being that his brother has a hotel          www.Chesa-Lavadina.at in the Austrian ski resort of Stuben Am Alberg. I noticed that their roaster was wearing a flat cap made from an up-cycled coffee sack …. that’s one for my ‘to do’ list.  I also noticed they had a Sumatran 100% Robusta…..so just for the hell of it I had to try this black sheep of the coffee world ….mmmmmmmm to be honest not as bad as I was expecting but certainly couldn’t manage a full cup…..not without 6 sugars and full fat milk!!

By now my mouth and stomach needed refreshing – thank goodness for www.Karmacola.co.uk and their ‘drink no evil’ range of soft drinks. Also picked up a couple of pressies for the kids.

 

The queues for food were just way too long, sooooo we took the opportunity to nip outside and walk down Brick Lane and into ‘Dosa World’ for a quick Indian snack – I know it’s not coffee related or a super raw food but it was veggie and utterly delicious!

After that all I needed was a ‘Chai Latte’ and there were plenty to choose from, each one with it’s own little twist…www.pranachai.com

Our stomachs suitably lined it was time to hit the hard stuff – Mr Blacks Cold Press Coffee liqueur, wow weeeeee I loved it, great product, great brand good luck with that one guys www.mrblack.co.uk

And in keeping with the theme of coffee grounds as seen in latest post in The Chatterbox – imagine my delight when I came across some coffee cups made with used coffee grounds, have a look for yourself www.kaffeeform.com

I could go on there was so much more on offer: Baileys, Flowers, Juice, Clothing, Music, Skin Care Products, Music, Beers, Aprons, Art, Trendy Accessories and a cocktail or two – I will just have to go back again next year. Well done to Allegra Events for putting on such a fantastic display.

This post came straight ……

From the horses mouth !
From the horses mouth !
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Coffee Grounds

 

COFFEE GROUNDS

Our son Max was given a ‘Grow Your Own Mushroom Kit’ for Christmas from his Aunty. He was not impressed – he doesn’t like mushrooms!! However his parents were thrilled, having seen a T.V documentary about growing mushrooms on coffee grounds.
Max decided to embrace the growing project and set to following the instructions. It claimed on the box to be very easy and growth would be rapid……and it was. On day one after the initial soaking the first signs of growth appeared. That was it, they were off, growing before our eyes on occasions I swear I could see them moving!!

Max had the glory of harvesting the crop – rather meagre weighing in at 79 grs. Steven and I had the pleasure of eating them – rather disappointing. They resembled over cooked squid or for those of you unfamiliar with the typical deep fried Spanish dish an elastic band would substitute nicely!!
I have since done a little research to pursue this idea further. It would appear to be a fairly common project as the mushroom spores are readily available to buy and there are plenty of used coffee grounds to be had. I did read that one grower claimed the mushrooms tasted of bacon when cooked for a long period of time ….. mmmmm now that sounds promising.

 

I also discovered quite a few other uses for coffee grounds used and fresh – around the house, in the garden and for body care. I will share my favourites, you can ‘Google’ more yourself if interested.
GARDEN – Hydrangeas, will give bright blue flowers when grounds added to compost of dead leaves and grass, sprinkled around the base of plant.
HOUSE – Fresh coffee grounds are odour eaters – make your own air freshener using nylon tights; hang in the car, place in shoes or put in a dish and place in fridge.
BODY – wet used grounds will remove hair products residue, massage into hair before shampooing. ALSO a flea repellent for dogs and cats, massage into coat after shampooing then rinse off……..Just a thought wonder if it works for head lice ??
CRAFT – as a water colour paint, lovely sepia effect.

CAFFEINE COOKS
Keeping with the theme of Coffee Grounds …… Try these ‘Buzz Bites’

1 cup oatmeal – I ground porridge oats     1/2 cup ground flax seed      1 dessertspoon ground fine coffee

1/2 cup peanut butter       1/2 cup honey or agarve

1/2 cup grated choc        1/2 cup chopped cranberries     1/2 cup coconut

Buzz Bites

 

STIR – oatmeal, flax seed & coffee grounds together. ADD – peanut butter & honey. COMBINE – Choc Chips & Cranberries. CHILL – for 20 mins in fridge. ROLL – into balls & store airtight container.
Kids not keen on these!!

PLANT WATCH
The coffee plants have become a permanent feature in the bathroom! This is the only place in the house that is vaguely close to ideal growing conditions. Firstly they needed a water filled pebble tray to help with humidity, fortunately in the village there is a garden nursery ‘Inglefield Speciality Plants’, who were able to provide me with some replica volcanic rock. They also gave me compost and suggested re -potting as there are 10/12 well developed seedlings in each pot. The plants should be positioned in bright light, free from draughts (I felt the plastic bag would help) and temperature not less than 18 degrees. We have turned the under floor heating up to 22degrees – much to the kids delight!!

 

                   

Some of the plants have signs of new growth – others have leaves that have become discoloured and dropped off …….oh dear!!
Fancy growing your own – check out www.edenproject.com & www.notonthehighstreet.com

 

CRAFT CORNER
No 5 up – cycled coffee sack is a ‘Runner’ to protect the top of the piano. It’s lined with fleece on the underside, nice and soft! I wanted to decorate it with ribbons & buttons even some embroidery!

 

 

 

TRIVIA
Why are coffee grounds like kids ?
Because they are always getting grounded!!