Bonaverde Berlin Home Green Bean Roaster

Watch TGITC's Video Review on the

Bonaverde-Berlin home roaster!


Roast  |  Grind  |  Brew

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Originally this Bonaverde-Berlin green bean to cup roasting machine was a product of kickstarter which to me is a huge indicator that people are interested in roasting green coffee beans at home.

Interest in roasting beans has become so popular over the past few years, taken up by baristas and enthusiasts alike. Some try popcorn makers, in a saucepan, build DIY roasters (as seen on Jamie & Jimmy's Friday night feast). There’s a kind of romance that comes with the idea of roasting coffee – the solitude, the concentration, the reward of roasting delicate beans that will eventually be made into a delicious brew that we all crave and enjoy everyday. It seems to me almost cathartic!

I actually visited Bonaverde in Berlin recently where I met their lovely team and Kike Morales - who is head of Roasting, and a lively and passionate guy! This is where they do all their testing, roasting and demos. They have been working on this for quite some time, and there is a decent number of these being used in peoples homes already.  Kike took me through how to use it and I was able to trouble shoot him questions I thought other coffee professionals, and enthusiasts might have – which will hopefully be answered throughout this blog,

Initially I was sceptical about roasting your own small batch of coffee at home, but as you know, I don’t like to comment until I’ve actually experienced something myself, so I got one for myself to try at home!

Even though I have my own beans available online (here) and I’m very involved in the process of tasting, sampling and choosing the coffees, I have only roasted on a commercial roaster a few times - but that is enough insight to show me how in-depth and specialised it can be!  It’s really important to me that I work with talented roasters who know what they’re doing and can produce the types high quality coffee that I want. Through my experience, I have realised, it’s a highly intuitive process to roast beans with skill and precision; sourcing, tasting and of course roasting.  In my case Dumo Mathema from The Roastery Department does an amazing job on The Girl in the Café Beans.

For those unfamiliar to the actual roasting process, I’ll briefly recap here. One of my first blogs was on the process of roasting coffee (featuring my friend and brilliant roaster Phil Sung). The bean and air temperature are measured against a profile, which is predetermined based on previous sample tests that a Roaster has done (in this case, Bonaverde-Berlin). They will pre-test time, heat, bean type and origin. In a commercial roastery, this is usually closely tracked on a time and heat continuum and attentively adjusted by dials on a computer that controls the temperature of the Roaster. Partly intuitive, it needs constant tracking and attention and quite a bit of focus from the roaster. But here, with the Bonaverde-Berlin, everything is pre-set and controlled by the time it gets to you with this machine.

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Green beans must go through two phases when roasting; Maillard and Caramelisation. The first is the reaction between protein (amino acids) and sugar particles and the second being the browning of sugars. I often use this example, that if you’re a Sunday roast fan or have a sweet tooth, it’s really similar to the process of roasting meat or baking a cake and necessary to develop flavour, so the heat must be controlled over time, and depending on the amount of coffee you're roasting. 

However, don’t let this put you off roasting your own beans with a Bonaverde-Berlin! In fact this is why I actually think that this Bonaverde-Berlin machine is great, because you really don’t need to know much about how to roast coffee at all (other than you like it fresh!), because Bonaverde-Berlin has done it all for you!

It is very easy to use:

After plugging the machine in, you empty the green beans into the glass tray, scan the barcode (RFID chip) attached to the pouch that the green beans are sealed in, and press go!

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You can actually use the pouch as a filter paper, but the filter cone fits a Melita paper filter which I preferred to use (make sure you rinse it first).

The bar code attached to the green beans programs the machine to roast the beans to a specific profile. So for different beans Bonaverde-Berlin supply, they will have different profiles for different origins and processed green beans.

The dish lights up like rocket ready to launch and it’s all a bit dramatic and exciting!

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From there it takes approximately 10-15 minutes to roast and immediately afterwards it will be dropped into a grinder and automatically made into filter coffee. So you can go have a shower and come back to a hot fresh brew!!

It’s actually quite nifty and cleverly compact. On the left-hand side you can fill it with water. Each pouch is about 45 grams, so I would put 600-750ml water in. It also means you can't roast large batches. On the right-hand side of the Bonaverde, there is a vent that catches all the husks and gives the roaster ventilation. This is easily cleaned out as well, and contains the mess of fly-away coffee husks.

One concern I had was that I tend to enjoy coffee that has been aged for a few days to give the coffee a more settled quality. Roasted beans oxidise and release CO2, so if it’s too fresh it can taste a little acidic or ‘bright’ for me. But usually this is more evident in espresso coffee where you have much higher pressures and temperature. In fact I would say it's essential to age beans for espresso. However, for filter, it's not as necessary.  SCAA recommend cupping coffee from between 8-24hours so if you do want to age your coffee beans, you and Bonaverde-Berlin can be connected by Facebook messenger app where you are able to program the roaster to stop immediately after the roast and take it out of the drum or pause for a period of time  – I was naughty and just pulled the plug out!! (probably don’t do that!).  So technically you should be able to stock pile your own mini-roasts for however long you’d like to age them for! I like this idea. It’s always good to be fresh, but not too fresh!  But it actually still tasted pretty good going straight to cup. 

There are lots of things you can do with Messenger App other than operate the machine. Things like ask questions concerning origins, roasting profiles, tastes and order coffee.

This is a great prelude into the technology we can look forward to seeing from Bonaverde-Berlin. Apparently they are currently working on some products that would make the roast-grind-brew experience even better, but we’ll know more about that in spring!

Consumers generally don't have ready access to small amounts of green beans, so it makes sense to be able to easily order green bean pouches from Bonaverde-Berln who trade directly with farmers. Their coffee is fair trade and they are planning to expand trade to offer a wider variety of coffee and profiles to choose from.

I think this is a great machine for people who are perhaps in a more rural setting or hard to get to homes, who don't have ready access to good cafes and specialty coffee. I keep imagining it in  a remote holiday home, because green beans keep longer than roasted beans, so you could come in and roast your beans for the holiday break.

But generally, if you’re into a machine that roasts and brews coffee at home all at the same time, without having to know too much technical background, then this is a good machine to compliment your coffee habit! 

I think it's affordable at around £700!

To find out more, get in touch with them here

Also, Bonaverde-Berlin are part of The Consumer Electronics show from Jan 9th - 12th in Las Vegas, so if you're in Las Vegas (hey, its still holidays for some people) you can check the machine out here (booth 51431).

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Trinity One 3 in 1 Brewer review

Coming from the other side of the world (New Zealand), I tend to be interested in innovative new products that get exported over here and for a while now, I’ve had my eye on the Trinity One that was designed by Mark Folker in Brisbane, Australia (still the southern hemisphere…) and I’ve wondered where to get it from in the UK.  A while back I saw them on kickstarter, and they obviously they got a good response!

Joyfully I found out Coffee Hit here in the UK are now distributing them, so I got my barista hands on an early edition to preview and review for you!

The Trinity One (I’ll shorten it to just ‘Trinity’ in this blog) is essentially a 3-in-1 filter coffee brewer, that looks reminiscent of an ‘espresso’ machine because it comes with a ‘portafilter’ handle, which is pretty cool. It triples as a pour over V60/chemex brewer, Press Brewer (like an Aeropress), and small batch cold brewer (see end of blog for quick easy recipe).

The portafilter handle has a few functions, so it’s not just for a cool look! When you turn the handle left or right, it actually opens and closes a valve, which holds or releases brewed coffee through into your vessel. How the Trinity works is that you put your coffee in the chamber and pour hot water in either using the pour over method, or like an aeropress, fill the chamber with hot water, initially making sure the porterfilter valve is closed to first saturate the coffee and water. Then using the Trinity T-shaped 2.25kg weight to ‘press’ the water through, open the valve and it will press automatically.

The T-shaped (3kg) weight is actually what I think makes this brewer unique and innovative because it forms an airtight seal against the chamber wall allowing an even, clean press, every time.  Which means a more consistent brew!  Even though I really love the Aeropress, sometimes I have to really press hard on it and I’ve had a couple where the rubber seal has gone sticky for some reason ( I think I left it in the sun…). But with this Trinity, I don’t even need to touch it, because of physics, it automatically presses the coffee through into my cup (or jug)!

And while we’re on the geeky-train, the metal frame of the Trinity is made of powder coated matte-black carbon steel, which makes it durable – and I know how cycle geeks love a bit of carbon steel! Ha!

At first I was unsure as to how to measure the water, but there is a line in the clear chamber which measures to about 250ml, perfect for one cup. If you want a stronger or weaker brew, you can amend your dose or fill above or below the line. Also the chamber is made of really durable BPA-free plastic so it can withstand high pressure and temperature, and doesn't give you any nastys - better than glass!

When you’re finished with the brew, just twist the porter filter out - similar to as you would on an espresso machine. The T-shaped weight actually pushes down on a detachable ‘n-cap’ which pops off when you take the handle out. The coffee puck will be neatly packed in the handle for you to take away and discard. It is brilliantly clean! I was super surprised with how clean the chamber is after brewing, so the clean up is minimal! I literally just wiped the bottom of the chamber and threw the grinds out. Done.

What I think is great about this brewer is that you can, not only consolidate all your coffee paraphernalia into one brewer, but it also looks slick as heck. The bamboo finish is a classy touch too. I guarantee if you have a friends over for dinner, it’ll be a topic of conversation because it has a really dramatic and theatrical quality about it, you can't help but ask what this beauty does! Likewise if you’re a café owner and thinking of having a brew bar, this is a great way to visually let your customers know about your filter coffee as well as offer really consistent and tasty brews.  You could even have 2 or 3 set up for different origins or brew methods because the cone shaped opening at the top fits a Hario V60 (02) and Chemex filter paper perfectly.  Again, your customers will be wanting to try a brew from this!

If you're interested, check the Trinity One out here at Coffee Hit (UK).

Extra Notes:

To make coldbrew in the Trinity, just put 40 grams of coffee in the chamber, and fill it with cold filtered water. Be sure to check the valve is closed. Then leave for 4-6 hours and open the valve to release your brew! 

Cold Brew - What is it? and my top four recommendations

COLD BREW

Coffee on its own has come along way over the past ten or 15 years and so too has cold brew. Right in the heart of summer (and yes, London is actually having a summer this year) Cold brew is not only coffee-of-the-moment, but it might actually be here to stay. Here’s why: it’s refreshing, portable and delicious (providing it’s made well)!

I remember about 8 years ago when I was working at Flatwhite (one of London’s original artisan cafés in Soho who paved the way for the industry) bought a delicate Hario slow dripper. It was placed on a high shelf that no one could reach nor did anyone dare to touch it for fear of breaking such a beautiful but “complicated” piece of equipment.  There was zero room to move in the cafe as it was. But the cold brew wasn’t very popular and it was never really encouraged either, because no one knew anything about cold brew.

Fast forward to now, and there are so many cold brews available. Take it to the gym or to a picnic, or mix it in a cocktail... Some cafes make their own very tasty cold brew and sell it at their individual shops and some have expanded it on a larger scale as a new line of product offering. I'm going to tell you which ones of these are consistently good. 

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If you are to know anything about cold brew, you must know that it actually takes quite some time to prepare.  Brewing coffee in cold or room-temperature water gives a different quality to the flavour because it is less soluble than brewing in hot water. So by increasing the time at which you are “extracting” or “brewing”, you can maximise the solubility of the coffee grounds.

When you extract coffee using hot water, it oxidises and degrades much more and faster. So when using a cold brew method, which is slow, you’ll often find that acidity and bitterness is also very low.

There are two main methods people usually use. One is the “Toddy” System, where coffee is steeped in water for a long period of time. But if left too long, it reminds me of leaving a teabag in the water for ages and sometimes you can get that dry, tannin taste in your mouth. But as long as it’s filtered well it can be really delicious.  Sandows London Cold Brew has an excellent, effective (but secret) filtration system. There’s an art to that too! (An interview with them at the top of this page or via thegirlinthecafe.co.uk). Sandows London has just released a canned nitro cold brew which is debuting today at Netil Market so get out, work up a sweat and go check it out! 

For enquires about this bespoke copper dripper, direct message me and I will pass on contact details & approximate price.

For enquires about this bespoke copper dripper, direct message me and I will pass on contact details & approximate price.

In my experience of making it professionally for over 4 years in cafes, slow drip coffee tastes really delicate with many filtering processes and you can have quite a bit of control over the strength through dose and brew time. I had a beautiful bespoke cold drip coffee maker made for me, which I love, however generally slow drip cold brew is time consuming and the problem is that you don’t get a high enough yield to make it scalable, unless you have multiple devices going at the same time (like San Francisco’s Bluebottle Cafes).

For variety here are FOUR interesting and reliable cold brews you can buy ready-made I would recommend;

 

 

SANDOWS COLD BREW

Sandows were the first in the UK to really get cold brew on the map. When cafes were starting to produce cold brew in small amounts, Sandows was the first to really scale it up – with the help of an unprecedented large crowd-funded backing. Their bottle, branding and ethos is sleek and their product is always high quality and consistently tasty. Not only available in indie cafes, but also now at M&S – Making high-quality, fresh cold brew truly accessible. It's great in a G&T too...

Sandows also have a nitro version in selected cafés around London (Grind cafes) where Nitrogen is pumped into the cold brew replacing oxygen making it look more like a Guinness beer, than a glass of coffee. This has probably been the most innovative and dynamic addition to the cold brew and coffee market so far!

Around £3 per 200ml bottle (they also do a cool give box with two bottles which ships worldwide now). www.sandows.com

 

HER CONCENTRATED COLD BREW

For something stronger I’ve been drinking HER Concentrated cold brew. The ratio is 1 part coffee to 2 parts water, which can be hot or cold. This is novel and probably for the ultra efficient (read lazy), people on-the-go, or even offices and I love it. I’ve been using it in my baking, trying it with Ugly drinks (naturally flavoured sparkling water), or over ice or over ice cream - my favourite! It’s a perfect little surprise for after dinner desert or a hot day treat. For an affogato you need a very concentrated brew for it to mimic that of an espresso, and this works well. Plus I really like the dark, medicinal look of the glass bottle – if you like your fridge to look like an Aesop counter, this is for you. Another little trick I like to do is freeze them in cubes and add them to my Negroni... bring on summer! They're available from HER Haggerston and now Selfridges! 

120ml (makes approx. 2 coffees) £4.50
480ml (makes approx. 8 coffees) £12.00

her-haggerston.com

 

MINOR FIGURES

For a longer lasting shelf life cold-brew by Minor Figures is great. It means you can always have a couple in the fridge like I do for spontaneous picnic days, or one to grab and stash it in your gym bag. They’re presented in a Tetra Pak not glass, so they’re compact and light. I love the colours in their packaging. There’s a good selection of flavours that aren’t only black. They have just released their own canned cold brew nitro that is very good and for non-coffee drinkers new organic masala chai sounds OH YEAH...! "Don't make coffee"... Let them do it! 

Available from many specialty coffee shops and health food shops like Planet Organic.

250ml around £2.50

dontmakecoffee.com

 

BOLD-BREW COLD BREW

Bold-brew cold brew is made from green beans that have been aged in a bourbon barrel. Taking on the subtle flavours of the barrel-aged cask, the beans are then roasted specifically by The Roastery Department, to be made into cold brew. It’s really quite incredible and lives up to it's BOLD name. The smell and the taste is intoxicating, but rest assured, its non-alcoholic! This should be a regular Friday morning treat to get the office teams going!

Stay tuned for their new coffee liqueur coming out soon called Hundred Fifty Lbs - I'll report back here soon soon! 

Available exclusively at the Department of Coffee & Social Affairs cafés around London and the UK.

£12.50 750ml Glass Bottles.

 

 

 

Originally posted by CELESTE WONG for Lovecoffee.com

Espresso Tips (and a video on How to make a good Flat White)

Watch Video Below (and Subscribe)

What IS a flatwhite? 

Flatwhites are made with a double espresso in a 5-5.5oz cup with heated textured milk. The origin is debatable whether it's from NZ or Australia... but since Australia claims most good things and I'm a kiwi, can we side with my country this time on this gem please?!  

The milk should be smooth, creamy and have s velvety texture. The milk should be thinner than a latte and "flatter" in head volume.

A flatwhite should be a short, strong tasting coffee with milk. Thats why its so good! 

Espresso TIPS

  • Use good quality specialty coffee beans – often found at a good independent café (or you can order some from my online shop here)
  • Your grind should be fine, more like fine sand than a powder (Turkish)
  • Your coffee should look dark, thick in consistency and trail down like a mousetail (thick at the top and taper down).
  • Espresso should extract at an even speed – not too fast, not too slow
  • When your espresso starts to look thinner and more watery, “blonde” (a lighter browny/yellow) or starts to “pulse”, wait a second or two and switch the water flow off.

You want your espresso to have a balanced taste and flavour. 

Recipe guide

  • 18-20g Ground Coffee in (I use these scales)
  • 30g liquid coffee out
  • 25-30seconds

Like all recipes this is a guide only. The biggest problem when your espresso isn't extracting well, is the grind size. Especially at home, many people don't realise their grind is still far too coarse. I would suggest grinding your coffee finer than you would normally think to, if not just to see what happens. Invest in a good espresso grinder (quite different to a filter grinder). 

If your grind is very fine, and is running very slow, then you have two options:

  1. Lower your dose (don't put so much in the porterfilter)
  2. Or slightly coarsen your grind

Do the opposite of this if your espresso is running too quickly.  Only do one of these two options at a time so you can see what difference it makes. 

Milk TIPs:

My next blog...

Cafflano Klassic Review | How to use it

It's easier if I SHOW you... so check out my video for all its features and how to use it:  HERE  

If you want to try it out, Cafflano have given me a code for FREE POSTAGE when you order online, just enter TGITCbrews at checkout, until end of May!  www.cafflano.co.uk/cafflano-klassic/


Recently I went home to NZ for a month and I originally packed my Hario mini-mill hand grinder and Aeropress - but at the last minute I took them out and got a Cafflano Klassic, which is an ALL IN ONE pourover filter maker!

It is a grinder, filter, pourer and cup in ONE piece of equipment that neatly screws together so you don't have to take multiple pieces of equipment or filter papers with you. 

The grinder is easily adjustable and made from ceramic conical burrs with gives a more consistent grind and doesn't blunt as easily. You can adjust your grinder to suit other brewing methods - like If you're away from home and there happens to be a cafetiere at the Air BnB or place you're staying in! 

I wouldn't use it as a regular grinder for everyday home use, because it's a little large for my wee hands to use all the time. But for a few days or while I'm away from my regular set up, this is a total luxury!

It's great for travelling, especially if you might not be near good cafes or coffee. You can take it camping or on cycling tours or even bring it on the plane so you don't have to have horrible aeroplane coffee! (Cafflano only weighs about 470g) I even used it on the beach! 

If you're away for a short trip, and you already have coffee beans at home, you can take them with you and even store them in the bottom compartment of the Cafflano (there's space!).

I'm taking it away with me to Lake Como this weekend incase I can't find any good coffee - which means I'll be saving my money on buying crappy coffee and its guaranteed my morning cuppa is gonna be decent. 

If you want to try it out, Cafflano have given me a code for FREE postage(!) when you order online, just enter TGITCbrews at checkout (until end of May)   www.cafflano.co.uk/cafflano-klassic/

The Cafflano Klassic includes:

  • 270ml drip pouring kettle
  • Ceramic conical burr grinder
  • Etched stainless steel filter dripper
  • Dual-wall insulated cup

HOT TIP:

Take a scoop away with you and store it in the bottom of the Cafflano - that way your dose in and out will be pretty accurate & no need for scales!

Here are some LINKS below to products I've mentioned, if you want to check them out:

Hario Buono Temperature controlled Kettle

VIDEO REVIEW


25% OFF HARIO Products: 

Use this code LCF2017 at checkout. 

Only Until Midnight April 12th

Water temperature is very important when brewing coffee because it affects how your coffee dissolves and ultimately the tastes. If your water is too hot or too cold it can cause your coffee to taste bitter, sour or flat.

I’ve been using the Hario buono kettle for a few years now, and I love it, so when I heard they were coming out with a temperature controlled kettle I was super excited. It’s something I’ve wanted for quite some time.

After testing and using this new Hario Buono Electric Kettle for a couple of months now, I wouldn’t really want to use anything else. It has made my brewing routine so much more convenient and accurate because it saves me waiting for my boiled water to cool down, or using a hob or kitchen kettle to transfer my heated water into a regular gooseneck kettle. The electric buono temperature controlled kettle requires almost no monitoring or double handling and you don’t need to use a thermometer spike anymore!

It essentially has three steps, so it’s really simple to use:

  1. Press "power on" button
  2. Use “up” and “down” arrows to set desired temperature
  3. Press “Keep-Warm” button

The discrete digital screen is really clear showing the temperature, alternating between the current temperature and the desired temperature it is set to (see video vlog review above).

Even though your can set your desired temperature, I generally boil my water first. So my routine for using this electric kettle has one more added step than you might choose. My mother was born in poverty stricken China where water was fetched from dirty water wells, so when she came to New Zealand as a teenager (where I was born) she was very particular about water and the impurities that might be in it. Even though the waters in NZ are some of the clearest and cleanest in the world, there were still problems like giardia in some parts, and even if it’s treated so that it’s safe to drink, you can still taste the chemicals used to clean it.

It was very important growing up to bring any water to be drunk to the boil… I think I inherited this “habit”…So to keep my conscience clear (and my mother happy), I do, boil that water first. But you don’t have to!

Luckily, the time that it takes for the water to boil, also gives you time to prepare by weighing out and grinding your coffee. Then using fresh off the boil water, I rinse my filter paper and set the kettle to my desired temperature by pressing the “keep warm” button. Water will have cooled down by then and the kettle will regulate the water automatically.

The kettle will “beep” a few times to let you know it has reached the desired set temperature.

Pressing the “up” arrow will automatically take you to 93 degrees. When you get to 96 degrees (maximum setting) and press “up” button again, it will take you back to 60 degrees. Likewise if you were at 60 degrees and pressed “down” you’d be back at 96 degrees. This is great because it cuts out button-pushing time but also allows you to set your water to a lower temperature if you use the kettle for teas too (60-96 degree range).

I think this kettle is a perfect volume too (0.8L).  It is enough to rinse your filter paper and then do a 2 cup pour-over, with out refilling, while still feeling light enough to lift  and operate, which aids with pouring.

Other kettles are often clunky or heavy to handle. I have tried other electric gooseneck kettles and regular kettles with a gooseneck spout and while they are all quite sufficient, there is something really unique about the design of the Hario Kettle spout. Maybe it’s the angle or the diameter of the Hario spout, which gives you more control, precision and safety.  I also find the handle really comfortable and allows my small hands to have a firm grip! The Japanese really do prove why their reputation for efficient form and function is so good.

I have seen an older version of this electric kettle, which had a flick switch instead of buttons and was apparently still good, but not temperature controlled. It took water to the boil only. I think this newer model is definitely superior as the old model seemed to have a light on one side that told you when it was boiled but if you were left handed you couldn’t have the kettle facing the other way around.

Because this newer model is 360 degrees rotatable, and all the settings are on the base which can always face outwards, it doesn’t matter which hand you are more comfortable using.

Another thing that’s handy is if you leave your kettle on afterwards, it will turn itself off if unused for a period of time. Likewise, if you turn it on to boil and there’s no water in it, it will turn itself off too! So it’s super safe.

The base is light, minimal and space efficient so it takes up little room on your bench or café counter.  The cord can be wound underneath the base to shorten so you don’t have long wires sprawled on the bench, or alternatively if you need to pack it away to transport.

I like to try keep factors the same (ie: dose, grind, temperature) and only change one thing at a time to see what makes a difference to my brew. It not only looks slick but on a practical sense it means I have more control over my brew recipe and method. All in all I’m super happy with my Buono Kettle, and I would definitely recommend it for home and café use.

Here’s a link if you want to check it out further. Here 

Ps: If you have the original Buono kettle, don't worry, I checked out Hario's site, and they seperately sell a lid with a temperature controlled spike built into it. But if you're like me, I'd opt for both - one for home and one for travel or camping! 

 

TGITC V60 Simple Brew Recipe:

  • 18g coffee
  • 250ml hot water (94 degrees)
  • 3 minutes

Rinse your filter paper. Then grind coffee into the cone and slowly pour hot water in a circular motion into the coffee. The coffee will bloom, and when it starts to drop, keep topping it up with water until 250mls of water has passed through. It should take approximately 3 minutes to complete. 

Relax & Enjoy...

Also check out the TGITC online store for lots of great coffee products here. 

 

"COFFEE BLOOM" Greeting & Gift Cards

"COFFEE BLOOM"

I’m so excited to release this exclusive TGITC in collaboration with MR Studio London!

** “Coffee Bloom” Definition: “The bloom is the part of the coffee brewing process in which the gasses from the coffee are released as the water hits the grinds. It causes the grinds to grow & rise. The CO2 that is inside the bean is purged out and replaced with the water and begins the brewing/extraction process.” [from The Roasters Pack blog ]

I’ve known MR Studio for about a year now. I met them by making coffee for them at my pop up café in Leytonstone last year so naturally our mutual love for coffee made us instant friends, plus I became a fan of their work ever since I first laid my eyes on it! They have been producing amazing, unique work since about 2012 and work on both private commissions and larger commercial projects too.  You need to check them out (and their cute cat 'Chicken").

I have often looked for a blank greeting card to give to one coffee lover from another - that isn’t a cartoon with something referring to "decaf". I wanted something beautiful and I love a clever word play, so it made sense to us to collaborate and work together on something a little special and different. The result? This beautiful “Coffee Bloom” blank gift card. 

These blank cards are prints made from dried and pressed flora, fauna and foliage that MR Studio has personally cultivated and/or foraged for in the wilderness. That is why there is such a vast range of species in their work - some you'll have never heard of or seen before. Their art and designs are so intricate and delicate, yet almost dream-like.

Available exclusively from The Girl in the Café webshop, it’s perfect to go with any coffee related gift this Christmas or just on its own for someone who appreciates coffee and the beauty of flowers.  

MR Studio currently have a Market Stand this weekend at the Christmas Makers Market, East Village. It's the LAST weekend to go, so go check it out all their other beautiful cards, prints and gifts. Such beautiful and unique xmas presents and cards for this Xmas.

Christmas Makers Market
6-9 West Park Walk
East Villiage
E20 1DL

Copenhagen Stories

Copenhagen Stories

By Celeste Wong

From

The Girl in the Café

For years I’ve wanted to visit my Danish friend in Copenhagen – so off I set.  Unfortunately Roar was working a lot while I was there, but I’m glad we got to hang out a bit and it was great to have a local to help suggest places for me to visit.

I actually get anxious when I know I’m about to get on a plane (not because of the actual flying itself) – but I suffer from the fear of not being able to pack everything I think I might need in my suitcase! Luckily this time I packed a couple of extra hoodies into my beautiful and roomy luggage (thanks Eastpak!) because Copenhagen turned out to be a lot chillier than I anticipated. 

I’m a bit in-love with my bright juicy-red apple Tranzshell (by Eastpak) because of its shape and colour. It’s always a relief to see it roll out on baggage claim.  So it appears, my anxiety is becoming less and less…

One thing that surprised me about Copenhagen was the fact that you can practically walk everywhere. It’s amazing. No wonder everyone cycles, because it’s flat with designated cycle lanes that are so clear and safe – unlike London (You can hire them everywhere). Though, I decided to walk instead of cycle so I could really take in the sights at my own leisure. 

I was impressed by the variety of cafes and restaurants there. Obviously expectations were high, being the home of NOMA (a restaurant I am still dying to go to). But fortunately there are plenty of great alternatives.  Manfreds is one restaurant that I had been told by so many people to go to, so how could I not? It’s the alternative to Relae (across the road) which is the more fancy and expensive version. But Manfreds was perfect for me and probably more my style. After a long day of coffee and sight seeing, I treated myself to a 7 course chef’s selection so I could try a bit of everything. Expecting the dishes to be small, I feared I might still be hungry after – but I wasn’t. It was fantastic. All the dishes were interesting and varied. I’d highly recommend a visit (the steak tartar is a favourite there too).

Meyers Bagleri (Jaggersborgard) also lived up to its reputation for their famous cinnamon rolls (the bread version, not the pastry) which are to die for.  I made the most of this place, eating one almost every day, strolling through the close by autumnal Assistens Cemetery with a coffee in hand of course. The cinnamon rolls are soft and substantial, yet not too heavy and the cinnamon is tasty but not overpowering nor too sweet. Perfection.

Coffee

The Coffee Collective Jaegersborggade

The Coffee Collective Jaegersborggade

Despite Denmark’s coffee consumption per capita declining, coffee culture in Copenhagen is definitely growing, Like their neighbours in Berlin, people tend to sit in and take time to drink their coffees but it seems the takeaway trade is getting a little more popular here.

I’ve been wanting to visit The Coffee Collective café for a long time and it's probably the most reputable café/roaster in Denmark. It’s long standing quality reputation in London didn’t disappoint. I visited all three sites; Their original café on Jaegersborggade, is tiny and very lo-fi. Charmingly low-key, it’s like walking into someone’s house or kitchen. Their second café in Torvehalle is very slick with dark wood, glass, and silver equipment that suits the busy nature of being in a famous indoor specialty food market. It was buzzing - very much a haven for travellers wanting to get out of the cold and grab a decent coffee.  I met up with Rasmus who I met years ago at a London Coffee Festival. Even back then he fascinated me with his natural enthusiasm for coffee and killer smile. It was great to see he was still continuing his work with The Coffee Collective, overseeing all three sites. He gave me a tour of their roastery (and their newest café). Serene and sophisticated, serving a small but attractive food menu. I was not only impressed by their technology and processes but mostly impressed by their ethos and company structure. We spoke a lot about the London trends and the differences between being a barista in London and Copenhagen. I met Klaus Thomsen briefly (World Barista Champion 2006 ) who told me about their direct trade structure and about the riots in Ethiopia which are making trade dangerous for roasteries to travel to.

I particularly enjoyed Prolog Coffee Bar which is a quirky tiny coffee bar in the meatpacking district of Vester Bro, that has many other good eateries around. It’s a cool area to wander around. I really enjoyed chatting Sebastian, one of the co-owners who made me a lovely Honduras coffee, he roasted himself. Other cafes that I also enjoyed was Democratic Coffee (that retails new coffee roaster (Patrik Rolf's) April Coffee Cph), Atelier September  (frenchy chic) and Coffee Lab (Dark and cosy).  I missed 108cph because of the rain one day – but it gives me an excuse to visit again!

Louisiana (Museum of Modern Art) is about 40 minutes by train from Copenhagen city centre and is a MUST to visit. The building was incredible and overlooks the ocean. There were 3 exhibits going on inside, as well as many sculptures displayed on the picturesque grounds outside to explore with a terrific café and gift shop. My favourite exhibit was French artist Louise Bourgeois with her “Structures of Existence – The Cells”. I found her exhibition very powerful and emotive. 

Louisiana is also conveniently close to the Ferry Docks to Helsingborg (Sweden) where (the famous swedish) Koppi Café and Roasters happens to be! So I popped over to say hi. There were very few people walking around Helsingborg, but as soon as I stepped into Koppi Café it seemed as if I was magically transported into another world of warmth and vibrancy. The space is beautiful and the vibe was jolly and alive. It was kind of strange because you look outside and it’s a ghost town!

After a refreshing Coffee Tonic (a classic on their menu that was delicious) I had a long chat with Klaus (the manager there) about the realities of using technologies like the Marco SP9, different brew methods and service.

Aware that it was getting late and dark, I walked down to their new roastery in a super industrial part of town and had a blast catching up with Blazko (their head roaster) and watching him roast whilst talking about where they get their beans, their processes and plans ahead. They made me a V60 pourover with their favourite Costa Rican import then it turned quickly to beers…

If you are in Copenhagen, it’s such an easy trip to visit Koppi in Helsingborg, Sweden. You should also take a trip to Malmo from Copenhagen too, as it’s supposed to rival Stockholm for its famous scandi design asthetic aswell, Koppi have just opened a new café there this week!

The thing I love about travelling and exploring is that by seeing and talking to different people along the way, I get a really unique insight on what really goes on within a place or culture. We’re all shaped by our experiences and the more we push ourselves to learn by doing and asking, the more connected we can feel to the world and others. I’m also getting much more efficient at packing my luggage/daypack and better at navigating around foreign cities. Cant wait for the next trip - I hear there's great coffee in Prague...

Below I’ve set out a possible itinerary by area so that you not only get caffeinated by some of the best cafes Copenhagen has to offer but you also get culturally fed as well. You can see Copenhagen in around 3 to 4 days comfortably and use good cafes as a destination point to go explore the surrounding sights on the way. Enjoy! 


Nyhavn

Nyhavn

Day 1: by areas

Coffee CollectiveGodthåbsvej

Head to meat packing district Vester Bro.

Go to Democratic Coffee bar and/or Prolog coffee bar

Nyhavn to see the boats and colourful docks

Head over the new footbridge to Christiania (where Noma is)

Café 108 is there too.

Then on the way back you can visit Radhus, Tivoli Gardens (and fun park) and other food places surrounding.

Famous Assistens Cemetery

Famous Assistens Cemetery

 

Day 2: Jægersborggade

(A super cool boutique street)

The Coffee Collective (their first café)

Meyers Bageri

Grod (famous porridge café)

Manfreds and Relae are on this street

Famous Assistens Cemetery

 

Round Tower

Round Tower

3. City Centre

Torvehalle nekbh specialty food market (one building is sweet, the other is savory) – The Coffee Collective is here too.

Round Tower (about £5 to walk up to the rooftop)

Rosenberg Castle

Atelier September Café

Coffee Lab

Illum Department Store and main shops.

 

Louisiana museum - "Cells" by Louise Bougouis

Louisiana museum - "Cells" by Louise Bougouis

 

Day 4. Louisiana & Koppi Coffee

Louisiana museum of modern art (Central station to Humlebaek station)

Then 10 minutes to Helsingor Station where you can catch the 30minute ferry to Helsingborg, Sweden and visit Koppi Coffee Roasters - or do a day trip to Malmo, Sweden on the fairy to see their brand new cafe! (Plus, I hear the design & shopping there in Malmo is amazing).

The Worlds Easiest guide on How to grind coffee

How to grind coffee at home

Of course there are variations, but the easiest way to get your "perfect grind" is to turn the dial of whatever you are using to both extremes to "fine" or "course" and grind about 5 grams of beans of both extremes - just to test it out. Then you will know by seeing and doing, how your grinder actually works. This can be applied to all hand and electric grinders. It's just an interesting thing to do. As a barista, I would do this in the cafe too, if I got a new grinder. You need to see how sensitive the grinder is, and how it works. 

This is a diagram I came up with that I think most simply represents whatever grinder you are using:

Fine = Espresso Coffee                                                                                                                            

Medium = filter coffee (V60, Aeropress etc)                                                                                           

Course = Cafetiere/French Press Coffee                            

Examples of different GRINd sizes

You can see that there is a "window of variance". You should be able to change your dial in the direction of “course” or “fine” which is within the “variance” to safely fit whatever desired brew method you want. By experimenting within this 'window of variance' it should help you better gauge your grinder more quickly.

Coffee is subjective, but if you can get familiar with what coffee grind gets you to that cup that you like (within the window of variance) then you can play around with other variables (such as dosage or water volume)

Grinders I recommend & use at home

  • The Hario V60 Electric Grinder has just come out and it's awesome! It's one of the few home electric grinders at home that is simple to use, but is very accurate. You'll feel like you're a real barista at home! Check it out. I also have a product review here.  
  • Hario V60 Electric Grinder YouTube VLOG here.
  • I also use the Hario Mini Mill which I've had for years. I take it with me when I'm travelling to ensure I always have freshly ground coffee! I love its quality and accuracy. 
  • I also have the Baraza Encore electric grinder. It's very basic and simple to use. 

*To try a 250g bag of MY TGITC COFFEE BEANS click here

 

Some Tips:

  • Start with one recipe first. Then only experiment with your grind size for your first few 5 or so coffee brews. You will hit a sweet spot.
  • When making a single cup V60: once you have hit your optimum volume weight (250g-280g) try to aim for your hot water to finish draining at around 3 minutes.

EG: If you’ve poured all your hot water to reach a 280g, and its only taken you 2 minutes, then try turning your dial (1-2 clicks) slightly towards fine. Then your next brew should take slightly longer to filter. 

  • You can start playing around with dosage (amount of coffee beans in) and yield (end weight of your cup of coffee) after you have a better understanding of how to grind your coffee.
  • Make sure you regularly clean your grinders (both electric and handgrinders)

The best thing to do is have a go! Play and feel free to get in touch. 

*Exclusive handmade ceramic TGITC collab with  Studio LVU V60's

*Exclusive handmade ceramic TGITC collab with Studio LVU V60's