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! 

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:

“North East by Southwest”

AROUND THE WORLD IN 8 WEEKS

Here's what happened...

For eight weeks I curated a host of world coffees at Stone & Crow. I started in London with Alchemy Coffee Roasters (which was available throughout the duration) then I featured:


Week 1: Nomad Coffee (Barcelona)

Week 2: Five Elephants (Berlin)

Week 3: Coffee Supreme Melbourne (Australia)

Week 4: Coutume Coffee Roasters (Paris)

Week 5: DoubleShot (Prague) 

Week 6: Reunion Island (Toronto)

Week 7: Rich Coffee Roasters (New Zealand)

then finished with my last weekend in London using a few of my favourite London roasters…

What an incredible 8 weeks I had at Stone & Crow.

Leytonstone has been my home for the past couple of months and an amazing place to hold my pop up café. The local community have been incredibly supportive. I really enjoyed meeting so many locals and others from around London, making you coffee and discussing all sorts of coffee and non-coffee related stuff with you!

I really hope over the past few weeks I was able to introduce some new ideas as well as provide access to some top-grade coffees that London has never had before. There were so many interesting coffees, I was blown away with everyone that I had and worked with.

Look out for these roasters, as they are all developing and doing some really interesting work in the coffee world and remember coffee makes a great xmas prezzy! 

In my last weekend I finished off Around the world in 8 weeks in “LONDON”.

As I love film, my concept for the last weekend paid homage to Leytonstone’s most famous resident, Alfred Hitchcock. It also gave me an excuse to have some of my favourite London roasters in the hopper.

I called the London-Weekend “North East by Southwest” after Alfred Hitchcock’s famous film “North by Northwest”.

North: Vagabond Coffee

East: Squaremile Coffee

Southwest: Alchemy Coffee

 

NORTH LONDON: Vagabond

Having three locations (N7, N5, E1) I got my coffee from their Holloway Rd (N7) café/roastery. It was a nice place to visit with the roaster out the back of the café where you can dine in whilst watching them roast. As an espresso I used “Balzac’s cup” which was a blend of Brazilian and Columbian coffee. Having not worked with their coffee before, I really enjoyed using it. It made for a juicy and smooth cup, which was easy to drink with milk and lovely as an espresso.  I was especially impressed by their Ethiopian Guji that I ran as a batch brew. It was so good - sweet, super clean and tasty. People really enjoyed it.

East London: Squaremile

Most of you will know Squaremile to be one of the best roasters in London and for good reason. But rather than get their house blend “Red Brick”, I asked them to get me what ever they thought was their “best”, so they sent me their Kenyan Espresso Kangunu AA (the AA refers to bean size which is bigger than other beans). Kenyan AA is typically very good so it was a bit special to have. I came in early and had a play around with different doses and grinds and got it where I thought it should be - it tasted great! It’s quite different using a Kenyan as a single origin espresso. I often enjoy blends because you can use the different origins to bring out certain profiles in an espresso, but this was really interesting to drink and probably a little different from what most other places are using in cafes around London. It tasted of deep red fruits but was quite light and bright at the same time. A very tasty number!

SouthWest London: Alchemy Coffee

Alchemy coffee is one of my favourite roasters in London. They first caught my attention a few years ago with their Guatemalan range – they source some of the best guats I’ve tasted. So of course I used a Guatemalan single origin of theirs from San Sebastian.  It didn't disappoint. It was beautiful, and again quite bright but with caramel undertones that gave it a nice finish with milk. Incidentally, I had Alchemy coffee on throughout the duration of my pop up as filter coffee as well as the other coffees I was using from around the world. I was particularly fond of their costa rican brewed in various ways; batch brew, V60, Chemex and aeropress. Their El Salvador is good too.  Alchemy coffee roasters are super easy and accommodating to work with.  I really enjoyed using their coffee at my pop up regularly and I find their coffee consistently reliable. We have a good laugh and they seem to put up with my regular questions and general cheekiness.

I can honestly highly recommend all of the roasters I used during this time, so if you do happen to be in any of those countries or cities, do look for them as you’ll be able to reliably drink them. I know only too well how hard it can be when you’re travelling, need coffee but don’t know the good local coffee suppliers – so I hope this helps when you’re in Barcelona (Spain), Berlin (Germany), Melbourne (Australia), Paris (France), Prague(Czech Republic), Toronto (Canada), Wellington (New Zealand) and of course, for those who were only able to follow the journey via social media, London! (when you visit)

Karma Cola were dope too, as I had their deliciously fun sodas at my popup. They’re such a great company and do amazing work not only through their products but their philanthropic work too which is award-winning (See my earlier blog on them here). I really appreciate their support and encouragement for me and my work too. I love working with such great people and companies with great products. 

Without Julian from Stone & Crow it wouldn't have happened. It was wicked to work with him and I'm super grateful to him for welcoming me into his amazing space. Every week I would come in to find him running around like an excited animal with all the new (vintage) things he had acquired. There was always a story or a history to tell about each item. Julian has a great eye and cool taste. He has an amazing knowledge of vintage furniture and artwork which was awesome to be around and chat about. Super generous, I couldn't have done this without him. I had so much fun.

The biggest thanks goes to so many of you for popping in and to Leytonstone. It’s always great to see people come visit from around London and see friends and people in the coffee/hospitality industry, I really appreciate your time and the love. An absolute pleasure. It's the first time since my Soho days that I really felt such an amazing supportive community. I got real buzz from seeing you and I’m grateful for your support – in person and online. Thank you.

Stay tuned, for my webseries and more cool stuff coming soon. I know its been ages, but sometimes, good things take time.

Peace out xx

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#ThatsHowILikeMyCoffee - T-shirts

Selected Designs Available from our T-Shop now.


These T-shirts describe the type of coffee you like to drink.

The inside label says  "That’s how I like my coffee.  #TGITC"

These words add a bit of humor through their provocative nature. But it’s all about intention and context.

" THE PEOPLE WHO WEAR THESE T-SHIRTS ARE INDEPENDENT, CHEEKY AND LOVE THEIR COFFEE. THEY KNOW WHAT THEIR   T-SHIRT MEANS TO THEM, AND THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS. "

Tag Instagram pictures of you wearing  #ThatsHowILikeMyCoffee  clothes and other cool coffee stuff to:  @the_girl_in_the_cafe 

Also available at:

Sohobikes shop, 26 Berwick St, Soho, W1F8RG

Embassy East, 285 Hoxton St, N1 5JX

Lantana Cafe (Fitzrovia), 13 Charlotte Pl, W1T1SN

Selected Designs Available from T-Shop now, also at Sohobikes, Berwick St, Soho, London.    Video of T-shirts

Selected Designs Available from T-Shop now, also at Sohobikes, Berwick St, Soho, London. 

Video of T-shirts