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our coffee

coffeecupThe bean has always strived to produce coffee of exceptional character. There is both a science and an art of creating a perfect cup, and we try and pursue the balance of perfection which so easily evades its capture into a little cup.

This is why we have designed our logo as it is. It embodies a slight imperfection, a uniqueness to every cup, yet it is smooth and sophisticated.

It has an edge to it, a bite in the cup that you will always remember.


cupfullofbeans

our menu

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the beans

espressomachine

the lab

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what’s in a cup?


what is coffee? and what about tea! I like tea.

Coffee is the drink made by infusing the ground, roasted beans in water. Those beans come from the inside of a cherry that grows on a tree. They’re green and they smell like grass.

Coffee, the drink, comes in many forms. Our focus, espresso, is brewed by forcing 94.5 degree water at 9 bars of pressure over 18.5g coffee for 24 seconds. We can then turn this into any number of drinks, from a cappuccino to an iced latte. The base is espresso for most of our menu.

Espresso is the most difficult form of coffee to brew because it is difficult to replicate and control the factors that go into making it. We always use freshly roasted and freshly ground coffee beans, we also work with dose of ground coffee, grind particle size, sharpness of the grinding burrs, the density of the bed of coffee, the consistency of the pressure with which it is compressed, cleanliness and maintenance as things that need to be controlled from the perspective of the barista. We also then aim to standardize other variables that go into the brewing process like the elapsed brewing time of the shot of espresso, volume & weights of the espresso, and the consistency of the temperature of the water during the shot and the consistency and repeatability of the pressure of the water that is being passed through the 18.5g bed of ground coffee. All of this, is subject to how the espresso tastes! And we haven’t even gotten on to the way we steam milk yet!

And the tea… well, the tea we brew is a whole-leaf tea. That means, none of the dust that you get in normal tea-bags. It also means that it needs to brew for longer than tea-dust because there is less surface area in contact with the water.

Another great thing about our tea is that you can infuse it multiple times! Have a look at our table below.

Type

Water temp.

Steep time

Infusions

White tea 65 to 70 °C (149 to 158 °F) 1–2 minutes 3
Yellow tea 70 to 75 °C (158 to 167 °F) 1–2 minutes 3
Green tea 75 to 80 °C (167 to 176 °F) 1–2 minutes 4-6
Oolong tea 80 to 85 °C (176 to 185 °F) 2–3 minutes 4-6
Black tea 99 °C (210 °F) 2–3 minutes 2-3
Pu’er tea 95 to 100 °C (203 to 212 °F) Limitless Several
Tisanes 99 °C (210 °F) 3–6 minutes Varied

what is direct trade?

Direct trade is an ethical model of collaboration between grower and roaster in order to incentivize production for high quality coffee; the benefits of the model are long-term relationships, sustainable livelihoods and price transparency.

The Criteria for Direct trade:

  • Coffee quality must be exceptional
  • Sustainable and healthy environmental practices
  • The price the grower gets must be at least 25% above the fair-trade floor; often it is much higher (up to 2700%)
  • Representatives must visit the farm or cooperative village at least once a year; often it is three, pre-harvest, during harvest and post harvest.

so.. what do I need to do to brew good coffee at home?

  1. Drink only speciality grade coffee
  2. Know your roast date
  3. Grind coffee fresh and to the correct grind size for the brewing method
  4. Use filtered water
  5. Use correct standards for temperature, time and turbulence and a (60g per litre dose)

Roast Date:  The fresher the better… not always! Anything between 2 and thirty days is considered fresh in our books. Before 6 days, the coffee may be emitting too much carbon dioxide to brew well (those bubbles get in the way of water and so result in less contact and an under-extracted brew). If your coffee doesn’t have a roast date, there is a good chance that your coffee is stale. Anything over 30 days and the coffee will definitely start to lose it freshness. If it’s exposed to oxygen, then the oxidisation process (bad.) will start even earlier.

Freshly roasted coffee NEEDS to be freshly ground. Grinding breaks the cell walls apart and releases the aroma from the coffee; aim to capture them in your cup and don’t let them dissipate. Grind the coffee finer for espresso and coarse like Demerara for a cafetiere. The longer the brew time, the coarser the grind should be.

Temperature – generally just off the boil. We aim for 94.5 degrees centigrade (and we measure it.)

Time – The longer the contact time between the coffee and water, the more dissolved solids from the coffee will end up in your cup (this is often called strength- we measure it as TDS% – and it varies from espresso to filter). Espresso is brewed between 23 and 30 seconds (depending on the coffee and how it tastes), cafetieres for around 3.5-4 minutes. And filter coffee for between 2.5 to 4 minutes.

Turbulence is the agitation of water around the coffee which further dissolves some of the solids, just like stirring a sugar, rather than waiting for it to dissolve. Turbulence is the motion, weight and pressure of the water, whether being gently poured, being completely left untouched or pumped at 9 bars onto the bed of coffee.

Dose – the widely accepted standard is 60g/ litre. 55 to 62g is also a generally good range to work with.