Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

Cappuccino at Angel Coffee House

June 7, 2021

A cappuccino at Angel Coffee House. It changed hands a while back. I have had a takeaway since it changed hands, not good.

Today, able to sit outside and have a cappuccino. Not good, completely clueless on coffee.

First I am served with chocolate sprinkled on top.

I send it back. The waitress tells me that is how we serve it. I cannot be bothered to tell her, no that is not how to serve a cappuccino.

Second cappuccino served. It looks disgusting tastes disgusting. Too hot, all froth and foam, the cup size not the correct size for a cappuccino, far too large.

No water brought to the table.

Coffee is Ozone. I have not yet been anywhere where the coffee is Ozone and I can say have had a great coffee. The Angel Coffee House no exception.

I left my cappuccino untouched.

Why do people bother to run a coffee shop if cannot be bothered to brew decent coffee, cannot be bothered to source quality coffee beans?

There are only two coffee shops in Lincoln worth a visit, Coffee Aroma and Madame Waffle.

The Eco Press

June 2, 2021

Coffee capsules come in two varieties:

  • compostable
  • aluminium

Compostable we can throw on the compost heap, where hopefully will breakdown on a well made compost heap.

Aluminium we can recycle, but first we have to extract the spent coffee grounds.

There is a third variety, those from Nespresso, nigh impossible to recycle, and cheap low quality coffee, therefore best forgotten. [see Coffee capsule recycling greenwash]

Always buy coffee from reputable roasteries:

  • Kiss the Hippo — compostable
  • Colonna — aluminium and compostable
  • April — compostable

A couple of week ago Hotel Chocolat launched their Rabot Estate Coffee range of coffee beans and coffee capsules, plus The Eco Press, a gadget for extracting used coffee grounds from aluminium coffee capsules (essential when recycling aluminium capsules).

My first attempt using The Eco Press was a failure, the capsule collapsed in from the sides, spent coffee grounds not extracted, though I found when dry,  tapped, the spent coffee grounds fell out.

Trying again a few days later, I noticed the bottom half of The Eco Press has a circular ridge surrounding a hole. The capsule must be placed inside this circular ridge, flat side down. This needs to be made explicit in the instructions.

Pressing down with the upper half of The Eco Press, the result was not what I expected. I expected a flattened, crushed capsule. To my surprise the capsule turned inside out, the contents deposited in the bottom chamber. Very clever.

This also explained what had me baffled. How to stack flattened capsules.

Now rinse the capsules and stack. But be very very careful, tiny shards of aluminium. Another omission from the instructions.

Note:  I found it was not necessary to rinse the capsules, tap on a hard surface and any remaining coffee is dislodged. It may prove necessary to rinse if wet.

A tiny gasket, what do with? Hotel Chocolat state compostable. These are the only capsules where I have seen stated the gasket may be composted. Other capsules need to state, of what material the gaskets, what to do with.

The instruction leaflet needs improvement:

  • clearly state place capsule within the circular ridge
  • describe that the capsules turn inside out
  • take care with the shards

The base has a bad design feature. Detach and coffee grounds everywhere.

Contrary to the misleading claim by Hotel Chocolat, The Eco Press is not the only such gadget, Dualit on sale in Lakeland and UPress from Colonna Coffee.

The Eco Press not price competitive, that from Lakeland cheaper.

The Eco Press is a very useful gadget if using aluminium capsules, indeed a must have gadget if wish to recycle the aluminium.

Do not be swayed by the nonsense peddled compostable v aluminium, little more than marketing hype and greenwash. Compostable can go on the compost heap, though may take time to break down, aluminium can be recycled but need a gadget to extract the spent coffee grounds.

Irrespective if compostable or aluminium, provided dispose of intelligently, will help reduce your carbon footprint and reduce the waste you generate. Of course the same could be said if using a French press, V60 or AeroPress.

Espresso tonic

May 30, 2021

A refreshing summer drink?

Fairly easy, at least should be, if have all the required gear.

First find a cut crystal glass of 350ml. I could not find, settled for crystal glass of 310ml.

No tray for making ice cubes. Improvise with plastic tray from ready meals, fill with 120g of water.

Reset Opal One to factory setting, which gives me 25g, 40g, then reset temperate to highest temperature setting.

Recipe simple:

  • 120g of ice
  • 120g of tonic water
  • 50gof espresso

Tonic used Fevertree Indian tonic. Strange shards of ice due to method of making ice. 40g not 50g of Kenyan espresso, default setting on Opal One.

I have to admit, looking forward to a refreshing drink, I found to be a disappoint,  watery. Maybe I should have tried in the afternoon when hot, not waited to evening when cooling down.

I then tried the Kenyan from April as 25g shot. It was excellent.

Last words to European Coffee Trip.

Real Coffee

May 26, 2021

Really, or just another example of real life bullshit?

This is unfortunately typical of the garbage I receive every day.

Exclusive new aluminium capsules

It’s your lucky day. You’ve just stumbled across the only recyclable, Fairtrade and organic coffee capsule in the UK!

WTF is real coffee? Or do we now have fake coffee like we have fake meat?

We have bad coffee, which this probably is, typical of what we find in the corporate coffee chains, for example tax-dodging Starbucks et al and the vile undrinkable coffee peddled as luxury by Nespresso.

Then we have independent specialty coffee shops serving excellent coffee.

There is nothing exclusive about the offer.

No, it was not my lucky day, and no I did not stumble across. It was an unwanted intrusion into my personal timeline.

Do not diss compostable.

I assume they mean the contents of their aluminium capsules are organic, not the aluminium which is what they misleadingly state.

It is only possible to recycle aluminium capsules, if obtain a tool (not mentioned) to first extract the spent coffee grounds.

FairTrade scam pays tiny premium above commodity price, maintains growers in poverty as no incentive to improve quality.

Facebook directs to a website, no information, other than told the world’s best coffee, another false claim. Nothing on origin, variety or Q grade.

There is quality coffee in Nespresso compatible capsules, but not from Nespresso:

  • Kiss the Hippo — compostable
  • Colonna — aluminium and compostable
  • April — compostable

Note: The video that appeared on my timeline does not appear to exist and yet it does exist. Very odd. I have posted a different video (but it too does not exist).

Note: The video that appeared on my timeline does not appear to exist and yet it does exist. Very odd. I have posted a different video (but it too does not exist). I have therefore posted the links (may need to be signed into facebook to view)

http://www.facebook.com/realcoffeeUK/videos/480234379723628

http://www.facebook.com/717503798352990/videos/961238294281270

Coffee capsule recycling greenwash

May 14, 2021

Podback, the latest Big Business greenwash, all the usual suspects, Nestle, Starbucks, Jacobs Dowe Egberts, purveyors of disgusting undrinkable coffee.

Kerbside collection of coffee capsules is not the answer, it is a solution to a non-existent problem.

A couple of councils out of how many local councils? This is pissing in the wind. It is to add yet another layer of complexity to household waste collection and recycling. Households already cannot cope and are poor at recycling.

A similar scheme in New York has poor recycling success.

A work around by coffee companies to look green was to send a courier to collect  or ask to visit a coffee shop to drop them off. Better than nothing, maybe, but not exactly a green solution or reducing carbon footprint.

An example of the stomach-churning marketing bullshit:

Podback is the new coffee pod recycling service. Created by the two biggest names in the UK coffee industry, Nestlé & Jacobs Douwe Egberts UK, the companies behind Britain’s favourite coffee brands, Nespresso, NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto and Tassimo, Podback is the first of its kind.

Joint has worked alongside the founding members (Nespresso, NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto and Tassimo) as well as all partner agencies to develop the brand strategy, logo, brand identity and brand led communications, as well as, in collaboration with BIG DB, a consumer facing website.

Launched this month, Podback provides simple and easy ways for people to recycle their coffee pods.

Podback’s mission is for every coffee pod enjoyed to be recycled.

The scheme will initially cover brands representing over three quarters of the UK market, including Nespresso, NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto, Tassimo, L’OR, Starbucks by Nespresso and Starbucks by NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto. The ambition is for all brands that use aluminium or plastic pods to join Podback.

The suite of brand work developed for Podback includes brand strategy, logo and brand identity, recycling bag designs, announcement video assets for corporate social channels (LinkedIn+ Twitter), Podback Members Guide for new members to the scheme, social media consumer launch assets. It also includes a consumer facing website, in collaboration with digital partners BIG DB.

Damon Collins, founder: ”Developing such an innovative brand with such a strong mission and purpose alongside two of the biggest names in the coffee industry has been an amazing journey. With Podback being the first of its kind in the UK, we know the importance every aspect of the brand plays in the real world which is why we sweated every tiny detail. We’re proud that Joint is part of a team in helping making recycling simpler and easier and helping the environment in such an important way.’’

These ‘solutions’ are for a problem that should not exist, coffee capsules that cannot be easily recycled (for example Nestle) or composted.

Nespresso machines are capable of brewing excellent coffee so long as do not use coffee from Nespresso or Starbucks.

Internally all Nespresso machines are the same, the only difference external appearance and attachment of various gadgets and gizmos.

Buy the cheapest machine. Better still, buy an Opal One, roughly double the price of the cheapest Nespresso machine.

Buy coffee from a reputable coffee roastery.

  • Kiss the Hippo — compostable
  • Colonna — aluminium and compostable

Compostable capsules can be dropped on the garden compost heap or food waste bin or garden waste bin.

Gadgets exist to extract spent coffee grounds from aluminium capsules. Spent coffee grounds go on the compost heap or scattered on the garden. Rinse the aluminium capsules and drop in the recycling bin.

I do wish lazy journalists would do their homework, not regurgitate Big Business greenwash. 

Opening the box Halo

May 13, 2021

It was with some reluctance and against my better judgement I ordered compostable coffee capsules from Halo.

Meaningless environmental claims, hype. Quality is inversely proportional to hype.

But, with low expectations, I may be pleasantly surprised.

Service reasonable, order placed Monday and confirmed, Tuesday notified had been dispatched. Delivered in the post early this afternoon.

A long black box. Not impressed. Follow the example of Grind and Kiss the Hippo or Riverford, plain cardboard boxes, well designed, minimal impact on the environment. So much the Halo claim packaging minimal impact on the environment.

Open the box, two long boxes shrink-wrapped in what is claimed to be compostable plastic. We will see.

Inside the lid, told

  • The world’s best coffees, in a way that’s best for the world.
  • THIS BOX HAS BEEN A BOX BEFORE AND WOULD LIKE TO BE A BOX AGAIN. PLEASE RECYCLE.

If the world’s best coffee, then specialty grade, high Q grade, high 80s, low 90s. No mention of Q grade. Nor mention of origin other than country.

Kopi Luwak is not the world;s best coffee, far from it, it is to support a vile trade in animal cruelty. Had I known Halo was involved in this vile trade, I would not have ordered from Halo. Any company that supports this vile trade should be driven out of business.

If wish to recycle the box, then ship as a plain cardboard box.

Opening the box, a faint pleasant aroma of dried fruits, maybe dates or figs. The two boxes inside with the capsules is supposed to be an oxygen barrier, but the aroma suggests not effective and that the capsules are porous.

Capsules limited shelf life, use by December 2021, which again suggests the capsules do not provide a very effective oxygen barrier.

The two boxes, each containing ten compostable capsules

  • Daterra Moonlight
  • Pacamara

shrink wrapped in compostable capsules to provide what is claimed to be an oxygen barrier.

At least once opened, I have found a use for the tin from Grind. [see Opening the box Grind]

A bag of coffee when opened, often even before opened, a wonderful aroma of the coffee, a promise of what is to come. With capsules nothing, which at least shows the capsule is functioning as it should, an oxygen-free environment for the coffee.

With Halo, stripping off the outer oxygen barrier, open a box of capsules, Daterra Moonlight, an interesting, not unpleasant smoky aroma that I cannot quite place. But, unfortunately shows we do not have an effective oxygen barrier to keep the coffee fresh.

A porous capsule is to miss the plot. The advantages of capsules

  • optimum grind
  • optimum freshness
  • oxygen-free environment

The capsules, made from rice and paper, is of the look and feel of an egg box or the compressed card sometimes used for tomatoes. mushrooms and strawberries .

Inside the lid of the box of capsules, a neat touch, an offcut of card, information on the coffee, that also serves as a bookmark.

Kiss the Hippo carbon negative

May 11, 2021

Since day one, sustainability has been at the core of everything we do. We never wanted to make empty gestures — we wanted to be pioneers, a brand that leads by example, encouraging bigger organisations to make positive changes in its wake. — Kiss the Hippo

Excellent news, Kiss the Hippo carbon negative.

Kiss the Hippo the only company in London to be recognised as carbon negative.

We hear much from companies that they are carbon neutral. Scratch away the greenwash and what we find is that they have planted a few trees as carbon offsets and are still emitting carbon.

Carbon neutral is not sufficient, we need carbon negative. We also need regenerative agriculture, to improve soil structure, carbon capture, grass-grazed herbivores. We also need rewilding, reforestation of our hills and water catchment areas, restoration of peat bogs, reintroduction of European beavers.

Kiss the Hippo is not only carbon negative, they are one of the top coffee roasteries in the country, supplying coffee beans and their Broad Street house blend in compostable coffee capsules.

10 Best Coffee Pods To Buy In 2021

May 10, 2021

Luxury eco-friendly pods to try for a guilt-free caffeine fix.

Not my choice, that of Elle.

Chances are, the past year has seen you forgo your daily commute, and with it your flat white. And while it might have saved you a few pounds, we really miss a proper barista-made brew

The good news is we’ve managed to hunt down the best coffee pods (that are eco-friendly too!) to ensure you get a great-tasting cup of coffee, without wreaking havoc on the environment.

  • joint best compostable coffee pod Halo Honduras Nespresso Compatible Capsule
  • joint best compostable coffee pod Kiss the Hippo Nespresso Compatible Compostable Pods

Elle that well known magazine with expertise in coffee. Er, I think not, and it shows.

This morning, an e-mal from Halo, ELLE Winner: Best Compostable Coffee Pod! Really, well let’s check it out, compared with what.

In their Top 10, Grind, Lavazza, Eden Project, which says it all, their lack of knowledge of coffee.

When see magazines, newspapers promoting the Best Coffee, Independent recently had a similar list, just ignore.

Espresso-based coffee

May 6, 2021

Excellent guide by European Coffee Trip to espresso-based coffee.

Walk into a coffee shop and two things will possibly catch your eye, an espresso machine and all too often a bewildering array of different espresso-based coffee to choose from, and to add to that confusion no consistency on how made or even on what they are called.

But first, what is espresso, what does it mean?

An espresso is finely ground coffee, water forced through the coffee at high pressure, nominally nine bars.

If thinking of home espresso, think again, a lot of work for a mug of coffee, not unless wish to have as a time consuming hobby. There are easier ways to make coffee at home.

If do wish to brew espresso at home, then look to a semi-professional machine, Rocket, Olympia Cremina, La Marzocco Linea Mini. An alternative is the 9Barista. Forget cheap domestic machines.

Frescopod

April 28, 2021

A Kickstarter project, a solution to a problem that does not exist, hyped on social media with misleading claims.

When I get unwanted posts on social media for a product I do not want, I am wary. When misleading claims are made, I suspect a scam.

𝗙𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗰𝗼𝗽𝗼𝗱

  • ✅ 100% biodegradable & compostable waste
  • ✅ 10¢ – 22¢ per cup
  • ✅ Great-tasting fresh coffee
  • ✅ You choose ANY coffee, unlimited variety

𝗦𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗹𝗲-𝗨𝘀𝗲 𝗣𝗼𝗱𝘀

  • ❌ Non-biodegradable рIastic
  • ❌ 45¢ – $1 per cup
  • ❌ Mediocre “so-so” coffee
  • ❌ Limited to Pods

Let us look at these claims.

Third party capsules from reputable roasteries will be high quality great tasting coffee in aluminium or compostable capsules.

  • Colonna – aluminium and compostable
  • Kiss the Hippo – compostable

If buy from Nespresso or cheap off the supermarket shelves, then yes, will be poor quality undrinkable coffee.

As with all things in life, you get what you pay for.

As anyone who has ever tried, if refill pods messy and waste of time.

The preparation shown is wrong and shows an appalling level of ignorance of coffee,  coffee ground who knows when, will be oxidised and stale, coffee not precisely weighed.

If filling a pod, need to invest in a quality grinder, digital scales. Why not then go all the way, a V60, Origami, Chemex swan-neck kettle or an Aeropress or French press.

The point is completely missed re capsules, and it is not convenience:

  • quality coffee
  • optimum grind
  • optimum freshness
  • accurate dose
  • consistency
  • oxygen free environment

To invest in this system, are reliant on the device, and for the pods to be filled.

Internally, Nespresso machines are the same, invest in the cheapest. Or better still, invest in an Opal One, roughly double the price of the cheapest Nespresso machine.


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