19th June 2013 by
My name is Linsey and I am a coffee addict. To that end, I have been helping the festival team with a few design and writing bits and pieces. It’s great to spend time with people who really know their stuff and rightly place the black nectar at the heart of all things past, present and future. If you fancy volunteering your services too, I’m sure they’d be delighted to have you.
Last Saturday morning saw me holding a stepladder and passing cable ties up to Ricardo, who was hanging banners at the Festival Hub. While on ladder duty, I couldn’t help but wonder how successful this first Coffee Festival would be. If success is in any way proportional to commitment and hard work, we should be fine. If not, then it’s all a bit of a lottery.
Many of the world’s cultures believe the future can be foretold and omens interpreted using food. You can do it with cheese (Tiromancy), onions (Cromniomancy) and wine (Oenomancy). So can you do it with coffee?
The answer is, of course, yes. Tasseography, or Tasseomancy, the art of fortune telling with coffee grounds, is practised in Turkish, Lebanese and some Balkan cultures.
When you drink Turkish coffee (try it with Turkish Delight at festival venue Olive and Thyme, as seen above), it’s strong, it’s often sweet and it’s always special. The coffee, which is very finely ground, is allowed to settle at the bottom of the cup, rather than being strained out. To read what the future holds, put your saucer over the top of the cup, then flip the whole thing over (this tends to work better if you drink the coffee first).
The patterns in the grounds, or in the spaces between, all have meanings. If you decide to try it, look out for the following symbols:
Apple – success in an education or knowledge setting
Birds flying – some good news is on its way
Candle – a symbol of enlightenment
Kite – wishes will come true.
The Raven of Death is a symbol generally to be avoided if at all possible. Don’t try to read your own future, because it won’t work. And I suppose you could do it with tea leaves if you must, but not on my watch.
Finally, a useful and timely piece of advice from our friends at Wikihow: “If your reading turns out bad, don’t worry, remember to take everything with a pinch of salt. You’re the one in charge of your future by making sound and sensible choices using your intellect and experience.”
Fair enough. Enjoy the festival folks!
One response to “The Future’s Black”
9th June 2013 by
Friend of the festival Allie Johns regales us with tales of her love for coffee and how it all started…
My very earliest memory of coffee was camp. No, not the Liberace kind of camp but my mum making me an ice-cream coffee drink in the summer made from Camp coffee essence.
Those lazy, hazy days of summer as a child growing up in Devon were all the better for ice-cold coffee (well ice-cold Camp). Running around from breakfast to teatime it, I couldn’t wait to get the shout from the back door ‘Ready Aye Ready!’ – which translated as ‘iced coffee’s up!’ and also happens to be the slogan on the label. Knowing that bottle with the Scottish man and the Sikh man on it was on the shelf in the larder was the most delicious and comforting thought to me back then.
Camp makes extremely good iced-coffee and is readily available even now. It was created by The Paterson Company of Glasgow, who in 1876 became famous for the world’s first instant coffee. It’s a blend of coffee beans, chicory and sugar and is believed to have come from a request from the Gordon Highlanders to Campbell Paterson. They wanted a coffee drink that could be easily used by the army on field campaigns in India, as the usual process of grinding and brewing coffee beans was too complicated and time consuming for a military field kitchen*.
Now that’s a coffee brand with history. And there’s no getting away from the fact it’s Camp that introduced me to the taste of coffee. And I’ve my mum to thank for creating a loving ritual around it.
As I grew up, ‘Elevenses’ was always a mug of instant coffee and a couple of McVitie’s Rich Teas – the sweetness of those biscuits blending mouth-wateringly with that familiar smooth, nutty edge of the coffee. We weren’t ‘real coffee’ drinkers in our house though. It was Maxwell House all the way. My mum had a foray in the early 70s with a percolator, the height of sophistication (well that and a soda syphon!) but she wasn’t enamoured. Most likely because the ‘thing’ as it was called, kept fusing the electrics.
When I was old enough, I was allowed to make the coffee, always careful to put in the obligatory ‘five grains of sugar just to take the edge off’, and I’d be careful to put the milk in first if I was making it with cold milk. My mum was very particular that way. She said that I’d burn the grains and spoil the taste otherwise. Those ‘elevenses’ hours over a cup of steaming hot, instant coffee were sophisticated to me. I felt so grown up sitting there chatting about nothing in particular, my mum in a half pinny, immaculately painted nails, forever smiling, always there for us, ready with a jar of instant, soothing, precious time-giving Maxwell House.
It wasn’t until I moved away from home to university in London that I had my first taste of the coffee shop and a stovetop pot. Not a morning passed without the pot being filled and the flat filling with that delicious smell of brewing coffee. London was obviously a tad more ‘coffee forward’ than my home town of Cullompton, and from there on in I never looked back. My 20s were awash with every kind of stovetop pot or cafitière blend. Not a day went by without a first of the day; pick me up, followed by two or three ‘booster sessions’ over the course of the morning. Not a book was read or an essay written without a trusty coffee beside me.
So now that I’m all ‘grown up’, how do I like my coffee? Easy one that, freshly ground, with a preference for a smooth, chocolately, vanilla, velvety finish (never bitter and burnt!), filtered with hot milk (flat or frothed), of course with five grains of sugar.
Allie Johns is now all grown up and when she’s not drinking or writing the odd blog about coffee, she makes a living as a planning and marketing director, advising businesses on their branding and digital communications. You’ll find her on twitter @AllieJohns
7th June 2013 by
It’s that age-old question, a daily test of faith and eternal dilemma for those afflicted as I am by painful indecision, particularly in the early hours. I’ll leave you to conclude what constitutes ‘early’, suffice to say I sympathise with those who both go to sleep and rise impossibly late, almost as much as those up and at the world well before noon. For the record I am the latter, and with those extra waking hours likely face this (very real) first-world quandary a little more frequently than some.
“Tea or coffee?” There you go, I’ve betrayed my own bias already. Freudian slip perhaps? Perhaps the question for you is “Coffee or tea?” When offering a cuppa one of these will take precedent, and though I find joy in both I almost invariably default to my first love, tea, at least at the start of the day.
For me, tea belongs to childhood. I can’t remember a time I didn’t love it, or take comfort in hands around a happily hot mug, often sipped too soon, if not blown at delicately in eager anticipation. At one time I lived for Earl Grey, a somewhat controversial choice owing to its floral and heady Bergamot flavour. It’s only as an adult that I’ve discovered this particular blend elicits some impressive health benefits too.
In an act offensive to some, I still eschew the traditional slice of lemon in preference of a dash of milk. Always the same. Isn’t it remarkable that tea and coffee might be one of very few things of which we never tire? For a time while travelling, I lost that unwitting ritual of sitting down to the same brew each morning. I mourned hurried cups of the working week. Some days felt like grieving.
That’s the idea of course, that journeying to foreign countries negates routine and forces us to try fantastic new things. Except in my case that involved some fairly tragic supermarket grade tea and coffee, snatched at any opportunity while working a summer camp in the US. After a few months of that, and far from home, this Earl Grey girl was relieved to lay eyes on any old mug of builders. I got to like the stronger stuff.
Never mind what you fancy, because once you’ve got it (or the nearest thing on offer) there’s yet another telling and deeply personal question to come. “How do you take it?” The suspense! For how often do we judge others when their taste in tea and coffee (go on then, coffee and tea) departs, if slightly, from our own? This is not to say I’m making assumptions about your character when you ask for “just a dash of milk, no more”, but I will wonder if that’s how you’ve always liked it. Probably not.
My grandfather gives a comic account of a house-call he made as a policeman in the 60s. He and a colleague were offered tea by the elderly occupant, and watched in horror as the milk she added splashed into their cups, lumpy and soured. He’s taken tea and coffee black ever since, and still screws his nose up with a knowing smile if offered milk.
For my part, I’m an undercover sugar-weaner-off-er. That’s right – tell me you like your French press with two sugars and I’ll spoon in a measly one and a half, if you’re lucky. I like to think I’m doing good, because really no one needs that much sugar, and what if you’ve just not had such a smooth and sultry blend before? Take a sip before you sugar up. You can always add more.
Besides, we’re having cake.
3rd June 2013 by
Coffee, rather like love, loss, drugs and alcohol, has often inspired songwriters. But think of songs where coffee is the theme and only a handful of famous ones spring to mind. There’s Black Coffee – as recorded by, amongst others, Ella Fitzgerald – Blur’s Coffee and TV, Frank Sinatra singing about an awful lot of coffee in Brazil, and maybe Bob Dylan’s duet with Emmylou Harris on One More Cup Of Coffee from 1976.
But in Manchester we like to delve a bit deeper with our music, so here’s a selection of some lesser known songs about coffee to get you in the mood for the Chorlton Coffee Festival.
Coffee House Blues – Lightnin’ Hopkins
To kick us off, it’s a blues legend, with a warning to anyone who goes out to get coffee and comes home empty handed…
Forty Cups of Coffee – Ella Mae Morse
Ella Mae may have had a long wait in this bluesy swinger, but even we would advise you against forty cups of coffee in one day…
Have Another Espresso – Shel Silverstein
For someone who drank that many espressos, Shel was certainly pretty cool and zen. He also seemed to like to pick up girls in coffee shops…
Taylor The Latte Boy – Marcy Heisler & Zina Goldrich
Speaking of coffee shop romance, here’s a song about being (a little creepily?) obsessed with a barista. Maybe you could find a special someone in Chorlton who makes great coffee to have a similar crush on? This is the original version of a song made famous in the US by Kristin Chenoweth…
Coffee Mug – Decedents
Some metal for you now. Coffee and metal. That’s all…
Cafe – Eddie Palmieri
Cafe Colao is a strong Puerto Rican brew made by passing boling water through a cotton drip bag of coffee. Salsa heavyweight Eddie Palmieri was obviously keen on it, as it’s the theme for this Latin classic…
Coffee In A Cardboard Cup – Mandy Patinkin
New Yorkers are well known for it’s coffee habit, but in this performance of a song from the Broadway musical 70, Girls, 70, musical, Mandy Patinkin has a little moan about the pace of it all. It seems takeaway coffee is symbolic of all that’s wrong with modern life. Luckily, we hope to retain some of the sophistication of cafe culture at the festival, so this shouldn’t be a problem…
Smokey Joes Cafe – The Robins
There may not have been too much coffee drunk at Smokey Joes (it seems beans were the order of the day), but in this 50s R’nB classic, The Robins do a good job of advertising the place…
Black Coffee – Humble Pie
A stonking performance of one of the many songs titled Black Coffee. This one’s from The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1973, featuring Steve Marriot from the Small Faces. You can almost smell the brew…
Totally Wired – The Fall
We wouldn’t be true to our Manchester setting if we didn’t have a Manchester band in the list somewhere. Totally Wired came closest to a coffee song, although I think Mark E Smith would be the first to admit that he might have used more than caffeine to keep him going. In fact, he does so in the lyrics here (although we’ll be sticking to coffee, thanks)…
So, there ends our shortlist of alternative coffee songs, but as this is by no means a definitive list, please feel free to let us know of more in the comments. If you’d like to check out some other songs that didn’t make the shortlist, there’s a Spotify Playlist available here. Also, if all this caffeine music inspires you to want a nice cup of coffee, don’t forget to check out our participating cafes and festival events!
One response to “Ten Songs About Coffee (And Not The Usual Ones Either)”
27th May 2013 by
Impeccably tasteful, packed with glorious works of art and a place where pavement café-based people-watching is a national pastime. Not Chorlton – Italy.
There’s been coffee in Italy for over 400 years. The story goes that it was initially condemned as the devil’s drink, when Vatican officials decided its Middle Eastern origins constituted an infidel threat. Then Pope Clement VIII had a cup – and then he had another one. He gave it his papal blessing and most of Western Europe breathed a sigh of relief and brewed up.
While most of our coffee vocabulary comes from Italy, many of the things we do with the drink itself emphatically don’t. Step away from the flavour syrups, the drizzles and the sprinkles, coffee lovers: if you really want to drink like the experts, here are a couple of things to note.
A caffè in Italy is a tiny bombshell of espresso, brewed fast and strong and ideally served by a man in a waistcoat and bow tie. Near-boiling water is forced through the coffee under pressure using a machine the size of a small car. The crema, a light foam on the surface, is a sign of good one, made with a machine and a barista both firing on all cylinders. Italians drink it pretty much all day, even late at night. It’s best drunk standing up, and if a single’s not enough, ask for a double – un doppio – but the Italians prefer to take their coffee little and often. They also never call it espresso, at least not to its face: it’s just un caffè.
Caffè Lungo (a long coffee) isn’t just a regular caffè with water added: that’s an Americano. Lungo is made by forcing more water through the coffee in the filter. That means it’s a bigger drink and may taste a little thinner than espresso, but it isn’t necessarily any weaker. Sounds good to me.
Capuccino is a caffè with steamed milk and milk froth, named either after monks or monkeys, not sure which. The old cliché goes that no-one in Italy drinks a cappuccino after 11.00am, but that’s not true: American tourists do it all the time. Expect to be looked at in a slightly pitying way by baristas and you may need to offer an apology. It’s something to do with an Italian disapproval of milky coffee at any time other than breakfast. Talking of which…
Caffè Latte, which is made up of equal quantities of lungo and hot milk. Not for me. That’s all I’m saying on the subject.
Note: ask for a Frappucino in Italy and they’ll have you arrested. If it’s hot outside, opt for a Caffè Freddo, or the splendidly named Caffè Shakerato, shaken with sugar and ice cubes. Another great choice for a decadent sunny day is an Affogato (‘drowned’), which is an espresso poured over proper ice cream, and every bit as lovely as it sounds – just eat it while it’s still hot and cold.
I think there’s a law in Italy that forbids tampering with coffee in any non-dairy way, but the Caffè Corretto (literally ‘corrected coffee’) is an acceptable, no-nonsense start to the day. Go into any bar at breakfast time, you’ll see the corretto crowd standing along the counter. Blink, though, and you’ll miss them. Corretto is a drop of grappa or brandy in an espresso, downed in one. No messing, no regrets. It’s one of those admirable Euro-male habits like the French boiled-egg-and-cognac-breakfast, or smoking while standing waist-deep in the sea, as Spanish men often do.
And one more, crucially important characteristic of the Italian coffee drinker: they call it campanilismo – literally a devotion to your local belltower. It means you take your coffee in your local bar, where they know you and you know them. The coffee’s good, the company’s good.
So let’s get out there and smell the coffee here in M21: not out of a paper bucket or a double-handled FA Cup replica, but a proper cup and saucer (a teeny biscuit on the side would be lovely, thanks). We want quality, we want crema and we’re lucky to have it on our own doorsteps.
By the way, literally minutes of research has led me to believe that you can’t get a Corretto in Chorlton – at least not before the morning school run. Anyone know differently?
24th May 2013 by
Leftover? Coffee? Not on my watch! …but if you do ever find yourself with a half full (or empty, depending on your disposition!) cafetiere of cold coffee, don’t just throw it down the drain, there are plenty of useful, and not to mention tasty ways of using up that precious leftover coffee.
Make Coffee Ice Cubes
So you’ve made a batch of delicious cold brew iced coffee, and your wondering how to keep the iced coffee ‘iced’, without diluting the flavour? Simple, just freeze your leftover coffee in ice cube trays, and add them to your glass of iced coffee as needed. You’ll be left with a lovely cold drink, without diluting the coffee flavour!
Make an exfoliating body scrub
Legend has it that coffee has cellulite busting properties (shame it doesn’t work through drinking large mochas). Mix few tablespoons of still warm and wet coffee grounds with olive oil until you get a paste – then stand in your bath/shower and rub into your wobbly areas. Leave it on for a few minutes then rinse off with warm water. Tah-Dah! thighs like Beyonce. Kind of.
Use leftover grounds in your compost bin
If you are a keen gardener with a compost bin at the end of your garden, why not try adding some old coffee grounds to you compost heap. They contain nitrogen and add nutrients to the compost. If you don’t make enough grounds at home, maybe you could ask your local coffee shop if they would donate their coffee grounds to help in your green fingered efforts.
If your fridge is a stinky nightmare, forget those expensive fridge fresheners – just get an old (washed) pair of tights and cut the foot off the bottom of one leg. Add about 1 cup full of dried out coffee grounds to the foot of the tight, and tie a knot in the open end. Keep this in your fridge to absorb smelly odours.
Any more ideas?
21st May 2013 by
Naturally, a large chunk of the Chorlton Coffee Festival is about community, cafe culture and bringing together the cafe scene in this corner of South Manchester, but you may have started to notice phrases like single estate, pourover, and cupping creeping into some of the events and specials listings. Don’t be alarmed though, and keep an open mind, as this just represents a few breakers from the so-called Third Wave of coffee lapping at Chorlton’s shores.
Third Wave? This sounds technical. Is it a pretentious coffee snob club?
If you’ve never heard of Third Wave coffee, what I’m about to explain will probably leave you one of two ways. You’ll either feel intrigued and excited about the way that coffee and cafe culture might be heading, or slightly annoyed that just as you were getting used to ordering a ‘latte’ instead of a simple ‘coffee’, the aficionados have moved in and might make coffee inaccessible to anyone other than hipster geeks and coffee snobs. Try to bear with me though, because the good news is that the Third Wave can have benefits to all – as long as it’s proponents avoid falling into the trap of making exclusive head-nodding cliques.
Hang about! Explain the waves?
OK, the ‘waves’ refer to the way that the consumption of coffee has developed over the last sixty years or so. Definitions of the ‘three waves’ of coffee vary. However, all definitions have the same basic principles.
The First Wave points to the growing popularity of coffee consumption after World War II, with the emergence of the freeze-dried coffee. With the quality of the coffee often low, it was mainly viewed as an instant ’pick-me-up’ drink. Think Maxwell House, Gold Blend ads and crusty spoons in 1970s staffrooms.
The Second Wave saw a general improvement in coffee quality, helped by the emergence of global coffee chains. In the UK, Starbucks entered the market in 1998 and the UK’s perception of coffee has gradually changed ever since. This is when we got used to espresso based drinks such as the cappuccino and latte and a rise in the consumption of arabica coffee, rather than the inferior robusta variety. Think double-shots, ‘bean to cup’ machines, ‘frothy coffee’ and Italian terms.
Originally coined in the US (of course) in 2002, the Third Wave refers to the current trend of producing high-quality coffee. Coffee is more and more being regarded as an artisanal foodstuff, like wine, as opposed to a commodity.
The idea is that by equipping consumers with more coffee knowledge and providing more information about where their coffee comes from (bean to cup), the coffee industry will continue to evolve at all stages of the production process, from growing and harvesting, right up to brewing. Think single estate harvests, information on small farms and crop-altitude, independent artisan ‘micro-roasters’ and home coffee brewing gadgets.
That seems like progress, but also a bit scary. I’ll stick to my cappuccino please.
And of course you may. Espresso and the related Italian-style ‘barista’ beverages remain at the heart of coffee making in so-called Third Wave cafes. But what you may find as this revolution continues, is that the advances in the quality of the product becomes noticeable. Specialist roasters are now pushing to increase the quality of coffee to the tiniest degree. By going straight to the source (the farms) and upgrading techniques there to improve the quality of the bean they eventually roast, the flavour profiles they are able to extract from their product can be extraordinary. Certainly grab a cappuccino, but you may not need chocolate sprinkles any more to get a dash of sweetness or chocolatey experience in your cup.
OK, but does this mean that I have to don hipster glasses and umm and ahh about how the altitude of the farm makes all the difference to the citrus notes?
You can, but perhaps this is where the coffee revolution has to be careful. If you can find a friend who wants to cogitate over the merits of a Clever Dripper versus a syphon, then great. I’ll be your friend. I love that stuff. But just like wine, cars and some music and sport, Third Wavees have to be careful not to bore, scare or alienate people. The rise of the Third Wave has done great things for coffee producers in many parts of the world, raising standards and ensuring fair trade and sustainability. It has also brought coffee making out of the mass-production market and turned it into a real craft, where quality matters. But snobbishness is neither good for business or for allowing consumers to educate themselves.
Hopefully, that’s where the events at the Chorlton Coffee Festival can help. So don’t be scared of artisan coffee and don’t be embarrassed to ask for a single estate pourover for a change. Other than enjoying Chorlton’s cafe scene, try something different at the festival, where there will be events and specials at some cafes offering coffee tasting, single origin brews and the chance to sample coffee made differently. We promise not to allow it to turn into a head-nodding clique, and it might just blow your tastebuds.
Tags: coffee, coffee trends, espresso, history, pourover, single estate, third wave
18th May 2013 by
Every week, without fail I buy bananas with the good intention of eating them everyday for breakfast, but that doesn’t always materialise, so I always end up with a couple leftover, going soft in the fruit bowl. Instead of letting them go to waste, I make banana cake!
This particular banana cake is more fancy than I usually make, with the addition of chocolate chips and a big ‘ol shot of espresso. There are loads of other flavours that go really well together with coffee, you can read more about it’s other flavour companions here!
Lets get cooking!
Cast of characters
3 ripe bananas, mashed
50g Caster Sugar
50g Brown Sugar
110g Butter, melted
180g Plain Flour
2 shots of espresso
1.5 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp salt
large handful chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and grease and line a baking tin. I used a 9″ brownie tin, but a loaf tin would probably be better!
In one bowl add your flour, baking powder and salt and use a whisk to mix it all up. This is my lazy woman’s sieving cheat – saves on the washing up!
In another bowl add your mashed up bananas, egg, sugars and melted butter and beat together.
Add your espresso to the wet mixture and mix in.
Gently fold in the dry ingredients until just mixed in. Scoop the bottom to make sure theres no pockets of flour hiding!
Fold in your chocolate chips – as you can see I added a bit more than a handful of chocolate chips (whoops). At this point you could add other ingredients into the mixture, things like walnuts or pecans would be nice, I think.
Spoon the mixture into your greased and lined tin and put it in your preheated oven.
Mine took around 40-45 mins to cook – it’s ready when a skewer comes out cleanly.
I served mine with a little bit of greek yogurt which was nice as it cut through the sweetness.
The coffee flavour is really nice, and goes well with the chocolate. Next time I make this, I would use stronger coffee and better quality dark chocolate chips.
9th May 2013 by
Whilst many of us may be partial to a sizeable chunk of chocolate brownie with our flat white as the afternoon slump sets in, or a delicious spoonful of Tiramisu at an Italian dinner party (y’know, because we go to those all the time), coffee isn’t just a vessel to dip your bar of Bournville in. With the help of one of the most well-thumbed books in my cookery catalogue, Nikki Segnit’s Flavour Thesaurus is here to teach us there’s more to coffee than meets the (double) eye. (Excuse the awful coffee pun.)
Coffee & Avocado
If you’re keen to get one of your five a day in your much-needed caffeine injection first thing in the morning, a surprisingly popular combination is the Coffee Avocado milkshake. Pureed with condensed milk, it makes for a unctuously tasty morning pick me up, though perhaps not the most health-conscious replacement if your order is usually a skinny latte!
Coffee & Beef
Yep, you read that right. Popular in the deep South, it’s used as a rub for slow-cooked meats such as brisket. There’s a supposed overlap between the flavours of roasted coffee and cooked beef, though Segnit isn’t sold. She advises serving them at least one course apart at dinner, though if you’d like to find out for yourself, try this recipe.
Coffee & Blackcurrant
Another unusual combination, but one used by our assistant producer, Hannah, when recently competing in a barista competition (if my memory serves me correctly!). Popular notes often identified in rich glasses of red wine, Segnit encountered the two in a take on the classic Vacherin glacé: meringue, blackcurrant sorbet, coffee ice-cream, toasted almonds and whipped cream. She was clearly smitten as she writes, “It’s in the running for the most delicious sweet thing I have ever put in my mouth.” With commendations like that, I’m planning on persuading Hannah to recreate her blackcurrant & coffee drink at the festival…
Coffee & Cardamom
Almost a necessity to include given Lorelei’s influences for the festival: the Bedouin way of preparing Arabic coffee requires equal amounts of coffee beans & cardamom blended, drunk short, sometimes with sugar, sometimes with orange-flower water. Segnit says the aromatic spice rounds out the tartness of the coffee. If you enjoy spice added to your coffee, also experiment with heating milk infused with cloves (discard before adding the coffee), or a 1:6 ratio of coriander seeds. If you’d rather spice stay out of your morning latte, you might prefer the sound of coffee & cardamom cake with pistachio cream.
Coffee & Goat’s Cheese
Whilst initially you may be taken aback, the Norweigen ekte gjetost will have you promptly doing a U-turn. This delicious sounding ‘brown cheese’ is made using the leftover whey from the cheese making process. Boiled with milk and cream, the heat transforms the milk sugar into a caramel, and is popularly eaten on thin slices of crispbread with a morning coffee. You may be aware of it after a lorry full of the stuff caught fire earlier this year. The high fat content of the Norweigan speciality meant the fire was still burning five days later!
Coffee & Orange
I first came across this combination when I worked in a bar and a customer ordered a Tia Maria and orange juice. I looked at them as if they’d just asked for a gin and coke (I’ve had someone drink this before too!), but served away. Later at home, in the dead of night, when no-one was around, I added a dash of OJ to a shot of Kahlua and was surprised at its tastiness. Though perhaps not tasty enough to go back to it again… If you’re not quite ready to move to that level of commitment with this flavour combination, take it slow and add a teaspoon of orange zest to the batter in the classic Coffee & Walnut cake.
Coffee & Vanilla
Not surprising if you’re a secret fan of tainting your morning coffee with a shot of vanilla syrup (hands up! I do it!), it’s also delicious in the easy-peasy Italian dessert ‘affogato’: quite simply, a shot of espresso poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A classic and delicious combination.
Well, there’s some food for thought… get cooking with your coffee beans! And if you don’t have a copy of the Flavour Thesaurus, I’d recommend it: it’s practically my kitchen Bible.
4 responses to “Coffee: flavour pairings”
28th April 2013 by
Here at Chorlton Coffee Festival we share a love for great cafes. We appreciate that whilst Chorlton is jam packed full of them sometimes we like to go a bit further afield for our caffeine fix, so here are a few of our favourite North West cafes!
Tamper – Sheffield
Owned and run by Kiwi Jonathan Perry, this cosy café offers up a slice of the New Zealand coffee experience to the people of Sheffield. Jonathan likes to support a range of different coffee roasters so there are always new origins to try on the brew bar.
Owned and run by Sam Tawil and team. Bold St is in its third year of operation and has carved out a reputation as Liverpool’s best coffee shop. A personal favourite of mine you can’t go far wrong with a classic latte. Look out for guest espresso blends at Duke St.
North Tea Power – Manchester City Centre
Owned and run by the charming Wayne and Jane. The Northern Quarter’s answer to coffee geek’s heaven. NTP serves their own blend of espresso on a shiny La Marzocco. They also sell a wide range of brewing equipment and whole beans to take home and play with.
Coffee Fix – Gatley, Stockport
Owned and run by siblings Gareth and Claira and well worth the bike ride south of the city. Expect very tasty espresso roasted locally by Coffee Circle. The brew bar is host to new coffees and roasters on a regular basis so worth experimenting with trying a freshly brewed cup.
Takk – Manchester City Centre
A new addition to the developing coffee scene in Manchester. Takk is an Icelandic themed café serving up coffee roasted in Iceland on their brew bar, sourced from a variety of origins. The café plays host to a small gallery of Icelandic photography and regular live music nights.
Folk – West Didsbury
A favourite with Lorelei, our festival producer. Folk is a relaxed bar with a homely feel serving up good coffee and a fantastic selection of freshly prepared food. The breakfasts here are worth the visit alone and the coffee served on a retro styled La Marzocco is the perfect accompaniment. Folk gets lively in the evening with dj’s and live bands.
And The Dish Ran Away With the Spoon – West Didsbury
Just over the road from Folk is this vintage tea-room. Usually revered for their great selection of baked goods, their Union coffee is also pretty delicious. Grab a flat white with a cake-shaped treat for a relaxing lunch alternative! Also serves as a home to our head of marketing, Anna, on Fridays & Saturdays, where you’ll find her resisting brownies.
Tea Cup – Manchester City Centre
A favourite with Rachel one of our marketing team. She loves the range of homemade cakes and teas – and that it’s perfect whether you’re having a meeting or just lunch with friends. It’s a great environment for either having a meeting, lunch or catching up with friends”. Coffee roasted by Atkinson’s of Lancaster along with a wide range of teas. This café is definitely for the tea lover out there.
The Music Room and Priory Hall – Lancaster
The Steele family started out roasting coffee in Atkinson’s (next door to the Hall). They have since opened up two outlets serving up freshly roasted speciality coffee using a variety of brew methods. Making Lancaster a bit of a coffee destination, Priory Hall is an iconic Art Deco building which has been put to excellent use by housing a relaxing coffee shop.
Kings Café – Altrincham
Newly opened by Matthew Brame, Kings Café is a quiet spot off the beaten track in the suburb of Altrincham. The well compiled food menu and selection of freshly baked cakes reflects Matty’s background in food. He also runs the Orangery Café in Golden Days Garden Centre, Cheadle. The delicious coffee here is supplied by R Coffee of Didsbury.
Laynes Espresso – Leeds
Laynes has been open for a couple of years and has established itself as one of the leading coffee shops in the North West. Run by good pals Dave Olejnik and Carl Fleischer, the shop serves up delicious espresso pulled from a rather attractive Synesso (a rare machine in these parts!). Not too far from Leeds Central Station, so well worth checking out if you’re in the area.
Broderick’s Love Coffee – Manchester Airport
John Broderick and family bring to you an artisan coffee experience whilst heading out on your travels. Find them in departures of terminal two. The café has been residence here for almost four years and has earned itself the reputation of serving the best coffee at the airport. With two shiny La Marzoccos to play on the staff take pride in serving up a proper brew.
3 responses to “North West Cafes – our pick!”
22nd April 2013 by
Chorlton Coffee Festival is all about celebrating café culture and our love for coffee. We all have our favourite coffee shops to go and relax in but when you don’t have the chance to get out and need to recreate that special brew at home you might need some extra help. So here are my top tips for home brewing…
1. Choose Coffee That You Love!
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But using coffee from a roaster that is able to trace their own beans usually means that they will be better than your average supermarket bought coffee.
Check out their website – Do they know what farm the beans come from? Do they have a certification such as Fair Trade or Direct Trade? If so you can rest assured that the farmers have been paid fairly and the coffee will be of a good standard.
Lots of local delis and independent shops now stock coffee so check them out. They should be able to offer you advice on what to buy.
Alternatively, if you favour a bit of online shopping, most roasters will deliver freshly roasted coffee to your door. Several of them run a subscription which will add a bit of variety to your weekly cup.
Here are some roasters which we like in Manchester and a couple that supply some of the cafes participating in the festival.
2. Invest In a Coffee Grinder
The moment that those beans are ground up and exposed to the air they start to deteriorate so freshly ground coffee is an absolute must. You don’t have to spend mega bucks on this (although if you’ve got the cash the more you spend the better!) Here are a couple which I rate for home use….
Budget – Hario Skerton Coffee Mill
Pay Day Treat – Baratza Grinder
Wish List – Mazzer Mini Espresso Coffee Grinder
3. Weigh Your Beans!
Once you’ve ground those coffee beans up the finished product is super sensitive so you want to try and achieve some consistency with accurate weighing. Weigh the beans before you grind them. The general advice is to use 70g for every litre of water – you can use this brew ratio for French press, Aeropress, pourover etc. But also every coffee is different so have a play around. Brewing at home can be like reliving a school science class (one of the fun ones!)
Using filtered or bottled mineral water can make a huge difference to the taste of your coffee. You know when you get that bag of beans that describes the coffee as having notes of peach and lavender?? Well you’re much more likely to pick up on these flavours with filtered or bottled mineral water, especially if you are in a hard water area.
Cold cups and cold brewing equipment will cool down your coffee and affect the brewing so warm everything with hot water first.
6. Water Temperature
Coffee and boiling water are not friends. Using water that is just less than boiling is ok for a French press. Lower is better for aeropress and pourovers. Again, experiment and see what best suits the coffee and brew equipment that you are using.
7. Time your brew
Once your freshly ground beans have come into contact with water the coffee is changing every second so time how long you leave it before you plunge. Experiment with brewing for 120 seconds, 150 seconds, 180 seconds and so on. The differences with these will demonstrate to you how the timing can affect the brew and will guarantee that you won’t be guessing time, weight and temperature from now on!
8. With milk or without?
My final piece of advice is dare to try the lovely coffee that you have invested in without milk. You’ll be surprised at the flavours that you miss when you add milk and sugar.
Just taking on board a couple of these tips will help to improve your home brewing. Do them all and you’ll really notice the difference. Happy brewing!
One response to “Top Tips for Happy Coffee Brewing at Home”
18th April 2013 by
Here at Chorlton Coffee Festival, we most definitely promote responsible drinking, and we find one of the most responsible ways to go about getting a little booze rush is to skip over drinking spirits neat, and simply enjoy as an addition to your coffee at the end of a meal. It’s guaranteed to prevent hangovers as you’re just having a tiny tipple and is truly delicious. Don’t just take our word for it though, here’s some of the classic boozy digestifs to perk you up at the end of a meal!
First of all, take your base ingredients: generally, these will include… you’ve guessed it, coffee!, usually some double cream to create that Guinness-esque head & for the er, harsher spirits, a teaspoon of brown sugar! It’s up to you which coffee you use, but if you talk to your local Chorlton coffee shop, they should be able to recommend the perfect type! Espresso + hot water is recommended, but it works equally well with filter or french press (and Aeropress is perfect if you wanna get fancy!), and I’ve been known to whip out the instant stuff when I’ve been far too in need of a caffeine fix to fiddle around with the other stuff…
To perfect that creamy head, it’s important to use a good thick cream – double is ideal – and give it a good shake before pouring. Not over ice though! I’ve made that mistake before, and of course, it thins the cream meaning it refuses to layer. Slow pouring over the back of a teaspoon is fine, although if you want to get fancy, you can always use a bar spoon (the long kind with the twirly stem).
Starting with our across-the-water neighbours and one of the inventors of true cafe culture (think Sartre debating the meaning of existence in Les Deux Magots) we have the French coffee. Just add a shot of Grand Marnier, an orange flavoured brandy liqueur; you may be able to bypass the sugar with this one as this is a slightly sweeter alcohol.
Perhaps the most well known of the after-dinner liqueur coffee, this one most definitely requires large quantities of sugar. (Did you think I was going to say booze then? How stereotypical of you!) Trust me – I’ve tried it without, and it would take a strong palette to be able to deal with neat whiskey + coffee. Supposedly invented by one Joe Sheridan, working in Limerick at the time, to warm the bones of a group of American tourists. The booze? Irish whiskey, of course.
Travelling over to the Caribbean, we have my favourite of the lot, probably because of the extra coffee taste found in the 1.5 shots of coffee liqueur: you can use any brand but it’s traditionally made with Tia Maria or Kaluha, and topped up with a .5 shot of rum. Heady stuff! Sugar can be omitted as the sweetness comes from the coffee liqueur, but add to taste. This is also known as Jamaican coffee, though I suppose the name “Calypso” helps to give it a more relaxing and tropical feel…
…and we’re back to Europe. Well, of course this one has gotta be in here somewhere – everybody knows how much the Italians love their coffee. This one requires the addition of Amaretto, again, a sweet liqueur, so less sugar is needed here. Amaretto is made from a base of almond and/or apricot pits, and essentially tastes like bakewell tart. If you opt for this one, you’ve either got a very sweet tooth, or you can forego dessert! We won’t judge either way 😉
Off for a visit to the southern states now, this is the one I’m making after I’ve written this post… Not to be confused with the Kentucky Coffeetree – a tree whose seeds can be roasted and used as a substitute for coffee beans, though toxic if consumed unroasted! The gorgeous vanilla and caramel tones of a decent bourbon perfectly compliment coffee’s bitter notes. Here, sugar is required, although if you opt for one of the honey-flavoured bourbons currently on the market, you may be able to skip it.
Or, as I like to call it: When There’s No Other Booze In The House Coffee. I’m not sure what the appeal with this one is: for me hot coffee and vodka a match made in heaven do not make! (Totally different story when we’re on to the espresso martini however…) Interestingly, it’s only been in recent years that coffee has become popular in Russia: their proximity to China meant they nearly rivalled the Brits in their love of tea! Perhaps sticking a shot of vodka in it was the only way Starbucks could get them to swig it…
Not quite the same as the others, as the booze is actually served on the side. I suppose this shouldn’t technically be in this post as I’m forcing you back to Italy, where it’s traditionally served. Caffe corretto is a shot of espresso served with another shot of grappa – although this can be swapped for brandy or sambucca! Grappa is a grape based Italian brandy… so basically wine brandy. Yikes!
I’m pretty sure I’d never heard of this one before researching this article, and I’ve got to be honest, I’m not sure I want to hear of it again. The most English of all spirits, gin, is added to this one. I’m going to leave you to let me know what this tastes like… Some recipes include triple sec (an orange liqueur) and a coffee liqueur as well – surely to overpower the taste of GIN in COFFEE. What’s the world coming to?! On that note, I’m off to make myself a Kentucky coffee… much nicer (I think!).
16th April 2013 by
Chorlton Coffee festival producers Lorelei Loveridge & Hannah Davies got a taste for a life in front of the cameras last weekend! One of the photographers from the Manchester Evening News met up with them to grab a shot to accompany a piece on the festival in the MEN, which went out today.
As you’ll see in the article, part of Lorelei’s decision to set up Chorlton Coffee Festival was in order to change the UK’s approach to cafe culture, and ensure that we can get a coffee just as late as we can get a beer!
15th April 2013 by
Iced coffee is the perfect thirst quencher on a hot summer’s day, when just the thought of a hot drink makes your brain melt into a puddle.
The problem with iced coffee is that it is very tricky to get right, without diluting the hot, freshly brewed coffee with ice. The obvious solution would be to brew hot coffee and let it go cold in the fridge, but I’ve found that the coffee ends up bitter and stale (think office coffee cup left to go cold on your desk). What’s a girl to do?
Cold Brew Coffee
I discovered this post on Wikipedia a while ago about the cold brew method, and decided to devise a way of making iced coffee concentrate at home, without the need for hot coffee as a base.
Grab yourself a container that will hold about 3 litres worth of liquid. It doesn’t have to be a Tupperware container, it can be a bucket (make sure you give it a good wash if it’s the one you use to wash the car/dog/cat).
I used the best part of this 400g bag of medium grind coffee in my experiment – I poured it into the tub and broke up any massive clumps with a wooden spoon.
Break up the lumps as best you can and get measuring out your water – you’ll need about 3 litres of cold tap water for this amount of coffee. Feel free to tinker with the ratios to get the taste and strength you like.
Add the water to the coffee grounds and stir around to make sure all of the coffee gets contact with the water. I found this a bit tricky as my tub had corners that the dry coffee could hide in.
I switched to a whisk to get all of the little dry lumps mixed in with the water. I left this mixture in a cool place (in the front porch, in my case) overnight.
The next morning
I set up my coffee filtering station with:
- 2 large mixing bowls
- 1 sheet of muslin/cheesecloth/coffee filters
- Fine meshed sieve
Its a fairly quick process, the water separates from the solution very easily, with a little agitation from the back of a tablespoon.
When all the filtering is done, you will be left with an iced coffee concentrate that will last for about 2 weeks tightly covered in the fridge.
- 1 glass of ice
- Milk (I like low sugar condensed milk in mine – Vietnamese style!)
One response to “How to make cold brew iced coffee”
9th April 2013 by
We won’t ‘spill the beans’ just yet, but let’s just say that the Tea Hive will be playing an important role in this year’s inaugural festival – and we’re thrilled about it. The Post Box Cafe has both indoor and outdoor events, because – wow – they must have the biggest patio in Chorlton and right next to the Post Office. Every cafe signing on board has paired up with the CCF team to deliver what will be a coffee (and tea) themed festival that we know is going to be
31st March 2013 by
Coffee is my friend. It helps me get up in the morning (espresso), ease me through a difficult morning at work (cappuccino), gets me through an afternoon 3 pm slump (latte) and helps me wind down in the evening (decaffeinated).
Where does coffee come from?
Who was it that first realised that those little shiny brown beans could be roasted, ground and steeped in water to create a magical energy potion?
Have a look at these fun facts about coffee, brought to you by the Chorlton Coffee Festival.
Coffee was first discovered by a goat
Legend has it that coffee was first discovered by a goat herder in the 9th Century. He noticed that the goats started acting strangely when they ate the coffee berries. Three cheers for goats!
Coffee was traditionally eaten years before it was made into a drink
African tribes used to mix the coffee berries with fat to make balls of energy! I don’t fancy swapping my morning espresso for one of those, thank-you very much!
Finland is the world’s biggest coffee consumer
Those coffee slurping Finns consume up to 10 kg of coffee per person (in 2010).
Coffee is on the International Olympic Committee list of prohibited substances! If you are an athlete, watch out because if you have more than 12 micrograms per ml in your urine, then you will be in trouble! This works out at 5 cups of coffee.
Can coffee kill you?
It can, but only if you drink about 100 cups of it. It’s also a psychoactive – high doses of caffeine can make you see things!
Espresso is the law
Espresso is regulated by the government in Italy – it is considered to be a vital part of everyday life. I totally get that.
Coffee ‘grounds’ for divorce?
In ancient Arab culture, one reason for a Saudi woman to get a divorce was if her husband couldn’t provide enough coffee! I think that is perfectly reasonable behaviour (the divorce, of course)!
Can espresso make you fat?
Espresso has 2.5% fat where as a normal cup of filtered coffee contains only 0.6% fat.
So, there we have it – I hope that you disovered a few more facts about your daily (or thrice daily) cup of coffee. Keep us bookmarked and don’t forget to come down to the Chorlton Coffee Festival on the 28-30th June. Find us on Facebook and Twitter!
1st March 2013 by
The Chorlton Coffee Festival volunteer team is growing. Chorlton’s cafes are signing up. It’s a love fest. Okay, not quite. But it will be by June 28th! We’ve got a stellar team of volunteers, and the team is growing. Leading the way are experts in their fields, who love love love coffee. And we want YOU if you, too, want to be part of something big and boutique! Because everything we do to bring together our mix of events and educational, artistic and cultural highlights is a caring mix of passion and common sense. It is a response to a calling and a movement underfoot. It’s called cafe culture.
Now, what is cafe culture? Well, we aim to talk up a storm with our cafe owners and patrons of the festival to bring you a well informed view of what cafe culture is, at least here in this corner of Britain’s Northwest. Far be it from us to define that, though many are talking about it. It’s bigger than CCF! It’s a movement. Cafes are opening up in the UK while pubs are closing. There’s a hint (though goodness knows…we’re not celebrating the closure of pubs!). Bars are turning into cafe bars, and lattes and cappuccinos are being served alongside other bevvies into the wee hours of night as people become more savvy on the delights of coffee – not all of us go sleep deprived because we sip a cuppa after 8 PM. Coffee can bring lovers together into deep and clear conversation. Look everywhere and you see espresso machines of all shapes and sizes. Cups of carefully chosen ‘black gold’ prepared and served to a buying public in Britain that, more often than not, wants it ‘hot’. Never mind that the rule of thumb is to serve it the Italian way – warm.
Our volunteers understand that there’s something special happening here. We’re looking for more people to help us tell that story. Please get in touch if you want to volunteer for the inaugural Chorlton Coffee Festival. The only requirement we have is that you love coffee and/or cafe culture. x
Tags: cafe culture, Volunteers
8th January 2013 by
We live in and love Chorlton…for its cafés and its culture. The original idea for the Chorlton Coffee Festival came from the desire to bring out the best of Chorlton’s ‘cafe culture’ by celebrating coffee (and its sister tea!) with a festival – woo hoo! A festival that celebrates lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, Americanos and whatever on earth it is you fancy. Black coffee anyone? Coffee and cream? What does Chorlton have on offer, anyway? It’s not just coffee…
So as we ramp up for the big thing, click and meet us in the wonderful world of social media – Facebook and Twitter – if you reside there, and check back from time to time as the news eventually grows, things fall into place and we become a full-fledged festival in Chorlton. 2013 is our inaugural year!
If you are more than curious and wish to participate, hit the email button and drop us a line. We’ll tell you how to register your café if you’re an owner or manager, how to sponsor if you wish to throw money or goods and services in kind at us (we’ll make good use of your donations and splash your name all over in the most tasteful manner), how to contribute if you want to share something fun or intellect-u-al by way of an event or activity or how to volunteer if you love coffee (and tea) so much you could jump up and down and scream at the thought of actually volunteering for the first coffee festival in this neck of the woods.
I can’t wait to hear from you. Coffee drinkers are so cool.
Lorelei Loveridge, Festival Producer