Guest Coffee: Our first ever guest coffee on espresso!

We have come a long way in terms of our coffee knowledge and confidence since we opened two and a bit years ago and this week we’re proud to say we will have our first ever guest coffee available as espresso.

The biggest reason behind our ability to offer a guest coffee with our milk-based drinks is due to the fact we have been asked to shop test a grinder set for re-release by Anfim.  We already use two Anfim grinders, a super caimano barista and a super caimano on demand (with doser), so I guess it made sense for us to put this new model to the test.  It’s been on the bar for a day now so we’ll report back in a couple of weeks with our thoughts.

A bevy of Anfim grinders including the Special 450 we are testing and our normal espresso grinder which will have a guest coffee.

The grinders are multiplying!

Whilst we’d love to run a guest espresso programme we’re not sure on how popular it will be and whether the outlay for another grinder (in the region of £1300) would be worth it.  We now have the opportunity to test your appetite for a choice of coffees and make an informed decision.

So the big question is who have we chosen to grace our hopper for this limited two week guest stint?  We needed a roaster that could provide us with some coffee in very short order and an origin that would taste markedly different to our own ‘Baltzersen’s Blend’ from North Star Micro-Roasters.  We immediately had one roaster in mind – Dark Woods.  You may recall we attended a tasting with Dark Woods over at La Bottega Milanese back in November.  Head roaster Damian is formerly of Grumpy Mule and a cup of excellence (COE) judge, in fact back in the dim and distant past I attended a Burundi COE cupping led by Damian at Laynes Espresso with original baristas Rowan and Jordan.

Guest espresso from Dark Woods Coffee

Dark Woods have converted a mill over in Marsden and created a fantastic looking space for roasting and tasting coffee.  They are planning to open a cafe and make their spot a real destination for coffee lovers.

In terms of the coffee they have a very specific manifesto centred around creating long-term relationships with growers across the world.  This Colombian coffee is intensely lemony with some cane sugar sweetness.  Personally I would drink this coffee as an espresso but combined with milk (as a flat white in the example below) it has that acidic citrus tang upfront with a light body and sweet finish.

Guest espresso and house espresso as a flat white.

Aside from the new guest coffee we’re happy to announce that we’ll soon be able to retail our own blend from North Star in some suitably pretty packaging.  The guys have put together a label for our retail bags that merges our logo with their stylish method of presenting their coffee for sale.

We’re going to run this slightly different than normal though.  In order to ensure you get the freshest beans available we’ll have empty bags behind the counter and if you’d like to purchase coffee we’ll open fresh 1kg bag from our cupboard and decant 250g into a smaller bag for you.  We use coffee quickly in the cafe and the beans we are grinding are usually dated between 7-14 days from roasting.  This means the coffee is perfect for immediate use and won’t have been hanging around on our shelves getting stale.

Coffee label for retail bags of Baltzersens Blend from North Star Micro roasters

Not only have we received our new guest coffee for use in espresso but we’ve also taken delivery of our next coffee for use with aeropress.  Koppi coffee roasters of Helsingborg, Sweden have been around since 2007 and it’s our first opportunity to see what they can do.  We’ve taken a Kenyan coffee that should be full of grapefruit and blackcurrant – a welcome addition of  acidity for a dreary January.

Guest coffee from North Star Roast and Koppi coffee.

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