PLCoffee Company: a FRESH COFFEE!

Freshly Roasted Coffee Beans in Bridport, Tasmania

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9 Essential Coffee Rules

Posted by Robert Booth on September 22, 2012 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

THE ESSENTIAL 9 COFFEE RULES!!

1.Use the VERY BEST freshly roasted coffee beans you can afford: "rested" for a minimum of 5 days and roasted to a profile which enhances their flavour-characteristics.

2. Use the absolute very best coffee grinder you can afford!

3. Grind the coffee just seconds before you use it to make coffee: green coffee beans keep for 3 years, roasted coffee is at its best for 3 weeks and ground coffee goes stale in 3 MINUTES!!

4. When making “stove-top or filter” coffee use about 1 very heaped tablespoon of coffee beans for 1 small cup of coffee (120ml).

5. When making “stove-top or filter” coffee, use no more than 120ml of water per very heaped table spoon of coffee beans (do I repeat myself? No, this is REALLY important!)

6. Grind the beans to suit the coffee style you are making: fine for espresso coarser for “drip” and “filter” coffee.

7. Use the very best water you can get:

tap-water is not always free of taints, so, if your water-quality may be doubtful, filter your water or buy bottled water.

8. Coffee oils do not like cooling down quickly: the cup should be made from a thick ceramic or insulated glass/stainless steel and make sure you warm your cup before pouring the coffee into it.

9. Do NOT let your coffee sit on the grinds or stew on the hotplate; it WILL get bitter!

I hate rules, normally, but these work!

Cheers,

R

What are good coffee-beans??

Posted by Robert Booth on September 4, 2012 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

 

We get asked this question almost every day, and most people expect a single, straight-forward answer.

But, this seemingly simple question "What are good coffee beans?" is almost impossible to answer …

It is a bit like: “ how long is a piece of string??”

Coffee growing has come a long way, the production methods have been modernised and some of the plantations are state of the art modern enterprises owned by huge multinationals.

But, coffee still grows on bushes, sometimes high up on mountains and there are still plenty of (very) small -scale producers who work their crops manually, carry the picked berries on their backs down to their villages, pulp and turn the drying beans by hand and sell their small harvest through a co-op or on a regional market.

And, it must be said, it is not always the most modern and largest coffee plantation which produces the best coffee; sometimes the coffee-berries hand-picked high on a mountain in Africa produce an ugly little wrinkled bean which, when roasted, brews into the finest, smoothest coffee you can imagine.

There are a few things to consider when you talk about “good coffee beans”.

First of all: have the beans been grown and traded responsible? Which means:

• Have the coffee farmers treated their plantations/bushes with respect, without destroying native forestation and using destructive chemicals?

• Have the beans been grown and harvested in such a way that their quality is high and they are as uncontaminated as possible?

• Have the farmers treated their workers with respect and dignity?

• Have the farmers and their workers been paid a reasonable amount for their product?99

• Are the farmers and their workers able to learn new skills to improve their operations?

• Have the beans been traded in an as fair and honest manner as possible, ensuring an accceptable portion of the funds paid for the beans at the various stages of the trade actually ended up with the people who produced them?

If most or all these questions can be answered positively there is a good chance the market has supported the traders who, in turn, have supported the growers who , in turn, have had the incentive to produce good quality beans.

And that means that the green coffee beans, which come out of the bags at the wholesalers, are a good starting point for the makings of a GREAT coffee.

R.

What is your favourite coffee?

Posted by Robert Booth on August 23, 2012 at 6:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Although there are plenty of people who can drink the standard "white with two sugars” coffee style, most people will, if given the chance, tailor their coffee to their own preferences.

There are scores of people who do not like an espresso based coffee style, as they find it too strong, the flavours too much “in your face”.

Similarly, there are whole countries where the gentle drip of a “slow " coffee style has never been seen, nor drunk.

Drinking any coffee style at any time of the day has nowadays become much more accepted than 10 or 20 years ago, particularly in Central and Southern Europe.

In France, for instance, Café au Lait (Caffe Latte) was generally only consumed at breakfast time, and was seen more as a food, for dunking pieces of brioche or bread in it.

And in Italy, having a cappuccino at any other time than at breakfast was seen as improper; espresso was served as day-time coffee, as well as after dinner (with or without a shot of alcohol).

Now, thanks to the influence of international travellers and TV, cappuccinos are served mid-afternoon or after dinner; Café au Lait relaxes people before bed or stimulates a lunch-time business meeting in a café and espresso is readily available at every upmarket hotel’s breakfast buffet.

Coffee has become a drink for everyone, at every occasion, at any time, and in any style.

When trying to find your favourite coffee style, look at

What is it that YOU want to get out of your coffee?

  • • Flavour nuances?
  • • Sweetness?
  • • Warmth?
  • • Caffeine?
  • • Comfort?
  • • Social lubrication?
  • • A quiet few minutes?
  • • An ice-breaker?
  • • Or a cup of sensory enjoyment?

Each coffee style has different things to offer, different flavours, aroma, mouthfeel, lingering taste, even different temperatures.

One of my greatest pleasures is finding a lovely coffeebean or a particular roast and making all sorts of different coffee styles with it.

The changes in flavour and aroma, character and complexity in such a style “line up” are amazing; for instance, a coffee which is full-bodied and lingering as espresso might not cut it through the milk, yet becomes almost wine-like when served cold.

So, once you have found a favourite café serving your favourite bean, or you have found a great roasted bean for your own machine, experiment with your coffee.

Try a style you normally don’t drink, and see if you can pick how the different preparation changes the flavour, the character of the coffee.

There are heaps of styles to choose from, so, have some fun!

Cheers,

R

Get the best out of your ground coffee!

Posted by Robert Booth on August 14, 2012 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Grinding your coffee…

Coffee beans are like any other food: exposed to air, they will go stale and the wonderful palate will dull to a non-descript ‘brown’ flavour, much like the shop-bought intsant coffees.

But, as soon as you grind coffee, the volatile coffee-oils are much more exposed to the air than when the bean was still whole.

This is why ground coffee starts to go stale almost the minute you grind it.

So, the answer to really fresh coffee is to get it out of the bag and grind it just before you brew it; only put enough coffee in the hopper of the grinder to make the required number of cups; the rest of the beans should remain safely in its one-way valved bag.

We use an espresso machine at home and grind directly into the portafilter, because we do not want to have ground coffee sitting around, even for the few minutes it takes to brew one coffee and start on the next.

A grinder with a doser attached really is only something for the busy café or coffee-shop, where the ground coffee does not get the chance to get stale in the doser;.

For home use you would be better off using a grinder which grinds directly into the portafilter or a small cup from which you can tip the ground coffee into whatever you are using to make the coffee.

If have used a doser before and you find it hard to calculate the dose of coffee you need, use the ‘counting seconds’ method.

Experiment with the seconds for the dose you and your family-members like best and jot them down; this way you can tailor-make everyone’s coffee without hassle.

If you do have a grinder with doser attached, still feed it only as much coffee as you need for the cup you are brewing… it is called ‘grinding through the doser’.

Use a set of measuring spoons and experiment with the amount of beans you need for your favourite brew and keep notes.

It may be a little more work, but the results will be fantastic.

Also, and this is very important for all grinders: run about 1 heaped teaspoon of beans through the grinder before you start making your coffees, then discard the ground coffee.

Every grinder ‘hangs on’ to some of the ground coffee around the burrs and in the chute from the last time it was used, and those grounds will be very stale by the time you use your grinder again.

Running some fresh beans through it gets rid of that stale coffee and readies the grinder for the fresh brews… trust me, that stale stuff tastes horrible and can ruin any coffee, even if you use the most expensive freshly roasted bean.

You can minimise the amount of stale coffee in your grinder-chute (and doser, if your grinder has one) by brushing it out with a small brush after you have finished your coffees for the day, but getting most of the stale grinds out of the burrs only happens with some fresh beans.

Every grinder needs regular maintenance to take old, stale, oily coffee residue out from under and around the burrs, replace burrs if they have blunted or refurbish electrical connections, so take yours to a good coffee-equipment place at least once every year, if you are not confident of doing it yourself.

In the end the cost of the work done will be offset against a much longer lifespan of your grinder and much better coffee ;)

Our Grinder!

Posted by Robert Booth on August 8, 2012 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Our new ( well, for us, anyway ;) ) deli-grinder has arrived, so now we can grind your coffee-beans for you just the way you want it!

The last week or so we were doing that on our own house-grinder, but that one is very slow, so we decided another toy had to be added to the collection!

We have worked out the settings for espresso, French Press and Pour-over/drip-olator, so when you order your coffee, let us know what brewing method you use and we will grind to suit.

Freshly roasted beans, ground just seconds before we seal the bag... the freshest pre-ground coffee you will ever find!

Enjoy!

R

Our NEW BLEND!!

Posted by Robert Booth on August 5, 2012 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

It is finally here, our new blend!

Introducing 'Old Amsterdam', a gentle blend of Ethiopian and PNG beans, carefully roasted to a profile of dark-plum and deep cocoa notes.

A lovely long finish with a hint of nuts at the end of the palate, this coffee particularly suits the long black.

'Slow coffee' styles such as drip-olator, pour-over and French Press will fill your house with the incredible aroma of sweet, freshly brewed coffee, while as espresso this blend will work wonderful as a cosy, 'sit around and chat' Cafe-Latte.

'Old Amsterdam' is the perfect blend for lingering, fro those long breakfasts, lunches and brunches!

R

Sample Bags!!

Posted by Robert Booth on August 4, 2012 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

PLCoffee has introduced sample-bags!

For only 60 cents you can purchase a 40gm sample of any of our blends, and for another $1.80 you can have it shipped to your door!

Actually, you can fit 2 sample-bags in an envelope for the same shipping-cost, so why not try 2 blends?

Or, spread the good news about our fantastic coffee and have some sent to your friends!

Enjoy!!

R

grinders...

Posted by Robert Booth on July 31, 2012 at 8:15 PM Comments comments (0)

It sounds so simple, doesn't it... "grind your coffee".

Well, in reality it is of course, but even the simplest things can be improved upon!

Truth be told, the good-quality old-fashioned table- or lap-grinders were probably a good solution: they ground evenly and slowly, so the grinds did not heat up and the precious coffee-oils did not suffer from heat stress.

The really good quality ones, like the Zassenhausen-brand, also ground beautifully even, which means that the water can dissipate through the grinds levelly and dissolve all the flavours on its way down.

Lesser quality grinders produced uneven sized grinds, which allow water to find the way of least resistance and produces "channelling": where water passes only through part of the grinds and misses most of it :(

The modern electric grinder has similar problems: a cheap one, of lesser quality materials, often produces very uneven grinds.

Blade-style grinders ( choppers) are the worst offenders, followed by flat- burr-grinders made out of badly cast metals or even plastic, allowing the burrs to sit unevenly.

A good coffee grinder is worth the money and with good maintenance, will last you for decades.

You can make a really great cup of coffee with a good grinder and a pour-over filter or a French Press, but even the best espresso machine makes crappy coffee if you are using a cheap and nasty ( or expensive, but not maintained!! ) grinder.

One, very experienced, coffee-equipment dealer once said to me: " Spend as much as you can afford on a grinder, then make coffee in a plunger and start saving again for the coffee machine!"

Cheers,

R

Offer ends 31'st July!!

Posted by Robert Booth on July 19, 2012 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Don't forget our new-member offer of a FREE bag of Cafe-blend for every bag of Cafe-blend you purchase through our web-shop!

And, our Journey -blend is spectacular this week, only 2 bags left, so grab one before they are all gone!

Cheers,

R

New Members Offer

Posted by Robert Booth on July 11, 2012 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

New Member Offer

Register as a member, purchase a 240gm bag of Café-Blend and get a second 240gm bag FREE.

That is almost 500gm of the finest coffee you will ever taste for only $7.00 plus $7.40 shipping!

Offer valid until 31st of July.


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