It's been a busy couple of months - we're enjoying being at the lovely Torphins market every Wednesday and getting the chance to meet some of our customers. Banchory farmers' market has also been a great addition, and last week we were at Criagievar Community Hall producers' fair. Going forward, we'll be at the new Aboyne Farmers' Market on the second Saturday of the month (next one on Sat 8th June) and Stonehaven Farmers' Market on the first Saturday of each month (starting on 6th July).
Talking to folk who visit our stall, we are finding that one of the most frequently asked question is "what is your strongest coffee?" This can be a tricky one to answer, but we do our best! In simple terms, the strength of a cup of coffee is down to how it is brewed. This includes things like how much ground coffee you use when brewing, how much water, the brewing method (cafetiere, filter, pourover, aeropress etc.) and how finely the coffee is ground. It can also depend on the darkness of the roasted beans - there seems to be common (perfectly understandable) belief that the darker the roast, the stronger the coffee. This may be because darker roasted beans are more often used to brew espresso coffee. In fact, espresso coffees found in coffee shops are often made using Robusta beans, or a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans, while all our beans are single origin Arabica beans (that is a whole other blog post!). Most of our beans are medium-roasted - neither dark nor light. Different beans have different roast profiles, meaning that in order to bring out all the flavours in the best way possible, each type of single origin bean is roasted in a slightly different way. That's where the skill of our chief roaster comes in!
This is only the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to what "strong coffee" really means, and is entirely our view on this complex subject. For more information you may wish to read this article in Extracted Magazine and this article on the Perfect Daily Grind website, if you are wanting to make the most of your freshly roasted coffee beans, by learning a bit more about extraction/brewing methods.
Recommended to be read with a delicious cup of coffee, of course... Enjoy!
Delighted to say we have recently joined the happy band of stallholders at the wonderful Torphins market, a weekly farmers' market which happens outside (and is brilliantly organised by) the lovely Platform 22 in Torphins. Just in case you have never visited, Platform 22 is a great little - and here I quote - "Pottery gallery & licensed bistro, at the heart of village life in Royal Deeside. Family business juggling art, microbrewing, cuisine & weekly markets".
We are in very good company and have watched with interest as folk appear to gather up ingredients for their tea; all the bread from The Breadmaker was sold out by lunchtime last week! We've enjoyed some delicious fish from Granite City Fish, gorgeous honey banana bread from Cove Honey Bees, and been tempted into trying (it didn't take much, to be honest!) some tasty treats from The Wee Patisserie (at the market fortnightly). We're going to have to restrain ourselves in the coming weeks! Yet to be sampled are the meat from Sheridan's, tasty veg from The Seed Box Ltd and last but not least, Green Tree Kombucha (who are there fortnightly). We have tasted the kombucha in the past and it is mighty fine. We may be tempted, too, by the tasty pet treats provided by Russell's of Dess - Morningdog will be happy.
We hope to complement all these offerings with our freshly roasted coffee beans; by popular request we are also now offering ground coffee at the market. We plan to have some smaller, sample, or "discovery" sized bags of ground coffee available very soon, so you can find out which variety you like best!
The market is weekly on Wednesdays, 10am - 2pm.
The address for Platform 22 is 22 Station Road, Torphins, Aberdeenshire, AB31 4JF
Look forward to seeing you there!
We're very excited to introduce our new roaster! We had so much great feedback about our coffee towards the end of last year that we've taken the plunge and invested in a bigger roaster - which also involved acquiring a lovely wooden cabin to put it in! Luckily we got the cabin built before the snow came. It needs better heating and a few other things installed and that will happen soon. But today we did our first ever roast using the new machine - delighted to say it went well and our chief roaster is looking forward to getting down to the finer points of roasting very soon.
Last month our Roaster, Alan, made a quick dash to Winchester Coffee School for a few days to learn more of what he didn't know about coffee roasting.
The 2 day course was split between roasting theory, learning about the origins of the beans and cupping on day 1. On day 2 it was all about learning how to develop a good blend and then roasting it on a RoastMax 5kg gas roaster.
The result was then posted onto us several days later and we are now enjoying our blend consisting of Ethiopian, Colombian and Burundi beans. We decided that this would make an excellent Christmas coffee.
As for putting all this learning into practice in our own micro-roastery, well we've been experimenting with a lighter roast profile recently. This allows more of the origin coffee flavours to be tasted, which is good with the pour over method of brewing using a filter.
We've also improved our bag labelling thanks to Jennifer's creative skills. Jennifer has also been busy getting us some space at a few outlets in Aberdeenshire, namely, Everlongart Art Studio and Gift Shop in Alford and Buchanan's Bistro in Banchory.
Just got back from a very informative day of mixing with Scotland's finest coffee roasters
and Baristas. Lots of coffee tasting and cupping. Learned lots about the effect of grinding to different degrees and a detailed history of coffee through the centuries in Glasgow. Over 12,000 disposable cups saved from landfill throughout the weekend by using re-usable cups. Quite an achievement !