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On the Ninth (reverse, posting / working) day of Christmas my true love roaster gave to me….
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 06:18 PM - 2 months, 2 weeks ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - Steve Leighton's HasBean Weblog
So for the next 12 working days (taking us up to the 22nd the last royal mail posting day) we have the Has Bean 12 days of Christmas for you, This is going backwards 12 days, not the traditional 12 days after Christmas (any excuse really to post). This will involve a new coffee each… Continue Reading

Ask #Stevee
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 10:27 AM - 2 months, 2 weeks ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - Steve Leighton's HasBean Weblog
Carrying on stealing all the good idea that Gary Vaynerchuk ever has, this is my rip off of the #AskGaryVee show. But I know nothing of social media so I’m answering everything else. % mins of time to pass, this is perfect.

Whats this golden ticket stuff about ?
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 09:40 PM - 2 months, 2 weeks ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - Steve Leighton's HasBean Weblog

Christmas coffee selection 2014 at the plan cafe
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 04:36 PM - 2 months, 2 weeks ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - Welsh Champion 2009 Trevor Hyam's The Bean Vagrant
Season’s Greetings! Just a simple post during this busiest of times, as we approach the festive period, and the roasteries roast and deliver their last batches of 2014 to us at the plan cafe, to let you know about the wonderful coffees we have on offer this Christmas. Of course, these are also available as beans to take away, so you can have delicious, freshly roasted, speciality coffee and brews at home over Christmas and New Year …or for gifts! I know I couldn’t dream of being without it at home! If you don’t already know, we do only sell our beans whole, not ground, in order to preserve the qualities of the freshly roasted coffee, as it stales quickly once ground. So if you don’t already have one, and you want to make great coffee at home, put a decent burr grinder on your Christmas list, so you can grind fresh, just before you brew! This way you’ll have more chance of experiencing the best that these great coffees have to offer. The freshest roasts are arriving throughout this week – feel free to keep an eye on my Twitter which is regularly updated, if you want to know the latest. Negosho Farm, Lekempte, Ethiopia. Operation Cherry Red. Washed process. James’ Gourmet Coffee. Ethiopian coffees from the Dutch OCR project always make me very excited, as over the years, these have regularly been really exceptional. This one has a quite distinctive passion fruit note, along with peach and citrus, creamy body, and bright, juicy acidity. I’ve brewed this at home in Chemex, Flat bottomed (wedge shaped) ceramic filter cone, Sowden Softbrew, and cafetiere, and I have enjoyed them all, although I have to agree with our roaster’s observation, as the cafetiere was possibly the most complex, complete, balanced and sincere expression of this coffee. Finca Las Flores, Antigua, Guatemala. Washed process. James’ Gourmet Coffee. Delicate and refined, sweet, clean, fresh and juicy fruit, tea-like, floral, balanced. If you don’t already know, James’ Gourmet Coffee roast as light as can be for filter profiles, wherever they feel it’s suitable, allowing delicate origin flavours to shine, without any hint of ‘roast’ flavour, and this is a great example of this. Fazenda Samambaia. Brazil. Yellow Bourbon. Pulp Natural process. James’ Gourmet Coffee. This is approachable, moreish, chocolaty and very nutty. Low acidity, and a slightly deeper roast, to accentuate body and chocolate, but still nice and clean and relatively subtle, and not ‘dark’ by any means. Samambaia is a farm I look forward to seeing the new crop from every year, as it’s always well produced, and so tasty! For me, simple, chocolaty coffees are never as interesting, magical or exciting as lighter, brighter, fruitier coffees, but for most people, who aren’t particularly into speciality coffee, the mere mention of chocolate has an instant allure, and any mention of fruit or acidity is a scary, alien concept, which is easy to understand. This coffee is comforting, easy to love, and not challenging, and it’s easy to be seduced, as it is delicious. Finca Santuario. Colombia. Washed process. Union Hand Roasted. Chocolaty, but still with fruity, juicy, clean, peach and plum notes. This is a ‘light’ roast from Union, and it is relatively light in the grand scheme of things, although Union do generally go a little bit deeper even for light roasts, when compared to some other artisan roasters who roast very light. This accentuates denser chocolaty tones and body, and intensifies aromas and flavours, and this roast style will appeal to those who enjoy more full bodied coffee. For espresso, we have the Naturelle seasonal espresso blend from James’ (kilo bags). This is currently composed of washed process coffees from Finca Bourbon, Guatemala, and Suke Quto, Guji, Ethiopia. There is so much I could say about this blend, which is very special to me, and which can regularly be seen as my espresso of the day at the plan cafe, even moreso this year than ever. But for now, I’ll simply provide a brief description! Naturelle (always) showcases a great Ethiopian coffee which (together with a relatively light espresso profile roast) brings juicy, fruity brightness and floral complexity to the blend. This is supported by a foundation currently provided by the Finca Bourbon, that adds richer, chocolaty base notes, that give enough depth for this to work in a whole range of ways. We currently also still have a small amount of James’ washed Rwaikamba Kenya Peaberry too; beautiful little round peaberries, with distinctive, intoxicating blackcurrant characteristics, and creamy body, but these are almost all gone! That’s it! Have a great time!

On the Eighth (reverse, posting / working) day of Christmas my true love roaster gave to me….
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 02:49 PM - 2 months, 2 weeks ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - Steve Leighton's HasBean Weblog
So for the next 12 working days (taking us up to the 22nd the last royal mail posting day) we have the Has Bean 12 days of Christmas for you, This is going backwards 12 days, not the traditional 12 days after Christmas (any excuse really to post). This will involve a new coffee each… Continue Reading

On the seventh (reverse, posting / working) day of Christmas my true love roaster gave to me….
Monday, December 15, 2014 - 03:17 PM - 2 months, 2 weeks ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - Steve Leighton's HasBean Weblog
So for the next 12 working days (taking us up to the 22nd the last royal mail posting day) we have the Has Bean 12 days of Christmas for you, This is going backwards 12 days, not the traditional 12 days after Christmas (any excuse really to post). This will involve a new coffee each… Continue Reading

On the sixth (reverse, posting / working) day of Christmas my true love roaster gave to me….
Friday, December 12, 2014 - 04:16 PM - 2 months, 3 weeks ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - Steve Leighton's HasBean Weblog
So for the next 12 working days (taking us up to the 22nd the last royal mail posting day) we have the Has Bean 12 days of Christmas for you, This is going backwards 12 days, not the traditional 12 days after Christmas (any excuse really to post). This will involve a new coffee each… Continue Reading

On the fifth (reverse, posting / working) day of Christmas my true love roaster gave to me….
Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 09:51 PM - 2 months, 3 weeks ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - Steve Leighton's HasBean Weblog
So for the next 12 working days (taking us up to the 22nd the last royal mail posting day) we have the Has Bean 12 days of Christmas for you, This is going backwards 12 days, not the traditional 12 days after Christmas (any excuse really to post). This will involve a new coffee each… Continue Reading

On the forth (reverse, posting / working) day of Christmas my true love roaster gave to me….
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 08:27 PM - 2 months, 3 weeks ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - Steve Leighton's HasBean Weblog
So for the next 12 working days (taking us up to the 22nd the last royal mail posting day) we have the Has Bean 12 days of Christmas for you, This is going backwards 12 days, not the traditional 12 days (any excuse really). This will involve a new coffee each day, to help you… Continue Reading

Quality and customers (a dialogue)
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 05:39 PM - 2 months, 3 weeks ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - WBC 2007 World Champion James Hoffmann's jimseven
Quality and customers (a dialogue)
So – after my previous blog post , Tim Williams wrote a response here , which I said I would reply to. I must begin with an admission of failure – I didn’t really do a good enough job communicating what I wanted to with it, which resulted in it being interpreted in a different way from that intended. That said – there is something to Tim’s post, it does point out a flaw in my idea and approach: So it worries me when James puts forward a sentiment that could so easily be interpreted as, “I’m OK, You’re OK: If you’re down with past crop naturals… It’s all good!”. Because let’s be clear – within the industry I don’t really believe there should be any tolerance for those masquerading (intentionally or not) as high quality when it is all smoke and mirrors. It’s disappointing to see “seasonal” espresso blends full of flat, dead, El Salvadoran coffees in February. I don’t deny that my original post could be a confusing message, but what I’m trying to hone in on is the initial contact with a consumer, who currently drinks low quality coffee, that we would like to “upgrade” to something much better. Great coffee is still a relatively small phenomenon, and every day, around the world, we’re still giving people their first moment of exposure to it. My concern is that when our tone implies we have something better, because we think what they are drinking is terrible, then we’re likely to have them become closed rather than open to trying something new and better. I’m not sure there is a way for us to communicate what we see (with their low quality coffees) as a fault in their current preferences, without being totally offensive to them – and I see this borne out in the real world whenever we try. My point was that someone’s revealed preference should be accepted as a place to start, as a valid beginning to a hugely enjoyable journey – and not a point of judgement. I’m not saying that we tolerate, embrace or encourage low quality coffees – I’m saying that when we meet people that like them we should not try to make them feel bad about it, or come across in a way that makes them think that we see ourselves as their betters, because our preference is somehow morally better. You could argue that this approach is duplicitous. I don’t think it is. I think taking a little time to understand why people like what they like – and being friendly and welcoming so that they actually tell us – reveals a goldmine of knowledge about that person and a wealth of opportunities to present something vibrant, enjoyable and approachable to them. I’m not saying that the industry should stop working to improve quality, throughout the whole chain. What goes on, up until the point of consumer purchase, should be pushed to be improved by all of us working in coffee. I just want to make sure there is an ever growing audience of people for the spectacular, delightful coffees we know are possible and could be possible in the future.

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