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Square Mile Coffee Blog
James won an award!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 05:28 PM - 4 years, 9 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
James won an award!
We should probably have posted about it just after it happened, but nonetheless we’re very pleased. (James would like to add that Anette deserves the award as much as anyone!)

UBF Round 4 Tickets now on SALE!!!
Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 04:11 PM - 4 years, 10 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
UBF Round 4 Tickets now on SALE!!!
Get your TICKETS to compete! This is a ticket to guarantee a space to compete at the fourth Ultimate Barista Fighter showdown. Purchasing a ticket will only reserve your spot, so we’ll ask you to bring a fiver on the night to put your money where you mouth is… Time: 7.30pm (7pm for Competitors!) Date: October 30th Venue: Square Mile Coffee Roasters, 273 Poyser Street, E2 9RF Attendance to spectate is £5 on the door (no tickets needed), or free if you bring treats/beer! The Challenge is a mini one in size, but massive in control and accuracy…Competitors must make 3 macchiatos, one with a tulip, one with a rosetta and one with a heart. Sound easy? Think your big strong barista fighter hands can do cutsie little flowers? Will our female fighters dainty digits give them an advantage over the men? Is this the challenge that will separate the men from the mice?A full explanation will be given on the night to all competitors. Jugs, milk, coffee and cups will be provided.

More press for good coffee in London
Thursday, October 01, 2009 - 06:05 PM - 4 years, 10 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
London Lite the other day had a nice piece on some of the great quality focused cafes in London! We’re stoked to get a couple of mentions, and a bit bemused at the comment about us as ‘cult roasters’! Hehe!

Will Hide reports on good coffee in London
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 04:51 PM - 4 years, 10 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Starring some of your favourite London baristas! Nice to see the appreciation for well prepared coffee spreading!

Royal Mail strikes again
Monday, September 28, 2009 - 04:01 PM - 4 years, 10 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Unfortunately, the problems that the strikes within Royal Mail have been causing for us and our customers seem to continue. This is terrible news for any business where online sales is any part of the trade, and especially for companies like us where freshness of the merchandise is at the heart of what we do. We are in talks with an alternative delivery company that might be able to offer us a safer, trackable and more efficient service than Royal Mail has, and won’t cause additional costs for our customers. Hopefully we can have this service up and running within a couple of weeks, but until then we have to ask for your patience should your coffees be delayed over the next few weeks. Anette and James

UBF Round 3 – Tickets, Event and More!
Friday, September 25, 2009 - 05:05 PM - 4 years, 11 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
UBF Round 3 – Tickets, Event and More!
For those of you competing you’ll want to click here to grab a ticket before they all go! The Event: Time: 7.30pm (7pm for Competitors) Date: September 30th Venue: Pavilion Cafe, Corner of Globe Road and Old Ford Road, Victoria Park. Map Attendance to spectate is £4 on the door, or free if you bring treats/beer! Come down and cheer on your favourites! The Challenge is a speed challenge. Competitors must make 4 drinks: Cappuccino, Latte, Flat White & Macchiato. They can only steam 1 pitcher of milk for all drinks. Cappuccino and Flat White must contain 2 shots. This is a time trial. Time penalties for: Incorrect Milk Temperature (Below 50C or Above 70C) Poor milk foam (ideally 2-3cm for a capp, less than 2cm for latte and flat white) Incorrect shot times (outside of 20-30 seconds) Spillages Wasted ground coffee Drinks with latte art with receive time bonuses. A full explanation will be given on the night to all competitors. Jugs, milk, coffee and cups will be provided.

UBF Round 3: Blazing Pitchers!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 06:06 PM - 4 years, 11 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
It is all change for the next round of the UBF. New challenge, new venue and space for new competitors! The challenge: Speed round 2 group Linea. 1 Anfim Super Caimano. 1 Pitcher. 4 drinks. 1 ticking clock… In a race against the clock baristas will have to prepare a cappuccino, a flat white, a latte and a macchiato.* There will be time penalties for: bad shots, foam failures, incorrect milk temp, spills and mess and for taking too damn long. Bonus points available for latte art. The venue: Victoria Park Pavilion Corner of Old Ford Road & Grove Road London E9 7DE 30th September - 7.30pm start time. (Competitors arrive for 7pm) *More details – including more rules and spectator info – up in the next day or so. Competitor’s tickets up 6pm this Friday! Poised at laptops please, people!

Autumn Espresso
Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - 05:52 PM - 4 years, 11 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Autumn Espresso
It’s been in the shop for a couple of weeks already, but I hope it’s not too late to announce the arrival of our Autumn seasonal espresso! I don’t know about the rest of you, but apart from last weeks admirable effort on The Great British Summer’s side to prove it still had some sun rays left in it, we can safely say Autumn is here. My cardigans have gone from cotton to wool. If you’ve been following the updates on our Facebook page you probably already know what the Autumn is made from , but I’ll go through it in more detail here. It’s made up of three Central American coffees, Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador. The largest component (40%) was also the last one sourced, and is from Hacienda Rio Jorco in Tarrazu, Costa Rica. It’s a washed coffee of the Caturra variety, which is a shorter and bushier mutation of Bourbon. Rio Jorco is quite a large Estate, with it’s own mill and several smaller plots/farms, one of which made it into the Cup of Excellence auction in 2008. The Hacienda is run by the third generation owners, brothers Luis and Jim Alfaro and their families. The welfare of their employees and the ecological balance of the Estate is a strong focus for the Alfaros, 75% of the land is dedicated as a natural reserve and many of the employees have built their homes on the farm. In addition, they run the Alfaro-Zeledon Coffee Museum where in view of the fields you can learn about all aspects of the coffee growing process. The second element of the blend (30%) is a Pulped natural Bourbon from the Santa Isabel tableau at El Molino de Sta Rita, in Ataco, El Salvador. Some of you may remember we had the El Molino de Sta Rita on offer as a filter coffee last year, and perhaps it was the familiarity of the sweetness that drew me to this Sta Isabel selection when I cupped it earlier this year at the mill in El Salvador. Managing the farm is Jose Antonio Salaverria who was gracious enough to put up with my snapping away in his cupping lab. The last element of the blend (30%) is a combination of the La Vega and Cipresal lots at Finca Vista Hermosa in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. These two selections were singled out and combined as although they are quite far apart geographically, they both cupped very differently to the other lots on the farm, but very similar to each other. The owner of the farm Edwin Martinez, explained in more detail: “La Vega and Cipresal are both about 80% red bourbon, 10% caturra, 10% catuai. It is all pulped with a very small JOTAGALLO brand depulper, washed and patio sun dried. We don’t go by time, but we stop fermenting when the fruit is off the coffee and we are careful to agitate the coffee so no portion ferments faster or slower. Also for uniformity after drying, we let it rest or reposo in parchment of at least 30 days AT the farm. La Vega is about 47 cuerdas and Cipresal is about 26. 1 cuerda is 20 X 20 Meters. They are both between 4800′ and 5500′ elevation and the only reason they’re together is because they both cupped out identical over a dozen times. We literally couldn’t tell the difference between these two but we could distinguish them from the others and the others from each other.” Cipresal is a plot close to the main farm building and patios, while La Vega is further north. Edwin explained: “This (La Vega) is by far the hardest micro lot to pick and we have as many big trees as possible with little foliage on them. This is because we need their roots to hold the earth together and keep it from sliding down into the creek yet the banks are steep enough and perpendicular to the suns path of rise and fall that the banks themselves block all but mid day sun. So we need all the sun we can get. This coffee gets more shade than most certified shade grown trees… too much really!” We’re really happy with the espresso this season, it’s come out really nice and chocolaty, just what you need for comfort when the weather turns chilly! We hope you enjoy!

Guest Coffeeing in Norway
Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - 11:17 AM - 4 years, 11 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Guest Coffeeing in Norway
The week September 21-27th we are featuring as the Guest Coffee for Kaffemisjonen ’s (Bergen, Norway) International Weeks. This and last week they’ve been featuring the magic of the beans from Koppi in Sweden and The Coffee Collective in Denmark, so we have a hard act to follow! We shipped across boxes and boxes of various beans, and they will be brewed and sold at their four locations in Bergen! So if you’re heading that way and want to try some SQM brewed in my home country (sniff) and by some of my favourite baristas: Rasmus, Jan and Oda (Norwegian Barista Champion 2009), then go nuts! Spreadin’ the coffee love….!

Finca Mauritania Collection
Monday, September 14, 2009 - 08:45 PM - 4 years, 11 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Finca Mauritania Collection
We’re very excited to release three new coffees this week, all from one amazing farm: Finca Mauritania. Finca Mauritania is run by Aida Batlle – many of you may remember her coffee we had last year from Finca Kilimanjaro, easily one of our highlight coffees from last year. Aida runs three farms in total – Kilimanjaro, Mauritania and Los Altos. I had the pleasure if visiting these farms earlier this year while in El Salvador for the Cup of Excellence. We cupped all the farms coffees while viewing the mill where they are processed, and the Mauritania and Kilimanjaro lots stood out for me as coffees I’d really like to introduce to you guys! We bought all three processes from both, as well as Cascara from all three farms. Stored in vacuum sealed bags the greens smell amazing when you open them up, and we’re so excited to be launching the different lots between now and Christmas. We’re starting by introducing you to three selections from Finca Mauritania – all the same 100% Bourbon coffee, but processed three different ways: Natural Process, Pulped Natural and Fully Washed. Big thanks to Peter Giuliano and Counter Culture Coffee for giving up a little of what they normally buy from Mauritania, we’re now able to present to you this unique and fascinating opportunity to taste and learn a little more about how processing affects the flavour profile of a bean. On to the coffees, and a little explanation of the processes. After coffee is picked, our ultimate goal is to get the seeds from middle, and to dry them down ready to store and then ship. There are three main ways used around the world to do this: Natural Process: Here the cherry is dried whole in the sun, until it is a shriveled husk that can be hulled off. This is commonly used in regions with very little access to water. It is very easy for the natural process to go wrong – drying fruit in the sun can easily lead to fermentation or, even worse, mould. However, when done correctly the natural process is capable of giving the coffee incredible fruit notes and a lovely sweetness. Pulped Natural: Here the cherry is squeezed until the beans pop out, and then they are dried down. Most of the fruit is removed but a sticky layer of fruit meat (called mucilage) still coats the seeds. Again popular in areas with limited access to water, and much lower risk of defects compared to the natural process. Coffees produced this way tend to have great body and sweetness and are often very popular in traditional espresso blends. Washed Process: Here the cherry is squeezed until the beans pop out, and then the beans are soaked in fresh water until the sticky, sugary outer layer dissolves. The beans are then dried, often in the sun. This process results in the lowest incidence of defects, and as such is the most popular within speciality coffee. Why work hard to craft and grow amazing coffee, only to take the risk when processing it. The natural acidity in the coffee is really highlighted by the washed process, and the fruit and floral notes often given room to breathe. With the Finca Mauritania lots the same Bourbon variety has been processed each of these ways. Aida and her team are incredibly skilled, and as such these are great examples of the possibilities of each process. The Natural has amazing tropical and strawberry notes, the Pulped Natural is comfortingly sweet, rich and full bodied while the Fully Washed lot has a lovely honeydew melon juiciness and soft caramel and fruit notes. You can read more about each of them by clicking the links. This year Aida has once again produced Cascara from the dried coffee fruit left behind after the beans are removed from the cherry. This is used to make one the oldest coffee drink in history – Qishr, a tea made from steeping the fruit in hot water, often adding sugar and other spices as well. (Although we love it on it’s own, or as a highly caffeinated ice tea!) This is a rare opportunity – to be able to taste the effects of processing so clearly by using the same coffee from the same farm. We really want people to try this so we’ve created the Mauritania Collection . A bag of each of the processes, with a free 200g bag of the Cascara. Hold a cupping, share it with friends to help explain why you are so obsessed with coffee, try them individually or buy the collection and just keep it all for yourself! This is fascinating and delicious! We really look forward to hearing what you think.

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