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Archive for March, 2010

A friend of us has a fantastic APE coffee van for sale. This is one of those quirky little coffee vans that you can serve coffee out from. If you are looking for one then this is the perfect deal. It hasn’t been used that much and is in a great state plus you get training from us with it as well.

It was Purchased in late 2008 and saw light use on a handful of events during the following year. Tim probably attended approximately 8 shows while awaiting a decision regards the outcome of his permanent pitch.

I would estimate that the coffee machine has only produced in the order of 500 coffees before Tim stored it at home while he went back to full time working.

The vehicle was only ever towed to the events that Tim attended and so has only ever been ‘driven’ to manoeuvre it into its usage position.

Anyone who is interested can speak to Tim regards its documentation etc…

Tim will sell it as a complete package with all necessary accessories (a 40W solar panel, high power battery charger etc), so that the purchaser can begin trading asap. And you get full barista training from Absolute so you can be guarenteed to be making great coffees.

Please email us at coffee@absolutecoffee.co.uk for more information and we put you in touch with Tim.

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Oat milk

Joe from Cumbria doesn’t really like milk. He said we are not cows ha ha. So instead he drinks oat milk and was wondering if you could make a coffee with it.

It was probably the most bizarre coffee ever. Joe ran off to the supermarket and came back with some oat milk. Well, it does create foam. And you can actually do latte art with it. It had only 1% fat so it was a bit harder but the coffee tasted like porridge 🙂

Oat milk coffee!

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new 250 gram bags

Finally. We now have fantastic 250 gram bags that are easy to re-seal. For all those lovely customers of ours who like to sell the coffee as retail as well. Hope you will all enjoy it.

250 grams retail re-sealable bag for coffee

These 250 gram bags are great for selling coffee as retail or for home users

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Coffee at home

Pretty much every day I get asked what and how I drink coffee at home. Well, I thought it might be fun to post about it. I never really get to pour any drink at home, my lovely wife Samantha always wants to pour it. I usually make the shot, she does the milk.

I tell you, teaching your wife – who is lovely but rather stubborn – is not easy 🙂 She kind of teaches herself and has obviously listened to me many, many times before talking about coffee and latte art. Just by listening to me going on and on about coffee  has resulted in her having a great deal of knowledge about coffee. Sometimes I feel a bit sorry for her as I really do go on about coffee quite a bit 🙂

Shot from the Rancilio Silvia and Mahlkonig Vario with the Absolute Rimini

So, it is usually Samantha who pours the coffee. Because we have big toys at work, I think it is important to have a domestic machine at home. We have a Rancilio Silvia and use a Mahlkonig Vario for the grinding. All kinds of coffee end up in my kitchen but mostly I use the Rimini or Absolute Espresso. Testing blends I only really do on the commercial machines. It is important though to know how our coffee tastes on a domestic machine and this is exactly why we have a Silvia at home. It has the potential to make pretty good coffee and the temperature surfing is a skill on its own… and  lot of fun if you ask me.

Samantha mid pour

At home I up-dose a lot, probably around 20 grams of coffee for a short double – maybe 30ml. I sort of pull ristrettos but I dont run the shots too long, rather run it a bit shorter. It is quite a different way than how I would work on a commercial machine. Just seems to work for me… plus it is great to experiment and try different  things. I also have a couple of cafetieres, single cup filter brews, Aeropress and a MyPressi Twist.

Drinking superb coffee at home is exciting and is easily done. If you have a domestic espresso machine and want to learn more on how to get the most out of it, please do drop us a line.

Samantha's creation

Latte art can be done on most domestic machines

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At Hotelympia I met Rosalyn from Allegra and I asked her the simply question of how many coffee shops there are in the UK. She was really nice and looked it up for me:

“The total UK coffee shop market, including branded chains, independents and non-specialist operators, is estimated at 11,063 outlets”

Allegra produce reports and do fantastic market research for the coffee industry.

Have a look at www.allegra.co.uk

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We have been asked to post this. Maybe it is of interest to someone.

“The Swan at Mirfield to be transformed!

The Swan at Mirfield is a site that has the potential to become and really popular and trendy café and wine bar with an investment and refurbishment planned to the value of nearly £100,000. Already benefitting from a great location compared to its local competitors, it has the scope to provide a unique offer that no-one else currently provides.

The investment will turn the Swan into a contemporary, modern venue with a café bar theme to offer coffee, pastries and paninis during the day and a stylish wine bar in the evening. Punch are now on the hunt for someone to take on the Swan as their own business and get involved in the plans!

For information on how you could be the next landlord of the Swan contact Amy on 0844 848 3261 to find out about the Open Event we are holding on 23rd March!”

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How to change?

Just spoke to Karen from  Birkenhead. I went over to Liverpool a few weeks ago for a barista training session. The cafe has absolutely wonderful staff, all girls which scared me a little, and they were making coffee pretty badly I must say. But the great thing is that Karen knew this and so the training was wonderful. I felt the girls really understood it all and they were making very good coffees at the time of the training. Big bubbly foam and long watery espressos turned into short flavourful espressos and thick creamy foam. Job done, training successful. Right?

Well not quite! Knowing how to do it correctly and actually changing your habits is a whole different thing. And don’t forget that when you have been working in a cafe for 25 years and have been making coffee the same way for all those years a change can be a little difficult and scary. The same counts for the customers. Their customers expect a lot of bubbles and extremely hot coffee… or do they really?

It can be very difficult to change things.  They now know how to make really good coffee, the question is whether or not they are actually putting it into practise.

A big problem is that the girls who are sticking to the old method do not drink coffee themselves. Since they don’t coffee it might be difficult to understand the importance of it all. So surely it is easier for them just to stick to the old way of making coffee. So how can you push the change?

One of the best ways I think is to work with the person inside the cafe who is most passionate about making coffee. Someone who is doing it the right way and actually cares and enjoys about the art of making coffee. Why not make this person the ‘coffee manager’ and put her/him in charge. Set up a new system for making coffee and make the staff realise that everybody has to make coffee the same way. Not exactly the same way as we are not robots but at least to the same standards. Get the coffee manager to push it as well and be firm. Make the staff realise that this is the best way and that by doing it so eventually they will enjoy the job more and make the customers happier. Better coffee leads to happier customers.

For a real change to happen you just need to believe in it yourself. If you are convinced that this is the best way then it will translate to your customers as well. Just do it, make coffee the way you think it looks and taste best, and you will see that eventually your customers will agree as well. Point out that you have been on a barista course and that you have done your research. Explain about the beans and why you do it a certain way. But most of all: believe in it, do it and stay positive.  <- sounds a bit like a positive thinking coach!

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