I hadn’t met the Roasting Shed before, they’re from East London – which somehow seems appropriate – and they roast coffee, but without a shop space of their own to sell it through, a bit like how coffee roasters used to be. It’s not often you meet ‘local’ roasters at somewhere like London Coffee Festival, so it seemed appropriate to work my way through the three immediate filters they had available to try. Passed three cups, a washed San Roque, from Huila in Colombia, another washed Wegida Blue from Yigacheffe in Ethiopia and finally a third washed, the Ragati from Kibirigwi in Kenya, it was time to sample three seasonal, but somewhat archetypal coffees – they’re the kind of origins you become accustomed with early on in coffee. The Colombian had a fairly typical coffee flavour, easy going, the kind that works well when introducing newcomers to the world of specialty coffee and following on the Ethiopian was in direct contrast, a brighter more acidic coffee with distinct floral notes and a much lighter body, tasting very purple in flavour. Finally I was left with the Kenyan, a more complex darkly sweet coffee, with those winey like qualities you get from so many Kenyans, probably the best of the three, but at the same time the least accessible. No doubt a set of coffees that will be cropping up around cafes in the East London area now. Continue reading
After chatting to Brian we were at the end of our 3 hour slot at London Coffee Festival, meaning our time was up. As our bracelets weren’t beeping like something out of Logan’s Run, indicating we must leave immediately, we decided to have a wander about and make sure we hadn’t missed anyone whilst rushing around. Coming across the Falcon Coffee stand we noticed a few welcoming smiles, so stopped for a chat.
Falcon Specialty are my local green bean suppliers, responsible for importing the green beans that end up in about 1 in 3 of the cups of coffee I drink, which is a lot, but not that surprising, as Holly from Falcon reckons they’ve had a new customer every week since Christmas. I’d first come across Falcon Green in person at Cup North earlier the year before when Mike and Holly were running a cupping down in the Heart and Graft Coffee Roastery. What was clear, was that Falcon know what they’re talking about when it comes to coffee and not just about how good it tastes. Both qualified Q Graders, this time Holly was on hand to talk to us about our favourite coffees with Falcon’s Ethiopian Rocko Mountain being our personal Falcon favourite of the past year. Holly admitted it was a little embarrassing at Cup North just how many people had the Rocko Mountain on, but it was just testament to how good the coffee is. Continue reading
Just in front of Union’s pop up roastery was a cupping table, but unlike your traditional cupping table, where you taste multiple coffees to discover the best one, this table was designed for the coffees to discover the best single taster. Set up in a similar manner to SCAE UK’s Cup Tasters competition, challengers were presented with three triangles of coffee, where two cups were the same and a third was brewed with a slightly different coffee. The trick is to spot the odd one out, sounds easy right? Well it’s harder than it looks, the table was set out to get progressively harder as you went along, the first being the easiest and the third the hardest. To make it even harder, you’re tasting against the clock, in order to differentiate between those who get all the answers correct the fastest wins. With no prizes for second place you’re encouraged to taste quickly. Continue reading