Over the last few years, as we move more toward high quality coffee, the want or rather need for Speciality coffee has increased significantly. But what makes Speciality Coffee different to commodity coffee found in supermarkets? In order to achieve ‘Speciality’ status, the coffee must score a minimum of 80 out of 100 by a certified Q grader. The coffee can then be priced based on quality rather than the market.
Speciality Coffee is also a way of connecting with other countries and cultures- sometimes even with the family or individual directly responsible for farming the coffee. We understand that it can be a bit of a dilemma, some coffees are washed, some fermented, and some only available for a few weeks each year. Finding one you like and can get hold of consistently can prove difficult, but can also prove to be exciting at the same time. (Especially for the experimentalists!)
If you don’t know where to start, the most important thing to think about is your taste preferences and how you like to drink your coffee. Whether it’s black or with milk, through a filter or as an espresso-based drink, we can guarantee there’s a coffee you’re going to love.
Whether you’re looking for a new morning ritual and creating an artisanal V60, or keeping things simple with a classic cafetière, finding your perfect brew (whether hot or cold) will now be easier than ever. It’s time to say goodbye to instant coffee and hello to the world of grinding and brewing your own beans at home.
Enhance the strength of your coffee by using metal filters.
Choosing for Filter or Espresso
One of our most frequently asked questions is whether our coffees are best suited for espresso, filter or both. That all depends on the roast profile, generally speaking lighter roasts work better with a slower extraction method such as a V60 or Aeropress so are therefore considered filter coffees. Darker roasts are better for espresso due to the differences in solubility. However you can have a filter that’s dark or a light espresso if that’s how you like it best. You’ll find that our recommended brew method is always listed under each product, this is how we think the nuanced flavours are best achieved.
Our award-winning blends have been created with espresso extraction in mind. They naturally contain sweet and indulgent notes such as chocolate and caramel- which lend themselves as popular flavour profiles for all of your coffee shop favourites.
Baring that in mind, here are our recommendations for our favourite coffees that are versatile enough to be used for both filter and espresso methods:
Brazil Fazenda Tres Meninas
A truly unique coffee with an overall sweet and creamy profile that suits espresso drinks well. However, to brew Tres Meninas in a V60 will give notes of pineapple and limoncello. Great for those who like to drink their coffee black.
Honduras Women’s Co-operative
Chocolatey and sweet. There’s no question that this has proven to be a popular choice for both espresso and filter. Perfect black or with milk.
Most commonly used as espresso, Bojangles also makes an equally smooth and delicious filter, especially when brewed in an Aeropress. Out of all of these recommendations, this coffee is the fullest bodied.
Our Great Taste Award winning blend was created with espresso in mind, but thanks to the percentage of fruity Rwandan, creates a wonderful cafetiere bursting with notes of vanilla and raspberry.
Do I Need Beans Or Ground?
This depends on the set up you have available at home. If you don’t have any means of grinding your own beans, then it goes without saying you’ll need to buy pre-ground. If you have a grinder, then beans are the best option as they retain the flavour and aroma for longer. In order to get the best of our coffee (either beans or ground), we recommend using it within 3 months of opening. Always keep the coffee well sealed and in an ambient location away from direct sunlight. This article by Perfect Daily Grind outlines more reasons why you may want to buy beans over ground. However you look at it, our team at Adams + Russell assure you that the coffee you receive, be it beans or ground, is always roasted to order in traditional small batches.
Our favourite products:
Hario Skerton Mill Hand Grinder
Hario is a Japanese company that are well known for their coffee equipment. They combine a minimalist aesthetic, functionality and a low price- The V60 and Mizudashi Pot are great examples of this. The Skerton Mill has ceramic burrs and a 100g chamber capacity- meaning you can grind enough coffee for multiple brews throughout the day. It has an adjustable internal screw to adjust the grind size for your favourite method.
Airscape Coffee Bean Storage
A fantastic solution for storing your coffee that’s as trendy as it is functional. The Airscape comes in two different sizes: 250g or 1kg, great for our single 227g or full kilos. The patented plunger technology keeps the contents from going stale or taking on any odour. Your coffee grounds or beans will remain as fresh as the day you bought them.
Wilfa Svart Coffee Grinder
For the dedicated coffee lovers, this SCA recommended electronic grinder is an efficient and sleek solution. It has a built-in hopper with a 250g capacity, there’s multiple grind settings and it’s easy to use and clean. The Wilfa Svart really is as impressive as it sounds.
Strength can also be perceived as a flavour or ‘bite’
Which Is The Best Coffee For Strength? A Guide To Flavour And Strength
There’s no simple answer to this question, the most important thing is to define what you mean by strength. If you mean the amount of caffeine, then this is mainly dependent on the coffee to water ratio. The average brew recipe is 18g of coffee per cup. This is relevant for both espresso and filter methods. For example, 18g in / 40g out / 25-30 is considered a standard espresso recipe, whereas 18g is also used for most Aeropress recipes.
Strength can also be perceived as a flavour or ‘bite’. This depends largely on roast level, each bean has its own roast profile that best enhances the unique flavours and characteristics. Roasting lighter or darker than this can compromise not only the flavour but the quality as well.
It’s true that a darker roasted coffee does contain more ‘punch’. This is because it has been roasted through the 2nd crack, allowing more of the natural oils to be released. This gives the impression of a stronger tasting coffee due to the chocolatey – sometimes even smoky – taste profile.
Alternatively, you could look for a blend that contains a percentage of Robusta, as this naturally contains more caffeine than Arabica, it will also enhance the earthy notes.
Our best example of a strong earthy coffee is our Indonesian Java. This coffee is renowned for having rich, earthy notes and the cherry for which is wet hulled, which enhances these flavours further. With Java and similar dark roasts, you can also expect strong savoury and tobacco flavours.
If a blend is more your thing, Classico is the perfect option. It contains 80% Arabica from Colombia, Honduras and Africa, and 20% Robusta for extra kick. It’s rich, aromatic and produces a beautiful crema.
The Aeropress is the best example of a brew method that can be easily experimented with. Brew guides range anywhere between 15g – 18g, these 3g alone can have a significant impact on brew strength. Another way to enhance the strength is to use a reusable metal filter as opposed to paper filters. This lets more of the coffee oils through and gives you a fuller-bodied cup of coffee and like the paper filters, stops any grit reaching the bottom of your cup.
On a final note: Remember- The best coffee, is the coffee you love.