The last couple of days, even though it’s supposed to have been a little chilly has actually been quite lovely, so we’ve been spending as much time as we can sitting out in the garden getting as much sunshine as possible before the days get shorter. Sitting outside with a lovely cup of freshly ground coffee and a go ahead chocolate orange biscuit is bliss when you’ve got a few minutes to yourself, and especially nice when you get the opportunity to try some that is fair-trade and ethically sourced as I have from the guys and girls at Honest Coffees.
If you run a coffee shop, pub, b&b, canteen or work in an office, and yearn for the best beverages money can buy (leaving the vending machine standing) then you won’t do any better than popping over to Honest Coffees and putting in your order as you can get a special office/trade delivery of their finest beans. On the other hand, if someone you love is a coffee freak (much like Andy is) then this is a subscription that you can’t fail to be impressed by. Choose how much coffee you (or they) drink per week from 5 cups (which equates to a £6.90 monthly subscription) to a whopping 15 mugs a week (Andy does far more than that in the autumn/winter) which equates to a £13.90 subscription per month, fill in the details, pay and then wait for the packages to start arriving (the lead time for the first batch is usually a few weeks). It’s a brilliant concept for the cover lover.
I chose whole bean for Andy since he likes to choose how to grind it himself (extra fine, medium or coarse) depending on which machine he’s using rather than the one for all. One thing to remember with coffee beans though – try not to over grind in a blade grinder or the coffee can taste slightly burnt due to the heat generated from the blade. They are both poles apart so if you are a serious coffee fan and want the best out of the beans, then the burr grinder is the way to go.
First off we tried Up and At Em. Medium Roast from Tarrazu in Costa Rica. Rated 84 by the Specialty Coffee Association of America so already we knew it was going to be delicious. Probably more a coffee that we’d have finely ground so we could experience it at it’s full potential with our Sunday Morning breakfast. Noted for it’s sweet berry fruits and rich dark chocolate with hints of peanut – I most definitely found this the nuttiest of the coffees we were reviewing, much like caramel peanuts. It also had quite a fruity aroma. We didn’t want to dilute this too much by splashing too much milk in it as it was really lovely on it’s own with a small amount of sugar.
Firefly on the other hand, from Columbia although rated slightly lower at 83 by the Specialty Coffee Association of America was my favourite. Dark Roasted, full bodied and spicy. It’s a really clean tasting coffee when used with a medium grind. I think any finer ground and it would be like treacle, but medium ground brings out the floral tones of the bean. Beautifully round and simply delicious with milk as a flat white, or with the addition of chocolate turns this into one of the best Mocha’s that I’ve ever tasted.
I think the packages they offer are the ultimate in coffee subscriptions since coffees are chosen for you as a surprise taking you out of your comfort zone. This then enables you to discover something that you may not have chosen to broaden your horizon – why not experience something a little different that’s all sourced for you? Just trialling a couple of pouches this time has proved to me that Honest Coffees most definitely know their coffee. They have chosen some of the finest fair-trade beans available, making it far more accessible and economical for the coffee lover when there are so many mass produced, sometimes burnt, sometimes woody offerings on our supermarket shelves that claim to be the real deal.