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Quality Coffee Supplier in the UK
It occurred to me that I have yet to comment on one of my most favourite things in the world – real fresh coffee! Good quality gourmet real coffee. Esspresso machine, cafetiere, moka pot, they're all good because they make the coffee. Whether it's a short sharp esspresso, a sugar fuelled mocha or a long relaxing latte, coffee makes the world go tick.
I don’t claim to be a purist (milk and sugar please), I don’t roast my own coffee beans (green, brown, smoking lumps of carbon, what’s the difference anyhow?) I don’t even drink all that much anymore. I do however, live 15 minutes from one of the best coffee bean suppliers (IMHO) in the UK, MacBeans of Aberdeen.
They sell lots of different types of specialty gourmet coffee, they roast their own every day (I once got some off the roaster, got it home ten minutes later and it was heavenly!!) and they know their beans. It does cost a bit, but not overly more than supermarket packet coffee or even better brands of instant …stuff. They deliver, so you can buy online.
I’ve never had a bad batch of coffee from them and when I was a student, I visited pretty regularly. They carry good stocks of many different coffees from all over the coffee growing regions of the world, including the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.
I even got Kopi Luak from them, before the whole scandal of caged Luaks. This is very rare due to the tiny amount on the world market. They’re also very good at recommending coffee and usually do a coffee of the day on offer.
The Big Five
Below are my five iconic coffees – the ones with distinct flavours.
This is an aged coffee and slightly odd I find. The flavour is very heavy with almost mustiness or spiciness to it, a kind of earthy taste. Supposedly the aging process of exposing it to warm damp monsoon weather for a year or three reduces the acidity while increasing strength. Even though I used a filter paper it felt like there was a lot of fines and sediment. This maybe is a good one for Turkish brew and people who like to chew their coffee although this could have been down to the way I ground the beans or made the coffee.
Completely the opposite of the old java, this is a very clean and fresh coffee. The peaberry is so called because only one bean forms inside the cherry. I found this to be a thin, dry, almost acidic coffee but very refreshing and with an intense sweet flavour (an effect of one bean instead of two). A late morning coffee to my taste.
One of my all time favourites, I drink this the most. Quite dark roast, it’s a rich, almost chocolaty taste that’s smooth while not being weak. The coffee seems naturally syrupy, sometimes spicy and if you put a lot in, a bit earthy. Excellent after dinner coffee to relax with, but I drink it any time :)
Full of beans
This coffee is sublime, albeit a little expensive. It’s possibly the third most rare and expensive after Kopi Luak (civet coffee), in number one and Jamaican Blue Mountain in two. The taste is light and full but velvet smooth. This is one of the rare coffees where you can make it stronger by adding more coffee (never brew it longer to add strength) and the taste doesn't become either bitter or acidic. I tend to reserve this as a treat though on account of the cost. Possibly beware this coffee, I’ve never had a bad batch from MacBeans, but by some accounts, Hawaiian coffee can be quite bad, especially for the price.
This is a high caffeine coffee. It’s good on that account if you use coffee as a pick me up. It tends to be quite clean in taste and packs a good punch. I like it for the generally nutty taste it tends to have. This is definitely my morning coffee of choice.
If you’re looking for a bit more in-depth information I’d recommend sweet Maria’s coffee site as an excellent place for green beans, kit and shed loads of information. They’re an American site and I’ve never ordered off them (don’t know if you can outside of the US) but they’re easy to understand and they seem to know their coffee!