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    by Published on 26-02-16 03:55  Number of Views: 1582

    On 31 July I will be riding 100 miles in support of Aspire

    Why?, because every eight hours, someone in the UK is paralysed by a spinal cord injury. It can happen to anyone at any time. Without warning, someone's life changes completely. Aspire exists to provide essential support, equipment and advice to people with spinal cord injuries in the UK and Ireland.
    RideLondon-Surrey 100 is a closed roads cycle ride starting from Olympic Park and heading through London to the Surrey Hills before returning to The Mall.

    Aspire is a charity helping to provide the practical support that can be needed by those who sustain spinal cord injuries.
    Without the kind of basic access features and adaptations included as standard in an Aspire property – such as level access throughout, adequately wide doorways, enough space to turn a wheelchair in all rooms, accessible bathroom, kitchen and bedrooms – unadapted homes simply prevent spinal injured people from living.

    Your donations will help improve quality of life for those who sustain a life changing spinal cord injury - that can happen at any time.

    I have already started training for this event and would like to beat last years time too.

    Every person who donates via my JustGiving Link will also go into a draw for some Coffee Forums UK merchandise.

    Simply leave a comment below and add your forum username when donating.

    Thank you in advance to all who support me. I will update you with training progress frequently.
    Published on 21-02-16 06:06  Number of Views: 1551 

    Jolly Bean Roastery has recently changed it's name - from Jolly Brew Coffee Company

    Jolly Bean Roastery hand roasts small batches of ethically sourced speciality coffee beans (the tasty ones!) and aims to showcase the individual qualities of each bean, roasting to order and delivering fresh to your door.

    They love all things coffee, especially roasting, brewing and drinking it, and hopefully they can share it with you.

    Click the banner to visit their site and use the ode shown for a Coffee Forums UK member discount!
    by Published on 11-12-15 10:46

    For those who haven't noticed Yuletide is nearly upon us. Wishing all of the good forum folk a very merry Christmas.

    L-R. Gary Dyke1, The Systemic Kid, Mr Boots2U, Glenn, Jesus =(A Young Matt Perger), Coffee Chap, Urban Bumpkin, Xpenno, Jeebsy.

    I'm sure there's a way to tag faces but I haven't worked out how to do it.
    by Published on 22-11-15 06:18  Number of Views: 1528 

    On Sunday 15th May 2016 I will be cycling the Medio Fondo route in the Chiltern 100 Sportive in support of Prostate Cancer UK.

    Along with my Bombay Bicycle Club team mates I will be tackling 76 miles (122km) of hills – with 1,897m of climbing (thats a lot!) - starting and finishing at Bovingdon Airfield, Hertfordshire.

    I like to set myself a tough goal each year. Last year was the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 (with less climbing over a longer route) and I finished in just over 6 hours.

    This ride however will be a real test, but what will spur me on is that Prostate Cancer UK is researching ways to help more men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life. Over 10000 men die of prostate cancer each year. That's more than 1 per hour!

    Money spent on research has already contributed to the following achievements:

    • Developed a new treatment for early prostate cancer
    • Set up a prostate cancer research centre to nurture talented researchers
    • Revealed that African Caribbean men are more likely to develop prostate cancer

    All Coffee Forums UK Members who donate through my JustGiving link will go in the draw to win a Coffee Forums UK KeepCup or a Coffee Forums UK T-Shirt.

    Simply leave a comment below and add your forum username when donating.

    Thank you in advance to all who support me. I will update you with training progress frequently.
    Published on 29-10-15 10:00

    It's not long now until we bring Cup North back to the northern heights of Manchester. This time we're in a new home at Victoria Warehouse and we're returning with an action packed programme of buzzing activities.

    Whet your appetite below with the rundown of activities planned
    for 7th & 8th November.

    UK Cup Tasters Championships – All Day
    Watch 24 cupping masters go head to head as they break the coffee triangulation challenge and beat the clock.

    Coffee Throwing Championships - Saturday Evening

    Try your luck at throwing a 1kg bag of roasted coffee as far as you can for the chance to be crowned the Cup North Coffee Throwing Champion of 2015!


    Tamper Tantrum in association with Cimbali – All Day
    Tamper Tantrum returns to Cup North this November with 6 inspiring speakers. Get the low down on each one of them here.

    Both Days:

    Cup North Cinema in association with Small Batch Coffee Roasters – Timings TBC
    We have a selection of coffee related films lined up for the event. See our full review of Caffeinated here. Between longer films there will be the opportunity to brush up on your skills with coffee tutorial videos and entertaining snippets from sponsors.

    Coffee School with Conti

    Conti have invited coffee pals Dhan Tamang and Charlotte Malaval to share skills in scheduled classes at our pop-up coffee school. Arrive early to book a place and avoid disappointment.

    Guest Cupping Lab – All Day

    The opportunity to sample and taste coffee from roasters and importers who aren’t exhibiting at Cup North. Confirmed so far are Square Mile Coffee Roasters, Nordic Approach, Coffee Bird and Lot Sixty One. Each slot will last approximately 45 minutes.

    Tickets for one day are £10 or for both days £18. Available here, and in Manchester coffee shops.
    by Published on 24-10-15 12:24  Number of Views: 1490 

    Last week I was in Cuba and really enjoyed visiting a coffee farm (Finca Roja) in Viñales - Pinar del Rio.

    The farmer (Senor Roja - pictured) looks after 1100 Arabica plants, mainly Caturra, but also has Yellow Bourbon and Red Bourbon as well as a few Robusta plants as well.

    He walked us through the picking, processing, drying and sorting process. All his coffee gets sent to a local mill for depulping. Some is also roasted locally which his family uses in their restaurant nearby.

    We learned about the pests that attack the coffee trees (beetle infected cherry below), saw leaf rust (a widespread problem in central and south america), and learned about the cultivation and pruning processes too.

    All of this was discussed over a few cups of coffee brewed by the farmer in his house in the middle of the plantation.

    We also ate some of the fruit he grows (picked straight from the tree) and saw other insects native to the area such as the little red ants that have a painful bite.

    My Cuba album is here and contains photos from Havana, Viñales, Cienfuegos and Trinidad.
    by Published on 11-10-15 09:44  Number of Views: 1506 

    Now in its third year, the London Latte Art Smackdown sees 64 of the UK's best latte artists go head to head for a share of a growing prize pot.

    Attachment 17053

    This year the winner took home a Nuova Simonelli machine, coffee from Square Mile, accessories from Coffee Hit, Cold Brew coffee from Minor Figures, £400 in cash (part funded by Allegra) and a trophy provided by Victoria Ardiuno. Did I mention bragging rights were thrown in too?

    Four heats were held on Tuesday nights in September at Kaffeine Eastcastle Street, host and compere Peter Dore-Smith's beautiful coffeeshop (the big brother of Kaffeine Great Titchfield Street).

    Pulling shots and serving ridiculously cheap beer to nearly 60 people each night was the hard working Kaffeine team, led by head barista Kuba.

    Attachment 17054

    The final on 6 October was held at Square Mile Coffee Roastery in Shoreditch, where over 150 people turned up to drink beer provided by sponsor The Kernel Brewery and cheer on the 16 finalists.

    Once the final 4 were established the penultimate head-to-head was between Helen from Lantana and Heidi from Prufrock.
    This contest was won by Heidi.

    Attachment 17055

    Battling for the top spot was the reigning UK Latte Art Champion Dhan Tamang (Caracoli - Winchester) and Nico Halliday (Noble Espresso).

    This contest went to the wire and was about to go to Nico when (infamous*) judge Jeremy Challender (of Prufrock and the *etchgate scandal in 2013...) noticed the cups were of slightly different sizes...


    Up to this point the baristas could pour two cups and put their best one forward. That all changed for the final throw of the dice.

    Nico and Dhan went head to head - steam at the same time and throw down your best heart, tulip or rosetta and be judged the winner of the 2015 London Latte Art Smackdown.

    Nico triumphed

    Attachment 17056

    Thank you to all of my fellow judges for making this extremely memorable;
    James Bailey (Workshop)
    Oli Bradshaw (Square Mile)
    Tim Williams (
    Claire Brice (Kaffeine)
    Ben Townsend (London School of Coffee)
    Phil Wain (London Coffee Maps)
    David Urbinati (Artisan)
    Jeremy Challender (Prufrock)
    James Hoffman (Square Mile)
    Marty Latham (Square Mile)
    Felicity Tahtis (Square Mile)

    Click here to view 100 photos from the event - taken by Head Judge & Coffee Photographer Glenn Watson (
    Published on 18-09-15 07:45  Number of Views: 22184 

    Beanmachines take their coffee grinders very seriously and are proud to offer you the very best prices on a huge selection of commercial coffee grinders.

    Iconic grinders such as the Mazzer Super Jolly and the Anfim Caimano are just a few of the coffee grinders available.

    A price match guarantee has been applied to all their high quality grinders - a symbol of their commitment to supplying the lowest priced commercial coffee grinders on the market.

    Check out their range of grinders:
    Published on 18-09-15 07:13  Number of Views: 1002 

    RAVErs - a call to arms!

    Here's a chance to support your favourite Costwold based coffee roaster
    The Cotswolds Awards - hosted by Cotswolds Concierge - are fair and independent awards where nominees are chosen and voted for, by the public.

    Rave have been nominated in 3 categories:

    • The Best cup of Coffee in the Cotswolds
    • Best Coffee Roaster in the Cotswolds
    • Best Cotswold Cafe or Coffee House

    ... so now they just need your vote which you can do online until midnight, 6 November 2015.

    Get voting RAVErs
    by Published on 12-09-15 08:53     Number of Views: 1085 

    Thank you to Al and Dan from Small Batch Coffee Roasters for hosting Coffee Forums UK on Saturday 12th September 2015.

    During the London Coffee Festival (back in Feb 2015) we briefly discussed the idea of a forum day in Brighton and Hove, to visit the Small Batch Coffee Roastery and a number of coffeeshops in the surrounding area.

    After a few emails to set provisional dates the Small Batch Coffee team put together a great itinerary which started us off at the roastery in Hove, and the day finally rolled around.

    First stop - 68 Goldstone Villas - Hove - Small Batch Coffee Roastery and coffeeshop

    Attachment 16612
    Jay roasting on the Diedrich at Small Batch Coffee Roasters in Hove.
    Your coffee is roasted on a 12kg Diedrich Roaster, skilfully operated by Jay and Al.

    We cupped 10 roasts - 4 Small Batch Coffee current crop offerings and 6 pre-season Rwandan sample roasts (2 of which are on the water - headed for the roastery later this year).

    During the morning the roaster was always on and the members got to see the process first hand - listening for first crack, viewing the Cropster software tracking the time and temperature and plotting the roast progress against the recipes - and got to taste the results of yesterdays roasts on the cupping table.

    Following lunch (which was superb! - thanks Al and Dan) we all bought some coffee and then headed into Brighton.

    First stop was Coffee @ 33 - hosted by Coffee Forums UK
    They were roasting themselves and the aroma filled their shop and the street outside - enticing more people in.
    This was the first 'espresso' stop.
    Delightful coffee and yummy pastries too.

    After a few minutes we headed to Taylor Street Baristas for more piccolo's flat whites and espresso, then headed on to Bond Street Coffee to try their espresso, brewed coffee and iced lattes, before ending up at Small Batch Coffee on Jubilee Street where we drank pints of iced flat whites and ate cake.

    The Small Batch Coffee coffeeshop fitout on Jubilee Street was brilliant - with a very long bar, a great selection of drinks and plenty of opportunity to people watch too. The coffee was showcased really well, and all coffeeshops we visited today were places I would happily recommend (and visit again).

    The hospitality of Al and Dan was outstanding and I encourage all members to support them by visiting their coffeeshops when in the area, and visiting their web store to purchase their lovely beans.

    The standout from their offering on the cupping table for me was the Ethiopia Wenago - a natural processed coffee which screamed blueberries.

    I'm also genuinely excited about their new-crop Rwandan's - keep an eye out for those as they are sure to be very popular.

    To view photos from today's visit please visit my Flickr

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