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    by Published on 27-06-15 08:13  Number of Views: 1062 


    Manchester's 2 day 'Northern Coffee Party' is coming back for a second year!

    With a change of venue - moving to Victoria Warehouse (near Salford / Old Trafford) - CupNorth is set to build upon it's successful 2014 debut.

    For details as they are released follow CupNorth via their website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
    by Published on 20-06-15 04:07

    In the relatively short time I have been a member here I have seen a number of posts that concern me with regards electrical safety.

    Let me start by saying I am an electrician but I don't work on houses generally but more typically on workshops and something more akin to hotels etc.

    One of the things that has come to light here is that there seems to be a large number of people living in houses where the wiring and fuse board installation is quite old. These older designs worked fine in that they protect the circuits from overloads but that is where the protection stops.

    Somewhere along the course of history the wiring regulations changed and later installations started using MCB's instead of fuses in homes. There was also the introduction of RCD's which added another level of protection in that these were designed to protect the occupants from electric shock in the event of a faulty appliance. Mostly these were fitted in the "fuse box" also known as a consumer unit and offered protection on all the sockets in a house at once.

    These days one can get systems using RCBO's fitted to each circuit individually to achieve the same level of safety on all circuits.

    In my experience appliances such as Irons, Kettles, Toasters, all of which have heating elements fitted are the usual culprits when I attend a failure. Coffee machines are most likely to fall in this group.

    Here are a couple of links to help clarify:




    So, what am I saying here? For your own safety and that of your loved ones you should at least consider some sort of RCD protection, preferably for the whole house but if not then RCD sockets which you can plug in those items I listed above. Having the Consumer Unit replaced is not cheap but in doing so you will get an inspection done which will confirm the condition of the house wiring is good.

    Other members that are electricians might have better links and explanations but the bottom line is....

    I want all of us and our families to still be here tomorrow.

    EDIT: for the more technically minded among you: http://www.westernautomation.com/DemystifyingRCDs.pdf
    by Published on 10-06-15 09:04  Number of Views: 854 

    The Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) has called for nominations for the following positions that make up the SCAE UK Chapter Committee (SCAE UK).

    The SCAE UK Committee is tasked with arranging the UK Barista Championships and associated competitions each year, as well as a growing portfolio of training and educational seminars.

    Nominations are being accepted from SCAE Members for the following posts;

    National Coordinator

    • Chair the SCAE Chapter Committee
    • Liaise with SCAE Executive and follow NC guidelines
    • Oversee Finance ensuring stability and transparency, working with SCAE Events Manager
    • Organise all SCAE/WCE Competition/Events. This includes Sponsorship, Judges, Volunteers & Competitors.
    • Enrol & communicate with Sponsors.
    • Ensure all competitors and Judges are members

    Communication Manager

    • Activate and regularly manager Chapter Website
    • Activate and regularly manage Chapter social media
    • Contribute to Café Europa
    • Communicate with members and local coffee community regularly.

    Membership Manager

    • Promote/recruit members
    • Communicate and engage with new, existing and lost members
    • Liaise with SCAE HQ on status of membership ensuring renewals and retention

    Education Manager

    • Must have a thorough understanding and experience of SCAE education
    • Organise and promote CDS
    • Recruit new AST’s
    • Organise Chapter Education activities/events
    • Set up CDS Education modules for new and existing corporate members.

    If you would like to be nominated then contact Glenn via PM, or if someone you know might be suitable and is either already an SCAE Member or is willing to become an SCAE Member then get in touch with SCAE via their website http://scae.com/contact-us
    by Published on 23-05-15 10:35  Number of Views: 14321 

    Brewista has introduced its Smart Scale into the UK coffee market. Designed for pour over and espresso coffee, the scale auto times and auto tares and has nano technology which makes it highly water resistant. It is the first scale that automatically starts a timer as soon as the liquid hits the glass, and tares both time and scale once the cup or glass is removed from it. It weighs from 0.1g to 2kg and has four brewing models including two options for espresso, pour over coffee and a manual mode.


    Launched at the recent London Coffee Festival is it the first of a range of new products developed by Brewista that will be available exclusively from Coffee Hit, a leading supplier to the coffee industry. Established in 2014, Brewista is a collaboration of engineers, designers, coffee and tea aficionados, roasters and brewers with decades of combined experience in the brewed beverage industry. It combines the highest level of technology with the craftsmanship and know-how of award winning brewers and roasters from around the world.

    Commenting on the new scale, Paul Radin, Managing Director of Coffee Hit, said: “As coffee shops are constantly working to improve the quality of the coffee served weighing and timing are critical factors in the process. Brewista’s new Smart Scale is the answer to so many issues that baristas face on a daily basis, and it taps into the emerging trend of pour over coffee which is set to be a mainstay for years to come. It ensures that speed and efficiency targets are met, and helps produce the finest quality coffee. Basically it’s a barista’s dream as it takes away the headache of weighing and ensuring the correct amounts of coffee and water are used. We know that serving the highest quality of coffee is paramount and the Brewista Smart Scale goes some way to achieving this.”

    The Brewista Smart Scale is available at RRP £40.00 and will be on sale from June 2015 on www.coffeehit.co.uk. Prelaunch orders are being taken.

    Coffee Hit is a leading supplier of coffee making equipment and offers coffee professionals the most exciting choice available. It has carefully developed a range of the best products from the world’s leading manufacturers and brought them all together under one easy to navigate website. It specialises in espresso gear, coffee brewing, tea gear, barista tools, café supplies and spare parts.

    For further information visit www.coffeehit.co.uk email sales@coffeehit.co.uk or call 0207 635 6247.
    by Published on 27-04-15 09:10  Number of Views: 2285 

    CoffeeHit are exhibiting at the London Coffee Festival in 2015 and we invite you to visit their stand and support a Coffee Forums UK Advertiser.

    CoffeeHit will be demonstrating both the Lido 2 and Lido 3 hand grinders - and you will have the opportunity to get hands on with both.

    They will also be demonstrating the new Brewista Kettle and lots of new brewing devices.

    Barista gear from Rhinowares and Brewista will be complemented by the full range of Baratza Grinders and Cafetto Cleaners.

    Of note will be the new Brewista Smart Brew Scale with nano technology making it waterproof, with 4 brewing modes. This could be the smartest scale you will ever own.

    Keep an eye out for photos during and after the event.

    Do let the team know that you are a Coffee Forums UK member when you visit!

    Visit http://coffeehit.co.uk/ to view their full range of products
    by Published on 25-04-15 02:48     Number of Views: 1041 

    In just under 7 years Coffee Forums UK has grown from an idea into the UK's largest online coffee community, recently surpassing 10000 members.

    Ably supported by a small team of moderators, Coffee Forums UK founder Glenn Watson has maintained an online community which is regularly praised for being one of the friendliest forums on the internet.

    Glenn Watson comments "I would like to publicly thank all our members and site advertisers for taking time to read and post on Coffee Forums UK and giving us a truly global reach". He goes on to say "Over the past 7 years I have been delighted with the feedback and interaction from all members and our team of moderators, which has allowed us to respond to member generated requests and provide a safe environment to discuss and debate the merits of coffee beans, coffee machines, coffee roasters as well as providing a platform for education and entertainment."

    Funded in its early stages by 5M Coffee Company, Coffee Forums UK is now supported through advertising and sponsorship from a diverse range of UK-centric coffee roasters, machine suppliers, training and consultancy companies and its members.

    Coffee Forums UK holds member events throughout the year as well as regular giveaways of its forum merchandise.

    For more information or to become a member visit http://coffeeforums.co.uk

    You can also follow us on Twitter @coffee_forums and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/coffeeforumsuk
    by Published on 22-04-15 08:27  Number of Views: 773 

    The SCAE UK is delighted to let all those who have expressed an interest, plus all our UK Chapter members, that the registration for the 2015 SCAE UK Coffee in Good Spirits Competition will open tomorrow, Thursday 23rd April, at 5pm! Registration will close when we have 24 entries or on Tuesday 5th May at 5pm, whichever is sooner, so please hurry if you wish to enter!

    Who - You!

    What - The 2015 SCAE UK Coffee in Good Spirits Competition

    Where - Caffe Culture Exhibition, London Olympia

    When - Wednesday 13th May 2015

    Why - Because Coffee and Spirits do go!

    How - Click Here or visit the scaeuk.com website to register to enter!

    * Please Note: The 2015 SCAE UK CIGS Competition will follow the same format as last year's competition with the Final Round being run only (No Preliminary Round) .
    Don't forget that in order to compete in all SCAE UK competitions you need to be a current* SCAE member or work for a Company who have a SCAE Company membership. Join the SCAE Here

    * You or your company must be a paid up member at the time of the competition in order to compete.
    by Published on 22-04-15 08:25  Number of Views: 806 

    The SCAE UK are delighted to let all those who have expressed an interest, plus all our UK Chapter members, that the registration for the 2015 SCAE UK Cup Tasters Competition will open tomorrow, Thursday 23rd April, at 5pm! Registration will close when we have 30 entries or on Tuesday 5th May at 5pm, whichever is sooner, so please hurry if you wish to enter!

    Who - You!

    What - The 2015 SCAE UK Cup Tasters Competition

    Where - Caffe Culture Exhibition, London Olympia

    When - Thursday 14th May 2015

    Why - For the chance to be crowned UK Cup Tasters Champion 2015!

    How - Click Here or visit the scaeuk.com website to register to enter!

    *Don't forget that in order to compete in all SCAE UK competitions you need to be a current* SCAE member or work for a Company who have a SCAE Company membership* to enter any SCAE competitions. Join the SCAE Here * You or your company must be a paid up member at the time of the competition in order to compete.
    Published on 27-03-15 08:28  Number of Views: 2228 

    Dublin, Ireland (27 March, 2015) - For the past 15 years, the World Barista Championship (WBC) stage has played host to innovation from the world’s best baristas. While we’ve made small changes to the competition format over the years (remember the mandated sugar bowls?), it’s time we introduced more changes. Bigger changes. Changes that bring the focus of the competition back to its innovative roots.

    WCE will be announcing exciting changes in and around this year’s WBC in Seattle April 9-12, 2015. These changes will take effect for the 2016 WBC (Dublin, Ireland).

    The first two of these exciting changes consists of a WBC qualified equipment kit for all competitors and redefining the cappuccino course. These two
    shifts indicate positive steps towards the continued evolution of a competition platform that consistently explores and shares advances in specialty coffee. In the sections below, we will deliver specifics about the WBC qualified kit and the new milk drink course.

    WBC Qualified Kit: Victoria Arduino “Black Eagle” and MAHLKÖNIG K30 Vario

    Since the competition began in 2000, the success of a World Barista Champion consisted of two essential elements: coffee quality and barista skills.
    Starting in 2016, WCE, with the support of MAHLKÖNIG, will provide all competitors on stage a WBC-supplied grinder in addition to the WBC-supplied espresso machine in an effort to level the playing field and bring the focus of the competition back to its original ethos. MAHLKÖNIG have committed to bringing 30 grinders to the 2016 WBC in Dublin, along with continuing their support of national competitions in the lead up to the WBC.

    The 2016 & 2017 Qualified Kit will be provided for use on the world stage by WCE’s qualified espresso machine sponsor, Victoria Arduino, and WCE’s qualified grinder sponsor, MAHLKÖNIG. The complete Qualified Kit will be the same for all competitors throughout competition, thus intensifying the focus on those qualities at the core of the competition: specialty coffee quality and the talent, skills, and passion of the baristas who join us on the world stage.

    “Based on the high performance criteria of the qualified testing process, the equipment provided at each WBC competition station sets the highest industry standard,” says WCE 2015 Chair, Mike Yung. “The Victoria Arduino “Black Eagle” and MAHLKÖNIG K30 Vario are perfect partners to the world’s best baristas competing for the top spot.”

    “Success of a World Barista Champion is the result of their ability to perform with virtuosity with coffee, coffee grinder and coffee machine. For this
    endeavor, competitors only deserve the best equipment available,” states Philipp Baumberger, CEO of MAHLKÖNIG.

    Milk Drink Course

    Most consumers understand coffee as a beverage to which milk is added, and the cappuccino course was always designed to acknowledge this and promote excellence in this category of coffee beverages. As new specialty coffee culture emerges, and social media and the internet make the world smaller, we now know that there is more than one way to serve incredible milk and coffee drinks.

    After fifteen years of focusing on a single definition of a milk drink on the WBC stage, we think it’s time to open up the milk beverage course to something that better represents where we are today as an industry: open-minded to anything new and delicious. Starting in 2016, a “milk beverage” will be defined as a hot beverage, made from a single shot of espresso and steamed milk, allowing competitors more flexibility in choosing a coffee-to-milk ratio that showcases their coffee best.

    The competition working group, a team of highly committed and experienced individuals, will be available to answer any queries the community has about the forthcoming changes for 2016.

    “The changes we’re announcing represent exciting steps towards a new WBC,” says Stephen Morrissey, chair of the Competition Working Group and 2008 World Barista Champion. “Our community has always been highly invested in the future of the competition, so we want to be entirely transparent about why these changes are being made.”

    The additional evolutionary changes will be announced on the world stage in Seattle, directly preceding the finalist announcements on Saturday, April 11, 2015, as well as throughout the coming year. For more information on this year’s WBC, please visit: www.worldbaristachampionsip.org/2015-schedules.

    Published on 28-02-15 12:32     Number of Views: 2059 

    If you haven't already please read these short articles first as a grounding .....

    We now have a brew recipe - How does this help me, and what can I do with it?

    Let’s recap first…
    A brew ratio refers to the weight of coffee grounds in relation to the weight of espresso in the cup.
    By changing the weight of the coffee dose, or the weight of liquid espresso in a shot, we therefore change the brew ratio.

    Changing a brew ratio alone will change the taste, balance and mouthfeel of a drink - but adjusting the grind as well will restore flavour balance at different ratios.

    As an aside, different brew ratios can be used to refer to varying descriptions of neat espresso, but what we are really describing is espresso of differing strengths, viscosity and mouth-feel.

    For instance, a brew ratio of

    • 1:1 to 1:5 (18 grams in - 18.0 to 26.0 grams out) might be termed as a “ristretto” espresso.
    • 1:1.6 to a 1:2.5 ratio might be termed as a “normale” espresso.
    • 1:3 and over might be termed as a “lungo” espresso.

    One could use the same bean and make an espresso using each of these ratios, then taste each shot to help understand the difference in clarity, balance and mouthfeel between them.
    This will give an idea of what kind of strength and mouth-feel someone prefers.

    Ultimately it is about preference and what you like in the cup
    A brew ratio will help you replicate that.

    So if you are new to espresso, or have a new bean that you are struggling with, how can you use the scales and a brew ratio to help you get a balanced cup?
    Here is one approach that may prove helpful.

    I’m going to start with a brew ratio of 1:2 as a starting point (this is my current preference - it makes a drink with the resulting thickness, balance and mouthfeel that I predominantly enjoy).
    So I'm dosing at 18.0g & aiming to get 36.0g in the cup (dose will be dependent on the basket/headspace and equipment you are using).
    When dialling in, I'm going to stick to this brew ratio, the
    only variable I am going to change is the coarseness/fineness of thegrind, to effect a change in taste in the cup
    Let’s be clear –
    I’m keeping my dose, tamp pressure, and extraction temperature all constant, in this process.

    So we are going to pull a range of shots and see which one we prefer the taste of, e.g;

    • 18.0g into 36.0g in 20-25 seconds.
    • 18.0g into 36.0g in 26-30 seconds, with a finer grind.
    • 18.0g into 36.0g in 31-35 seconds, with a finer grind still.

    Taste each one & note down which one you prefer.
    The one you prefer is a good pint for starting to dial in a coffee .
    You may prefer different coffee's at different brew ratios , this is fine , nothing is absolute , and there is no " one size fits all "

    Article written by Mrboots2u

    Next article
    Changing the brew ratio- what will it do.
    Again this is not my original own work but a summation of ideas and knowledge built up whilst enjoying coffee
    Thanks to MWJB for his patience an help , ideas and corrections
    Credit & thanks to Andy Schecter whose work on brew ratio based on mass makes all our coffee lives a better place and this article possible.

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