Tuesday, June 13, 2006


"Coffee in a field" tour dates June and July 2006 - Iced Coffee Time!

It needed drought orders to be imposed in the south of England for us to start getting a rash of event cancellations - yes, you've guessed it - due to waterlogged ground conditions!

This means our wandering coffee bars have had a fairly quiet couple of weeks which just ended with an Iced Coffee bonanza at Great Tew Horse Trials this past weekend.

At this time of the year our iced coffees surge in popularity and many customers ask us how they can prepare it for themselves at home without resorting to either the Camp Coffee bottle or some for the pre-bottled product you find in a supermarket. Here is our proven, popular method for the simplest way to create a "frapuccino-bashing" iced coffee at home.

STEP 1 - Brew approx 1 litre of extremely strong (4 times normal concentration) black coffee. we use a standard 2 litre bulk filter brewer and use about 150g of fine / espresso ground dark roast coffee (Sumatra, Three Islands or Deadline Blend or Espresso San Giorgio), but we only use about 1.1 litre of water to brew.

STEP 2 - Mix the coffee while still warm with one tin of Nestle "Fussels" Light Condensed Milk. This is available in all supermarkets these days - priced at around £1.20 per tin. As this is the base for your daily iced coffee, pour into a suitable container and refrigerate. Assume the base will last for a week or more if necessary, but throw out if you get any signs of curdling (will only happen if any utensils or containers were not clean)

STEP 3 - There are two principal ways to make your Iced Coffee drink. These days we just pour the base over cracked ice and top with ice cold milk, using drinking straws to stir. The proportions should be "to taste" - but between 1 part mix to 2 -3 parts milk. The other method is to blitz in a liquidiser with ice cubes to make a "frappe". In this case we think you need a slightly stronger mix to counteract the dilution of the ice slush.

STEP 4 - Customise! You can adapt your basic "Iced Coffee Classic" by slightly reducing the proportion of coffee mix and adding either chocolate or a "gourmet syrup". Caramel, Vanilla and Hazelnut are particularly popular. A shot of Kahlua or Baileys can also be quite devastating - but watch out for over-sweetening it in this way. For a final flourish you can top with spray whipped cream and sprinkles of chocolate or cinnamon.

If you abhor milk in coffee or it is exceptionally hot an "Espresso on the Rocks" can be a surprisingly addictive jolt to the frazzled brain and tastebuds. Just fill a tumbler with ice cubes to the top. Extract a long double espresso into a cup with 1-2 spoons of brown sugar. Mix this thoroughly with a stirrer and then pour straight over the ice cubes. Swirl the coffee over the ice until the drink is completely chilled and then drink.

We'll be serving these coffees in addition to our usual range at the following events in June and July.

June 23rd to June 25th Salperton Park Horse Trials, near Andoversford and Northleach, Gloucestershire. A progressive event featuring top name riders in a superb Cotswold setting. On the friday there is an "Eventers Derby" event which features top riders in a hell for leather combination of cross country and show jumping, before serious high level competition in traditional format takes over on the saturday.

June 24th to June 25th. Saab Salomon Mountain Mayhem 24 hour Mountain Bike Race. Eastnor Castle, near Ledbury Herefordshire. Absolutely one of the highlights of our season with our coffee stand open for 32 hours straight from about 8 am on the saturday. We also are running two sponsored teams at the event again this year and you can cheer high speed coffee beans around the course as well as drink the stuff.

July 1st to 2nd. Purston Manor Horse Trials, off the A422 Banbury to Brackley Road, Northants.

July 8th - 9th. Barbury Castle International Horse Trials, near Marlborough, Wilts. This event was an absolute star on the eventing calendar last year, with a considerable investment in spectator friendly conditions making all the difference to the top class competition on the sunday. Expect bigger and better this year! It will also feature a live big screen showing of the world cup final and the wimbledon tennis to top off the day.

July 7th - 10th Tweseldown Horse Trials, near Church Crookham, Hants

July 12th - 13th Upton House Horse Trials, near Banbury, Oxon. The first year at this event for us.

July 16th Crowne Farm Unaffiliated Horse Trials, Ascott under Wychwood, near Whitney, Oxon.

July 18th - 19th Cheltenham Horse Trials, near Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucs.

July 21st - 23rd Aston le Walls Horse Trials, off A361 Banbury to Daventry Road, Northants. High level advanced competition on the friday and saturday at this popular venue run by Nigel and Anne Taylor, veteran professional event riders. With the World Equestrian Games in Aachen approaching we think many teams will again use ALW as a staging point for their top horses.

July 23rd - 24th Iping Horse Trials, near Midhurst, West Sussex. A low key family friendly event in a delicious setting nestling under the Sussex downs. Bring the Pimms in your cold box - leave the sobering up to us!

July 29th - 30th Knaptoft Horse Trails, near Husbands Bosworth off the Lutterworth - Market Harborough road, Leics. Another event much supported by the professionals, featuring an international class for the first time this year.

July 29th - 30th Little Mattingley Horse Trials, near Hook Hampshire. Hopefully Richard Clapham's land will have recovered as we lost the last day of Mattingley's main event in a deluge this spring. A low key event, mainly for younger and amateur riders with professional organisation.

A busy few weeks for us you might say...

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