Saturday, January 14, 2006


Your Saturday Cuppa

As you sat back and enjoyed your saturday morning coffee did you perhaps look out of the window? Maybe, as well as thinking how good the coffee was, you looked at that cold, grey and drizzle and wondered how you could avoid going out today. Or perhaps the dog "needed" a shorter walk than usual, or the attractions of re-alphabetising the cd collection could no longer be put off.

Spare a thought then for Mick Arms (Frozen Snow Mocha), the solo rider in the hvcoffee / origin mtb endurance team, and Mike Spence our Directeur Sportif. For at 10 am today Mick set off on his first lap in the Strathpuffer 24 endurance race, proudly sporting his Hill & Valley Coffee cycling shirt (on top of multiple layers of high tech warmth, I hope). As he left the start line, his support crew and backup team (Mike) turned to their support centre (mike's van and the two man tent) to prepare the energy drink (camping gaz ring, stovetop and a bag of ground e.caffe).

As I write this it is 4 pm in Buckinghamshire and the grey curtain and the continuous drizzle is giving way to dusk, but north of Inverness it is almost certainly already dark and just starting to get a bit grim.

Mick still has 18 hours to go. I hope the e.caffe lasts!

Thursday, January 12, 2006


ESG gets a strip-down and a refit!

As promised I have re-blended our Espresso San Giorgio and it is once again available in the online store. I have blended around Sumatra Mandheling or Lintong for most of the life of this blend, but have always yearned to present an espresso blend using the excellent Sulawesi Kalosi that continues to find it's way into our store. A straight swap of the two coffees usually gave me "acidity problems" in the espresso, despite the really dark roast that is the blend's signature. However I have now been able to achieve a very similar result by judicious use of pulped natural Brazil that I had introduced to e.caffe last February. The resulting 4 coffee "dark" espresso is a perfect base for your latte or cappuccino.

Espresso San Giorgio originally appeared in 2001 when we opened our first retail outlet, "The Coffee Tree" in Aylesbury (the address is George St. and the name is a pun!). We used it for a considerable time as our house espresso, but with the shop now being run by others, we decided to use a "less challenging" blend and today if you step into the The Coffee Tree, Barry or Sue will make your double ristretto (for this is what our espresso is) with Bourbon Espresso. The Coffee Tree rotate their filter drip coffees monthly depending on what is on my mind. The alternate the dark and medium roasts that I roast for them each week. From this saturday they should be serving new deliveries of Sulawesi Kalosi and Nicaragua "Linda Vista", both of which are available to buy in 250g packs of beans from them if you are in the shop.

The Coffee Tree is open Mondays to Fridays 8 am to 4.30 pm and from 9 to 5 on Saturdays.
Saturday mornings can be quite lively and you might have to fight for a paper or even a seat if the toast or the gorgeous cheese scones made by Rachel haven't run out! Thankfully it remains a "real" place run by "real" mature people who care about what they do.
The address is 11 George St., Aylesbury, HP20 2HU. As well as a full range of our coffees, teas etc, in true coffee house tradition they serve handmade cakes and brownies and make fresh sandwiches and panini to order.
In Aylesbury town centre, just ask to be directed to Kingsbury square and George St is a turning off to the south.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Monday morning stock-take January 9th

A look at our green stocks this morning tells me that we are going to run out of certain coffees pretty soon.

Costa Rica Coopronaranjo "El Roble" - It'll be my last roast of this coffee this week and then there will be no more :-( I expect to have some Costa Rica "Dota" Tarrazu until the end of February, subject to sales of bulk green coffee.

Java "Kayumas" - We probably just have enough to last until Jan 19 when we will be suspending ordering for 3 weeks. It is unlikely to be around after our trip.

e.caffe - This old favourite goes out with the Java, I'm afraid!

On the plus side, I'm in the process of re-blending Espresso San Giorgio and expect to re-introduce this coffee by the end of the week.

Just keep your eyes on the
online store in our main site, but new arrivals will always be announced here also.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Suspension of online ordering at January 19th to Feb 12th

Debbie and I have decided to take one "long" holiday this year, fulfilling a joint long held ambition to travel down-under. With the trip of 3 weeks, we really have no alternative but to close our online store and ask you all to do a little stocking up! We realise that many of you do buy fornightly or monthly, but for those who buy weekly, our advice would be simply to buy a larger quantity and put the excess in the freezer immediately on receipt. As long as the valve bags remain sealed, it is unlikely that you will notice a truly significance deterioration in flavour this way.
Our last shipments will be made on thursday 19th Jan and all orders received until 8 am on that day will be fulfilled in full. At that point ordering will be suspended until we return on sunday 12th Feb (Qantas time!).
We will start roasting again on Monday 13th February.

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