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Roastery Opening Invitation In Bradford

From time to time, roasters get invited to other roasteries for open cuppings, machine reviews or brand launches. Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the launch of Casa Espresso’s roasting facility that will complement their already strong Sanremo machine sales, service and roasted coffee. The owner, Nino and the roaster Jonnie visited Hull a few months ago to take a look at our Probat with a view to buy their own. Which they now have and successfully installed, ready to bring speciality coffee to Bradford. I wish them the very best of luck!

Sanremo Opera
Another reason to make the drive over was to see the Sanremo boys, Augusto and James and their very special Sanremo Opera machine. I’ve been wanting to have an up-close look at the technology since seeing a prototype at the 2014 London Coffee Festival. What a machine. It looks like no other espresso machine on the market today and has functionality that goes far beyond what you’d find in a traditional espresso machine. If all goes well, I will look to hold and event at the Hull roastery this summer, in order to showcase the machine and its capabilities.

Along with the machine and seeing the Casa guys, I wanted to say hello to Matt and Simon from Falcon Speciality who had made the trip from Harrogate to show us some of their coffee. Amongst a number of coffees I have roasted/cupped before, I got the chance to cup a new Costa Rican and Kenyan arrival, both of which may form part of my portfolio over the coming weeks.

I’d like to thank Casa Espresso for their kind invitation to their roastery opening, it was a fun night!

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Green Coffee

Green Coffee
Although we operate a ‘by appointment only’ approach at the roastery, we often get people dropping in. This usually (if we’re not roasting) ends in a small tour of the facility and description of the processes involved in order to produce roasted coffee. Often people are keen to see (and handle) coffee in its raw state – green coffee. Most are genuinely surprised at the colour, and the fact that they don’t smell like coffee (think fresh cut hay or possibly peas). If we ever have a bag of naturally processed Ehtiopian coffee in store, it’s this bag and it’s boozy aromatics, that startles most.

With the above in mind, I thought it would be useful to post a photo of raw green coffee, or green beans as us roasters call it. The beans in the photo are from a washed Central American farm, Muxbal. You’ll notice that the beans are a green/yellow colour and look vastly different from the brown, roasted product that you may be used to. You might also notice that the beans are stored in what looks like a plastic bag, which itself is inside the traditional jute sack. This is a Grainpro bag, which is now commonplace as a storage method for the speciality green coffee we purchase. These bags form a moisture and gas barrier which protects the coffee during transportation and storage. I will post an article on the benefits of different materials for transportation and storage at a later date.

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Beverley Festival Of Christmas 2011

The Blending Room will once again be attending the Beverley Festival of Christmas. As with last year, we’ll be located on Wednesday market, not in our usual Saturday market position. As we receive more information about the days proceedings, I shall update this blog post accordingly.

Further information on the festival can be found here: Beverley Festival Of Christmas dedicated website

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Christmas Market At Fruit 2010

The Blending Room are pleased to announce that we will be attending Fruit’s first Christmas market on Sunday 21st November. The market is likely to run between 10am and 4pm, we will confirm the timings once we are made aware of them.

Fruit have asked us to design a “Christmas espresso blend” for them, which of course we will do! This will be the first Christmas blend this year and Fruit will be the willing guinea pigs! I have already been “playing” with their current espresso blend and think that a touch of Monsooned Malabar or Old Brown Java, possibly around 5-10% (we don’t want to spoil the balance of their current blend), will give it just enough “spice” for that Christmas feel. Once we finalise the blend, Fruit will be pulling the Christmas espresso all day, so why not come down to have a taste?

Further details about the day will be published in due course, but keep your Sunday free!

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Beverley Food Festival 2010

Beverley will come alive once again on Sunday 3rd October 2010 with the 5th annual food festival. The festival will take place between 9am and 4:30pm, where a fun and food packed day will be had by all. Over 70 stall holders from the region will be selling their local produce, along with a food marquee and cooking theatre which will produce gorgeous smells throughout the market!

The Blending Room are proud to be taking part in the food festival for the second year running where this year we will be located at stall 78, Sow Hill. Once again we will be show casing a wide range of Single Origin coffee beans, specialist tea’s from around the world and our usual range of funky drinking accessories. In preparation for the event, we have been busy procuring new ranges of coffee and tea accessories especially for the day, so don’t miss the chance to see what we’ve been putting together!

We have also been busy creating a new blend to rival our famous Beverley Blend. We’ll be putting the finishing touches to this new over the next few days ready for Beverley Food Festival 2010. So, if nothing else this weekend, make sure you come and see us just to get your hands on our new blend!

James and Katie

The Blending Room

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Caffe Culture 2010

Last month I travelled down to the ‘big smoke’ (London) to visit this years Caffé Culture show and what an experience it was!

The event opened at 9:30am but I didn’t arrive until about 10:30am, although I wish now I had set off a little earlier as there were so many people I wanted to talk to and not enough time to get around them all! Firstly I should explain why I wanted to make the 400 mile trip to London to see the show. Well, I wanted to speak to the many espresso machine suppliers there to build relationships for our commercial customers. This would aide us gain hands on experience with some of the fantastic machines available today and importantly gain better deals from face-to-face meetings. I also wanted to put faces to names for the fantastic coffee importers, Mercanta and D R Wakefield, speak to Cup of Excellence, Fair Trade and the Rainforest Alliance organisations as well as speaking to new suppliers for our ancillary products.

Along with speaking to businesses and coffee merchants, I managed to squeeze in a few minutes to watch the 2010 World Barista championships. Now, I’ve spent a few years (8 and counting) behind an espresso machine, so I think I can make a pretty good cup, but these people were fantastic! If you ever get the chance to attend a barista championship, then do. It will open your eyes to how a world beating latte or macchiato should be made! Needless to say that my notepad is now full of their techniques to try out for myself.

So how has The Blending Room benefited from the trip? Well, in the autumn we’ll be adding a few more single estate coffee’s to our catalogue as supplied by Mercanta. We’ll also be expanding our ancillary products range too.. although what to choose from in amongst all the brochures we have will take some doing!

We’ll publicise the new coffees prior to collecting the green beans to wet everyone’s appetite.. so watch this space!

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Beverley Festival Of Christmas 2009 Review

The Beverley Festival of Christmas 2009 was, for The Blending Room, a “tale of two halves”. On one hand, it was a fantastic day where we got the chance to meet new people, had the chance to talk about coffee and tea and generally have a great day out. Then, on the other hand, it was a total nightmare! Where our expected Friday delivery of new cafetieres didn’t arrive, leaving us short of Christmas presents for people. Then to top the day off, our trusty Bunn grinder decided that this was the morning to stop working! I’ll explain further:

The day started well enough, our usual set-up went smoothly, electricity supplies were on and we were blessed with an excellent position and a 12 foot stall. However, when our second customer ordered 250g of Kenyan Blue Mountain ground for a cafetiere, things started to “fall apart”. I then spent the next two hours, sat on a wet floor, armed with two screw drivers taking the Bunn grinder apart trying to locate what the mechanical fault was. As many a minute, it was surmised that the motor unit is on its way out and all before Christmas! Needless to say, we have now organised a “substitute” grinder to see us through the Christmas period until I can fix our trusty Bunn.

On a more positive note, it was fantastic to see Beverley as busy as it was. In excess of 40,000 people had come to see all the festive activities, a superb showing of local support. We hope that those who bought Christmas presents from us will be happy with their coffee and tea (we know they will be) and we encourage for next year, that anyone who wishes to have a fun day out, come along to Beverley’s Festival of Christmas 2010.

Until next time,
The Blending Room

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Beverley Festival of Christmas 2009 Coffee Competiton

As mentioned previously, The Blending Room will be hosting our “ever running”, “Beverley Blend Competition”. This involves naming the constituent beans to our famous Beverley Blend. Now, as it’s Christmas, I thought that a few “hints” would be well received, seeing that it has been over 4 months and no-one has yet come close to naming the coffee.

The hints are: that there are two types of bean, one is light, fragrant and highly characteristic of its growing area. The other derives from one of the most popular growing regions in the world. Both of these growing regions are located on “relatively” the same latitude and both are “power houses” in the coffee world.

The above hints should be more than enough information to come up with the beans! Let’s see if this year Beverley Festival of Christmas will be date at which the record falls!

Good luck and see you at Beverley’s Festival of Christmas 2009.

The Blending Room

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Beverley Festival of Christmas 2009

The Blending Room, at the very last minute, have received and invite to this years Beverley Festival of Christmas 2009. We are yet to have confirmation of where we’ll be situated on Beverley Saturday market, but have been told that our stall will be close to the market cross. As soon as we have further details, a post will go up to notify everyone.

So what will The Blending Room be doing at this years Beverley Festival of Christmas? Well, we shall be, over the next few nights, putting together our “Blending Boxes”, hurriedly re-stocking on our large range of La Cafetiere products and of course be fulfilling our usual coffee roasting. This Sunday, we shall have a new range of La Cafetiere cafetiers, the Thermique range. These are one of the only insulated range of cafetiere’s that La Cafetiere do and I have to say that they look pretty stylish! There will be a limited amount of them, so get there early to avoid disappointment!

As per our regular Beverley Market Stall, we shall have over 25 varieties of single estate coffee beans that can be freshly ground for you on the day. Along with 30 plus varieties of leaf grade teas from around the world. This weekend will also see a new tea arrival, Winter Fairytale. This is a classic black leaf tea, blended with exotic spice to give you that authentic Christmas aroma and taste in the cup, a perfect drink for Boxing day to soothe your Christmas hangover!

Once again, The Blending Room will also be running our “Beverley Blend Competition”. We have a unique blend, put together for the people of Beverley, which if anyone can name the constituent beans, we will award the “winner” with a free 125g bag. To date, no one has yet been successful, will the 2009 Beverley Festival of Christmas be the date at which the “record” is broken? Good luck to anyone who wishes to have a go!

So, to sum up the above. The Blending Room will be at Beverley’s Festival of Christmas 2009 on Sunday the 13th of December. The day begins at 10am with a host of festive activities for all the family. So do come and join us there!

The Blending Room