Something different at C4DI tonight, with a visit from a bunch of folks from Hope&Glory coffee. I'm not much of a coffee aficionado myself, but number one wife is, and so we both headed out to find out about roasting and blending and whatnot.
Turns out that there is a lot more to this than I thought. Apparently coffee is second to oil as the most valuable commodity traded worldwide, it originated in Ethiopia and has been round the world since. It takes many years training to acquire the ability to properly discern different types of bean and there are only sixty or so people in the UK with the highest level of ability in this area. One of them is from Hope&Glory and we had a fascinating session where she showed off an iPhone controlled coffee roaster and talked about the business of sourcing the right beans, how they are prepared, what happens during roasting and lots of other stuff.
Then we took a look at different ways you can take your ground coffee and make it into a drink.
This was my favourite way to make a brew. In fact, it might turn out to be my favourite way to make any drink ever. It involves naked flames, steam and vacuum power to make a really nice cup of coffee. Heated water is forced up into the top container to mix with the coffee grounds. Then you take away the heat and as the steam in the bottom bulb cools it contracts and pulls the liquid back down through the cloth filter.
A great way to end a dinner party methinks, as long as you don't burn the house down. You can get all the kit from Amazon for around thirty quid. I've ordered mine. Much more exciting than a video game and actually cheaper. I was tempted by this amazing device but I think it is probably a bit expensive even though it looks enormous fun. If you aren't sure how to make any of this stuff work there are some rather nice howtos on brewing on the Hope&Glory site.
We left after an hour or so of learning about coffee, clutching a sample pack of beans. There are three different types of bean available from the Hope&Glory site. The prices are reasonable for coffee this nice and they do free postage, with the packets designed to fit through your letterbox and be waiting on the mat when you get home.
I still don't really think of myself as much of a coffee drinker, but after tonight that could change...