Caffè & Co.
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Artisan Coffee Shop, Tea Rooms & Ice Cream Bar

A new micropub has opened in Rainhill РThe Skewbridge Alehouse in Dane Court is directly opposite us.  Name after the historical Skewbridge which crosses the railway at an angle, it was the first of its kind in the world!

The Skewbridge Alehouse serves a wide range of locally sourced ales together with ciders, pilsner and wine.

 

Coffee grows on trees.  When it is ripe and ready for picking, they look like cherries. When green they are unripe, when red they are ripe.

To get to the coffee beans we need to remove the outer layer of fruit from the cherry.

This fruit is also know as the pulp or cascara.

Previously thrown away or used as compost,¬†cascara is beginning to appear in speciality coffee shop as a dried fruit to be used as a herbal tea.¬† We can refer to it as ‘coffee tea’.

It tastes nothing like coffee, but it does contain caffeine.  The dried fruit typically smells of raisins.

As a hot brew, we steep the cascara in hot water, this softens the fruit and it will swell and soak up a high volume of water often doubling in size.

A typical cascara may be lightly acidic with lots of body leading to a very pleasing, refreshing,¬†winter warming drink that is quite unusual and favoured by many over many ‘traditional’ herbal teas.

The term “Speciality Coffee” or “Specialty Coffee” is becoming a more frequently used term, but what exactly is speciality coffee?

When I ask people how they could define speciality coffee or a speciality coffee shop, the usual responses are often;

  1. A nice milky coffee with lots of whipped cream and caramel sauce (or similar)
  2. A shop that uses a variety of beans / has a variety of bean on offer

Response 1 is most definitely wrong, whilst 2 if often a valid point, this isn’t speciality coffee.

‘Speciality coffee’ is an all encompassing term that covers many aspects.

First and foremost, of course the beans themselves are extremely important and ultimately will determine whether the coffee is nice or not.

Speciality coffee is everything from how and where those beans are grown, how they are nurtured and how they are harvested and processed.  Once the farmer has done their job, those beans are then the responsibility of the Speciality coffee roaster. Here there must be as much attention to detail as with the farmer to ensure a consistent and accurate roast.

The speciality coffee shop will source their speciality coffee bean from a speciality coffee roaster as they can be assured that they are purchasing premium grade speciality coffee beans.  The timely roasting and distribution of these beans is paramount to ensure freshness.

So subsequently it is the turn of the barista to ensure that all this attention to detail is not wasted.  The barista must ensure that the espresso is extracted accurately, the milk is textured appropriately and each respective drink created to the correct volume / ratio, poured and presented with care and love!

The speciality coffee barista will continually strive for perfection and ways to improve everything they do.

Whilst there are many more micro components that contribute to Speciality coffee, this is it in a nutshell.

The large High St coffee chains are not speciality coffee shops: where commercial / commodity grade coffee beans are used and general attention to detail is often non existent at the expense of speed, profits and targets.

Find out more about Speciality coffee and train to become a barista at Caffe & Co.

Location: Caffè & Co. Limited | 8 Dane Court | Rainhill | Prescot | L35 4LU - How To Find Us

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Blog Conversion By Mark Dicker

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