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THE RISE OF THE HOME COFFEE CONNOISSEUR
HOW THE HOME COFFEE INDUSTRY IS RISING AND THE BEST COFFEE MACHINES AVAILABLE TO BUY
Photography by Craig Landale
You may think of Britain as a nation of tea drinkers, but in fact we’re all about the coffee! Since the 17th century, coffee houses were the places where gentlemen of commerce gathered to barter and exchange ideas. They avoided the rowdy taverns, recognising the unproductiveness of alcohol.
'Coffee, on the other hand, prevented drowsiness and made you fit for business'
In short, contrary to popular belief, we do know a decent cup of coffee when we taste one. And we’re not prepared to put up with poor quality coffee, yet that’s exactly what we’re being offered by some of the biggest chains on our high streets.
One of the reasons for a decline in standards is often mass production. In order to prepare large quantities in a short space of time, some producers roast their beans at higher temperatures. This can result in a slightly bitter taste as opposed to a smooth, rich flavour. Also, oils and aromas start to disperse as soon as a coffee bean is ground up. For ultimate freshness, connoisseurs shun pre-ground coffee in favour of grinding their own beans.
The Art of Coffee Making
Using the latest high-tech machines, coffee making has become a skill that can be perfected in the comfort of your own home. It’s now a fashionable hobby to master the art of making each style, from a Flat White to a Cappuccino. Latte art is also on the rise with short day courses available in many cities.
Instead of asking friends round to taste the newest wines, it’s now common to invite them to sample the latest beans on the market – Monmouth and Caravan being MWS office favourites. As our caffeine-quaffing ancestors once noted, alcohol dulls the mind whereas coffee sharpens it.
Gone are the days of reaching for a jar of instant coffee and switching on the kettle. Today’s coffee drinkers want to know where their beans were grown, when they were harvested and how they were roasted.
The Home Coffee Machine Revolution
The discerning coffee consumer is also prepared to invest in the latest coffeemakers; machines that range from the simplistic to the technical. If you prefer a straightforward approach, a coffee pod machine takes away the need for messing around with beans or ground coffee. You simply add a sealed capsule such as Nespresso or A Modo Mio to your machine, press a button, and wait for the espresso to flow.
If you have friends around and want to make a few cups and keep them warm, a filter machine is a safe option. However, for true coffee lovers, a bean-to-cup maker is the latest must-have. These machines grind beans on the spot for intense, rich tasting coffee.
One of the best in this range is the KRUPS EA9010 Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine and we’ve been trialling it in our office over the past month. For use with beans or ground coffee of your choice, the KRUPS EA9010 offers a selection of 17 hot drinks from around the world, at the touch of a button. This aromatically enticing assortment includes nine black cups with choices of Espresso, Doppio and American and eight white cups with Latté, Cappuccino, and Flat White options.
With individual settings for strength, water quantity and temperature, you can create coffee to suit a variety of tastes. It’s versatile enough to handle the multiple demands of a dinner party, a busy office or just a single cup.
With elegant die-cast silver panels and a black finish, the ergonomically designed KRUPS Espresseria EA9010 also looks rather fabulous on the worktop. Maintenance is also very easy since it has a self-cleaning steam nozzle (makes you the perfect coffee then cleans itself). It also measures your water hardness and allows you to customise up to 64 recipes.
Whatever your preference, one thing is for sure. Life’s too short for bad coffee.