A rule of thumb for buying coffee is: the more information on the packet the better. They should be able to tell you where the coffee is from – the country, the region, even the farm where it was grown. Look for roasted-on dates. If the roaster won’t tell you when it was roasted, you’ve got to question why.
Italian Coffee Maker
The easiest way to brew great coffee. Everyone is familiar with cafetières and, because of the increased grind size, it’s harder to get it wrong.When the kettle has boiled, let it rest for a while. Warm the carafe with hot water and discard before adding the ground coffee – I recommend 75g per litre.
Drink it like a Boss
Pour in about a third of the water and leave for 30 seconds. Stir the grinds and add the remaining water. Leave for a further four minutes. Warm your cups with hot water. When the time is up, stir once and scoop the grinds off the top. Plunge, serve and enjoy. And remember, drink it slowly and with joy.
Stephen Leighton’s magnificent coffee beans are not his only claim to fame. It is not just his exub erance and bound less enthusiasm for his profession that shines through in the beans he sells online from his West Midlands roastery. His background also sets him apart: he’s also (almost certainly) the only coffee roaster to have started out working in prisons, inspired by the sitcom Porridge. I spent all my childhood wanting to be a prison officer and then in my first week I hated it,” he says ruefully. But after hard work in his spare time, he soon devised an escape plan. “I was importing green beans for home roasting from the States, because I’ve always been passionate about good coffee.
Then I decided to buy a little two-kilo roaster. I put it in my garage at home, built a really rubbish website and started selling online. I used to roast in the evenings after work, till until two or three in the morning, and I’d take the parcels to the post office at lunch.” The plan eventually paid off. Leighton was able to give up the prison work after a few yearsand open a 10,000sq ft roastery in Stafford in the West Midlands.