The Aspiration of most coffee lovers.
I discovered a gem of southern Spanish Tapas right in the heart of Mallorca. Situated a few minutes walk from Plaza de Espana on Carrer Faust Morell 5, this is a place worth visiting time and time again. I had rented an apartment literally just around the corner, and went into the restaurant to have a cortado. Although no one spoke English, the warmth and hospitality of the staff was evident.
A traditional ultra clean Spanish restaurant interior welcomes as you enter the door.
One of the nice things about traditional cafes and restaurants, is that it becomes a ‘local’ place and regulars (like me) are made. I met some absolutely charming people. some who could not speak English, but still welcomed me and some who spoke English and took the opportunity to practice on me.
One of the people who came into the restaurant, a well known local artist, Yolanda Adrover. She introduced me to different Tapas and local life and customs and we talked and laughed many a night. A wonderful person and very creative and hospitable.
Her work is available in book form, based on her exhibitions.
The food at el Rocio is prepared fresh from the raw natural ingedients. I laughed one day when someone brought in a can of home prepared asparagus for me to try, and the restaurant did not possess a can opener.
My favourite Spanish food is Jamon. El Rocio has some of the finest Iberico just hanging from racks waiting to be used or sold to people buying a whole leg for home.
I partook of many slices of the jamon..
Then there is the amazing fresh tapas!
And this is the man that makes all the magic happen. “Senor Francisco”… known as Paco. Very quiet and unflappable and generous.
A very Spanish presentation reminds us about the recommended daily amount is seven olives.Do not forget your seven olives from Spain!
Black olives with peanut sauce dressing:
Place the oilive oil over low heat with the chilli. Dip the olives into this olive, and put them on skewers.Prepare a peanut purée with oil and salt. Add honey and white vinegar to the puree and mix well. Chop the cilantro. Add the cilantro to the peanut sauce and the olives.
Design, so simple there must be something wrong with it: 9/10
Ease of use, Ridiculously easy to use: 9/10
Taste, If rinse filter with hot water: 10/10
Use daily? Yes
Compare to what other favourite coffee brew method: Siphon. The Coffee Siphon extracts more of the top notes of coffee. The Clever Dripper gives a deeper middle taste.
More so than America, More so than Europe combined, More so than Australia. The U.K. has a furtive little hobby that no one admits to, certainly does not discuss, and is not mentioned in public. BritishCoffeeScene is going to lift the lid right now.
Home Coffee Roasting. Its a spreading hobby throughout the British Isles. Its true. In talking with Artisan Coffee houses, and doing the sums, I can state that between 35% and 45% of bean sales are the raw green beans!
That means approximately half of all sales from specialist coffee Houses are going to individuals who, in one form or another, roast their own. Yet… there is no mention of it, no discussion, no contact through on line forums, no interchange with the supplier about roasting. The beans are sold, the beans arrive at the solitary destination and then… silence. A little while later, the coffee house gets another innocuous order for some more green beans. Noting that the customer has previously bought green beans, the supplier will include a little information pack with references to online forums that discuss coffee roasting, or offer for the customer to take advantage of advice the coffee house gives freely, and…… nothing.
Britain, what gives? Coffee roasting is a proud and noble art. It contains elements of innovation in equipment making, it requires a modicum of skill to bring all the elements together, and it has the capacity to be turned into a full scale home roasting production utilising computers, logs, thermometers, roast times and bean preferences. Around the world, there a clubs and chat boards and people who have never seen each who exchange information and equipment and test results. In Britain? there is a just a request to purchase green beans on the Coffee House Paypal site or Amazon ordering. It stops there.
Although I have use of a professional Toper roaster, what do I use for small batch testing? I have small home made hot air units. I have air guns. I have Stainless steel bowls and wooden spoons. I have adapted breadmakers. I have popcorn poppers. I have Halogen cookers. I have heavy pans. Ive used a lot of the commercially available home roasters too.
My favourite home roaster is a Russell Hobbs “Breadman” breadmaker. I use it weekly making a kilo of coffee in 18 minutes including pre heat time. This is my own machine with a test lid of 2 nonstick roasting pans cut down to size, with the viewing tempered glass sandwiched between them and pop riveted to hold. I drilled the hole tight for the air gun and later will add another hole for a chaff removal system Ive thought of. I will be making a more professional lid for this once my testing is complete with this prototype. I have a the unit linked to my computer via a thermometer.
So why dont I just spend a couple of thousand pounds or more on a “mini” professional system? First, I dont want to. Second, for less than 60 smackers, with this setup, I have the ability to produce equal if not better roasted coffee than most large scale coffee houses.
If you have a computer, and purchase an inexpensive Victor 86c thermometer..and couple it to an amazing FREE software for Roast logging and charting (No, Im not going to tell you where it is unless you come out of hiding and ask for it!)
Perhaps when you home roasters realise its Ok to come out of the closet, and that what you do is fine and wonderful and that there are some of us out here who want to share and learn from each other, you might join in some discussions and forum groups to further information.
When you finish your Roasting. Your coffee should look like this and taste amazing. You will never settle for less.
Coffee Roasting was not something Rob Hodge ever envisaged in his future. After his marriage to Vikki in 2002, Rob and new wife spent their honeymoon in Australia and developed a love for the country during their stay there. When they returned to the U.K. and went back to their industry Jobs, Rob in Telecoms and Vikki in I.T. they never forgot the country of their dreams.
Working hard and saving money, they finally managed to obtain the elusive visa and moved to Sydney in the late 2000’s. Vikki enrolled as a student in catering and worked her way through the rigorous and tough Australian college system which culminated in her becoming a professional Chef.
Rob and Vikki, always being interested in coffee as a drink, were amazed to find a really outstanding and mature coffee “scene” in Australia, with some of the most knowledgable people on the doorstep. After discussing between themselves, Rob made the decision to study the subject of coffee making in depth, and looked around for a suitable school/teacher.
It wasn’t long before the name of Tony Vitello popped up. Now Tony has been around coffee for all of his life and has an unsurpassed reputation as a teacher. Tony is a founder of the Australian Coffee Gang and his successful students are sought after for job placements.
Rob sought out Tony and was accepted on his course. By applying himself diligently, Rob soaked up all the information he could from the Coffee Gang teacher and practiced, practiced and practiced.
At the same time, Rob began a detailed background investigation into roasting proper and worked with some established artisan Roasters. It was here that Rob began to develop a love for the process of taking coffee from its raw state, and roasting it so as to extract its full potential in the cup.
Rob was invited to be the only Barista of choice at the Hyde Park event of Australia Day in 2010. Rob served over 7 kilos of coffee between 7am till 2pm on that day.
Robs professional skills continued to be noted, and in February, one month later, he was invited to be barista at TAFF College and powerhouse museum, serving the entire campus.
Moving on with life, a young family, external circumstances dictated that a return to the U.K. was required. Heartbreaking as it was in leaving their beloved Sydney, Rob and Vikki sold the profitable coffee van business. Rob threw himself into intensive final training and knowledge gathering regarding roasting and all things production.
Upon their return to the U.K. The Hodge family ordered a professional Coffee Roasting machine and set up RAVE coffee immediately. Buying best green coffee from reputable sources only, they worked night and day to produce the Roast profiles for each varietal that Rob had worked so hard on. Working to a strict business plan, and roasting ONLY to orders for best freshness… and working with the worlds leading online purchase company, RAVE coffee has become one, if not THE most noted artisan coffee roasters the UK today.
When you buy a bag of coffee from RAVE, you have the collective knowledge and experience from coffee masters all over the world. No piece of information has ever been discarded by Rob, and only integrated into his practice when he has tested it for himself. Buy RAVE. Taste the difference.
Rave Coffee, Unit 7, Stirling Works, Love Lane, Cirencester, GL7 1YG
For all enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office: 01453 832616
Mobile: 07833 532942