Review #1b – The Blending Room

Hello, folks.

So we’re trying The Blending Room’s “Beverley” blend again, but this time in my trusty (if somewhat battered) Aeropress.

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So as before, we’ll walk step by step through the coffee preparation process and I’ll go into more detail here as some of you might not be familiar with the Aeropress.  As you can see in the next photo I’m a fan of the inverted Aeropress brewing method.  The community is somewhat split on whether or not this actually offers any real benefit in terms of the taste of the coffee, but for me I find it easier and less hassle to do it this way.  You just need to make sure that when you flip it over to place on top of your cup that you have it properly in place.

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So we begin with prepping our Aeropress.  You want to wet the paper filter with warm water and set it aside, then wet both the plunger and the rest of the inside of the Aeropress with water to help the plunger move and stop it sticking.  Once you have this set up as you see above, you add your ground coffee.

You want this a coarse-ish blend. Not as coarse as a cafetiere, nor as fine as espresso.  You can measure the dose out using either a set of scales, or the included scoop that comes with the Aeropress.  The Aeropress also comes with a funnel for tipping the grounds in that makes your life a WHOLE lot easier. Don’t throw it away or leave it in the box!

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Again, depending on who you speak to, opinion is divided on how you pour the water.  Do you add it all in at once, or do you wet the grounds by part filling first before adding more?  Personally I subscribe to only part filling and stirring before filling all the way to the top but it’s entirely down to your personal preference.

Opinion is also divided on how hot the water should be. The rule of thumb I personally go by is to leave your kettle to sit for 20-30 seconds to let it come down from the boil and that should be about right for you to pour. If you have a programmable kettle where you can specify the temp then that’s easier, but that’s a fair outlay of cash for one of those.

Filled to the Brim –

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Once you add in the rest of the water, you either stir it through with the included paddle, or you can do what some people (including myself) do and put the lid with filter on, tilt the Aeropress slightly and swirl it by hand.  Does it actually add to the flavour of the coffee? Honestly, I don’t know, but it’s  fun and you can listen to the hiss of the gases escaping from the brewing coffee.

Then you upend it onto your mug and press the plunger down till you hear it hiss. Depending on how coarse your coffee is and how well you’ve wetted the plunger beforehand, this might be easy or difficult. If it’s too hard, your coffee is too fine!  Too easy, and it’s too coarse. You want to find a middle ground.

In Conclusion – It’s still a very drinkable cup of coffee, though somewhat more harsh than what is produced by my Barista Express with a somewhat bitter aftertaste.  The chocolate notes still come through lovely and clear through.

Part of the reason it’s a harsher taste is the extraction method the Aeropress uses which I always find is less smooth than my other machine, but also it’s down to my lack of a separate burr grinder compromising the coffee.

I have a small Krups grinder that I use for things like the Aeropress and the syphon, but as it’s a twin blade one the grind is always less precise and you end up with some of it ground too fine and some too coarse.  Hopefully in future I can look to upgrade to upgrade my grinder as well so I can be sure I’m being fair to the coffees I test.

Once again, I hope you find this useful and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me!

Review #1 – The Blending Room

Hello folks.

So today I’m going to talk about The Blending Room, who are a roastery based in Yorkshire.  I found them through a random web search for UK coffee roasters and decided to give them a look.

 

BlendingRoom

The shop design is clear and easy to use and I encountered no problems at all placing my order.  I’ve decided that the best way to comment on individual roasters is to look at what kinds of house blends they offer.  In this instance we had three different ones to choose from.

 

Docker – Which is their dark roast.

Jones – Their seasonal blend.

Beverley – Which appears to be their mainstay blend offered all year round.  This was the one I picked.

 

I ordered one bag of beans from them, which is 275g, a pretty standard amount for most roasters and the perfect amount to fill the hopper of my Barista Express’ coffee grinder.  The Beverley blend was £5 with an added £3.40 in first class postage.  You can also choose second class which is £2.90.

The bag arrived within two days, which I was very happy with indeed.  Unlike some roasters the bags aren’t shipped flat so you either need to make sure you’re in for delivery, have a space set up for your postman to leave parcels, or have a very, very wide letterbox for it to fit or you’ll need to do what I did and collect it from your local sorting office as my postie wasn’t able to fit it through the door.

Here’s what the bag looks like –

BR Bag

And here’s a view of the beans inside –

BR Beans

My first cup was made with the Sage Barista Express as it’s my day to day machine.  Here’s a couple of pictures of the brewing process.  Whenever I get a new bag of coffee my first taste will always be an americano with milk.  Sadly I can’t tolerate black coffee, it turns my stomach!

The Grind –

BR Grind

The finished Shot –

BR Shot

Adding Water –

BR Water

So what did I think of it?  When you grind it, it’s got a rich, slightly fruity aroma that’s very pleasant.

You can definitely smell the caramel overtones and there’s a lingering hint of chocolate as it goes down. Not too harsh, a really pleasant flavour all in all.  I tend to favour a medium roast, and trend towards fruity coffees and this was a lovely mix of fruity and malty, a good starting place if you’re not sure exactly what sort of flavour you like. I’d definitely buy this again as an everyday coffee.

As a latte the flavours are more muted, but still very pleasant, rich without being overpowering. I normally use two shots in the mug up above and in my opinion it makes a lovely cup whether it’s made with water or milk.

My plan is also to try it in the Aeropress and then upload a follow-up review of what I think of it to see how much the flavours differ.

And that’s the end of my first review.  I thoroughly enjoyed my first order from the Blending Room and they’re a roastery I’d go back to and try some of their other blends as well.  I hope you’ve found this little review useful and if there are any other details you’d like me to focus on in upcoming reviews, please let me know.

Thanks for reading!