Guest post – written by my coffee-obsessed husband
I’ve been a coffee drinker my whole adult life. The habit did start of course, as any UK coffee drinker does – through instant coffee granules. I probably first had it at someone’s house as a teenager, tired from staying up all night playing video games (not much has changed) and up early in the morning, helping them move some boxes, or do some gardening.
Caffeine was my fuel to keep going when my eyes just wanted to drift slowly closed throughout the day.
Of course, the love of coffee soon grew into an appreciation of ‘real’ coffee, and that soon led to perhaps an excessive (ongoing) pursuit of the best-tasting home coffee I can create, and one of my main hobbies.
Now I’m an amateur coffee connoisseur, trying to figure out whether each bag of beans I buy is my new favorite, whether it has hints of mango, or hazelnut, or dark chocolate… Or if it just tastes like plain old good-tasting coffee! My tastebuds surely aren’t refined enough to accurately critique every bean I grind at home, but I absolutely have a fun time doing it!
I think perhaps, that’s the same thought process behind wine tasting.
Except with coffee, I’m not slurring my words and stumbling around the room after 4 cups. I’m wide awake and sprinting around the house playing with my dog!
Our coffee machine: Lelit Bianca Dual Boiler – Paddle PL162T available to purchase online here
Unfortunately, this means that my love for coffee-drinking has a strict cut-off in the evenings; my sleep habits are bad enough without being utterly wired for the night.
“But what about decaf coffee?”
“NO WAY, decaf tastes nowhere near as nice as a ‘real’ coffee”
At least, that’s how I would have replied until a few weeks ago. But when was the last time I’d actually tasted a decaf coffee?
Thinking about it, it would have been way back at the start of this post, back when I was a teenager, 16 years ago. Perhaps it was after a cozy dinner at a friend’s house, or a family party one evening as it winds down.
“I’d love a cuppa but it’s late…”
“We have decaf”
“Oh go on then!”
And it would be instant coffee, it would taste pretty grim, almost chemically astringent. I didn’t drink decaf for a long long time after that.
Things are different now.
I usually have a subscription from a local coffee roaster. They deliver 500g of freshly roasted beans every couple of weeks, and I usually do a good job of finishing them before the next batch arrives. It’s usually the same type of bean now, and I use it in my standard flat whites every day. It’s easy, and I can make it taste good every time.
But I love to experiment with different flavors of coffee, that’s part of the fun!
So every month or so, I’ll order a bag from a completely different roaster, with some outlandish tasting notes just to give it a go. Hints of lychee, traces of orange sherbet, vanilla ice-cream undertones, the options are bizarre and often just taste like…coffee.
This time I decided to do something different. I ordered two bags from Rave Coffee: one standard coffee, for delicious daily flat whites, and one decaf bag bought for Sam, who usually drinks tea and doesn’t understand why I spent so much money on a coffee machine!
I thought it was a perfect opportunity to introduce her to the world of home-made high-quality espresso, without leaving her jittering all over the house and awake all night!
Initially, I was drawn to Rave Coffee because of its branding. They’re all about freshly roasted coffee, no jargon, no bullshit. I was really impressed with its sustainability mission, too.
Rave coffee is sourced carefully and ethically – they select producers we can support and maintain long-term relationships with in the future. Rave Coffee attempt to help improve the sustainability of farms through various production systems and education.
Additionally, Rave Coffee reduce their impact on the environment, where possible. They recycle all of their pallets, plastic, cardboard, and compost, as well as using sustainable packaging.
You can read more about its sustainability mission here.
You wouldn’t believe how many times I buy coffee and it arrives stale. Ideally, coffee beans should be consumed within 2 – 4 weeks from roasting. When we received the Rave Coffee beans, they’d been roasted the day before, so we waited a couple of days before giving it a try.
Of course, I’d have to test it out first, to make sure it tasted ok, even if I did think it’s not going to taste anywhere near as nice.
It tastes great! I couldn’t even tell it was decaf, it was just delicious!
Nutty, velvety, rich bodied coffee which makes a sublime flat white
My world is flipped upside down. I didn’t know this was possible, I thought you had to drink caffeinated coffee to get the full flavour?
Available here: https://ravecoffee.co.uk/products/swiss-water-decaf-colombia
Apparently not. Apparently, if you buy really good quality decaf beans from a local roaster, you can drink coffee all day, all night, as many as you like, without that jittery up-all-night feeling! Why didn’t I know about this sooner?
Sam still drinks tea.
One day I’ll convert her to the coffee world, but right now she’s not keen.
It’s OK though, I have my own decaf coffee now. I can even have a midnight espresso.
If you want to order some, head on over to Rave Coffee and choose based on region, flavour, or roast level… Don’t forget you can get 15% off your first order if you sign up to their newsletter!
EDIT: **Psst** Sam, here! I might not know much about coffee but I do know that my husband is going to be delighted with this Acaia Lunar coffee scale that’s for his birthday today 😯