Monday, 29 October 2012

House Blend, Small Batch Coffee Company, Brighton

The House Blend from Small Batch Coffee Company is a seasonal affair so the exact make up changes to reflect that. As this write up is long overdue the beans you can buy today will be different but promising a similar cup. Recently renamed the Goldstone Espresso, what can you expect from one of Brighton's premier independent roasteries? 

Sticking my nose in the bag and taking a big sniff out lifted a fruity acidity and a sweet licorice scent. The beans where a darkish brown with an almost golden green tinge caused by the oily iridescent surface. The blend had beans of all similar sizes and ground down nice and evenly. 

On brewing, a smooth light brown crema formed and a chocolate aroma clearly emerged. The taste was quite bitter at first, with a good bite to it, which then mellowed with coco infused sweetness. As the flavour developed there were iron like qualities to the subtle notes of stone fruit acidity. 

The blend was well balanced and low in acidity overall. It didn't make an overly heavy, broad espresso but one that was medium bodied with good sweetness and some playful notes. The finish was smooth and clean with some distant memories of lightly sharp, sweet fruits. 

Certification: None
Region: Varied, see beans
Altitude: Varied
Roast: Medium to dark
Process: Washed
Beans: 3 bean blend -Brazil Capim Branco, India Bibi Plantation and Tanzania Ruvuma.

A superb blend that keeps things simple with the one-two of chocolate sweetness and sharper fruit notes. This coffee has plenty of flavour without being overpowering. 

How do we taste it? Go here.

Small Batch Coffee Company
01273 220246

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Broca, Brockley, South East London, UK

The Broca is one of two coffee shops just outside of Brockley station in charming South East London. Set up by Erin and Rob, The Broca has an admirable mission to be an ethically aware community focused cafe. They provide this by sourcing ethical products and using second hand and found furniture and equipment. As well as coffee the cafe has a range of things to eat but we did not sample any on this visit.

The coffee shop is divided into two halves and has two doors, with the ordering and business end in one, seating in the other. With one side of the venue all windows, sun light streams in and fills the space well. The decor of truly mismatched and used furniture works well together but the graffiti and notice wall off set that homeliness to a more ascetic student vibration. However to counter my aesthetic critique the notice wall leads us directly back to the owners desire to create a venue focused on the community. 

The coffee came in a tea mug and was shrouded with a light brown crema. On tasting it was unfortunately a huge disappointment, it was strong but overly bitter and muddy to the taste. It was a little watery and a little burnt, so much so it was hard to pull out any of the actual flavour specifics. It wasn't out and out terrible but one expects more from a modern day coffee shop. The old mugs it was served in continued the theme of the place and the hot chocolate also being served went down well (see below).

  • Black Americano, drink in
  • £1.80
  • Strong
  • Medium size
  • Muddied and a little burnt
  • Light crema
  • Machine: La Marazocco

To be blunt not a great coffee but the cafe has some charm and an excellent location by the station.