Clair de Lune by NASA

Gorgeous…

There Is No Map

I’m a big fan of Austin Kleon and in particular his blackout art and his ‘Peanuts remixes’ – today’s really resonated with me:

I’d recommend the episode of podcast Hurry Slowly that Austin appears on, in fact I’d recommend all episodes of Hurry Slowly.

Yallah Coffee Cornwall

I came across Yallah Coffee the week before I was due to travel to Cornwall, where Yallah are based, and in a wonderful piece of synchronicity they are located just a few miles from where we were going to be staying. A couple of emails later and Rich had kindly agreed to meet me, and let me look around.

Yallah's 'Office'

Yallah are a small speciality roaster that sell to the trade and via their website. My first question was to be “why Cornwall?” but when you see their location on a farm, in a lovely location, overlooking beautiful Cornish countryside why would you want to be anywhere else?

Yallah have direct trade agreements with farms in Rwanda and soon Latin America, which demonstrates a real commitment to high quality and ethically produced coffee.

I was fascinated to see green coffee beans or the first time – coffee beans are green before roasting. There were three varieties waiting to be roasted, I was surprised that even before roasting each type had its own unique smell.

Green Coffee Beans

Yallah roast in small batches on the premises, the smell was fabulous, and watching the transformation from washed green beans to dark roasted beans felt like watching magic.

Coffee Roaster

I bought two coffees whilst there, one each from Peru and Rwanda.

Yallah Coffee

Both are exceptional, but the Flor Del Norte from Peru coffee is one of the best coffees I have ever tasted; with a wonderful balance and gorgeous depth of flavour.

Good people making great coffee – highly recommended.

The Perfect Coffee Travel Kit

travel coffee kit

Unless you are travelling to a cultured city or town, where finding great coffee shops is all part of the fun, getting good coffee whilst travelling can be a challenge.

Here’s my solution to this travel challenge:

  • Porlex Mini grinder – amazing little hand grinder, all stainless construction means it will withstand even the most aggressive baggage handler and grinds brilliantly.
  • V60 01 – one cup version of the V60 in travel friendly plastic.
  • V60 Filters – handily these fit in the ziplock nags I use for coffee.
  • V60 scoop – the coffee gods are on my side, as one scoop is the perfect amount for my travel mug.
  • Yallah Coffee Camp Mug – there are many like this, but this one is mine, and it makes me think of Cornwall, and that makes me happy.
  • Coffee – sealed in a ziploc bags to keep it fresh.

Weighs very little and packs up into a small space – just add hot water.

A Film About Coffee

A fascinating documentary exploring the world of speciality coffee.

A Film About Coffee is beautifully shot, featuring coffee production in Honduras and Rwanda, coffee is grown is stunning locations.

It was heartening to see Direct Trade in action, where a coffee company works directly with farms and producers, paying in advance and significantly above market rate to secure and further develop the best coffee. In striking contrast to mass-market coffee that is traded as a commodity, and bought as cheaply as possible.

If you enjoy coffee and high-quality documentaries I highly recommend A Film About Coffee. Use code: LOVESUPREME for a discount when renting or buying.

The Philosophy of Coffee

The Philosophy Of Coffee by Brian Williams plus cup of coffee

The Philosophy of Coffee – it’s a intriguing title, it caught my eye after all, but if truth be told this book covers the history not the philosophy of coffee.

Having said that, it’s a great little book that gives a fascinating insight into coffee’s journey from Ethiopia via Yemen, London, Italy and America to become the global phenomenon it is today.

I was surprised to learn, for example, that espresso machines were originally created simply to allow coffee shops to sell more coffee, more quickly; yet now the majority of coffees sold are espresso based.

On the subject of espresso, I think my one-line Twitter review sums the book up perfectly: “the book is like a good espresso – short, sharp and with great depth of flavour”

one line book review on Twitter

Brian also writes a great blog detailing coffee shops around the UK and beyond – a very handy resource.