Recreate the café stop at home

What we wouldn't give for a frothy coffee
Mo Halloum's picture

Recreate the café stop at home

Missing your coffee and slice of cake during your group rides? Mo Halloum, our Membership and Supporter Care Officer (and trained barista to boot) guarantees you can - in part - recreate the experience from the comfort of your own kitchen.

A well-earned coffee and slice of cake is what most of us look forward to after an exhilarating ride. The café stop, the flat white you sip on whilst debriefing with your cycle group, the chance to rest before heading off again - it all seems a distant and fond memory.

Since lockdown, a lot of us have been missing the buzz of a freshly brewed coffee - handed to us by a hard-working barista - while we natter away and enjoy a fork full of Victoria sponge.

But where do you start if you want to recreate that wonderful frothy coffee you so enjoy?


First, let’s talk equipment.

Before looking at what to buy to brew the coffee, it's important that you get a good quality grinder. Pre-ground coffee loses most of its natural flavour in just 20-30 minutes.

Therefore, always buy whole beans and grind them at home! A simple hand grinder will do the trick, especially if you want something portable whilst backpacking and cycling.

What next? If filter coffee is your thing, then a simple 'pour over' coffee will bring out the delicate notes listed on the bag, highlighting the complexity of the beans.

Alternatively, the cafetière that's been hiding at the back of the cupboard may need dusting off, but will work perfectly well for a lovely freshly brewed coffee.

Or, if you want to become a master barista and you're happy to invest, you may want to splash out on an espresso machine.

    Simple 'pour over' coffee



    Photo: Goran Ivos

    What you'll need

    Method

    1. Wet the filter paper and pre-heat the mug.
    2. Measure out 18g of coffee beans, and coarsely grind.
    3. Take your freshly ground coffee, and place that in the filter paper inside the V60 dripper.
    4. Put the mug with the dripper on top of it on the scales and make sure it reads 0g.
    5. Start the timer and pour 50g of hot water (just off the boil) to create a little 'bloom' in the coffee (you will start to see little bubbles appear which is releasing the flavours into your cup).
    6. At 30 seconds, add another 50g of water.
    7. At 1 minute, add 100g more water
    8. At 1 minute 30 seconds, add the final 100g so that it’s showing 300g on the scale (the brew time should be around 2:30-3 mins in total).
    9. Once it’s filtered through, take the dripper off the mug, put the coffee grounds in the compost bin and enjoy the coffee black, or with your choice of milk or cream.

    Cafetière coffee



    Photo: Izzy Rivi

    What you'll need

    • A cafetière
    • Your coffee of choice
    • Coffee grinder
    • Kitchen scales
    • A timer
    • A kettle
    • A mug
    • A spoon

    Method

    1. Pre-heat the cafetière​, and pour away the excess water.
    2. Coarsely grind 20g of coffee, put it in the cafetière​ and place on the scales (make sure it reads 0g)
    3. Pour in 200g of hot water to saturate the grounds.
    4. Let it steep for 4 minutes with the cap on.
    5. Stir 3 times
    6. Plunge at a consistent pace.
    7. Once it has reached the bottom, pour the coffee in your mug and enjoy black, or with your choice of milk or cream.

    Espresso machine coffee



    Thom Holmes

    Some of you may have a top of the range espresso machine and want to improve your flat white making skills.

    What you'll need

    • Espresso machine
    • Your coffee of choice
    • Coffee grinder
    • Kitchen scales
    • A timer
    • A kettle
    • A mug

    Method

    1. Finely grind 18g of espresso coffee beans (we are talking as fine as sand) 
    2. Place the ground coffee in the portafilter and tamp (pack down firmly) the grounds until it resembles a hockey puck
    3. Insert the portafilter into the grouphead and then begin the extraction (for 18g of coffee, you would expect it to yield around 36g of liquid in around 28-32 seconds)

    Once you have your espresso, it is time to steam the milk.

    This takes time and practice to get right before you can start perfecting the latte art. BBC Good Food provide handy tips to getting this right.

    Once you’ve steamed the milk, pour it into the espresso shot and your flat white is ready!

    What coffee should I buy?

    There are a whole range of coffees and coffee roasteries to choose from, and trust me when i say this but, coffee is not ‘just coffee’.

    Supermarkets have a whole range of coffees to choose from whilst the independent roasters online provide a plethora of information about the origin of the beans.

    Here are 7 different coffees I recommend:

    Union Yayu Forest


    For £5 in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, this is a steal!

    Notes of Citrus and Bourbon biscuits makes this a delight for both filter and espresso coffee.

    Modern Standard Momentum Blend


    Roasted in Essex, this coffee is a Great Taste winning bag.

    You can get both caffeinated and decaf on the shelves of Sainsbury’s for £4.50. Bargain!

    Small Batch Coffee Stay Home Espresso Roast


    If you’ve experienced the coffee scene in Brighton, then you will have heard of Small Batch.

    They may be offering a limited selection online at the moment but from £6.50 for 250g, you can’t go wrong.

    Workshop Coffee Gitesi Espresso


    They may be a bit more expensive than their competitors at £11 a bag, however, Workshop know their coffees inside out.

    They have strong relationships with cyclists and this coffee is perfect if you like a sweet and tangy cup.

    Caravan Coffee Roasters Sholi Cooperative


    Rwandan coffee has proven to be a big hit at the moment.

    With notes of red plum, pomegranate and candied grapefruit, this is definitely one to try

    Redemption Roasters Frontline Brew


    Redemption have done a lot of work to rehabilitate young offenders in HMYOI Aylesbury.

    For every bag purchased, Redemption will provide a bag to the NHS.

    Origin Coffee Roasters San Fermin


    Roasting some of the finest coffee in their roastery in Cornwall, Origin are one of the strongest competitors in the speciality coffee scene.

    This Colombian coffee is a standout and a must have for the coffee purists!

    Happy brewing.

    Taking your coffee on the go

    Elite Deboyo Ombra


    Elite Deboyo Ombra Stainless Steel Thermal Bottle - Currently £22.50 on Tweeks cycles

    Bikebuddy


    Bikebuddy Mk1 (£13.50), Mk2 (£14.50), Mk3 (£16.00) at Bikebuddy - suppliers of bicycle bottle carriers which adjust to hold large bottles and vaccum flasks.

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    Cycling UK continues to support the UK to cycle
    This remains true during this difficult period with the ongoing threat of coronavirus Covid-19