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BIG NEWS – New Blends!

Change can be scary, but it can also be exciting.

Over the last six years we’ve been super proud to offer a range of signature blends like Jailbreak, Blake and Jabberwocky and over that time Jailbreak, has had 36 iterations, each one delivering a balanced, sweet and clean cup profile.

Blends allow you consistent quality, with a taste profile you expect… even as coffees change from season to season and the range of blends we offer has expanded over the years as we’ve had new ideas, goals or coffees to shout about.

Now, it’s time to talk about the next big change.

A change that celebrates seasonality and the finite nature of the coffees we buy whilst keeping that same consistency.

We are relaunching our blends with just three flavour profiles. Red, White and Black.

Blends in the ‘Red’ profile will be focussed on balance, sweetness and cleanliness. This will be replacing the infamous Jailbreak Blend. A consistent easy to work with tasty sweet smooth balanced espresso.

The ‘Black’ profile celebrates a heavier, natural process led espresso. Think dried fruit, dark chocolate and rich mouthfeel. This will sit in the Blake / Breakfast bomb seat. Filling all the needs of these two blends in one balanced super blend.

The ‘White’ profile is bright fruit, balanced acidity, clarity and vibrancy. This will sit in the Jabberwocky / Kicker seat – zingy and a little more challenging to work with than Red or Black, but full of amazing results when you get it right.

Alongside these three regular profiles, will sit a fourth unique blend. This fourth blend will be a chance to explore and experiment, celebrating something specific and outside the box for a limited time only. This will sit across many of the previous blends every time it changes, but expect the unexpected.

Every month one blend will be replaced, so each one will only be available for around three months. Three consistent profiles and a wildcard.

We’ll rotate the change so there will always be something new to taste, but each individual blend will only be available as long as it’s coffees exist.

This is how Jailbreak and our other blends had always been updated

But this change will allow us to put the focus on the impermanent nature of each seasons coffee crop, as well as the skill of blending to deliver on a desirable style through the course of the year.

We’re looking forwards to seeing where these changes take us, we would love you to join the ride.

The first batch of blends are as follows…

RED BLEND

Red Giant
40% El Salvador Finca La Fany Pulped Natural Bourbon
40% El Salvador Finca La Ilusion Washed Bourbon
20% Costa Rica Sumava Monte Llano Bonito Villa Sarchi Yellow Honey

Well balanced and easy to work with as espresso, sweetness driven, easy drinking as espresso / milk based / filter.

https://www.hasbean.co.uk/products/red

WHITE BLEND

White Dwarf
60% Bolivia Taypiplaya Delia Washed
20% Malawi Msese AB Washed
20% Burundi Nemba Washed Bourbon

Bright acidity, clean and complex, fruity.

https://www.hasbean.co.uk/products/white

BLACK BLEND

Black Hole
70% Brazil Fazenda Inglaterra Natural Selection
30% Sulawesi Tana Toraja Kalosi Washed Typica A

Heavy body, dried fruit and dark chocolate, low acidity, strong base.

https://www.hasbean.co.uk/products/black

WILD CARD

Dark Side of the Moon
50% El Salvador Finca Alaska Washed Bourbon
20% El Salvador Finca La Ilusion Washed Bourbon
20% El Salvador Finca Las Brumas Washed Bourbon
10% El Salvador Los Brisas Washed Bourbon

Complex acidity and huge fruit flavours, with a sparkling and clean, sharp finish.

https://www.hasbean.co.uk/products/wild

We’re also going to take this long overdue opportunity to mix up our starter packs – From now on an espresso starter pack will include the 3 new core blends red, black and white + a delicious single origin at a super value price of just £20 – that’s £5 each. We will also be changing the filter starter packs to four packs of stellar single origins, hand picked by moi, for a score – Lovely jubbly.

Bolivia’s Back!

A country that has so, so much going for it in terms of quality coffee production, but that has had the deck stacked against it in so many ways for the past 20 years. I <3 Bolivia!

Regular readers of this blog will know that I love the country and the coffee of Bolivia. If you’re not sure, check out this video below I delivered on the tamper tantrum tour of Asia presented in Taiwan:

The potential and the quality of the coffee is undeniable, but the quantity of the coffee has been on the decline for years.

Despite this, we have been working hard with the Rodriguez family to promote and increase production. Bolivia’s past is interesting although it’s a commercially viable coffee exporting country, it’s production has always been small. The conditions, although challenging, are exceptional for growing coffee, and this produces a very rich agriculture built on a long history of farming on a very difficult and difficult terrain. In 1991, there was a government led initiative to encourage the endogenous population to participate in coffee farming, which led to a fractured system counter-intuitive to quality. The arrival of the Cup of Excellence Program in 2004 allowed buyers to find the quality coffee for which Bolivia was already known, but that had become difficult to source.

The main problem for producers was (and, to some extent, still is) that they are unable to make enough money to be sustainable. To subsidize their income, they looked to other crops, mainly coca (the crop that is used to produce cocaine, legal in Bolivia). Encouraged by the government, coca is four times more profitable and is much easier to grow than coffee, and this sadly led to coffee producers turning their back on coffee or, even worse, abandoning their farms.

Coca farming involves a lot of chemicals and fertilisers that are not good to the soil and land, so farming coca leads to the soil being infertile and overworked. Over time, coca-farmed land is unusable for any crop. Bolivian governmental support for growing coca has led to a break-down of relations with the USA, who had previously supported Bolivian agriculture and economy in the early 2000s. The resulting war on drugs in Bolivia has since led to many initiatives to help coffee farmers, with things like the Cup of Excellence being financially supported by USAID.

As if these difficulties weren’t enough to overcome, the arrival of leaf rust in 2013 (a fungus that attacks the leaves of a coffee tree and makes it impossible photosynthesize) meant that the country lost over 50% of its production that year alone. The combination of both government policy and leaf rust means that Bolivia’s coffee production has dropped by over 70 % in the past ten years, leaving the county a minor player in the world of coffee.

This means that to find the very best coffees from Bolivia, we have to pay a much higher than normal price compared to other coffee producing countries—but this isn’t a bad thing. The small volumes available and current demand for great coffees mean that, for once, coffee producers are on the front foot.

The Rodriguez family own their own mills, processing and exporting coffee for farmers in the Caranarvi and Sud Yungas region. The family have been sourcing coffee from small coffee producers for three decades, but the steady decline of coffee production has put the sustainability of their export business in jeopardy. Without the intervention of people like the Rodriguez family, however, the future of coffee production in Bolivia is at risk of disappearing.

In 2014, the Rodriguez family bought a number of farms in Caranavi region to showcase their practices and educate other producers in sustainable farming, as well as increasing the overall volume at their mills. One of the farms is La Linda and there are a number of varietal and processing experiments going on.

Bolivia La Linda Experimental Washed Caturra (£7.50)
This is a wonderfully sweet and fruity coffee, raspberry Starburst meets sweet orange with red apple on the finish. Super delicious and a shining example of the wonderful things a bit of experimentation can do.

Bolivia La Linda Washed Caturra (£7.50)
Think sparkling white wine with some candied lemon around the edge of the glass, then on the aftertaste pineapple cubes. A deliciously fruity and bright coffee.

Bolivia La Linda Pulped Natural Longberry (£10.00)
Those candied lemon pieces that are covered in white sugar with a clean and delicate finish of rosewater and floral notes.

Bolivia La Linda Natural Caturra (£8.00)
This is a liquid rhubarb and custard sweet, with a bit of dark rum thrown in for fun! A really creamy and boozy coffee.

And some old favorties return too, and many more to come over the coming weeks!

Bolivia Teodocio Mamani Washed (£7.00)
Expect a lovely fruit sweetness, with orange jelly wobble mid-palate that finishes with peach juice.

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Viva Bolivia!!

Boing Boing It’s Easter Time

Want to make sure you have cawfee in the house over Easter? READ THIS!

The time of year where I feel the need to dress up as a big red bunny and bounce around the roastery is heeeere! But unfortunately for you it’s not safe for me to do that and roast coffee so I’m afraid we’re going to have to close for 2 days while I have my fun 😝

Easter

In all seriousness the Easter bank holiday weekend is coming up and so we aren’t going to be at work on Friday, April 14th or Monday, April 17th. And it’s not just us that are taking time off, no no no not just lazy Hasbean, Royal Mail and FedEx are doing the same.

What does all this mean for you? It means that you might need to plan ahead a little with your coffee ordering. Here’s a quick breakdown of our last recommended ordering dates to receive your coffee for the Easter weekend…

Royal Mail

First Class: Wednesday, April 12th
Second Class: Monday, April 10th
Special Delivery (Mon-Fri): Wednesday, April 12th
Special Delivery (Saturday): Thursday, April 13th

FedEx

Economy (1-3 Days, Mon-Fri): Monday, April 10th
UK Courier Pack: Tuesday, April 11th
Next Day (Mon-Fri): Wednesday, April 12th

We’re going to need your order before 1300hrs on those days to get it out the door the same day. We roast to order and FedEx/Royal Mail collect from us at 1600hrs, those 3 hours are the quickest we can take your order from placed to ready to roll.

For more information please see the page on our website that’s all about Easter https://www.hasbean.co.uk/pages/easter-2017

We don’t want you to be without coffee this bank holiday weekend and will of course do all we can to keep you caffeinated, if you have any questions about Easter ordering (or anything else!) please get in touch.

From all at Team Hasbean, Happy Easter!

Rattleware Cupping Brewer, Brew Guide

The Rattleware Cupping Brewer is a radical new brewing device that allows the deliciousness of the cupping table to escape into a whole mug of coffee!

Our brew guides continue to be one of the busiest parts of our website. Everyone wants to get the very best out their coffee, and the guides are the perfect level to start your brewing and develop your own method from here!

Every now and again a new brewer hits the market, and more than ever you need a brew guide. The Rattleware Cupping Brewer is a radical new brewing device that allows the deliciousness of the cupping table to escape into a whole mug of coffee! All the intricacies and beauty of the cupping process are freed from the cupping table so they can be experienced in a more comfortable and accessible manner.
Rattleware_Icon

This design makes possible, for the first time, to evaluate coffee from the cupping table without a spoon, in a way that is familiar to a much wider audience. How many times have you told your friends that you’re going to a public cupping and received a strange look? Slurping coffee from a spoon might not be for everyone, but with this brewer you can share the cupping table experience with your friends. The new brewer can also be used as a by-the-cup brewing method that eliminates paper waste, minimises the cost of disposable goods, and allows for the reduction of labor costs in a commercial environment. It can efficiently allow cafe owners and baristas to showcase coffee to their customers in the exact way that they first tasted it.

You can buy the brewers below and you can watch the brew guide even further below

Rattleware Cupping Brewer

 

We’re opening a shop

Late last year, we got an email from UNIQLO UK wanting to know if we’d be interested in opening up a pop-up on the third floor of their flagship Oxford St shop – and the answer was definitely yes.

Way back when – and I mean when, it was 1999 – I was roasting coffee on an alpenroast home roaster and selling three 250g bags of coffee a week at the Stafford market when I remembered Snapes, the coffee shop in Wolverhampton I loved so much when I was little, and how the ability to offer a cup of coffee is a big thing for a roaster. We found a shop in Stafford town centre – very small and in an awful location – but cheap and affordable.

It was a slog opening that first shop in 2000 – the whole shop needed to be refit as a café, and I was still working my “real” job while trying to make coffee my main job – but it was ours. It wasn’t fancy-fancy (it did have a bright red room in front and a funky electric blue room in back) and, although we didn’t sell lots of coffee or convert the good people of Stafford to specialty, we did kind of achieve our goal – it was through the shop that I found my first 2kg roaster and Pete, the guy who built the first-ever Hasbean.co.uk. The day the online shop launched, I sold more coffee than I had the whole week on the market stall.

As you can guess (or already know because I’ve told this story so many times) we closed the shop in 2003 and focused on building the webshop and roastery, so the rest is pretty much history but I am finding myself thinking about that first (and only) shop we’ve ever had more and more for reasons you’re about to figure out.

Late last year, we got an email from UNIQLO UK wanting to know if we’d be interested in opening up a pop-up on the third floor of their flagship Oxford St shop – and the answer was definitely yes. 14 years is a long time to go without having a shop but I’m excited that this is happening – for quite a while now we’ve thought about how we might present coffee differently in a shop of our own, so when UNIQLO’s email arrived, it was a no brainer.

[H]AND by Hasbean is what we’ve put together for the space – it’s all about collaboration and service not sales (even if it pains me to say it) and we’re all pretty excited about how things are coming together in time for tomorrow’s opening.

We’re only serving filter coffee (Hasbean obviously) tea from Lalani & Co, brewed with the fancy new Mix, the Tsubambe & Kalita collection, and Lalani’s own Aurora brewer which is made just up the road in Stoke-on-Trent (Roland’s homeland), but there will also be retail coffee, tea, and equipment available on site for those who want to do things at home

It’s also been nice to bring back a familiar face – Pete Williams (not the Pete who built the site, but familiar to those who remember him from 3fe and WBC) is running the ship

Anywho I could bore you with all the details here, or I can point you in the direction of the shiny new website we have for [H]AND (www.madebyhandcoffee.com) – drop in and say hello!

Arara Coffee Varietal

Every now and again I get a coffee varietal that comes along and I know nothing about it. It reminds me why I love coffee varietals and their complexity.

Every now and again I get a coffee varietal that comes along and I know nothing about it. It reminds me why I love coffee varietals and their complexity. It’s always kinda been my thing; I went through a spell of writing lots of them up (see here).

This weeks up coming In My Mug in one of those coffees I knew nothing about, in the video I even talked about how little I know about it (yes that’s what I do on in my mug, talk about things I don’t know). A google search proved fruitless, so a flurry of emails backwards and forwards to Tulio of Carmo Estate in Brazil meant I got educated.

The Arara varietal originates from the crossing between the yellow Catuai and the Obatã (Hybrid of Timor) varieties. It was developed on experimental farm of Procafé Foundation in Varginha Brazil.

The experiment has been part of an on going project in Brazil with many new varietals being discovered – Procafé found that Arara is one of the most successful to date in both yield and in cup quality – so much so that the Arara seeds are the most requested at Procafé for new seedlings! It’s excelled so much even at the experiment phase.

The next stage of the experiment is to see how it performs in farms and and on a larger scale in the planting dissemination.

Our growing partner Tulio Junqueira at Carmo Estate Coffees was one of the first to get this varietal from Procafé in 2014 as part of the dissemination program, and we are just beginning to see the first harvests now. He has been very happy with the results and seen great potential for quality and production levels.

The Arara is a yellow fruit coffee, high resistance to rust, good productivity and high quality potential.

Typical cup characteristics are hard to say at this time but my experiences have been to show a typical sweet profile you would expect from Brazil, with Chocolate notes, muted but defined acidity with a good body and aftertaste.

Links: Catuai, Obatã, Timor

Examples: Brazil Carmo Estate Arara

 

Varietal: Arara
Related to: Catuai and Obatã (timor hybrid)
Origin: Brazil
Grows best at: 1000 metres or above
Type: Hybrid
Prevalent in: No where yet but developed in Brazil
Predominant Colour: Yellow
Fruit size: Normal rounded
Leaf Characteristics: Wide and large
Botany: Hybrid

 

You want to try it, right ? Well if you’re signed up to In My Mug, expect it on your doorstep very soon! If you’re not signed up, why not? Well if you’re not, it will be launching on Friday so keep your eyes pealed on the website Friday afternoon.