Getting to grip with coffee: a guide on types of coffee

Getting to grip with coffee: a guide on types of coffee

by Guest Contributor

22 June, 2018

by Gavin Dow, MD of Coffee Central

It seems overwhelming sometimes when trying to get your head around all the types of coffee. Many people get confused on the difference between a Latte and a flat white - let alone the individual flavours of each bean! Gavin Dow, MD of Coffee Central is here to help, talking us through the different types, flavours and best coffee globally; including what to look out for as a beginner.

1. Understanding the location

The first trick to understanding coffee us to know is where your coffee has come from. The same way that people pay attention to the grapes that go into their wine, the geographical region that your coffee has originated is very important in the flavour! Firstly, be aware of the ‘coffee belt’ that runs around the world between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, where the majority of coffee is grown. Then, understand there are three main regions: Asia Pacific, Africa and Arabia and Latin America. Once you get to grips which of these three regions your coffee has come for, you’re off to a good start.

2. Get the flavours right

Secondly, each region’s coffee has a very distinctive characteristics. The coffee spectrum runs from being very full bodied to lighter flavours. Asia pacific has deep aromas of herbs and spices and typically produces very full bodied coffees. Africa and Arabia is the oldest coffee region in the world, and are medium bodied and often more fruity and floral. Lastly, but not least, latin American coffee has less body than the rest and is lighter and more acidic.

3. Brewing is important

One you understand the flavours of the beans itself, the next step is getting to grips with what kind of brew is most suitable. Depending on how you brew your beans has a huge effect on the flavour and style of coffee. The traditional methods of making coffee are Espresso and French press, but many more exist out there. Percolators are becoming increasingly popular, producing a rich and strong flavour.

4. The right style of coffee

Finally, it’s just as important to know the style that you want to consume your coffee. This is the part that most people have some idea about, how much milk and sugar they prefer. However, a lot of people are guilty to sticking to what they know, and don’t dare order anything other than their normal ‘flat white’ for example. However, there’s a whole world of new and exciting coffee styles out there, and knowing the different methods and components of a Cappuccino to Macchiato will help you explore the many variants of coffee available.

From bargains to blow-outs - the best places to eat in Bristol, Brighton and Bournemouth

From bargains to blow-outs – the best places to eat in Bristol, Brighton and Bournemouth

by Ollie Tunmore

29 September, 2017

‘Staycations’, where individuals choose to stay in the same country for a holiday rather than deal with the stresses of going abroad, are becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

City breaks in particular are among some of the more favoured destinations for those wanting a quick and a welcome break from day-to-day life.

With this in mind, I wanted to create a mini-series of entries showcasing some of the best eateries in different locations, on different budgets. What with studying in Bournemouth, working in Brighton and having just visited Bristol, this mini-series shall consist of ‘The Three B’s’. Starting, with Bristol.

Cheap Eats

¹⁄  Bristol

While strolling through the streets of Bristol a few weekends back, I stumbled across a funky little make-shift shop named ‘Cupp’. Specialising in the new rage – bubble tea, and also selling tea, coffee and light bites, the shop is in a bright Turquoise container, boldly taking position in the middle of Philadelphia Street. It’s a fun, creative little brand and they have multiple stores, however do try to make a visit to this one – as I doubt there’s many other places in the world where you can get a bubble tea made to order out the back of a blue shipping container.

²⁄  Brighton

Café Coho is a relatively new brand in Brighton, however, their cafes are popping up all over the city. With main premises on Ship Street and Queen’s Road, and a brand-new stand in the middle of Churchill Square, the brand is quickly establishing itself all over Brighton. For a damn good vanilla latté, (or any coffee for that matter…) and a delicious little treat, Café Coho is the affordable luxury go to that you need on your radar.

³⁄  Bournemouth

Although dotted all over the UK, you’ll find Coffee #1 predominantly in the South. Friendly customer service paired with nibbles of all sorts and inventive yet delicious hot drinks, Coffee #1 makes for a perfect quick stop-off, catch-up with a friend, or working lunch spot. Serving everything from a gingerbread latté to a freshly blended fruit smoothie, whatever you’re after, Coffee #1 has got you covered, for a very reasonable price too.

When the parents are paying

¹⁄  Bristol

I came across Bambalan whilst researching for affordable yet quirky, recently opened restaurants around the UK for a client. I made sure to visit this restaurant whilst visiting Bristol recently to see the creative and innovative interior design (which is all done in-house), and test out the bold cocktails and smoky mains. Having experienced incredibly attentive and friendly service from all the staff, I can guarantee you’ll be well looked after. The food is all cooked perfectly and with a smoke-house twist – from tapas-style nibbles to full-blown burgers and grills, Bamablan caters for every taste and style, in a vibrant atmosphere and uniquely styled space.

²⁄  Brighton

Tropical Sushi has only just opened its doors to its permanent Brighton premises, following a short period working out of pop-up spaces around the city. The team behind Tropical Sushi have just spread their sushi wings and set up shop halfway between Brighton and Hove on Western Road, and it’s a must-see. A colleague of mine even described it as “the best sushi” she’s ever had; which she would not say lightly… With a bring-your-own-booze policy and regular offers and deals, it’s fast becoming a mecca for all sushi lovers in the city.

³⁄  Bournemouth

It was surprisingly difficult to narrow down just one of the best medium-range restaurants from Bournemouth’s bustling restaurant scene. However, 7-Bone Burger is without a doubt one of the stand-outs for me. If you need a proper ‘dirty’ burger, then 7-Bone is your place. With inventive and downright delicious burgers, hot dogs and side dishes, the restaurant provides your perfect carb-fix for when you’re after a real treat. Popping up in Bournemouth, Reading and Southampton, they’re quickly expanding; and rightly so.

Blow the budget!

¹⁄  Bristol

Two words: San Carlo. With branches all over the UK, the chain provides delectable and authentic Italian cuisine in a lavish setting. Offering an extensive menu of delicious Italian dishes made with the finest and freshest ingredients, the flavours and combinations available at this restaurant will blow your mind. Everything is done exactly the way it should be for high-end Italian cuisine. Simple, bold, and flavoursome. With professional and prompt service, you can trust that the San Carlo team will take good care of you, and your visit will be a memorable one at that.

²⁄  Brighton

Recently reopened and ever-so-stylish Pike & Pine provides luxury-chic with a Brighton twist. With beautiful marble and glass everywhere, biophilic additions in the ceiling and inventive menus – the venue operates as ‘Red Roaster’ to serve drinks and light bites, and Pike & Pine for the full restaurant menu. With gorgeous design features and delicious options on the menu, it’s a definite go-to for a night out with friends or family, right in the heart of Kemp Town.

³⁄  Bournemouth

Situated on Bournemouth’s cosmopolitan seafront, NEO is a definite visit for those looking for a classy evening enjoying some of the finest food Bournemouth has to offer. With floor to ceiling glass facing out to the sea and pier, it’s a stunning setting for an evening dinner or late lunch. They provide an extensive menu from light lunches and drinks all through to catch of the day, grills and full dinner menus. The design and furnishings are luxurious yet relaxed, and you won’t find a better view of the sea whilst enjoying a bite to eat. Why not finish the evening too with a drink at the ever-popular Level 8 Sky Bar at the top of the Hilton, just a few minutes round the corner.

About Oliver Tunmore:

Working at Magenta Associates for a year-long industrial placement, Ollie joins us as part of his studies of Media Production at Bournemouth University. Writing as much as he can during work hours and in his free time, he enjoys reviewing food, live music, events and writing topical discussions.

11 of the best working lunch spots, in London

11 of the best working lunch spots, in London

by Esme Banks Marr

31 August, 2017

Making the most of your lunchbreak? Treating a client or colleague? Catching up with stakeholders? Having that long-awaited meeting with the accountant or business coach? Whichever way you look at it, the working lunch has a serious place in our modern working lives – and it’s not just for PR professionals!

Just a couple of tips before I delve into my recommendations though…

Wine at lunch isn’t always appropriate, or necessary. Use your initiative and remember to drink water, even if you are having an alcoholic drink too. Order the water first, whatever you do. You still want to make sense at the end of the meeting… Don’t order anything too sloppy – spaghetti, ramen noodles and shellfish are pretty much a no, unless you are particularly close with the person you’re having lunch with. If you’re eating something sloppy, smelly or fiddly, you’ll be too busy fighting your food to pitch, discuss, brainstorm or plan.

I’ve based my suggestions around tube stations because, let’s face it, you’ve got other things to get on with after lunch so you’ll be needing to travel again.

Cambridge Street Kitchen
Pimlico (5 min to Victoria)

This place is an excellent spot to take friendly clients for informal meetings. They do breakfast for those early bird meetings and have a cocktail bar downstairs for the after-work celebratory drinks. The décor is comfortable and modern, with a domesticated Pimlico vibe.

No.11 Pimlico Road
Victoria (10 min to Victoria)

An all-day restaurant with a modern and relaxed feel to it. The menu is varied, but the food is great and good value. There’s lots of natural light and space to spread out and work on your laptop and various locations for more confidential meetings.

BFI Stephen Street Kitchen
Fitzrovia (8 min to Tottenham Court Rd)

I love this place as you can see right into the BFI HQ next door. Film posters and giant Oscar statuettes stare at you through the glass as you sit in your lavish looking velvet green booth, sipping a cracking coffee and chowing down a flatbread straight from the pizza oven. This one’s appropriate for any and all meetings.

The Folly
Gracechurch St (2 min to Bank)

A garden inspired lounge spread over two floors. It opens early for breakfast and goes straight through until late. The menu is extensive and there are various seats to choose from – benches, dining chairs and armchairs. A good spot to meet someone for the first time. It’s easy to locate and pretty much everyone in London knows it.

(3 min to Shoreditch High St and 10 min to Liverpool St)

The exotic one on the list. If you have to book a business meeting for someone you know enjoys Indian food, do it here – end of. The food is great, as is the service. It’s something different and it’s uber cool…

Clerkenwell (6 min to Farringdon)

A cosy spot, great for wintery days. But I’d say it’s a good one for group meetings, or for more intimate rendezvous. It’s right in the centre of Clerkenwell so you’re no doubt going to run into furniture salesman and the odd publisher. But, let’s be honest, if you find yourself there, that’s who you’re going to be meeting anyway!

Riding House Café
Great Titchfield St (5 min to Oxford Circus)

This is another hot spot that most people will be aware of. Good for a fleeting coffee meeting or brunch, or a full blown lunch. It’s in the heart of the West End and therefore always busy, so if you haven’t booked, prepare to sit up at the bar.

Martello Hall
East London (5 min to London Fields)

This one doubles up as a great lunch venue and also a co-working space with bottomless coffee and speedy Wi-Fi in the lounge. Raised tables fill the restaurant, which are great for larger collaborative meetings, but it also suits perfectly as another trendy spot to take a colleague for a congratulatory (or just pay-day) drink.

No. 32 The Old Town

Clapham Common (3 min to Clapham Common)

Try this place if you find yourself south of the river. Clapham is full of great places nowadays that all tick the same Instagram worthy checklists, but this one is a step up from that … mainly because it has a balcony terrace that overlooks the common. It has a relaxed ambiance and everything from full blown mains to in-a-hurry sandwiches.

Farm Girl Café
Portobello (7 min to Notting Hill Gate)

The healthy option. You can’t make a reservation here but there’s always space, even if it means a very short wait. This place is efficient and well suited for a quick catch up with a colleague. It closes at 16.30, so your lunch break really will remain as such. They offer some pretty wild coffee variations too.

Natural Kitchen
Baker Street (6 min to Baker St)

Known as a deli, this restaurant edition to the chain is a popular spot for the Marylebone crowd. And rightfully so. Healthy options make up the majority of the menu, with a variety of juices to compliment. Wooden tables and a large glass front give it a farmhouse feel, which is quite welcome in the heart of central London.

Originally published on

How to match British Beer with food

How to match British Beer with food

by Guest Contributor

29 August, 2017

There are currently over 1,500 breweries in Britain, the highest number since the end of World War 2. Not only has the choice increased but the quality is much higher too, with lots of our beers being recognised on the world stage.

As the only specialist British beer retailer, we’ve worked with over 500 producers to put together a fantastic portfolio of curated cases.

Enjoying a quality British beer is one of life’s great treats and while they are brilliant on their own we think the experience can be even better when served with food. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown meal, sometimes just a little snack can enhance the flavour of the beer. Recent innovations in the brewing process along with the use of imported hops has meant that British beer appeals to a huge new market. It is now so far removed from the flat brown bitter that was the norm only a few years ago.

We’ve put together our Best of British Beer ‘Wheel of Beer’ to help get maximum enjoyment from your beverage. Our tasting panel have listed nine of the most popular beer styles from a pale, crisp IPA to a rich, creamy stout. For each category, we have made four suggestions of what to eat while drinking. We’re sure you’ll enjoy mixing and matching – cheers!

The Best of British Beer ‘Wheel of Beer’ is free with every order placed with us. You will also receive a code giving you FREE Delivery on your next purchase.