Life is too short for instant coffee

November 19, 2009

Had a delivery of coffee today. I know some of you  have already noted and indeed used the link at the very bottom of this blog to a company called Hasbean.  I heartily recommend the unstuffy, no-nonsense approach they have and the customer care is great. Best of all are the beans themselves.

I remember the day I decided I would never again drink instant coffee.  Given the pleasure available from freshly roast, freshly ground coffee, to drink Nescafe seemed like a betrayal. I get  tremendous satisfaction from opening the sealed pouches of beans from Hasbean, that may have been roasted less than 24 hours before, and breathing in deeply.  Another deep inhale awaits when the beans are ground. And then there’s the pleasure of pouring water on the grounds in a cafetiere and seeing the foaming head that appears – almost like the crema on an espresso. You only get this from the freshest of beans, not from stuff that may have been on a supermarket storehouse and shelf for  months. 

Coffee is  every bit as varied, subtle and complex as wine.  I’ve tried to capture some of this in these two photos. On the top  is Celebes Toraja Kalosi, from Sulawesi in Indonesia. Look at those bad boys – dark,  mysterious, glistening with oil. The coffee they make is similarly dark and brooding, earthy like the forest floor. On the botttom is the Costa Rican Finca de Licho, lighter, sweeter, more approachable with almost citric acidity but chocolate notes too.  Two very different drinks for different moods, different times of day. Marvellous.


3 Responses to “Life is too short for instant coffee”

  1. alex said

    couldn’t agree more – once you’ve tried fresh quality arabica beans you just can’t go back. after staring at disbelief at the queues outside monmouth coffee shop in Soho at the weekend i discovered a fascinating little shop on Old Compton Street called the Algerian Coffee Shop which i heartily endorse – really good selection, knowledgeable staff (even commented on the pro’s and con’s of the different bean grinding devices – apparently i have the wrong type…), and most importantly of course the coffee is wonderful. I’m currently working my way through a ‘brazilian bourbon’ variety. and they also do mail order – check it out:


    • riponia said

      The Monmouth Shop is rather wonderful isn’t it? I rarely get a chance to wander around the West End but go there when I can. The very name of Algerian Coffee Store conjures up a fantastic image – will definitely try that one too.


  2. Jessica said

    I’ve just ordered our latest hasbean installment: the Ethiopian Forest Blend that’s just appeared on the site- can’t wait. It sounds like the Yirgacheffe with more punch.


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