Are you a Joey or a Monica?

I’m a bit of a geek, if I was a Friend I’d be Monica, always at the front of the class with my hand in the air…yes I was the annoying one. So I’m well into coffee geekery.

We’re split at Kopi HQ between people like me, the Monicas, and the laid back ones, the Joeys. The ones that pour a brew and sit back and savour, without so much as a thought for whether it tastes like cucumber or caramel.

This blog is really for the Monicas.

If you’re curious to learn about the flavours in coffee you might enjoy this handy little chart that the clever people at The Speciality Coffee Association of America (SCAA) developed to help detect the tastes and aromas in each brew. Save a bit of each month’s coffee and taste is black, next to the following month’s, that way you can really see what’s what. (P.S. click on the image to make it bigger.)

Now follow Kopi’s guide to ‘cupping’ coffee (as it’s known in the business!), to start your coffee taste adventure!

This coffee flavour wheel  was created in 1997 by the Speciality Coffee Association of America

This coffee flavour wheel was created in 1997 by the Speciality Coffee Association of America

How to cup coffee

Great coffee is fragrant as well as flavoursome so first take a minute to breathe in the aroma and see what flavours you can identify (using the chart). Next take a sip making sure to spread the coffee over your palate, and look for:

Acidity: the brightness and sharpness of a coffee when tasted, does it make your mouth water?

Body: the weight of the coffee in your mouth (think of the difference between skimmed milk, whole-milk and cream)

Flavour: Quality coffees have an element of natural sweetness, not overly sweet, just naturally balanced. This might come through as fruity flavours, or chocolates and caramel depending on the origin, processing and roasting.

The balance of characteristics will determine the quality of the coffee and how much you enjoy it.

We’ve added a space next to Jo’s thoughts on the guidebook for you to jot down your thoughts (or do a doodle if your team Joey).

Tweet us what you taste @WeAreKopi! We’d love to know if you could taste peas in your Peruvian or blackberry in your Brazil.

Nicola

 

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Hey some new news from Kopi!

For years we kept it nice and simple at Kopi, with just our filter coffee discovery plan. But when it’s something as important as your daily brew, you’ve told us one size does not fit all. So we are very excited to launch our shorter, darker and unbelievably handsome Espresso plan!

Like the filter trail our espresso plan brings you a different rare and special coffee every month, but to give our espresso extra body and kick we blend each month’s single origin coffee with our specially developed espresso base. We then roast the beans slightly darker than our filter coffees, ensuring a more intense flavour. And finally if you choose ground, it will be finer to suit espresso brewing methods.

Team Espresso or Team Filter?

Team Espresso: There are 3 reasons why you might opt for team Espresso. First off, you brew with an Espresso machine or stove pot, the second you drink your coffees with lots of milk and need a more intense flavour, and finally our third reason…your taste buds just prefer a bigger bolder brew.

Team Filter: If however you prefer to brew in a cafetiere, pour over or aeropress, if you drink your coffee black or with just a splash of milk, or if you prefer a lighter roast so you can taste every nuance of each coffees flavour, then stick with team filter – it won’t do you wrong.

If you can’t decide you can always switch between the two at any time on your account page. Sign in to your account here!

Kopi’s Espresso Guide

And to help you make espresso based drinks like a pro, check out Kopi’s guide to what’s what when it comes to knowing your lattes from you flat whites.

Enjoy!

Nicola

 

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We do love our coffee in the office but with dry January out of the way, we thought we’d try something different. So on Friday we opened a gift from our friends at Shaken and had a go at mixing cocktails!

Shaken are a fun and innovative subscription service that send you everything you need to make amazing cocktails at home! Every month you get a different kit for a classic cocktail and its modern variation. Ours was The Manhattan, with its contemporary alternative The Boulevardier. Lacking the right mixology equipment, we turned to our trustworthy coffee tools and crockery, using a cafetiere as a mixing glass and a coffee saucer as a cocktail strainer. The Boulevardier cocktail was an absolut hit in the office –  sweeter than the Manhattan, but with the same complex character and intense flavours. We had lots of fun and it was a great way to start to the weekend!

Whether you’re looking to improve your cocktail skills or just have a good night in with friends and quality cocktails, Shaken is your best choice. See for yourself and sign up today with a special promotion for Kopi fans. Head to www.shakencocktails.com/kopi and you’ll get £5 OFF your first order, be that a personal plan or a gift!

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Exciting news! On May 14, 2014 the UK’s biggest Fairtrade drinks company, Cafédirect, acquired the Kopi coffee club. If you are currently a subscriber, you should have received this news via email with additional information about your plan (in short, it’s good news: nothing will change).

We originally met the Cafédirect team in November 2013 and quickly realised we had a huge amount in common: in particular our commitment to uncovering world-class, ethically sourced coffee. We wanted to find a partner to help us grow the club and Cafédirect were looking for ground-breaking new models to deliver gourmet coffee to consumers. The more we talked, the more we got excited about joining forces.

The focus of the club will be the same as on day one – to source, freshly-roast and deliver great premium coffee each month. What it means for Kopi is that we’ll be able to grow the team, deliver an even better service, and take advantage of the great relationships Cafédirect has with Fairtrade growers around the world.

We really hope you enjoy the range of coffees we’ll be bringing you over the coming months as we lead the club through this new and exciting era for Kopi! There are a few FAQs below, but please don’t hesitate to email us at hello@kopi.co.uk if you have any questions.

Some questions you might have

Q: Will the coffee quality change at all?
No. Cafédirect has partnerships with some amazing smaller premium farms they can now bring to the market via the Kopi club, which they couldn’t bring through traditional supermarkets due to the smaller volumes. They share exactly the same ethos as we do: hand-selecting only the best coffee each month.

Q: Do I need to do anything?
No. All your plans will stay the same and continue to renew as normal. You might get an email about updated terms and conditions under the new owners, but that’s it.

Q: Will the name change?
There are no plans to change in the short term.

Q. Who are Cafédirect?
Cafédirect are an independent high quality coffee business that have been operating for over 20 years. Unlike other coffee businesses Cafédirect source their coffees directly, working in partnership with the growers to ensure they get the pick of the crop. In return all coffees are 100% fairly traded, growers sit on Board, own shares and receive at least one third of the profits to re-invest in a thriving, sustainable future.

Press contacts

To view our press releases, images and relevant contact details please visit our press page.

Have more questions?

If you still have any questions about this latest announcement from Kopi, please don’t hesitate to drop one of our friendly customer care team an email on hello@kopi.co.uk and they will do their best to respond to you as quickly as possible.

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Press releases

View Cafedirect press release online here
View our Kopi press release online here

Contact details

If you want to talk to someone from Cafédirect about this latest press release, please contact Dylan via email cafedirect@commsiq.com

If you want to talk to someone from Kopi about this latest press release, please contact either Saisha via email saisha@kopi.co.uk or Philip via email philip@kopi.co.uk, you can also call the Kopi team on 01223 778185

Press images

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We’re in the process of making a few changes to the way we send out your delicious Kopi each month (some of you may have noticed already!).  The bag and box haven’t really changed in the last year, mostly because we liked the size and it fits through most letterboxes, but also because trying to get anything different was a long and complicated process in dealing with archaic bag and box companies.

Kopi box and bag

After months of work, we signed a deal to get special Kopi custom bags made with a great supplier and these are currently in production, hopefully ready to roll out in July.   They’ll be the lovely matt black colour and finish you’ve come to love, but will be taller and wider (almost like a 500g bag but a tad wider).   This month, though, we needed an interim solution while the bags are still being made – hence the brown kraft bags you will have received this month.  Don’t worry – we really hope we’ll be swapping to the new black bags for July.

Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 11.16.11

With this in mind, we thought long and hard and redesigned the label to make more use of the extra space now available on the bag.  We hope you like it.

KopiLabelJune2013

Why? Well, mostly it’s because we can now start to post your Kopi as large letters (instead of the small packets we were using) with the Royal Mail which saves us many thousands of pounds every month in postage costs.  This means we don’t have to increase prices – hurray!   Also it means even more people should now have no issues with it going through the letterbox for the ultimate convenience.

So please bear with us this month while we go through the transition and we’d love to get your feedback now or in July when the new bags arrive.

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Well, it has been an interesting week that’s for sure….frustrating may be a better word for both us and for some of you as members.

Royal Mail has been putting up their prices over the last couple of years quite substantially, which has been having a significant effect on small businesses that rely on the post as part of their business proposition.  In fact, since we began Kopi – the Royal Mail now charge us 40% more for posting your box each month than when we first started.

Royal Mail & KopiWe’ve always tried to absorb these costs without affecting your pricing, and that led to our decision in late February to try switching to UK Mail to deliver the boxes.  This is a company that still uses Royal Mail to deliver the “last mile” of the post (very similar to the way BT deliver the last bit of cabling into your home no matter which broadband ADSL provider you use), but have their own network for handling everything before then.  They work out cheaper than Royal Mail and from what we had been told, had no drop in service level quality.

Unfortunately, we were wrong in believing this.

A variety of issues have been coming to light about the UK Mail service, most notably:

  • Delays – despite boxes leaving our fulfilment house on the 11th of the month, delivery has taken up to 7 working days for some members (they should land around the 14th of every month).
  • Damages – some boxes haven’t been arriving in the pristine condition we try and enforce.
  • Lost – we’ve had a fair amount of boxes go missing or reporting as not being arrived (which could be related to the delay’s).  In some cases this is because UK mail have been seen tying boxes together from the same postcode region so some people have received other members boxes because they happen to live in the same “region”.

We really would like to offer our apologies for any of our members this has affected (luckily a good percentage of you have not had these issues), and that we will correct and rectify every single issue.  If you have any of the above problems, please do contact us right away at hello@kopi.co.uk (title your email POSTAL ISSUES)

From next month, we are going back to Royal Mail for every single order.  No question about it.   We pride ourselves on top quality service and product at every stage of the journey and despite the increase in pricing, we believe this is best for our members.

Here’s to a much better May and thank you very much for understanding.

The Kopi team (Phil, Julie, Jim, Sara, and Geoff)

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