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September 2012

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It’s no secret that I love coffee. In fact, I don’t think I could live one day without coffee. I guess it’s all part of my job & the fact most people who work in IT drink oodles of coffee to survive! So, when I was contacted by Doug from World Coffee Club asking me to review 3 blends of Freshly Roasted & Ground Coffee, I snapped it up… how could I not?

The World Coffee Club is a new monthly subscription of premium coffee hand selected by coffee experts. Three new coffees are selected from around the world every month, packaged and sent quickly so you receive the freshest possible coffee.

Why our product
Every month we taste test coffees from roasters located all over the country. We have a network of tasters that cover many different ages and backgrounds, and in using a variety of brewing methods we can assure you that the coffee in our subscription packs is the best there is.

The beans you’ll experience will not be your average supermarket beans. These beans have been cared for by experts from picking through to roasting and have been carefully crafted to offer the best possible flavours. We only work with roasters who are as passionate as ourselves about your coffee.

What do you get?
Each month we send you 100g of three different coffees (300g total) – enough for around 25-30 cups a month.
The coffees we pick are usually single origin or single estate coffees. Occasionally we get sent a roaster’s own blend that stands head and shoulders above any others, in which case we may not be able to resist sharing it. Upon sending your coffee to you, we’ll also send you an email containing tasting notes to help you know what to look out for in each coffee, as well as suggestions on brewing methods.

In the middle of July, I was sent Ethiopian Sidamo Q1, El Salvador Shekinah & Guatemala El Fogon to try. I was emailed asking what I was going to use to brew the coffee e.g. Whole Bean, Cafetière, Filter or Espresso which determined how the coffee was ground (if needed). I use a Cafetière, the greatest gadget to a Coffee Addict! With each blend sent, you are giving information about it such as location, type of coffee, flavours and the date it was roasted.

Ethiopia Sidamo Q1
Grown in the Sidamo Province of Ethiopia at an altitude of 1550 – 2200m, this is a fully-washed Sidamo certified with a Q1 grading which represents the best available lots and is determined by cupping and defect count.

The Sidamo Q1 beans are grown by small-holder farmers who often have only 10 – 20 coffee trees. Being the birthplace of coffee, these trees are a very old mixture of varietals generally referred to as ‘Heirloom Varietals’. Only the ripest and best quality coffee fruit tends to be sold to washing stations.

With a bright and clean tasting acidity, medium body, and a distinctive character similar to a spicy Aussie Shiraz, Hands-On Coffee roasted your beans to just after first-crack to preserve the character and delicate complexity of this coffee. This very unique coffee has clear notes of citrus and a floral aroma.

El Salvador Shekinah
From Shkinah Estate in El Salvador, Central America comes this medium bodied coffee with fairly high sweetness and acidity.

A few sips are required before all its different flavours start to come together. Wonderfully evolving flavours of nuts, citrus, vanilla and even a dash of chocolate make this an impressively comprehensive coffee. Whilst certainly drinkable at any time in the day, we did find we enjoyed it the most in the afternoon and early evening.

Guatemala El Fogon
The very distinct and desirable El Fogon beans are grown in high mountains shrouded in mist on the volcanic slopes of southern Guatemala in Central America.

With a surprisingly deep flavour, this premium grade arabica coffee has a rich body with notes of spice and chocolate and a clean finish. Its low acidity and fairly dark roast makes this quite different from the other two coffees – you may find it most satisfying after dinner.

The first coffee I tried was while on a Mini Holiday was Guatemala El Fogon. As the information suggested, I tried it after dinner (Steak.. mmmmm). The ground coffee smelt very strong and when brewed, was a nice dark colour. I normally take coffee with a little milk but this time, I decided to try all types without it so I could truly taste it undisturbed. The coffee was rather strong and too rich for me personally, I like more mild to medium coffees. My dad on the other hand, liked the taste of this. He lives in Paris so is used to drinking strong rich espresso coffee 24/7 and this reminded me of it.

Next up was El Salvador Shekinah. The label stated it was medium bodied with nutty flavours as well as citrus and vanilla. The ground coffee smelt amazing. To me, this was my favourite already, just by smell. When brewed, it was a dark chocolate colour and tasted rather mild and sweet. You could taste subtle hints of vanilla and nuts which was perfect with my brunch. By far, my favourite of them all! In fact, I’ve drank this blend more than the others.

Last up was Ethiopia Sidamo Q1 which was compared to a Spicy Aussie Shiraz wine, which is a rather dark & intense flavour, something I’m not all that keen on. A darker colour than the El Salvador Shekinah when brewed, it did taste good and it was rather citrusy but I kept going back to the last one I tried, El Salvador Shekinah. My dad loved this one as it’s the type of flavours he enjoys (I blame French living!).

I’m going to be taking Guatemala El Fogon & Ethiopia Sidamo Q1 into work to see what my co-workers think of it & get me some brownie points! I’m keeping El Salvador Shekinah just for me, I’m not letting anyone get it! Yes, I loved the blend that much!

I love the fact Coffee Clubs like the World Coffee Club are popping up. They are great for coffee addicts who like to try other coffees which are different than the norm you find in the supermarkets or local coffee shops. I’d highly recommend them if you’re looking for something different to try or if you’re looking for a gift for a coffee addict like myself!

Subscriptions start at £11 a month which includes 3 new coffees every month & free next day delivery. As stated before, you can choose your preferred grind depending on how you use it.

For more information on World Coffee Club and how to subscribe, click here. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Ever heard a song on the radio that you instantly fall in love with? The XX made me fall in love. I adore this song and cannot wait until their new album ‘Coexist’ is released on September 10th (11th in the US). If you’ve never heard them before, I suggest you do! You will not be disappointed!

Light reflects from your shadow, it is more than I thought could exist, you move through the room like breathing was easy, if someone believed me

They would be as in love with you as I am
They would be as in love with you as I am
They would be as in love with you as I am
They would be in love, love, love

And everyday I’m learning about you, the things that no one else sees and the end comes too soon, like dreaming of angels

And leaving without them
And leaving without them

Being as in love with you as I am
Being as in love with you as I am
Being as in love with you as I am
Being as in love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love

And with words unspoken, a silent devotion, I know you know what I mean and the end is unknown but I think I’m ready as long as you’re with me

Being as in love with you as I am
Being as in love with you as I am
Being as in love with you as I am
Being as in love, love, love

On Sunday September 2nd, my dad took part in the Great Scottish Run Half Marathon. Starting at 11am, it took him 2 hours 32 minutes and 35 seconds to run just over 21 kilometres or 13 miles. Every 5k, he would phone me updating me on his progress so I knew when to head over to the Finish line. While he was running, I was hanging out at Tinderbox drinking a huge coffee and munching on cake (my way of being the supportive daughter LOL!)

My brother, sister in law & little nephew joined us at the Finish Line waiting for my dad to finish the race. The crowds were INSANE but I managed to push my way to the front of a barrier with my camera ready to snap away. I couldn’t get a photo of my dad when he ran past the Start Line due to the crowds in my way, so I didn’t want to miss him at the Finish Line.

While waiting for my dad, I took photos of some of the other participants including a topless butler (swoon!) and a nice little old man who was amazing! I’m in awe of the little guy… no clue who he is or how old he actually was but I’m impressed! My dad and that old guy out ran a lot of younger people, they both didn’t even look in pain compared to the others and didn’t even sound out of breath! I know for a fact that there is no way I could run 1K let alone 21! I’d need to be carried or pushed around in a wheelchair! I’m just a lazy ass really..

I finally managed to spot him (by his hair and hat) and started taking photos. He then came over to the barrier where my family were standing and we passed my little nephew over to him for another photo op… he’s such a cutie! (my nephew that is!). Oliver even got to wear the medal my dad received while making little funny faces showing off his two little baby teeth!

My dad, being my dad couldn’t resist in doing the Mo-Bot and the Bolt after the race which I luckily caught on camera to abuse my dad with for the rest of his life mwahahaha (Disclaimer: he does know I’m blogging these photos, so he won’t disown me… yet!)

In total, so far… we have managed to raise £650 for Yorkhill Children’s Hospital and would love to raise even more with your help! If you’d like to donate money to this great cause then please go to the JustGiving page that has been set up where 100% of all money donated goes straight to the Yorkhill Children’s Foundation.

Note: After the race had finished, we heard from other participants that a runner had collapsed and was being resuscitated by the Paramedics. Sadly, news reports later confirmed that the runner 28 year old Aubrey Smith sadly died. My thoughts are with his family & friends. RIP Aubrey.