BY TAMRA BOOTH, KEEEPS
Whilst the UK is traditionally a country of tea drinkers, where a builder’s tea is treated as the Holy Grail, statistics suggest that the UK population are slowly becoming coffee addicts, reliant on that caffeine spike provided by a morning coffee to get you through the day.
Coffee has a long history, with humans drinking it since 800AD. Legend has it that when a group of Ethiopian herders went to check on their goats, they found their herd buzzing around the fields, high as kites, having eaten dozens of coffee fruits. When the farmers discovered the coffee fruit, they threw it in the fire, furious that they had seemingly broken their goats. Out of the fire came a delicious aroma that filled the air, as the very first coffee roast unwittingly began. In a sudden change of heart, the farmers retrieved the beans from the ashes and began to drink it. Lo and behold, the first cup of coffee was enjoyed and it is consumed worldwide today.
In the UK, figures from 2018 show that, a total of 95 million cups of coffee were consumed per day. It’s no surprise that this week we celebrate a day which is dedicated to it – International Coffee Day.
International Coffee Day is a day to celebrate the humble coffee bean and show some support to the coffee farmers who make their living from their crop – it’s also an excuse to reconsider our morning coffee routine to make sure we’re really making the most of it.
Popping out for a coffee became popular in the UK in the late 1990s when Starbucks arrived and swept the UK off its feet with its trendy drinks and mugs. However, over the last 30 years, a morning coffee has become ingrained into our routine at home and isn’t just considered a social event. In fact, it’s become so commonplace that we really give little thought to what we’re drinking, or how.
Much like coffee farming, handmade ceramics have been around for centuries, and the two go hand in hand. Handmade ceramics are a great way to upgrade your morning coffee routine as what you drink this out of can really affect its taste, aroma and overall satisfaction. Here are three ways to truly appreciate your morning coffee.
HOW TO TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR MORNING COFFEE
1. Invest in a quality coffee
“A quality coffee should have a balance between the flavours of sweetness, bitterness, and acidity, with a smooth flavour, and absolutely no off-notes. The coffee even might have a floral, fruity or earthy flavour”. Bad quality coffee can be sour, taste burnt, or have an aftertaste that lingers (and not in a good way!).
For a smooth, delicious morning coffee, one of the main things you should ensure is that the coffee you are using is fresh. Coffee is a fruit, and therefore it does go off eventually. The fresher the coffee, the less time it has had to react with oxygen, which causes it to go stale and the more nutrients it retains.
For a healthy morning coffee, Exhale Coffee is a down to earth, ethical UK company, and has made the UK’s first coffee crafted for health. Their quality coffee is organic, contains active antioxidants and natural sources of Vitamin B3. Exhale pride themselves on the fact that their quality coffee contains no nasties – making it a great coffee to get your day off to a healthy start. Offering an espresso, medium and decaf blend, they roast their coffee on Mondays and send it out for delivery on Tuesdays, meaning your morning coffee couldn’t get any fresher!
2. Think about a handmade ceramic coffee dripper
Goodbye, pod coffee machine. Hello, handmade ceramic coffee dripper!
A handmade ceramic coffee dripper utilises the ‘pour over’ method of making your morning coffee. The pour over method “accentuates intricate flavours when compared to other brewing methods”. It “relies on timed pouring intervals to get a balanced flavour extraction”.
Handmade ceramic coffee drippers come in different forms and shapes. The Keeeps handmade ceramic coffee dripper made by Joanna Oliver incorporates a stylish jug, whereas other handmade ceramic coffee drippers are small ceramic funnels which are designed with a flat base to rest on a separate handmade pottery mug or jug.
We love the Keeeps coffee dripper because it filters directly into a stylish jug, which is perfect for serving morning coffee over a family breakfast or for when friends come over. It’s a talking point, it keeps the coffee hot, filters to perfection and creates minimal waste.
With the Keeeps handmade ceramic coffee dripper, all you need to do is put some filter paper in the top of the jug, place the coffee ground on top of the filter paper and pour water in a circular motion for a few seconds. You’ll see that the grounds will begin to rise, and the flavours will begin to release. You’ll know your efforts are paying off when you start to smell the delicious aromas of the grounds. Once the water has drained, repeat the process until you have enough morning coffee for you and your guests.
3. Handmade ceramic mugs are essential!
Handmade ceramic is a solid and neutral material meaning is neither absorbs nor imparts flavours, leaving your morning coffee to taste exactly as it should. Taste is such a complex sense, with much of what we consider as flavour actually being smell, so it is important that whatever you drink your morning coffee from is completely neutral. Paper and plastic cups do have a smell, albeit sometimes faint, but nevertheless, it is not a neutral material and therefore it can have an effect on how your morning coffee tastes.
Studies have also shown that sight plays a huge part in how something tastes. Morning coffee out of a brown paper cup doesn’t look appealing and can therefore affect your enjoyment of it. It also falls into that routine, where you’re drinking your morning coffee for the sake of it, and not really taking the time to enjoy. It can be associated with running around in the morning in a blind panic and grabbing something last minute which is exactly what we want to avoid.
However, serve your morning coffee in a beautiful handmade ceramic mug, even if you save it for when you arrive at work and have a few moments peace. It feels so much more special. It’s more of an occasion. It’s feeling the warmth and weight of it in your hands, waking you up in the morning, getting you ready for the day ahead.
So, why not spice up the daily grind with a few handmade ceramics? Your morning coffee might just become your favourite time of day.
All products pictures are available at the Keeeps store.