Scott and Adeline have lived in Edlesborough for the past three years. An aspirational young couple working together to organically grow a successful business with their coffee roastery in North London. Weanie Beans roasts small batches of specialty coffee selling to cafes, businesses and restaurants thoughout the UK, continuing to advocate British production. From their knowledge and experience of cafe culture and their passion for raising a family in their picturesque neighbourhood, this has lead them open Heirloom, a village cafe in Edlesborough.
First and foremost Heirloom is a high quality variety of coffee bean from Ethiopia. Furthermore an heirloom is also an old plant variety that is cultivated again and again, along with a family possession handed down from generation to generation. The various definitions of Heirloom display the framework of the cafe; from developing a lasting business to their background in specialty coffee.
Scott and Adeline have two young children, whilst enjoying village life, their vision for this cafe is a way of bring the community closer together. They will achieve this goal by creating a warm social hub for everyone, welcoming families, couples and individuals. The village cafe is a positive environment for the neighbourhood to enjoy, a commonplace for people to gather.
Heirloom has seating for around thirty people and whether you are coming in for a well crafted cup of specialty coffee or a delicious homemade meal, you will be welcomed.
The impact of a local cafe goes beyond a room to chat or a space to work, this small business benefits local people by creating jobs, supporting local food producers and continuing to strengthening the community.
Heirloom serve a seasonal daily menu from breakfast to lunch, and light dinner dishes, with local produce at the heart of all of them. Alongside this they serve Weanie Beans coffee, their very own specialty coffee, lovingly roasted in the roastery less than forty miles away. The origins of their food and drink is incredibly important to them, highlighting the quality of well sourced fresh British produce and supporting local farmers; with the desire to even include homegrown ingredients. The menu and coffee change seasonally to reflect the periodic change of crops and ingredients. As the cold nights expect a selection of colourful winter salads, warming soups, spiced hot chocolate and of course exceptional coffee throughout.
The objective for Heirloom is to bring Edlesborough and the surrounding villages even closer together. From their care and consideration of using local produce where possible and creating an environment to build and enhance the community this will give the cafe its integral purpose. This new local business will create a positive social impact on our growing community.
Whether you are a small roastery like us or a coffee enthusiast (where your love of coffee may have got out of hand) you may need to roast green beans in small quantities occasionally.
This problem arose for us as we look to expand suppliers and find more niche specialty coffees. We are often sent green beans, usually straight from a company, that may sell for a collective of coffee farms from various countries, meaning they don't have the facilities to roast small quantities of beans for their customers to try.
As much as we would love a high spec sample roaster, if you have seen the new Ikawa ones, you will know what I mean, they look beautiful. However they come at a huge cost (£750-£1000) for something that won't be used regularly.
Our roaster sent me a link to Sweet Maria's (a great site with a wealth of knowledge about coffee roasting) for an affordable sample roasting option a popcorn maker!
So we splashed out £12.99 (+£4.99 P+P) on a VonChef Air popcorn maker. I chose this one as it matched the wattage recommended by Sweet Maria,1200w.
After 30 minutes reading up on roasting and watching a couple of YouTube videos I felt like a sample roasting expert and thought I would give it a try. After a few practice roasts and trip ups here are some basic instructions, with a few tips and tricks to help you along the way.
Above you can see some of my basic equipment:
(AIR) Popcorn maker, 1200w, aluminium inside.
Extension lead, trust me you want to be doing this outside. Also preferably an industrial extension lead to maximise wattage or the popcorn maker can over heat and switch off too quickly.
Wooden spoon, for the handle as a stirrer.
Metal sieve, to quickly cool the beans.
Green coffee beans, of course.
Sample trays (or a tupperware) to let be beans cool completely.
Scales, to weigh the amount of beans you will need.
A few roasted coffee beans, handy to compare the final colour.
- First things first, its a quick process so make sure you have everything around you ready to go.
- Green beans, quantity - 80g to 100g depending on bean size, the bigger the bean the less you need.
- Weigh out your beans, after the first few times you will get the jist of what works best.
-Turn on your popcorn maker, wait about 10sec they heat up incredibly quickly, and throw in your weighed out beans.
- They should almost immediately start moving around inside the popcorn maker, about every 15sec give them a stir with your wooden spoon handle.
- Keep watching them, they start to get pretty smokey and chaff is flying around they are moving towards the 'first crack' and they will start to pop around, you might lose a few!
- Have your sieve at the ready, note the colour is close to your roasted coffee beans you have as a sample to compare, and quickly tip them out of the popcorn maker into the metal sieve.
- Keep them moving in the sieve, it is imperative to cool them down quickly otherwise they will keep cooking.
- When they are cool to the touch, about 5mins, you can pour them into the sample tray/tupperware and let them cool completely before placing them in an airtight bag preferably with a valve.
- Finally when they are cooling take a good look at your beans and pick out any irregularities as you would in a regular roast. They maybe slightly lighter or darker in colour as the roast is so short or an odd shape. But as it is a small sample roast, it isn't too arduous to pick out the irregular ones and you are left with your successful sample roast!
And that's it! The first couple of times you feel like you are juggling the beans a bit, but after a couple of practices you will be a sample roasting expert.
Tim from The Right Roast - a YouTube coffee channel, popped in to see us a couple of weeks ago. He runs a filter coffee stall in Primrose Hill and was coming to pick up some coffee to serve that weekend.
We had a little chat, discussed the origin of Weanie Beans, and cupped our Guatemala, Finca Isnul.
I'm suprised I didn't blind the camera with my hair, I don't think I realised quite how bright it was....
Check out the video here.
It goes without saying that we love coffee. It tastes awesome, and it wakes you up - winner!
I've loved coffee flavoured things ever since my mum let me dunk sugar cubes in her espresso when I was a toddler - if there's coffee on the flavour menu, I choose coffee. Everytime, without fail.
So when it comes to cooking, baking, and general making, I usually slip coffee in there somehow. Today, I made a coffee mousse. Because, well, I saw it on Pinterest, and it made my mouth water just thinking about it. The original recipe calls for instant coffee, but that stuff isn't allowed in our house, so I used our Summer (2015) Espresso made in the Aeropress.
Try it. It's ace.
(Makes approx. 12 ramekins)
200g caster sugar
350ml double cream
2 x 30g (double) espresso shots
5 egg yolks
6 sheets gelatin
800g double or whipping cream. Whipped.
Smash up the oreo cookies and push them into the base of your ramekins.
Put the sugar and water into a heavy based saucepan and boil until you get a dark caramel. (If you're lucky enough to own a gas hob, this shouldn't take too long. If, like me, you have electric or ceramic, this takes aaaaaaages.)
As the caramel starts to colour, warm up the double cream in a separate pan, then add to the caramel slowly and carefully. Caramel is HOT.
In a bowl, beat the egg yolks before adding the caramel & cream pan. Stir it all constantly over a low heat until you get a delicious looking custard. Remove from the heat and leave to cool until just warm.
Soak your gelatin sheets per the instructions on the pack; then add them to the caramel custard along with the coffee, and mix well.
Fold in the whipped cream, then pour into your ramekins on top of the cookie crumb and refrigerate.
Make your salted caramel by adding salt to your ready made caramel (my go-to is Carnation) - add the salt slowly, bit by bit, making sure to mix well as you go. Keep tasting until you reach your desired level of saltiness.
Spread the caramel on top of your mousse and garnish as you fancy. Remove from the fridge around 20-30mins before serving.
If you're anything like us, you need a big old mug of coffee to get you going in the morning - something that filter coffee provides is the opportunity to brew a great bit vat of it and share it (or not) with your loved one(s).
As much as we love a dinky 5oz coffee, or an espresso when we're out and about, at home, it's all about wrapping your hands around a big mug and taking your time to enjoy your brew. WIth that in mind, we've teamed up with awesome US based Nathan and Amanda to make us, what we believe, are the best mugs ever.
A hand cut, hand stitched leather sleeve is pressed together and wrapped around the great british classic kilner jar. They are the perfect size for your breakfast coffee and come in black or chestnut. They are also great for beer. Or mojitos. Just saying.....