There are many things we have missed out on during the pandemic, but one thing we can still enjoy is our favourite coffee.
The last six months has been an incredibly difficult time for the hospitality industry, and just when things seemed to be getting a boost, thanks to ‘Eat Out’, we are seeing more lockdowns, and tighter restrictions right across South Wales. Fortunately, our coffees shops and cafes remain open, and we can still pay them a visit, albeit within our lockdown areas.
As great as it is sitting at home, relaxing on the sofa, or working from our new found home-office space, with a fresh brewed cup of our favourite coffee, nothing can beat the experience of sitting in the place we love, enjoying the sounds and aroma with other like minded customers.
So, being huge supporters of all of our coffee shops, here at SOUTH WALES LIFE, we say get out and keep supporting local. They have missed us as much as we’ve missed them.
Next month it’s the 10th anniversary year of UK COFFEE WEEK. Yes, of course it’s a celebration of the thing we all enjoy, but this charitable initiative brings together the coffee industry, coffee lovers, and a host of brands to have fun and raise funds for the charity PROJECT WATERFALL – bringing clean water, sanitation, and education to coffee-growing communities.
After months of being without our favourite coffee establishments, there has never been a better time to celebrate the week than this year. There will be competitions, raffles and plenty of giveaways. For those of us who really love our coffee, they are also running online workshops with top baristas, teaching us how to make the perfect home brew.
The industry itself will be celebrating and fundraising, with many donating a percentage of every coffee sold. But for us it’s not always about the money. Raising awareness of the cause is equally important, and the cause really is very special.
As a dry country, which is vulnerable to climate change, there are many challenges in Ethiopia to getting clean water to the poorest people. Ethiopia has a population of 99 million, and four in ten do not have access to clean water. Additionally, over 92 million people don’t have access to a decent toilet. As a result of dirty water and poor toilets, over 8,500 children under five die each year from diarrhoea in Ethiopia. With WaterAid’s support, the UK Coffee Week Project will make a lasting difference in Ethiopia, helping to reach over 10,000 people with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene.
UK Coffee Week was established under Jeffrey Young’s Allegra Foundation and since 2011 has raised over £750,000, helped fund six new projects, and changed 28,000 lives. As they celebrates their 10th birthday, the aim is to get the target through the £1 million mark.
We can all do our part to help them reach it, and what is really nice about it, we just need to drink and enjoy our coffee.
Hundreds of venues have already signed up to UK Coffee Week! Find your nearest participating coffee shop, restaurant, roastery HERE and help them make a difference.
If you want your coffee shop, roastery to get involved, you can find out how HERE.
When it comes to coffee, and undoubtedly we are a nation obsessed with the stuff, there are so many to choice from. Yet being the creatures of habit that we are, we always go for our supposed favourite. It seems however, that during lockdown we were taken out of our comfort zone and directed us to something altogether new as our top go to caffeine fix to get us through the day.
We’ll come to that in a minute, but first here’s a guide to some other regulars and how best to make them. Or of course you can just brush up and order something different from your favourite coffee shop.
Regardless of which coffee we choose, what matters is how it tastes, smells, and whether or not it gives us the little hit that only coffee can. Let’s be honest, just how many of us can’t even face the day with a steaming hot cup of Joe? Or perhaps a latte, a piccolo, or maybe a long black.
We checked to see how many types of coffee beverages there are and it turns out, there’s quite a lot. Websites vary between twenty and thirty different types, one of them even had 40. Seriously, I can’t decide what pastry to have when I go to a cafe so would have no chance with 40 coffee types on the menu.
So here is the short and sweet, keep is simple, SOUTH WALES LIFE guide to our favourite coffees, most can be made at home by the way. We’ve left the lockdown favourite till last.
There are two types of coffee, the long black and the flat white both originated in New Zealand and Australia. For a flat white, the steamed milk from the bottom of the jug (which is usually not frothy, but creamy) is poured over a shot of espresso.
Possibly the most popular type of coffee in the world, a cappuccino consists of three layers. The first is a shot of espresso, then steamed milk, and finally you (or the Barista) adds a layer of frothed, foamy milk. This final layer can also be topped with chocolate shavings or powder. Traditionally, Italians drink this coffee at breakfast.
Apparently, American soldiers during the Second World War made this coffee to make their beverages last longer. By all accounts it was adopted by American Baristas after the war. You can make it simply by adding hot water to a shot of espresso coffee.
Café Latte (or Café au lait)
A fairly popular option for coffee drinkers, a latte consists steamed (or scalded) milk and a single shot of coffee. It is usually quite frothy, and you’ll sometimes come across places that don’t understand the difference between this and a flat white. It can be ordered plain or with a flavour shot of anything from vanilla to pumpkin spice.
Okay, coffee snobs will turn their nose up at this one, but if you need a quick fix instant coffee is still better than no coffee! Instant coffee is coffee that’s had all the water removed, leaving behind just the soluble coffee flavour. It contains slightly less caffeine and more acrylamide than regular coffee, but it contains most of the same antioxidants. Overall, instant coffee is a healthy, low-calorie drink that is linked to the same health benefits as other types of coffee.
Too many of these and you might have to have a little nap before reading on. This coffee, because this is made with Irish Whiskey, sugar, and a thick layer of cream on the top. You’re more likely to find these in a restaurant than a coffee shop, or in your own home at the moment once the kids are tucked up in bed. more often found in restaurants.
We figured Jameson, who make Irish Whiskey, probably know what goes into a good Irish Coffee. Before you tell us we’ve spelt it incorrectly, the Irish way is with an ‘E’.
And that brings us to the lockdown favourite. The coffee which we’d all been making over the months when we couldn’t get out to the cafe. The kids may not drink it, but will love watching how the ingredients transform into the creamy froth. It’s a bit of an upside down coffee to be honest, and looks stunning when you make it. Definitely special, with very little effort.
This became the new star of our lockdown world. It came about when people were messing about with different types of coffee recipes at home. Let’s face it, we all had a little bit of spare time recently. DALGONA is made by whipping up instant coffee, sugar and hot water into a creamy froth and adding it to either hot or cold milk. It takes its name from the Korean word for honeycomb candy, which it resembles.
It also looks lovely when it’s made, so we got our guys to come up with some pictures to get you in the mood.
This is how we make it. Three Ingredients and two really easy steps……
- Whisk the coffee, sugar and 3 tbsp boiling water in a bowl for around 5 minutes. The mixture will turn really thick and fluffy with stiff peaks. You can do it using an electric whisk but whisking by hand is always more satisfying when the magic happens.
- For hot coffee, heat the milk and pour into two heatproof glasses. For cold coffee, pour the cold milk into two glasses. Divide the coffee mixture in half and spoon evenly on top of the glasses. Serve and stir thoroughly before drinking.
And if you want a few more ideas, here are three ways
Give it a go, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (or coffee) but it’s great to watch the transformation when you whip the ingredients.
UK COFFEE WEEK runs from the 19th to 25th October. To find out more just head here. COFFEE
You can donate the price of a cup of coffee (£3), which will go directly to Project Waterfall, supporting our coffee growers across the world with clean water and sanitation. Text ‘COFFEE’ to 70331 or donate online HERE.
If like us, and treat your home like it’s a cafe and coffee shops, here’s a couple of posters our team have designed. You can download and put on your door for a bit of fun.
And maybe one for the kids (young and old) to colour in……