Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Coffee and Pie

I was going to write about North and South today, BUT I’ve changed my mind. I’m actually teaching the text next week, so I think it would be nice to include what my students thought of the novel as well. Crossing fingers they will enjoy it as much as I have.

Today I bought the most delicious coffee beans from Toast, a small shop selling loads of different coffee beans and teas (for those living in Durham, the shop is located in the indoor market, and the owner is lovely and such a big help). As you can probably tell by the title of my blog, I am a huge coffee drinker; to be honest, I detest tea (gasp)—the only time I drink it is when I’m deathly ill, and it HAS to be a fruity  tea loaded with lemon and honey.

Anyway, I was running low on my hazelnut coffee, so I went for a walk in the indoor market hoping to find some. Quick point: I always prefer to support local business owners, which is why I went to the indoor market, rather than Tesco or Whittards (would also like to add that Whittards is INSANELY expensive, for no good reason). Furthermore, in my opinion, buying local is always a better choice; not only do you buy local produce, but the shop owners are always really helpful (the fish monger is always eager to tell me what is fresh and how to prepare whatever fish I buy). But I digress.

I ended up really liking the rich aromas of the Gingerbread and French Vanilla coffee beans, sooo I bought a half kg bag of each for £25. For the Americans that read this blog, I realise this sounds like a lot, especially if you do the exchange, and especially because you can buy a kg bag of Eight O’Clock Hazelnut Coffee from Waldbaums for $20 BUT trust me when I say, for the UK, it is pretty decent. Run on sentence aside, I decided on grinding only the Gingerbread coffee beans, and leaving the French Vanilla ones to be stored. I always feel that if you grind your coffee, you should use it right away so that it doesn't go stale. In order to preserve the freshness of the French Vanilla beans, I will store them in an airtight container and refrigerate them—this way, when I get through my Gingerbread (in about a month) I will have a fresh batch of French Vanilla coffee waiting for me. And if I ever feel like a change, I can always grind whatever amount of French Vanilla I want to use right before roasting. 

Just a disclaimer: there's a huge, boring debate on whether or not you should refrigerate or freeze coffee beans, and whether or not you should grind beans immediately before roasting... blah blah...So you all know, I'm just sharing my own personal opinion, which is based on 15 years of drinking coffee. 

I know I promised all of you a picture of the apple crumble, and so, having prepared myself a slice to go with my freshly brewed pot of Gingerbread coffee, here it is:


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