Frequently Asked Questions
Where does coffee come from?
That glorious cup of Joe that perks you up in the morning is actually fruit….well, maybe not quite – but the roasted coffee bean that was brewed to make your favourite drink, is indeed the seed from a berry at least.
What is the difference between single origin coffees and blends?
Single origin coffee is coffee that has come from a single source. This is a great way to experience different characteristics from each region. Blends are coffee that have come from two or more sources and have been mixed together to create a particular flavour profile. Blends are generally more rounded with their characteristics and provide more consistency over time in the flavour profile, as opposed to single origin coffees, because the seasonal changes in each crop will not affect the overall flavour when it is blended with several other coffees. Blends generally tolerate milk a little better than single origin coffees and black coffee is usually the best way to experience the differences in single origin coffee.
What is your strongest coffee?
This is almost a trick question, as most people when asking for our strongest coffee assume that flavour and coffee are synonymous, however caffeine is actually roasted out of coffee, so the darker the roast, the less caffeine your cup contains.
So, if you’re looking for our strongest flavour, then our extra dark roasted coffees will suit, however if you are looking for our strongest caffeine containing coffee, then our lighter roasted coffees will be what you are looking for.
What is the best temperature for brewing coffee?
The temperature of your water plays an important role in the flavour profile of your coffee. Unfortunately there is no clear cut answer to the what the right temperature for brewing coffee is, as there are so many variables; the type of coffee, the grind size and the method of brewing to name a few.
Generally speaking, the ideal water temperature is between 91°C and 95°C (195°F and 205°F) and you should never use freshly boiled water, as it will burn the coffee resulting in bitterness. Higher temperatures can draw more acidity into the cup, so you may need to shorten extraction/brew time, however lower temperatures may leave you with a sourness as a result of under extracted coffee, so you may need to increase extraction/brew time (an extreme example of this is the cold brew process where cold water and coffee can brew for up to 24 hours before you get the right balance and flavour, but it is generally going to be far less acidic than if you had brewed the coffee normally).
How long will coffee last?
Coffee doesn’t go off or bad, but will lose freshness and flavour over time. The degradation period is also dependent on how you store your coffee.
If you correctly store roasted coffee as whole beans and grind as you need, you can expect to get the best out of your coffee from 3 days up to 3 weeks after roasting.
If you get the coffee ground at the time of purchase, you should expect to get the best out of your coffee for up to 2 weeks or so. With correct storage, ground coffee will still retain most flavour for a month or two, but the taste will not be as vibrant.
How should I store my coffee?
In order to keep your coffee as fresh as possible, you need to keep it airtight otherwise it will oxidise and lose flavour and vibrancy.
Coffee also loves to be kept cool, dry and dark, so you should keep it out of direct sunlight and away from moisture or heat – tucked away in a cupboard or pantry is ideal.
You can keep coffee in the pouch/bag it came in, assuming that it is resealable and airtight but the ideal storage vessel for your coffee is an airtight canister, especially one with some sort of one-way valve to vent excess oxygen and carbon dioxide (which is emitted by coffee after roasting).
Take a look at our range of Canisters here.
Can I keep my coffee in the fridge or freezer?
While coffee loves to be kept cool, the fridge or freezer could actually be doing more harm than good.
Temperature fluctuations caused by taking coffee in and out of the fridge or freezer on a daily basis will result in a build-up of moisture (condensation), causing your coffee to bloom slightly resulting in a loss of flavour and vibrancy.
If you want to store bulk amounts of coffee, keeping it in the freezer will preserve freshness, however your coffee should ideally be stored in smaller, airtight batches that can be entirely removed and kept out of the freezer.
Is it better to grind my coffee as I need it?
Yes, by keeping your beans whole until you need them, you will reduce the severity of oxidation. Ground coffee degrades at a much faster rate as there is a larger surface area for the oxygen to affect.
What type of grinder is the best?
We recommend only using a proper burr grinder for your coffee. Even our entry level manual grinders for under $40 will do a far better job than any electric mini-whisk or blender that has blades, as blades will chop the coffee beans into an inconsistent combination of chunks and dust. A burr grinder will grind the coffee consistently and can be adjusted to suit any coffee maker.
You can also choose between porcelain and stainless steel burrs, both have slightly different attributes but generally if you are grinding for home purposes, there is really no discernible difference between the two.
You can view our range of Electric and Manual Grinders here.
What grinder do you recommend?
We have a range of Coffee Grinders that will suit your needs, but it really depends what you are looking for; do you want something that doesn’t take up much room, are you looking for a cost effective Manual Grinder or are you wanting to go for an Electric Grinder.
We have some manual grinders, such as the Porlex Mini and Porlex Tall (made in Japan) or the Gefu Lorenzo (made in Germany) that are not only great grinders, but they pair up really well with the Aeropress coffee maker and are great if you are travelling.
If you are looking for an electric, we highly recommend the Zassenhaus Kingston (made in Germany) as it stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of quality and warranty and it not only looks much nicer than most other electric grinders, it also has a much smaller footprint than most.
What is the best coffee for my coffee maker?
We have a range of Award Winning Coffees across multiple categories.
For Espresso Makers (machines, stovetops, etc.): our Premium Blend and Supreme Blend are our biggest award winners. If you prefer single origin - our Colombian Dark, Rainforest Alliance and Mexican Decaffe have also won multiple awards in the espresso category.
For Plungers (French presses, cafetieres, etc.): our Colombian Dark is our biggest award winner in this category. The Classic Blend is also a multi award winning coffee in the plunger category, if you prefer blended coffee.
For Filters and Drippers (including Cold Brew/Drip): our Tassie Blend has won a number of awards in this category. The Colombian Dark also makes a fantastic filter coffee and is our most popular cold brew coffee.
Should I tamp down the coffee in my stovetop espresso pot?
No, tamping is unnecessary in a stovetop espresso maker. Moreover, if you tamp the coffee down, you create too much resistance in the funnel and could end up blowing out the valve or warping the filter plate. If they were designed to be tamped, you would find coffee tampers available for every size, it is only a coincidence that some tampers fit a couple of the sizes of stovetops. The coffee just needs to be packed into the funnel loose and level.
Should I use tea bags or loose leaf tea?
We recommend loose leaf tea, as not only are the health benefits of loose leaf a little better thanthere teabag counterparts, but you also have a little more control of flavour. The occurrence of antioxidants is higher in loose leaf tea as well, however good quality teabags still retain a lot of the antioxidants and can offer a level of convenience that loose leaf cannot.
How long should I brew my tea for?
The brew time for your tea depends on the type of tea you have, the quantity of tea to water ratio and the water temperature. See our Tea Brewing Guide here for more information, but remember this is only a guide and your taste buds will tell you if you’re doing it right.
What water temperature should I use for brewing tea?
The temperature, like the brew time, depends on a range of other factors. We have put together a comprehensive guide for the best brewing practises, see our Tea Brewing Guide here.
Do you have any teas that will help me relax or sleep better?
Yes we do, some of our herbal infusions, that do not contain any actual tea, are aimed at helping you with relaxation and sleeping. All tea, including white tea, contains caffeine - so it is probably best to avoid these (especially later in the day) if you want to calm your nervous system.
If you prefer tea bags, then our English Tea Shop tea bag range includes the ever popular Calming Blend, Chamomile, Chamomile & Lavendar and Sleepy Me infusions. All are caffeine free and organic.