We've Bean Thinking Blog

We love discovering new blends and roasts.
Hario v60 Drip Decanter Coffee Maker

Could the Hario v60 be the best at home coffee maker?

Much like a fine dining experience, if you are looking to tickle your taste buds and really taste your coffee (and we mean really taste your coffee), then don’t look any further than the Hario v60.

The Hario v60 is easy to use, reliable, and inexpensive way to make pour-over coffee. It’s also one of the most popular and recognizable pour-over drippers on the market. Available in plastic, ceramic, glass, and metal variations, and with a few color options. We stock the v60 pour over kit in red, size 02 as well as a range of smaller (01 – perfect for a single cup) and other options but they all work the same, so select a size that fits your needs.

The dripper is a small inverted cone, with a base just wide enough to fit over the top of most mugs. A series of spiraling ribs inside the cone prevent the filter paper from clinging to the side, helping the water flow through the grounds to generate an even coffee flavour extraction.

The bottom of the cone dripper is open for your brewed coffee to drip freely into your mug or pitcher. The dripper has a handle on the side so you can pick it up without scalding any fingers and clean it when you’re finished. And it’s super easy to clean. Bonus.

However what we love about the v60 is that it’s all about great flavour. The v60 creates a clean and ‘bright’ coffee that demonstrates a full range of flavor notes. Trust us, even your favourite coffee will taste more interesting, lighter, more flavourful, once they’ve been given the v60 treatment.

How to use the Hario v60

The v60 allows you to control every variable of the brewing process with absolute precision if that’s what you are looking for. Many v60 geeks use kitchen scales, thermometers, and special kettles for really accurate measurements and to exert maximum control over each step.

But it doesn’t need to be that complicated, so here’s our five simple steps to making a coffee with the v60.

  1. Put a filter in the cone and rinse it with hot water.

2. Grind your coffee to a medium-fine grind and put it into the filter. Or, if you don’t have a grinder, out coffees are all available in coarse grind which would be suitable.

3. Place the dripper over your mug or pitcher.

4. Pour hot water (ideally 190-205 degrees Fahrenheit) over the grounds, but only just enough to get them wet. The recommended coffee-to-water ratio is one or two tablespoons per six ounces of water. However there’s no need to be this scientific – use your eyes, watch the levels of coffee coming through into the decanter and you’ll still get a great result.

5. Once the beans are soaked, wait about 30 seconds. This process is known as the “bloom.” Once the coffee has bloomed, gradually pour hot water over the grounds but be careful not to let the water overflow out of the dripper.

Where can you get one?

The Hario v60 is an affordable and essential piece coffee maker that is ideal if you are really wanting a great cup of coffee and fancy being a little more exploratory (or scientific!) with flavour.

We’ve got a range of Hario kits and accessories to choose from. If you’re just getting started, the v60 Pour Over Kit is recommended, although the Drip Decanter does look gorgeous on your kitchen table.

Happy brewing folks!

Lars & Margo Coffee Roasters at Mhor Coffee, Artisan Coffee Delivered Directly to your Door from the Roaster

Meet the Roasters: Lars & Margo

When a massive change in circumstances arose out of the blue Peter and Mandy, the founders of Lars & Margo chose to view their glass as half full – ever the optimists! Unknowingly entering into the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst newly employed within the NHS, they set the wheels in motion to follow Peter’s dream to set up a Speciality Small Batch Coffee Roastery in their home town of Liskeard, South East Cornwall.

With support from their families, friends and local community, ‘Genevieve’ their beautiful 5kg Toper Roaster, shipped in from Turkey when most UK roads were redundant thanks to lockdown. They bravely and confidently stepped forward into the world of coffee roasting. 

So who are Lars & Margo?

In recent years, knowing he was born in Cornwall, Peter decided to trace his birth family…on doing so he was surprised to discover his Danish heritage and that his original birth name was Lars! Always looking for the next exciting challenge in life, Mandy parted from her former vintage inspired lampshade business, Margo Popped In, and merged her original brand moniker with Lars to form the perfect blend: Lars & Margo.  

About Lars & Margo’s Coffee

In order to obtain the best coffee Lars & Margo work with a network of coffee bean farmers, some of which are co-operatives, located around the world. With a passion for their crops and a desire to innovate and experiment, they continue to create outstanding beans of exceptional quality. They carefully select growers from four continents of the globe; South America, North America, Africa and Asia. Taking these beans and creating incredible hand roasted coffee, ensures quality over quantity every time. They pride themselves in careful consideration of the qualities each regional bean has to offer, comparing aroma, flavour, colour and strength.

Lars & Margo only offer speciality coffee, be it a single origin or in blends, where every component coffee is a speciality bean in its own right.

Ian, one of the founders of Mhor Coffee, has been enjoying Lars & Margo’s signature Ethiopian roast this week. He commented “It’s really great to have Lars & Margo selling their roasts on our artisan marketplace. Discovering fantastic produce like this is exactly why we wanted to create a coffee marketplace that shines a spotlight on smaller artisan coffee roasters. Lars Margos Ethiopian signature blend has been fuelling me this week with its rich, dark chocolate flavours balanced with the fruity tang of raspberry. It’s been fairly perking up my flat whites in the morning.”

Check out the full range of Lars & Margo coffees here.

Meet the Roasters: White Rose Coffee

White Rose Coffee Roasters started from a passion for coffee excellence thirty years in the making. The head roaster, Robert Cooper, has a long history of experience with commercial coffee equipment and supplying the catering trade.

They roast in Halifax, West Yorkshire and are proud to carry the Made in Yorkshire Mark which is dedicated to highlighting the best in food and drink exclusively produced in the Yorkshire Region.

Their roaster is manufactured by Toper Coffee Roasters in Turkey. It is a traditionally designed drum roaster making use of a gas flame under the drum and also air flow through the drum itself to roast the coffee beans. They roast their coffee in small batches daily. Their TKMSX5 roaster by Toper allows fine tuning of the gas flame height and air flow so they can make sure every roast develops perfectly.

In 2019 they were proud to receive a Great Taste Award Award for their unique espresso blend, Cattle Market Espresso, getting a 1 Star Rating from the judges.

The Mhor Coffee team have enjoyed tasting Robert’s coffees since he joined the platform.

Tricia, a founder of Mhor Coffee commented “There’s nothing we like better than exploring new coffee tastes – it’s exactly why we founded the site in the first place. Robert’s Cattle Market Espresso was a really tasty coffee and really brightened up our weekend roast. A friend of ours ordered the Rwandan Blueberry Candyfloss and hasn’t stopped raving about it since.”

You can check out White Rose Coffee Roasters’s full range on the site here.

The Sttoke Shatterproof Reusable Mug

Where sustainability meets design: The Sttoke Shatterproof Reusable Mug

Sttoke reusable cups might just be the most beautiful reusable mugs to arrive in the UK. Ever.

The Sttoke reusable cup has some really gorgeous features, not least because it’s made out of a shatterproof German-engineered Greblon Ceramic which is scratch- and temperature-resistant. In your hand it feels like a proper cup. Goodbye flimsy plastic reusables, hello swanky ceramic coffee cup. It’s where sustainability and design meet to do good things together.

Sttoke claims that their mugs will keep your drink hot for up to three hours and we have put this to the test – filling up first thing in the morning, and still being able to sip hot coffee at lunchtime. The hardest part? Pleasure delaying the drinking of your coffee for that long. Seriously. All in the name of research, right? The ceramic coating envelopes a double-wall-insulated stainless steel for optimum heat retention. This construction means your Sttoke will maintain its design beauty through your everyday wear and tear.

The “spill-proof,” BPA-free plastic lid is well constructed with a sliding open/close valve for drinking. Far and away the best “drinking spout” on a reusable cup, and easy peasy to open and close.

The mug fits very well in our hands due to its ergonomic design, and its lightweight materials make it easy to carry, even when full.

The Sttoke mugs were also named a Gold Winner at the Good Design Awards, and it is easy to see why when you take a look at the stunning list of colors they’re available in.

Mhor Coffee is currently stocking three of these colours in the 8oz format: Coral Sunset (which we tested and it absolutely looked the business sitting pretty on our desk), Luxe Black which is it’s classic cousin, and Angel White which glistens gorgeously in the sunlight.

Mhor Coffee Meet the Roaster Abe and Co

Meet the Roasters: Abe & Co

As a Speciality Coffee roaster, Abe & Co seasonally source and roast the finest coffee for their customers.

They believe that every cup, whether it be for surviving the morning after the night before, preparing for a tough workout,  pushing through the afternoon dip or enjoying a peaceful moment, should be special.

Founder Guy Levine’s journey from coffee lover to coffee roaster is an unusual story, though. We caught up with him to find out how Abe & Co came to be:

“It all started with my love of cycling. There is a tight link between the cycling and coffee world. Espresso before sessions. Caffeine in sports gels. Coffee companies sponsoring cycling teams of the past. The history is there. So as a keen cyclist I decided to buy an espresso machine neatly 10 years ago. I have never really looked back.”

“My first was a beautiful Rocket Giotto. I had 7 years of great fun with it, learning to keep it clean and replace the parts as they wore out. Being built around the famous e61 brew head meant it was pretty bombproof and easy to take care of and service. However, with a single boiler and no PID, there was quite a lot of flushing and tweaking each shot you pulled, but get it right and the shot sung. I decided on an upgrade.”

“I was looking at the Rocket line of machines (R9 one), the Lamarzocco Mini, and out of nowhere the Decent Espresso DE1. I went with the Decent, which I have to admit was a brave choice. There is no real provenance there, the technology is on the bleeding edge, and compared to the other brands – its looks are polarising. I have to say, I am very impressed. So impressed with the control I now had over my shots, I wanted to move on to roasting. The control from green coffee seed/bean to the final cup appealed. I can get quite obsessed over things!”

“My choice of roaster to start was the Aillio Bullet. But, safe to say, for small-batch, repeatable quality roasts, it sits at the top of its tree. There are upgrades of course, but for now…. this is where it is at. And here we are today. A pretty new roaster but obsessed. I look forward to sharing the journey with you.”

You can order Abe & Co’s range of coffees at Mhor.Coffee

How to make your coffee habit more sustainable

At Mhor Coffee, we believe in sustainability. While the coffee industry has not always been the most sustainable, it has come on leaps and bounds in recent years due to the efforts of consumers and shops alike. But, to take it one step further, we thought we would share some ideas for how to give your spent coffee grounds a second life…

Get Back to Nature

Plant parents rejoice! Coffee grounds can be mixed in with plant soil as a kind of natural fertilizer. It turns out that our leafy loves are just as in need of a caffeine hit as we are! By adding a tablespoon of coffee grinds to the soil, you can give your green pals an extra boost.

Compost that Caffeine

If you have a compost heap or a worm bed, coffee is a really wonderful addition. Just like adding coffee grounds to your household plants, a compost mixture enriched with coffee is amazing for creating lush gardens.

Wear a Mask

We’ve got so used to wearing face masks to stop the spread of COVID-19, but with all that mask wearing, it’s taking its toll on our skin. Self-care has never been more important than it is now so taking a moment to look after yourself is the way to go. Save your used coffee grounds in a bowl or tub and keep them in a cool, dry place. Use a few teaspoons of them with a glug of olive oil and a splodge of honey (or agave syrup!) to make the perfect weekly face and body scrub! Fine grounds are best for this and remember not to scrub your skin too many times a week!

These are just three of the many and varied ways in which coffee can go on and on after you’ve enjoyed your morning mug. We’re all doing our bit for the planet and we hope that these ideas have given you some inspiration on your journey to a more sustainable, coffee-fuelled you!

Happy brewing! You can order our coffees online here.

How to select the right ground of coffee

Whether you’re looking for the perfect bag of coffee to liven up your dreich Scottish mornings or something special to gift to a loved one, figuring out the right grind for your coffee needs is essential.

So what do we mean by ‘ground’?

Coffee beans are harvested green and then roasted. The beans are roasted whole, and they are sold either as they are or ground up for different methods of coffee-making brewing. There are three main forms of grounds that we sell: whole bean, coarse ground and fine ground.

Whole bean is for the folks who run coffee shops with specialised grinders or the folks who have the means to grind their own coffee beans at home. I’d recommend this option for certified coffee geeks (who own a grinder, of course)! That way they get the exact grind they love for their morning mug.

Coarse ground coffee is best used in things like cafetieres (French press). It’s chunky and feels rougher to the touch than its fine ground sister. French press is one of our favourite ways to make coffee at home. It’s a very affordable, quick and easy. For those who love a bit more of a ritual to their coffee breaks, there’s the v60 or the Chemex,  both of which are best used with coarse ground coffee.

Fine ground coffee has a soft, sandy texture and it’s what’s used in coffee shop espresso machines to brew your favourite beverage. It’s also what you would use in an Aeropress or an at-home espresso machine if you don’t have a grinder.

Before deciding on which grind to settle on, be sure that it matches up with your at-home brewing method. Once you have figured out your ideal coffee, you can start the day with a wee bit more pep in your step!

Happy brewing, friends!

Meet the Inventor of the Aeropress

Fast Company has a nice interview with Aerobie AeroPress inventor, Alan Adler, covering his background briefly as well as some of the back story behind the development of the Aeropress. This is the coffee maker that spawned a legion of coffee geeks (including the team at Mhor Coffee). It’s the cheapest and easiest entry into the world of specialty coffee at home.

“In the case of the AeroPress, I was just experimenting with a better way to make a single serving of coffee. This was in 2004. I had a conversation with Pam Abbott [the wife of Aerobie sales manager Don Abbot] and we were both commiserating about how crummy the result of trying to make one cup of coffee in a drip maker is. It just didn’t really come out very good.

So I took up the challenge of making a better single serving of coffee, never thinking for a moment that it would come to be a product. Eventually, I developed some techniques for making a pretty decent cup of coffee in a filter cone–the kind you just put over a cup. But I was troubled that it took about four minutes to pour through. During that time, a lot of bitterness was being extracted from the coffee grounds. And so I wanted to experiment with a much quicker process, and I got the idea of building what became the AeroPress. By applying air pressure, it took the brew time to below a minute.”

Check out the full feature here and if you haven’t yet tried Aeropress, you can purchase them online here.

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