CAFE2U BLOG

The Rise Of The Home Coffee Market

Saturday, May 31, 2014

We’re getting used to really great coffee. It’s not a bad thing; everyone should have access to quality drinks and not substandard instant which just isn’t as good. It can end up watery and weak, and just not what you want. We’ve a sneaking suspicion that at least some of the people who don’t think that they like coffee just hasn’t had the right cup yet.

The progression of coffee culture has been steady. Starting with coffee shops on the high street from chains and independent cafes. As you might know, coffee has been around for more than 700 years, and for more than 300 years there has been coffee shops.

More recent additions have been the concept of mobile coffee franchises, a concept Cafe2U has been running for over ten years. Mobile coffee franchises are fully operational cafes tucked into the back of a modern Mercedes van.

At home, for many years, instant coffee was almost the only option (without investing in coffee shop grade espresso machines, grinders and roasters, and having to pay industry level prices for them). Now people have tasted a better degree of coffee on the high street and in their places of work though, instant is ceasing to be good enough. More and more people are looking to achieve the coffee shop or mobile coffee franchise taste at home.

Cafe2U have crafted their own at home bean selections – Cafe2U@home – so that you can create your own cups at home as well. This is available either as beans which you can grind at home for extra freshness, or in the form of grounds, ready to go straight into your cafetière.

Home Brewed

There are loads of better ways to achieve coffee perfection from the comfort of your own home – but they all start with the right beans. Find a great blend, and make sure they are freshly roasted (the longer they are left before use the more the taste deteriorates). Cafe2U’s blend has been perfected over time, making Cafe2U@home a great option – you already know it’s a good one because it is the same product you can buy from our professional baristas and their mobile coffee franchises.

After you’ve settled on a blend we recommend that you buy little and often rather than in bulk so your beans stay fresh. You’ll then need something to brew your coffee in. In ‘bean to cup’ espresso machines you can put your Cafe2U@home coffee beans straight into the grinder compartment, and watch as beautiful hot espresso pours into your mug. With other machines, you will either need to buy the pre-ground version, or make sure you have a grinder to do this yourself.

There are loads of different home brew techniques out there, from mini espresso machines to stove-top and the pod style coffee makers such as Nespresso. We’re going to talk you through how to use one of the most simple and effective methods you can use with your Cafe2U@home grounds though – and there’s no need for expensive machines at all.

The Cafetière

  • To get the best from yours, heat the container slightly by adding a small amount of boiling water. This will help keep the water you add to the coffee grounds hotter for longer, and therefore allow you to achieve a better quality cup. 
  • Bring the kettle to the boil, and then allow to cool slightly to prevent the grounds from burning and giving you a bitter tasting coffee. 
  • Pour away the water you’ve placed in the cafetière.
  • Place the grounds into the cafetière. You’ll need two level tea spoons of grounds per mug for the best results. 
  • To this, add a small amount of the just-boiled water and stir. Then, top up to the desired amount and stir again. 
  • Put the lid back on the cafetière (with the plunger raised), and leave to brew for four minutes. 
  • You can then push the plunger down, slowly but firmly, to trap all the grounds at the bottom of the cafetière. 
  •  Enjoy!

To buy Cafe2U@home, speak to your local franchise partner, or contact head office directly where we will be happy to help.

Simple Latte Art: A Step By Step Guide

Friday, May 30, 2014

When it comes to latte art, it’s very much all in the pour. It might sound simple, but you’re going to need to develop some serious multitasking skills to get everything just right. If you’re interested in one of Cafe2U’s coffee franchise opportunities you will be trained as a barista, but if you want to have a go before then, read on.

Rather than rushing straight in and getting milk and foam everywhere, it’s a good idea to get your head around just what you need to do first. We spoke to our expert Barista trainer Jon Skinner, who offered plenty of really useful advice to help you get a perfect Rosetta every time.

It’s very much a case of needing to do two things at once, but as you practise more and more you’ll find that it becomes second nature – but at first it might seem anything but!

Before you try using milk, practice with water. You can do this at home before you take on a coffee franchise opportunity. This will let you get to grips with the process without wasting a lot of milk. You will need to pour and shake the jug, gradually and steadily raising it so that the milk (or water) continues to pour at a steady rate even when it’s less full.

As you swing the jug from side to side, you will need to wait for the milk to ‘load’ up in the side of the jug before changing direction and swinging it to the other side. A common mistake made by beginners and people with brand new coffee franchise opportunities is to do this too quickly, panicking and trying to rush the process: this will not work. The side to side motion needs to be more rhythmical, almost lazy; be patient and let the milk set the timing of the oscillations.

You will need:

  • A jug of fresh, cold foamed milk, with micro-sized bubbles and a gloss on top 
  • A freshly made espresso with a good layer of crema (this is a product of the oils and sugars in the bean itself, and the method of drying at the plantation, the roasting process, and how long ago the beans were roasted will dictate how much crema you will get)
  • A wide mouthed cup (a 12oz size works well)

1. Position

Hold the cup at a slight angle, with the back slightly raised up so that the edge of the cup which is closest to you sits slightly lower. This fans the coffee out in the cup and helps in the development of the leaves for our Rosetta.

2. Begin to pour

But not from the edge! You will actually need to start pouring into the centre of the cup, something which is especially important with smaller cups. You can rest the edge of the jug on the cup at this point. You’ll need to keep pouring into the centre until the cup is about three quarters full.

3. Give a wiggle



Now here’s where it gets arty. You’ll need to shake the jug from side to side a little bit, and you should start to see the leaves begin to form. Continue to shake and pour into the centre and you’ll see the leaves move away from you on the surface. After about 4-6 shakes you’ll need to begin to bring the jug back towards you, whilst still shaking, only this time a slightly tighter oscillation.

4. Don’t rush



The speed is a vital part of making sure your leaves are defined and your latte art looks how it’s meant to. It’s an almost naturally slow movement, with metronome like rhythm.

5. Create the stem



As you reach the edge of the cup you’ll want to draw back through them with the milk to create the stem. This should be a slow, more elevated pour which will keep your leaves defined and your stem slim.

And Jon’s last bit of advice? Keep practising! Pro Baristas pour hundreds of drinks a day, and that's their practice time. Use your time wisely and your coffee franchise opportunity will be offering the best lattes around in no time.

The Importance Of The Blend: How Cafe2U Achieves Its Unique Taste

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Cafe2U coffee blend has received multiple Australian and international coffee awards in both the espresso and milk based categories. The business remains as the only mobile coffee franchise opportunity to be recognised in these competitions. However, without the awards Cafe2U’s unique and full bodied blend would still speak for itself, it just takes a cup for the quality to shine through.

A lot of the taste can be put down to the high quality machines we uses, and the highly skilled, professionally trained baristas who have taken on a coffee franchise opportunity and pride themselves on producing high quality drinks every time. But even the best baristas won’t be able to make the most of the beans if the beans themselves are no good to start with. A poor quality blend makes a poor quality cup – but what is a poor blend?

There are three main factors which go into getting the right coffee beans for your espresso based drinks. The sourcing, the blending and the roasting all need to be right in order to give the barista the best possible coffee to work with. Each of these three parts are as important as the machine used, and the training the barista receives.

Source: Wikimedia

Sourcing

Coffee is grown in a lot of different locations across the globe. The bean itself and where it is sourced from has a huge impact on both the flavour and the aroma of the drink (the two elements which go toward producing the full sensory experience we all know and love). The right beans can be considered the building blocks of the blend.

It’s important to remember that while each type of bean (be it Arabica or Robusta varieties) will have different flavour characteristics, that the area and growing conditions will also influence taste. Weather, growing conditions, and even the soil the plants are growing in will affect the flavour to a degree.

A coffee expert will be sent around varies plantations and sample the beans grown there, picking only the highest quality to become part of the blend. The beans are hand-picked and processed using various methods depending on the plantation as well as the coffee type.

Blending and Roasting

Blending is a process which is pretty much how it sounds: that is, beans from different sources or types are combined to achieve a particular quality in the coffee, whether that’s a bolder or richer taste, a more full body, or an earthier aroma. There’s a lot of different qualities to coffee, with aroma, acidity, body and flavour being the four tasting terms used to compare and contrast different blends.

This method is used to give a better coffee than can be achieved from a single type of bean.

Once the recipe is decided, the beans are either blended before or after roasting. This process helps to release the natural oils within the bean, and unlock the flavour and aroma which makes coffee great.

At Cafe2U, we use traditional Probat roasters for all our beans, ensuring that they’re roasted for at least 15 minutes to maximise the flavour produced.

So what goes into Cafe2U’s signature blend?

Our coffee franchise opportunities are so popular because we offer a truly high quality product. That means that we put a lot of thought into the blend for our signature espresso. By using a combination of single origins roasted perfectly, we’re able to create smooth, full bodied and balanced cups with sweetness, fruit, and even subtle notes of chocolate.

We use: 

  • Honduras SHG for sweet acidy, nutty notes and a soft finish. 
  • Indian Mysore for it’s smooth chocolate note and balanced creamy texture. 
  • Ethiopian with sweet berry like notes, full flavour and earthy chocolate finish, as well as subtle apricot notes. 
  • Uganda for depth, body and a persistent flavour which goes right through milky drinks. 
  • Brazillian helps to balance and compliment the other origins with its smooth milk chocolate flavours, nutty notes and medium body.

To try our unique blends, simply pay one of our coffee franchise opportunities a visit, or drop an email to info@uk.cafe2u.com to order Cafe2U@home.