Monthly Archives: October 2013

Until the invention of the coffee mill in 1687 coffee in Europe and North America was mostly sold unroasted and unground. At this point, talking about quality was a weird thing, but even weirder was what unscrupulous vendors used to do with it to increase their profit. Because of the colour and powerful aroma of the ground coffee it was easy to mix it with other similar looking substances without anyone knowing about it. You cannot imagine what was put into the coffee! Among the substances used were roasted rye, grated burnt crusts, roasted acorns, sand, clay and sawdust. Even worst was the situation in East London where the so called “liver-bakers” were selling their…um, coffee. You can guess what they used to mix in the ground coffee, can you? That’s right – baked and ground into powder liver of oxen or horses. Disgusting? I would say very, very creative…or just greedy.

Today there’s not a chance of foreign “things” to be found in your ground coffee, but if you’re ever in doubt, especially if you think there’s ground liver in it, I know a trick, listen: put the brewed coffee aside to cool down and see if there’s a thick skin formed at the top. If there is – don’t drink!!! 😀

I would never have guessed what they have put in the coffee…seriously.


The Gold Cup Research is part of the Gold Cup Programme launched by the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE). The goal of this programme is to improve the standard of filter coffee consumed in the marketplace, that’s why in 2010 the SCAE embarked on a study to determine the

European Extraction Preferences in Brewed Coffee

The last published data of this kind was in 1960’s by the Coffee Brewing Centre in the USA and it indicated ideal coffee extraction is when between 18% and 22%  of ground coffee is dissolved in hot water. This specification was adopted by many coffee associations and remained the same for more than 50 years. Now thanks to the carried out research by the SCAE we can see how accurate is the old specification nowadays.

The experiment itself was conducted in four European cities – Dublin, Maastricht, Cologne and Milan with 641 people involved. Each one of the participants was given to blindly taste five samples of coffee, each having a different extraction yield – 16%, 18%, 20%, 22% and 24%. The consistency of the taste for each tasting session was ensured by the use of freshly ground coffee – washed single origin Arabica – and an automatic batch coffee brewer. There were also many other regulations concerning the water, the grinders and the brewers which were providing constant delivery at each tasting session.

The combined results confirmed as remaining valid the study published by the Coffee Brewing Centre more than 50 years ago – 62% of all participants liked extraction ranges 18-22%. However the bell curve around this range is not as tight as expected, many of the partakers selected as most liked an extraction rate out of this bounds. The fact is that preferences don’t start and stop at 18% and 22%, but rather meet the majority of preferences within this range.

Hey, hi! Come in, come in! Don’t be shy 🙂

Very nice to meet you! We are three young ladies, with three very different backgrounds gathered around one idea – starting a coffee business together. Welcome to our cozy little attic room, do you want a cup of hot coffee? We just brewed a cafetière of a chocolaty Arabica from Veracruz, Mexico or if you like a cup of some earthy Sumatra? I’ll brew it, don’t worry, you can get yourself comfortable. If you’re still unsure of the topic of the blog, read again. Yes, it’s coffee. But this is not “another coffee blog”, this is our tiny room where dreams are born, engaging ideas are discussed and deep conversations held. And because we are still students, who can’t do much for our passion towards coffee at the moment, we dream and plan. You will witness our interests evolving until one day when we actually start our own business!

Snuggle up with a cup of coffee and enjoy!