The Brew

The Brew2018-10-03T09:40:57+00:00

Stories from the Independent Coffee Guides

September 2018

  • Regions on the rise

Regions on the rise

Playing it safe with the Ethiopian single origin option? Get ready for fresh flavour notes thanks to a new batch of coffee growing regions

  • Tasting coffee

Fresher’s guide to tasting coffee

Want to swot up before your first cupping sesh? We asked Paul Meikle-Janney, coffee guru and co-founder of Dark Woods Coffee, for the basics

July 2018

  • KeepCup cup

Green coffee

With ethical bean sourcing and a quality-over-quantity approach, the speciality movement is leading the way when it comes to sustainability

  • Arvind Khedun

Want to be a tamp champ?

Ever wondered what it takes to become an Irish barista champ? We extracted tales of blood, sweat and tampers from 2018 champion Arvind Khedun

  • Illustration of Powers Whisky

Beyond the beans

With rents skyrocketing and rates heading the same way, coffee shop owners are finding creative ways to utilise their cafe space after hours

  • Boston Tea Party

Ditching the disposables

Boston Tea Party took a bold leap last month and introduced a blanket ban on single use cups at its 22 cafes across the South West

February 2018

  • Scottish Independent Coffee Guide

The barista’s little black book – Scotland

Ever wondered where the pros go for a 'spro on their day off? Or where your fave barista fell in love with filter? We got the deets from some of Scotland's most experienced espresso slingers

  • The Good Coffee Cartel | Independent Coffee Guide

The innovators

From frozen bean shots to slot roasting to hydraulic mobile espresso machines, speciality coffee continues its relentless pursuit of perfection through innovation. Here's what's new in the Scottish scene – and beyond

  • How to roast coffee

DIY coffee roasting

You’ve kitted out your kitchen with the latest brewing gear, nailed a killer Chemex recipe and sussed out the steam wand, but are you ready to roast beans at home? We roped in a few industry insiders to find out what it takes

  • Wild coffee | Independent Coffee Guide

Wild coffee

Grab an Edinburgh or Glasgow city map, stick a pin in at random, and if it doesn't land near a speciality coffee shop, consider yourself unlucky. But often overlooked is the growing crop of indies pushing quality coffee in the wilds. We spoke to three cafe owners about serving speciality in the sticks ...

January 2018

  • Craft coffee | Independent Coffee Guide

Stop. Collaborate and listen

In the pursuit of caffeine-spiked sponge, creamy coffee stout and bean-steeped gin, speciality roasters and bean alchemists are creatively collaborating with other artisan businesses. We explore some of the indie outfits fuelling our unconventional caffeine kicks

  • Thirst Aid | Extract Coffee | Independent Coffee Guide

Thirst aid

Ensuring coffee farmers receive a fair wage, supporting charities at origin and raising money for local communities - throughout the speciality scene, organisations are going the extra mile to help others. We met some of

  • Espresso | Independent Coffee Guide

Tour de speciality: Ireland

Take a break from Dublin’s pub crawls, Belfast’s history trips and surf tours of the coast. It's time to discover Ireland’s thriving speciality scene with a caffeinated voyage around the Emerald Isle

  • Coffee and food pairing | Independent Coffee Guide

Coffee and food pairing

The flavour profile of a coffee, when matched with similar notes in food, can become the gateway to appreciating speciality coffee

  • Tamper Coffee | Independent Coffee Guide

Tour de speciality: The North

With new speciality shops cropping up across the North and pioneer roasters flinging open their doors to coffee fans, there's never been a better time for a caffeine-fuelled road trip

October 2017

  • Hannah Davies | Independent Coffee Guide

Pro guide to home brewing

Hankering after a perfect barista-style coffee at home? Cofficionado Hannah Davies of Cup North spills the beans on how to crack home brewing

  • Stephensons Dairy | Independent Coffee Guide

Milk of human kindness

You know exactly where your coffee came from, and you're satisfied that a fair price was tendered for those locally roasted beans. So why ignore the milk?

May 2017

  • Taking the Q | Independent Coffee Guide

Taking the Q

The term “Q grader” is bandied about in the world of speciality coffee, but what does it mean?

March 2017

  • Coffee Jam | Independent Coffee Guide

Bean scene

From espresso fuelled basement gigs to latte art smackdowns in the back room, Scotland’s thriving underground speciality scene is gaining serious momentum

February 2017

Indy Coffee Guide March lowdown

Welcome to your March coffee bible; preaching this month's speciality latest and filling your diary with the coolest caffeinated events

From latte to landfill

We asked eco-campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall if the indies can help reduce the number of coffee cups ending up in landfill

January 2017

  • February

Indy Coffee Guide February lowdown

Welcome to your February coffee bible; preaching this month's speciality latest and filling your diary with the coolest caffeinated events

Indy Coffee Guide January lowdown

Welcome to your January coffee bible; preaching this month's speciality latest and filling your diary with the coolest caffeinated events

December 2016

  • December

Indy Coffee Guide December lowdown

Welcome to your December coffee bible; preaching this month's speciality latest and filling your diary with the coolest caffeinated events

October 2016

  • Coffee on tap

Coffee on tap

The brewing trend that's making waves across the pond, nitro's turned up at a select handful of British festivals, bars and cafes this year

Indy Coffee Guide November lowdown

Welcome to your November coffee bible; preaching this month's speciality latest and filling your diary with the coolest caffeinated events

September 2016

  • UK Roasting champs

Indy Coffee Guide October lowdown

Welcome to your October coffee bible; preaching this month's speciality latest and filling your diary with the coolest caffeinated events

August 2016

  • Brew & Bake

Indy Coffee Guide September lowdown

Welcome to your September coffee bible; preaching this month's speciality latest and filling your diary with the coolest caffeinated events

July 2016

  • Cairngorm

Indy Coffee Guide August lowdown

Welcome to your August coffee bible; preaching this month's speciality latest and filling your diary with only the coolest caffeinated events

Northern Indy Coffee Guide No.2 launch

Keeping up coffee guide tradition, we launched the Northern Indy Coffee Guide No.2 with a ruddy good knees up on June 30 at North Star Coffee Academy in Leeds

  • Flat Caps Coffee

Indy Coffee Guide July lowdown

Welcome to your July indy coffee bible; preaching this month's speciality latest and filling your diary with only the coolest events crafted by the caffeine gods

May 2016

Indy Coffee Guide June lowdown

Welcome to your June indy coffee bible; preaching this month's speciality latest and filling your diary with only the coolest events crafted by the caffeine gods

April 2016

  • Dear Green

Indy Coffee Guide May lowdown

Welcome to your May indy coffee bible; preaching this month's speciality latest and filling your diary with only the coolest events crafted by the caffeine gods

March 2016

  • Schluter

African adventures

Pigs on bikes, slaughtered goats and cabs with no headlights – it's all in a day's work for the intrepid explorers sourcing beans in Africa

  • Bike

Indy Coffee Guide April lowdown

Welcome to your April indy coffee bible; preaching this month's speciality latest and filling your diary with only the coolest events crafted by the caffeine gods

Indy Coffee hits the UKBC

We sent Charley Pope – Boston Tea Party barista and wordsmith extraordinaire – to her first UK Barista Champs to get the lowdown on badass beards, the latest tech and, um, coffee

February 2016

  • Cascara

New liquid on the block

Cascara is a drink that's making waves across the Scottish coffee scene. We got the lowdown from barista James Wallace

The road to perfection

We commissioned eagle-eyed lensman Gavin Smart to capture some of the characters behind Scotland's buzzing coffee scene

January 2016

  • History of coffee

Percolating the past

From eighteenth century gents debating the day's issues to the cool coffee culture of the sixties, Catherine Jones brews up a shot of northern coffee history

  • School of milk

School of milk

Getting the milk right is almost as much an art as making the coffee itself. Alex Passmore of Origin Coffee gives a masterclass

  • One for the road

One for the road

Bike and brews go hand in hand, so we sent cycling geek Marcus Chapman and Crankhouse Coffee's Dave Stanton to try out the latest in 'anytime, anywhere' coffee maker, the Cafflano

  • African connection

The African connection

Widely recognised as the birthplace of the bean, craved by its fans across the globe, African coffee deservedly attracts acclaim. Catherine Jones talks to Phil Schluter