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Espresso_Lab_outside_picEspresso Lab Micro Roasters recently launched their Ethiopian coffee for the season. It has proven to be very popular and has become one of their top sellers.

The Ethiopian coffee industry was dumped in turmoil last year when the government decided to change legislation which made tracing the exact origin of coffee almost impossible. After mounting pressure, a separate platform was created in the form of an auction where coffee buyers could buy fully traceable, top quality beans.

Well done to Espresso Lab for creating this high quality coffee. Here are the details of the Ethiopian which they selected and are now selling:

Producer: Adado Coffee Farmers Coop
Harvest: November to January
Growing altitude: 1750-2000masl
Botanical variety: Ethiopian heirloom
Certification: Organic, Fair Trade, Utz
Tasting notes: Fruity floral aroma, medium body, high acidity, raspberry, blackcurrant, sweet lime, lemongrass flavours.

So if you are heading down south during December, be sure to pop in at Espresso Lab. You can find them at:

The Old Biscuit Mill
373-375 Albert Road, Woodstock
Cape Town

Lady_drinking_coffeeCOFFEE AND LIVER FUNCTION:

In the second part of our series on coffee and health, we look at the effects of coffee consumption and our liver function. (Remember, even though this information is based on scientific research, always consult your doctor should you have any questions related to your personal health.)

Scientific research published in the last decade suggests that coffee may help provide protection against the development of liver disease. Research points to properties found in coffee that are associated with a lower risk of liver cirrhosis, in particular alcoholic cirrhosis.

In a presentation at the Tea and Coffee Symposium in June 2003, Professor D'Amicis, head of Nutrition Information Unit at INRAN in Rome, drew attention to the possible protective effects of drinking coffee and liver disease, commenting that; “significant data shows us how drinking coffee could provide a real benefit to our health.” The protective effects of coffee relate to:

  • Cirrhosis of the liver; a disease causing progressive damage and scarring of the liver tissue and function.
  • Gallbladder disease; by reducing the risk of gallstone formation.
  • Liver enzyme activity in the blood; a high liver enzyme is a recognised indicator of deterioration in the functioning of liver cells and possible development of disease of the liver.

In conclusion, we see once again that moderate coffee consumption can be beneficial to our health and in particular liver function.

Courtesy of "Positively Coffee."


Pick__Pay_logoPick & Pay and Bean There Coffee Company are offering shoppers the opportunity to taste various coffee blends before buying. Currently only available at the recently opened Hurlingham store, this initiative is a reflection of large retail stores taking coffee seriously.

The in-store coffee kiosk is manned by one of Bean There's knowledgeable baristas, a state of the art Jura coffee maker and a grinder. Sample size cappuccino's flow freely while the baristas field coffee related Bean_There_Coffeesquestions from curious shoppers.

The Bean There range consists of African coffees, all of which are Fairtrade certified. From the Kenyan Nyeri to the Ethiopian Sidamo, there is a coffee to suite everyone's palette.

Pick & Pay Hurlingham - Trading hours:
Monday – Friday: 8am – 8pm
Saturdays: 8am – 6pm
Sundays & Public Holidays: 8am – 4pm

One of the secrets of making a great cappuccino is getting the froth (or foam) right. Here are a few steaming tips to get you going:


1 For best results, use a stainless steel jug (pitcher).  They are commonly available from good equipment suppliers (for example Koldserve).

2 Ensure that the pressure on your espresso machine produces adequate steam for the effective frothing of milk.

3 Pour cold milk into the jug.  Make sure that the milk is cold and fresh. (Full cream or low fat).

4 Insert the steam nozzle into the pitcher. The nozzle should be suspended a centimeter or so from the bottom milk_jugsof the pitcher. Open the steam valve fully and rotate the pitcher in a circular motion for a couple of seconds. Now lower the pitcher until the nozzle is just under the surface level of the milk. Lower the pitcher slightly until a hissing or frothing sound is heard.  Do not break the surface of the milk as this will result in big, uneven bubbles in the froth. Repeat this a few times.

5 Now submerge the nozzle again to the bottom of the pitcher while continuing with the circular motion as described in step 1.  A deep purring sound should signify that the milk has been steamed sufficiently. Preferably use a thermometer to guide you to the correct temperature of between 60 and 70 degrees Celsius, depending on the individual’s preference. Be careful not to burn the milk, as this is a common mistake made by inexperienced baristas.

thermometer6 Close the valve and remove the pitcher only when the valve has been closed completely.

7 Remember to always purge your steamwand before and after using it. Also wipe all excess milk from the nozzle after using it.

The desired texture of the froth should be smooth and silky and should consist of very small, micro bubbles. The froth should be able to “stick” to a teaspoon when the spoon is suspended upside down.

Vida_E_Car_free_dayVida E Caffe recently launched their "Car-Free-Friday" promotion. The initiative is in association with Pure Planet and aims to encourage people to find alternate ways of getting to work for just 1 day in the week.This will dramatically offset each individuals carbon footprint and collectively have a huge impact on getting CO2 emissions down.

Vida E Caffe will also be giving away Adidas Original gear and free coffees in the build up to Car-Free-Friday on 03 December this year.




Tashas_logoThe long awaited Tasha's store recently opened its doors at the The Zone in Rosebank. With it's recognisable contemporary style, this store doesn't fail to impress. The Tasha's menu offers a range of unique dishes made from fresh, wholesome ingredients, the type of food that's not only delicious, but also good for you.

We are also impressed with the two La Marzocco espresso machines which take centre stage on the bar counter. This is always an indication of a restaurant that takes coffee seriously.

For more information go to www.tashas.co.za