We are back on the road for our guest coffee tour and this time we are heading to the East Midlands to introduce – Hasbean coffee roasters.
Hasbean are a fantastic roastery with an extensive range of coffees available to accommodate many tastes. The brainchild of Steve Leighton who is one of the UK coffee scenes most recognisable figures. Steve works directly, year on year, with over 30 of the most incredible coffee producers in the world to build long term partnerships that allow Hasbean to not just source better coffee for all of their projects and customers, but also to invest in experimentation to understand what quality is possible in a given soil or region through improved science, processes, agronomy and support – an impressive outfit!
We had a peruse through their veritable menu of 'new in' beans and managed to hand pick some interesting yet accessible varietals for you to try.
Lets start with Blake - Blake is hasbeans “Black blend” which gives a nod to the more traditional “old school” espresso experience celebrating the more syrupy and punchy led qualities – absolutely nothing wrong with that in our book. It is worth noting that the coffee blends that these guys roast change depending on season, so the regions that are used come and go throughout the year. This current blend uses equal parts of crops from Brazil, El Salvador and India.
Thailand Doi Phangkhon Natural – this is a really interesting coffee from a region that is not commonly found on the shelves of many coffee shops and having visited the region myself, I can confirm this has been grown in a stunning part of the world. This farm has received a lot of investment in the past Three years to try and improve processes and have more control of the coffee processing. On that note this is a natural processed micro lot (see our processing guides for further info on that – here) and the coffee cherries were floated and laid on bamboo raised beds that are lovingly raked multiple times a day before being bagged to cure for two months before milling. This all transpires in a bean that can only be described as the love child of a boozy christmas pudding and a sticky toffee pudding. Add a fruity lick of sherry, orange peel with a sprinkle sweet raisins and you've got a velvety cup of coffee – crikey!
Sticking with Asia we've picked a lot that we think will translate very well in milk based drinks – India Baalmadi Biodynamic natural. This coffee is a clean and natural cup with strong notes off over ripe, super sweet strawberries upfront that is complimented with the sweetness of cream and chocolate to balance out the cup. Now close your eyes and imagine that in your flat white – now open them, and buy this coffee. A deeper delve into the story of this coffee unfolds a story of one woman that has been pivotal in the progression of this farm – Unnamalai Thiagarajan. Since taking over her husbands family farm in 2003 she has implemented the biodynamic farming model which involves making her own compost, foliar feeds and other treatments from various plants and material on the farm – impressive
It is worth noting that products that are produced using biodynamic agricultural techniques may not be suitable for vegan. For more information on this click here (https://www.hasbean.co.uk/blogs/articles/what-is-biodynamic-coffee)
Back to a more familiar region – Guatemala El Bosque washed bourbon. When we read the tasting notes before trying this coffee we were excited to see that it listed everyone favourite biscuit spread – lotus biscoff but with an added chocolate layer – take my money! It doesn't finish there, there is also a roasted hazelnut edge before it finishes on the caramel with just a tickle of red apple at the end. El Bosque sits on a hill in close proximity to the capital city and faces many threats from urban expansion so they have had to work hard to get the great results that this coffee rewards. This has been achieved by building a new plant for processing within strict environmental guidelines. This farm has also branched out into cultivation of other crops including avocados, roses, lemons and innovative new grasses.
Lastly we have the decaf – Columbia El Yalkon. Tasty and delicious decaf can be difficult to get our hands on but this coffee has nailed it. This coffee is pulled from 24 different producers and is carefully hand processed and sorted at each individual farm with special attention paid to the drying to ensure consistency, uniformity and a clean cup. To extract the caffeine they use the sugar cane method, this is where they use the ethyl acetate from the sugar cane and dissolve it in water for the caffeine extraction. The result is a coffee that tastes like it has a spoonful of treacle dripped into it, there's a little orange zest to be found, but this one is all about the sweet dark treacle that this coffee treats you too.