At Pact, we believe that if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or, to revise an old phrase, if you sit in houmous, make a pair of shorts out of coffee sacks.

Don’t think it’ll catch on? Then tell that to our developer, Srik. Don’t ask us how he managed to sit in hummus – we’re still figuring that one out. But with a little help from former fashion designer and current Pact designer, Anneliese, he managed to craft some pretty spiffy sack shorts.

It’s amazing what you can whip up with a little inspiration and some dip-stained trousers.

Are we too late for London Fashion Week?

Srik has named Robinson Crusoe, medieval urchins and Anna Wintour as his style icons.

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The addition of a pocket transforms the style from formal to sporty in a flash.

Mexican Coffee Cinnamon Challenge

 

Those who like ambling through the sillier neighbourhoods of the internet, will doubtless have heard of the The Cinnamon Challenge. Well, since we started stocking the brilliant Mexican coffee, El Retiro, we’ve taken a leaf out of the Mexican coffee drinking book and so we’ve devised a Cinnamon Challenge of our own.

It turns out that Mexican coffee drinkers like to add a small amount of cinnamon to their ground coffee before brewing, which they find adds a distinct flavour and softens the acidity. So we brewed up a couple of cafetieres of El Retiro – one with cinnamon and one without – and found out what the team thought:

Georgia (writes our blog posts and emails)
Without cinnamon: “Hazelnut-fest. Will’s nailed it with that one, the flavour is really strong.”
With cinnamon: “I like it. With a frothy milk I think I’d prefer it even.”

Junta (comes up with snappy ads)
Without cinnamon: “Nice and sweet.”
With cinnamon: “Woah! Cinnamon challenge! It’s too overpowering. Just tastes like cinnamon water.”

Stephen (is the big boss)
Without cinnamon: “Orangey not too acidic. Like a chocolate orange.”
With cinnamon: “While I’m usually opposed to flavoured coffees, this is lovely. It doesn’t taste artificial at all. The cinnamon actually works really well with the hazelnuts. And because it’s not a ‘flavoured coffee’ it tastes natural, like it’s just been kissed by the cinnamon.”

Sam (calls up to check people like their coffee)
Without cinnamon: “Nice, savoury, nutty.”
With cinnamon: “Weird. The cinnamon just fizzles on your tongue at the very end.”

Brendan (answers your emails)
Without cinnamon: “Mmmmm. But that could be the chewing gum I just had.”
With cinnamon: <Shakes head> “Nope.”

Richard (finds new Pact customers)
Without cinnamon: “Nice. I like that”
With cinnamon: “Ooh hello! Cheeky. And… I don’t actually like it. It tastes like a bedtime drink rather than a proper coffee.”

Will (our Head of Coffee)
Without cinnamon: “I get waves of hazelnut flavour along with caramel sweetness, a rich creamy praline-like mouthfeel and a very mild creamy acidity.”
With cinnamon: “Urgh. Not a big fan of cinnamon. But the flavours do work well together. I’ve got to give it that.”

Christiaan (makes sure you’re liking what we’re doing)
Without cinnamon: “Yes that’s coffee.”
With cinnamon: “Mmm, it’s okay. I think it’d be nicer with milk.” “Wowsers, that’s blown my mind.”

To take the Alternative Cinnamon Challenge for yourself visit your Pact Account Page to make El Retiro your next coffee.

macmillan_coffee_morning_500Next Thursday, the 18th of September we’ll be taking part in the Macmillan Coffee Morning, and showing our support for a charity that offers so much support to others.

Why we love Macmillan

Macmillan Cancer Support is one of UK’s largest cancer care and support charities. Not only do they help those with cancer by providing financial, physical and emotional support, but they assist their loved ones too. And the Macmillan Coffee Morning is a great opportunity to raise money to help them continue to offer such valuable support.

What started off as a local fundraising event in 1991 spread nationally, seeing 2,600 people hosting coffee mornings across the UK. In 2013 the number rose to 153,000 hosts. The event helps raise awareness and funds to help those in need.

Come on down!

We’ll be supporting Macmillan the best way we know how; by making some coffee. Come down to Pact HQ between 8am and 11am to join in our fundraising games and grab some cake and coffee. RSVP online, or if you can’t make it down, donate to Macmillan today.

Will, our Head of Coffee, may be an award-winning barista but who’s to say his way of brewing is any better than yours? After all everyone’s tastes are different. And that’s what Pact is all about, celebrating everyone’s enjoyment of coffee.

So now we’re asking straight up, how you brew? And also, would you mind sharing your brewing method with your fellow coffee lovers?

Video Coffee Brew Guides

Here are three good reasons to pop your camera on next time you get brewing:

  1. We’ll post the best ones on this very blog, making you a teensie weensie bit famous.
  2. It’ll demonstrate your coffee-making prowess to all and sundry.
  3. Your fellow customers can learn to make coffee in new and (dare we say it?) better ways.

To share your video either:
Upload it somewhere and send the link to ahoy@pactcoffee.com (with the subject ‘Video Brew Guides’)
Or send the video straight to us at ahoy@pactcoffee.com (with the subject ‘Video Brew Guides’)

Thanks in advance to anyone who gets involved. We’re excited to see what you come up with…

Running low on coffee and keen to get brewing? Bring your next delivery forward here.

OldStreet

Do you ever find yourself passing through Old Street tube station on a Tuesday, thinking to yourself, ‘I wish there was a champion barista here to serve me a cup of Pact Coffee…for free!’

Well, on Tuesday 16th of September you won’t have to make such specific wishes, because our man Will will be there serving up cups of caffeinated love to all.

Basically, those lovely folks over at French Connection have a popup at Old Street tube running from the 1st of September, through to the last day of December. And whaddya know? They’ve asked us to help out.

So on the 16th of September, you’ll find us there all day giving away free Pact Coffees, as made by our coffee guru, Will.

Come down and say ‘hello’, we can’t wait to see you!

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Good friends are faithful companions. They’re there when you need them. They make you feel all warm inside. And they go really well with coffee. A bit like a KeepCup…

Okay, okay, this is all a bit tenuous, but the observant among you will see where we’re going with it…

For the month of September we’ll be sending a free KeepCup
to Pact customers who introduce us to three of their friends.
It’s easy to get your mates on board:
  1. Simply login to your Pact Account Page
  2. Share your personal invitation code.

It takes no time at all, and we’ll help you keep track of your referrals along the way. So all you need to do is get into the sharing spirit!

Cyclists

“Whoever invented the bicycle deserves the thanks of humanity.”
Lord Charles Beresford

Here at Pact we couldn’t agree more with Lord Beresford. Our bicycles are more than just a couple of wheels that get us from A to B. They’re our trusty friends who keep us fit, save us a little cash and are pretty good for the environment too. We even have a special stable at Pact HQ where we stow our faithful steeds during the working day.

So, being the serious cyclists we are, we’re proud to have pledged our support for Cycle to Work Day on Thursday the 4th of September.

Cycle to Work Day is a national event, which gives everyone the chance to stretch their legs, reduce their carbon footprint, and save some money while they’re at it.

Last year’s event saw 20,000 commuters saddle up and cycle more than a quarter of a million miles. And this year the organisation hopes to double that, with a little help from you.

All you need to do is jump on the Cycle to Work Day site  and make a pledge to ride your bike to work this Thursday, the 4th September. There are prizes to be won and a number of retailers will be offering free bike health checks as well.

So, pledge, saddle up and feel great – we sure will be!