The craft task in this month’s edition of The Perc. is challenging preconceptions. Not about coffee, but about leopards. We’ve included two cut-out leopards for you to create, one with spots and one with whatever the heck you fancy. That’s right, at long last a leopard can change its spots.

Anyone who gets involved and Tweets us a picture of their leopards (with the tag #PactCoffeeLeopard) will be in with a chance of winning a climbing lesson at The Arch here in Bermondsey. Coffee, leopards and climbing – what’s not to love?

Here’s a printable Coffee Leopard PDF:

LeopardPDF

And here’s some fine Coffee Leopard crafting, undertaken by a couple of excellent Pact customers:

Created and adorned by the talented BongoKat Productions. Sweet job.

Created and adorned by the talented BongoKat Productions. Sweet job.

Submitted by Natasha ONeill. We particularly like her choice of mug.

Submitted by Natasha ONeill. We particularly like her choice of mug.

Are you a caffeine-addicted leopard who needs to change your spots?
If you’re looking to alter your coffee-drinking habits, why not take a look at the new decaf option on the Pact Coffee Menu?

As seen in the January 2015 issue of our free coffee magazine The Perc. 

We’re normally of the opinion that coffee should be about pleasure over politics. But sometimes the people stand up for what they want in a coffee, and any self-respecting coffee company needs to take notice. And act.

That’s what happened with our new Decaf.

For a while now we’ve been collecting your game-changing ideas for how to improve Pact. How? Via Pact People Power. And for a while you’ve been requesting a decaf option to be added to the Pact Coffee Menu. The reasons have ranged from babies to bedtime coffee drinking, but reasons aside there were enough of you requesting it that we knew we had to do something about it.

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 15.51.55

The votes were piling in.

 

So in December, Will (our Head of Coffee) settled upon a decaf coffee that he thought was good enough to add to the Pact Coffee Menu. We only placed a small order and didn’t make any promises about how long it would be around because we didn’t know how it would go down.

Well, here’s how it went down:

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 11.21.59

 

So it looks like Decaf will be sticking around for a while. You can get hold of our latest one here >

This recipe is the brainchild of Pact Customer, Cassie who put together this delicious marvel for her own fantastic blog (cassiefairy.com). The reason she then passed it on to us is that the cake was inspired by Pact’s very own Finca La Montaña Espresso, which our coffee guy, Will, found to have a cinder toffee flavour.

Finca La Montaña Espresso isn’t on the Pact Coffee Menu currently but this cheesecake is a thoroughly magnificent accompaniment to any cup of fresh Pact Coffee. New Year’s resolutions permitting, naturally.

Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake Pact Coffee

See how lush it looks? We had to share it.

Ingredients

The Base:
125g Digestive biscuits
125g Lotus biscuits
100g melted butter

Filling
3 tbsp strong Pact Coffee (more or less depending on taste)
300ml double cream
400g cream cheese
200g mascarpone
125g icing sugar
100g cinder toffee.

Method

  1. Crush the biscuits. You can do this in a food processor or by popping them in a freezer bag and bashing them with a rolling pin. Mix the crumbs with the melted butter until it resembles wet sand.
  2. Press the mixture into a spring-form tin and place in the fridge while you make the filling.
  3. For the filling, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Add the mascarpone, cream cheese and icing sugar and mix well.
  4. Divide the mixture into thirds and spread two-thirds over the biscuit base and return to the fridge.
  5. Add coffee to the remaining mixture, you may like to add more or less, depending on your tastes. Mix well, and use as top layer of the cake. Place in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.
  6. When you’re ready to serve, release the sides of your cake tin and slide it onto a plate. Crush up the cinder toffee and sprinkle over the cake.

PACT CUSTOMER TIP: If you’re feeling extra creative, Cassie recommends drizzling some melted chocolate over the whole thing. Bon appétit!    

IMG_3368       IMG_3373

It has been busy here at Pact HQ in the run up to Christmas. Pact Coffee HQ is closing over the holidays so the team can have a rest and there will be no deliveries now until 5th Jan. To make sure everyone has their coffee in time for the Christmas break, the Pact Team has been working hard to get all our coffee deliveries out of the door.

Yesterday we found out we had roasted too much coffee. As we like to keep things flexible for you, it can be quite hard to predict demand and occasionally we get it a bit wrong. It is really important to us that we stick to our freshness guarantee – we ship all our coffee within 7 days of roasting, when it tastes its very best. So rather than letting this coffee go to waste we have partnered with the wonderful charity Crisis who are opening their doors to an expected 4,000 homeless guests this Christmas.

Their distribution centre is down the road from us in Bermondsey and today we dropped off half a dozen big bags of fresh roasted coffee. It will be used as part of their Crisis at Christmas campaign with centres in London open for nine days from 22 – 30 December welcoming homeless guests in from the cold for food, warmth and support.

We are so happy that our coffee has found a home and that we are able to support their wonderful work. Merry Christmas everyone.

Dear Brendan Pact Coffee

Dear Brendan,

I’m currently involved with a blade grinder. We’re doing ok together, even if it doesn’t seem like it notices the difference between a coarse and fine grind, I know it cares… deep down. Recently, however, I’ve found myself wondering what my life would be like with a burr grinder. I’ve heard some people say they’d never go back to their blade once they’ve switched. Should I bump my grind?

Toby,
Kent

Pact Coffee Beans

Hi Toby,

As much as I’d hate to come between a man and his blade grinder, the very fact you’re writing to me about your doubts makes me think that yours isn’t a match made in heaven.

Will, our Head of Coffee, is actually a massive burr grinder fan. The reason for this is blade grinders aren’t great at grinding beans in a consistent way, leaving coffee in a multitude of different sized grounds, which is bad for your brew.

I’d never be one to break up a happy home but it could be that your current grinder simply isn’t worthy of the coffee you’re sharing with it. It may be hard to break things off in the short term, but in the end it could be best for both of you.

Mugs and kisses,
Brendan

Feel like giving grinding a go at home? Don’t forget to change your coffee grind preferences on your Pact Account Page, to make sure we send you whole bean.

As seen in the October issue of our free coffee magazine The Perc. 

 

Pact Coffee Flavour Callum

 

Pact Coffee Flavour Callum Matt

Pact Coffee Flavour Callum Alasdair

Pact Coffee Flavour Callum Laura

Pact Coffee Flavour Will

Pact Coffee Flavour Will

 

How did we come up with these? Good question.

As part of our DIY, homespun Christmas party we all brought dishes along to make up Christmas dinner and I put together a quiz. The structure of this quiz is now becoming a tradition for Pact Christmas parties (I’ve now done it two years in a row), so I thought I’d share it with you.

A week before the party I emailed everyone asking them to send me answers for each item on the list below. I then used those answers to put together three rounds:

  • Round 1: Family Fortunes (AKA guess the most popular answer)
  • Round 2: True of false (I used the answers to make up true or false questions)
  • Round 3: Who said that?! (That one’s self-explanatory)

Here are the questions:

Please name…  Answers here…
A bad film that stars Tom Hanks
Something that’s like a cucumber but isn’t a cucumber
The best Christmas gift you’ve ever received
The worst Christmas gift you’ve ever received
The rudest word you know
The worst job you’ve ever had
The name of your debut platinum-selling album
Something you might find on Bono’s bedside table
Something you might do with a carp
Something you hate that starts with the letter ‘P’
A piece of advice you’d give your 15 year-old self
Your signature dance move
What you’d call a puppy if you got one for Christmas
Our next coffee flavour description

Obviously it was the last box that inspired the answers above.

Interested in how Will comes up with our actual coffee flavour descriptions? Have a read of this blog post >

Wondering what’s on our current menu? Click here to take a look > 

Got an idea for your own terrible coffee flavour for us not to use in 2015? Pop it in the comment section below.

When coffee is roasted lightly, as ours is, it gives the flavours in the coffee more of a chance to shine. That means that each coffee on our coffee menu can treat you to a whole different taste sensation. Here’s an example:

Pact Coffee Finca la Joyeria

Obviously the way we taste things is really subjective. Flavours can depend on how you brew your coffee, how strong you make it and even the type of water that comes our of your taps. But Will (our Head of Coffee) likes to give you an idea of the flavours you might be able to pick up from our different coffees. He comes up with these descriptions by doing a cupping for all of our coffees…

What is cupping?
‘Cupping’ is a fancy word for the tasting process, which is in reality very simple to do. It needs to be kept simple so it can be done anywhere in the world (from coffee farm to coffee shop) and produce consistent results. All you need is a soup spoon, and to take big loud slurps of coffee. This lets the liquid cover the inside of your entire mouth, including the taste buds and nasal cavity, so you can fully experience the flavour.

What are the key things Will looks at when he’s cupping?
Flavour
It may sound weird but this is not what happens on your tongue (that’s taste) but what happens in the space behind your nose. Flavour is usually delicate and can be things like raspberries, chocolate, hazelnuts or it can even be floral.
Sweetness – The sensation of sweetness on the tongue, which can remind you of lots of different things; white refined sugar, brown sugar, fruit sugars.
Acidity – This actually has nothing to do with the pH of the coffee, but refers to the tangy, fruity, brightness that creates complex tastes in the coffee.
Mouthfeel – Describes the way a coffee would move or dance in your mouth, e.g. coating, juicy, tea-like, heavy, round, light.

Where does Will go from there?
Let’s say the flavours Will gets are of dark chocolate and cherry and he finds the acidity is grape-like and the sweetness syrupy. He’ll think of something that encapsulates all those things, in this case, a chocolate cherry liqueur. It’s not that the coffee tastes exactly like a chocolate cherry liqueur, or that it’s been flavoured with it even. Will just hopes that by suggesting that taste sensation, he’ll help you tap into what might be going on on your tongue…

What do you think?
We’ve asked quite a few customers what they think of the way we put together our flavour notes and they seem pretty popular, if allusive at times. But if you have any thoughts or feedback on how we do what we do, please do feel free to leave a comment below…