Cycling and coffee go hand in hand like, well, cycling and coffee. Whether it's the double espresso buzz before your training ride or a social cappuccino while kicking back with friends, coffee is the perfect partner.
But do we really take our coffee seriously enough? Lazy and slapdash methods have created a low bar for how good coffee really should be prepared and more importantly, how it should taste. We thought you might like to know
The Espresso is the foundation for the myriad of choices which appear on our coffee menu. Espresso is a small shot of pressure-brewed coffee using between 6.5 and 7.5 grams (about 1 Tablespoon) of finely ground coffee. Brewing takes about 22 > 26 seconds and when done properly will feature a layer of rich dark golden cream, called Crema on the surface. This crema is one indictor of a quality espresso.
Quality bean selection is crucial and we are fanatical about freshness. Our coffee beans are roasted especially for us by York Coffee Emporium and designed to be consumed within 14 days after delivery for maximum flavour and freshness. The shelf life from the day they are roasted to finishing off the bag should never be more than a month and for this reason we order weekly and only what we need in a 7-8 day cycle. We have never tasted a better bean than our very own 'Your Bike Shed' blend, but we will leave it to your taste buds to decide.
So we have the top notch traditional espresso machine, the freshest, finest quality coffee beans and an awesome grinder. Now we can make great coffee right?
Here is where we apply the personal touch which we believe is what sets us apart from most. We only use fresh filtered water to give you a cleaner tasting and smoother coffee. We grind your beans on demand then use a special tamper to pack the coffee down, adding a small twist of the tamper at the end. As soon as we attach the coffee filled filter basket to the machine we start the pump straight away so the coffee doesn't burn and brew it at the optimum 92°C. The espresso should extract between 25-30 seconds to produce between 20 > 30ml including the crema and we check this after every cup.
As with bikes there are a huge range of coffee machines to choose from and we believe that only a traditional espresso machine is capable of producing a truly special coffee. We chose the La Cimbali brand which combines impressive build quality with classic Italian styling and when you see the machine and taste the coffee you will understand why.
Cimbali is well known and respected for quality and innovation in the coffee business. They have a strong and innovative history in the espresso industry dating back over 100 years. Their philosophy is that the excellence of an Espresso involves a complete balance of quality, technology and innovation.
Espresso preparation is harsh. It's just about the harshest brewing method you can throw at a coffee bean and still produce something that tastes heavenly. Espresso brewing, using over 135 pounds of water pressure per square inch, extracting in 25 seconds, is near-torture for the ground coffee bean. We grind the coffee to the very precise particle size necessary for good extraction. The grinder is the rock star of our espresso show. The difference is an even consistency that doesn't create too much heat in the process releasing too early the essential oils required for perfect brewing.
If coffee should be brewed around 92°C and milk steamed to around 70°C for the best flavour, you can immediately see that a perfectly made cappuccino or latte is not going to be boiling hot. So the next time you see a barista steaming away the milk for a good few minutes of it hissing and spitting (not on our watch!) you will know it's not going to be up to scratch. We're going for a silky creamy texture, a foaming stack of gravity defying, milky bubbles. By introducing tiny air bubbles into the milk and gently stretching and texturing it we can create the finest results for the prefect Cappuccino or Latte.
We want you to sit back and enjoy what will be a properly crafted coffee, served in the right size cups (we don't do super sized here!) and one that can truly be described as being made with skill and passion. Getting it right depends on quite a few factors and making sure you have a perfectly brewed espresso is our challenge and enjoyment