You’ve probably seen the adverts for coffee bags, the one where someone says ‘why haven’t we thought of that before?’ and you get a series of glimpses of when people did have the idea but it was lost for whatever reason. I’ve seen them. Now, I’ve tried them (although not Taylor’s, the advertised brand). Here are my thoughts on Lola’s Coffee coffee bags from The Speciality Coffee Shop.
When I was a teenager I was a total tea snob. But not in a way you’ll recognise: I drank only loose leaf, and mostly Söderblanding, Earl Grey or Lapsang Souchong. But mostly Earl Grey. (Söderblandning is an Earl Grey-inspired, floral concoction named for the area of Stockholm I lived in. It’s so popular in Sweden that Twinning’s sells bags of it these days.) Then I moved to Edinburgh and realised that everyone and their granny in the UK used bags. So I did too. I start most of my days with an huge cup of stewed Lapsang. No milk, no sugar: bad for your teeth, don’t you know?
Get to the point, Caroline, this is about coffee bags!
Over the years, I’ve learned to enjoy black coffee. It took a while but I’m now fond of bitter beverages and can drink coffee that’s not warm milk pretending to be adult but has flavour and character. I still like my coffee on the subtle side, without too much acidity or bitterness. Which is difficult when you’re as bad at using cafetiers as I am: the coffee I make is either too strong or too weak. I like when my coffee is easy to measure out. Which is why I like Nespresso, despite the aluminium capsules. And the bespoke machines.
The advert I mentioned at the top makes me roll my eyes. Somewhere, I’ve bought into the idea that coffee should be loose or capsuled. So when The Speciality Coffee Company approached me to see if I wanted to try their house blend coffee bags, I said yes. I was looking forward to trying something new, and I had plans for how to use my coffee bags.
Experiment the first: cold brew Lola’s Coffee
I like cold brew coffee. I honestly think it comes out nice and smooth and gentle and never too bitter, just as fans of the method says. To cold brew coffee bags:
- Put a coffee bag in a mug or container suitable for the fridge.
- Fill up with cold, clean water.
- Poke and squeeze a few times to submerge.
- Leave overnight.
- Squeeze. Remove and enjoy.
I had coffee instead of tea one morning this week. I really enjoyed it. It was smooth, easy on the tongue and refreshing. It had a delicate coffee aroma and woke me up gently. Perfect with a book before the working day starts.
Experiment the second: classic Lola’s coffee
The classic Lola’s serve is this:
- Add coffee bag to mug.
- Add boiled water.
- Stir and squeeze.
- Best brewed for 3 mins.
- Squeeze. Remove and enjoy.
I set a timer, because I’m like that. It was super-simple to make the coffee and it tasted good. Light acidity and spicy notes were the flavours I picked up on my first cup. The second time I brewed it just a little longer and got a fuller mouth-feel and flavour.
Experiment the third: the Nespresso method
I bough a re-usable capsule for Christopher and have been hankering to play with it. It means pulling a coffee bag to pieces but hey, it’s research!
To turn a coffee bag into an espresso:
- Open bag and pour coffee into re-usable coffee capsule.
- Fit into coffee machine.
- Place cup to catch coffee.
- Press buttons.
- Remove and enjoy.
The concentrated coffee was great. This isn’t how this blend is supposed to be served but I enjoyed it and got the smokey notes mentioned on the website. Bonus: you get two cups of espresso from one coffee bag.
So, what did you think?
I like coffee bags. They’re easy to use: there’s no mess to deal with, no mouldering pods waiting to go to recycling, no grounds sitting discarded waiting to be strained and put in the food bg where it will make everything wet and nasty. Bags. We know how to use them. Easy-peasy. The coffee tasted good! I like that I know exactly what I’m getting. One cup, at the right strength.
The Speciality Coffee Shop
Shop for Lola’s Coffee Coffee Bags, £5 for a pack (six bags), £16 for a box (30 bags), £3 for a case (100 bags).