It’s eleven o’clock on a Friday morning when the mail arrives. Usually, I’m not all that excited about the mail. It’s all bills and advertising: since the advent of email I don’t write letters so I don’t receive many. But this morning was different because I was waiting for a delivery. not a big, cumbersome delivery, one of the ones where the poor delivery chap almost dies carrying something up my three flights of stairs, but a normal, in the mail, delivery.
I was waiting for coffee.
To me, the scent of brewing coffee is strongly evocative. It takes me back to my mother’s kitchen, my aunt’s and her mother-in-law’s kitchens. These were places were coffee was always on the go. My aunt’s mother-in-law provided coffee breaks, breakfast and lunch for a number of farmhands. They needed strong coffee and got boiled coffee. It’s strong, gritty stuff that filled her kitchen with a scent so heady just sniffing it made you alert.
My aunt made coffee differently. She made filter coffee for herself and my uncle. Her coffee machine gave off a more subtle scent, but still a strong, invigorating one. I’d like to say that my mother’s coffee smelled the best and was what convinced me to drink coffee, but I’d be lying. My mother’s kitchen smelled of Néscafe and milk, the flat smell of the acidic coffee filled out and made acceptable by the milk.
There are many different ways to make coffee and there is a rainbow of coffee flavours and styles out there. I admit to being a bit of a coffee whimp: I like milky coffee, and mellow, round and rich coffee. My first letter-box friendly delivery from Pact, suited my taste perfectly.
Pact – Fresh & Better Tasting
Pact Coffee is a small but ambitious coffee company that sources beans and roasts them to their own taste. You can buy beans or you can have it ground to order. Freshness is part of the mission: Pact wants to teach us to drink better coffee and better coffee means fresher coffee and more exclusive beans. So they send a man called Will Corby (Head of Coffee) around the world to buy coffee beans and then he roasts the beans. Another gentleman, Zach, grinds the beans and sends them out to you. Both as a marketer and a customer I enjoy the personal touch of their service and website.
With Pact you subscribe to coffee. You create an account, select a coffee and a frequency. Then sit back and wait for the coffee to arrive.
Charm and Flavour
The website it charming and I rather like that it tells you when the coffee’s being ground and when you can expect it to pop through your letter box. And it does pop through the letter box. The packaging is cleverly flat and well sealed so your coffee arrives without fuss (although with some excitement) and perfectly fresh. Either keep the resealable bag, or decant into your favourite flavour-retaining container.
After the beans are roasted they are rested, or degassed, for up to seven days. This part of the process ensures that the coffee isn’t too acidic. I like my coffee smooth, so this part of the process is important to me.
How to Drink it
We use a cafetière so the grind I get isn’t too fine. I take a tablespoon per person and put it into a cafetière. Then I put in about 250 ml of hot water* and let it brew for five minutes before depressing the plunger and pouring. C. prefers a little more coffee per person to get a stronger taste. He drinks his black with a spot of sugar. I drink mine with almond milk (when we have it). It’s not because it has a very strong almond flavour – it doesn’t – but because we’re a cow-milk free household. I’ve tried other milks and prefer nut milks to soya milk. Almond milk doesn’t foam like soya milk does – it has nowhere near the same protein content – but it has a smooth and gentle flavour that goes very well with coffee.
* Something I learned about tea also goes for coffee: don’t use boiling water. After it has boiled, let it cool down for at least 30 seconds. Closer to 80 degrees rather than 100 stops some of the tannins to release and making the drink bitter.
We first wrote about Pact Coffee 18 months ago. Since then they have gone from strength to strength and you must like it. Edinburgh is in the top 3 cities for sales of Pact Coffee. There are now 8 different blends of coffee to choose from (including decafinated)
Pay the usual price for the first bag of coffee (£6.95 including free P&P). Use the code efV60 and you will get a free V60 to make your coffee (worth £10). The Hario V60 is used in specialist coffee shops all around the world and is a brilliantly simple way to make a clean cup of filter coffee. It comes with a scoop and enough paper filters for around 40 cups of coffee. Valid to 11 April 2015
The offer is open to new customers only but if you are an existing customer please get in touch with Pact direct who will sort one out for you.
Go to their website for the coffees that are on this week.