Fermentation, Geishas and Blends - UK Coffee Championships 2022
Last Saturday was a big one for the UK coffee industry! The final rounds for the UK Barista Championships and UK Brewer’s Cup Championships culminated in wins for Claire Wallace of Assembly Coffee and Sierra Yeo of Alpro Barista. Two female powerhouses and all-around amazing people — we’re big fans here at Cartwheel! These competitions are true highlights of the UK Coffee calendar — competitors prepare and perfect their routines for months in advance — and the UK winners of both comps will be going on to represent the UK at the World Championships in Melbourne this September. Claire...
The ultimate guide to coffee 'processes'
Cartwheel offers a range of different coffees which have come from a variety of locations, and each one will have undergone one of a multitude of different processing methods! If you have seen our tasting cards, which we attach to every bag of coffee and serve alongside every pour-over, then you will have noticed that we tell you how your coffee has been processed. This blog outlines some of the most common coffee processing practices, explaining the unique properties of each and how they produce different flavours in the bean. The Natural Process: Natural coffees are dried with all...
Cartwheel Coffee Origins
Read about the origins of Cartwheel Coffee, from inspiration to completion. Learn about the story of our owner Alex, how he created an innovative coffee brand and eventually expanded into his mum’s original business premises.
Sustainability at Cartwheel
Read about Cartwheel’s Sustainability Promise, what we’re doing currently in terms of our sustainability, and what we plan to do. Learn about how we’re reducing plastic waste, using electric vehicles and recycling our food and coffee byproducts!
Grind Size Matters
Have you ever given much thought to your grind setting? Or maybe you order your coffee from us pre-ground for your preferred brew method? Knowing your coffee grounds is the baseline for great coffee. In this blog, we’re going to talk about the difference between burrs and blades, under and over extraction, and coarse or fine grounds. Whether you’re using a Kalita or an espresso machine, by the end of this blog you should know your grinds, of coarse! Burrs or Blades You might have heard of one of these terms more often than the other, and that’s because most...
Traceability: Coffee Sourcing
Coffee sourcing is where coffee traceability begins for Cartwheel. We’ve built integral relationships with importers, and even sourced directly from origin in our sourcing trips. It is important to us to ensure that we know the quality of the coffee we are buying, and where it has come from. In this blog, I will break down some of the key processes we undertake at Cartwheel when it comes to sourcing our coffee, how this has developed over time, and why this makes us stand apart from commercial coffee. Sourcing Partnerships At Cartwheel, we rely on partnerships with importers. These...
Easy Brew Hacks Worth Remembering
“Pre-wash your coffee filter” Whether you like to use a V60 or Kalita brewer, the use of filter papers is undeniably simple. They make for an easy clean up and a consistent brew, with a little bit of practice. But even the best of us forget the simplest tips to refine your brew. Pre-washing your filter paper with hot water is a great practice when using this equipment. Initially, this will help to eliminate any of that papery taste that could leave a trace in your final drink. And the second benefit is that your equipment will be preheated for...
Traceability: An Introduction
We go on about traceability quite a lot. It’s one of the main points that we emphasise about our coffee, and we have a small section on the back of all our tasting cards dedicated to it. But what does it mean and why is it so important to us? In coffee, traceability is quite simply the ability to trace where and when the product was produced and by whom. Often it means that other important information is captured and is available such as prices paid to producers, the locations of mills, dates of harvesting and other processes leading up...
Understanding Coffee: Deciphering Tasting Notes
When we launched our rebrand back in November 2021, you may have seen our highlight post explaining our tasting cards. These cards come clipped to every bag of coffee you buy and are served alongside every pourover in our café. The intention is to invite you, our customer, into an honest and informative discourse about the coffee that you are drinking. Some of the information that we will provide to you includes the origins of the coffee, the way it was processed, and its traceability. We’re really passionate about providing you with all the information, from the names of our...
Coffee Pods vs Home Brewing
In this blog, I want to weigh up some of the reasons that we prefer to use fresh, whole-bean coffee in the café and in our home brewing set-ups – looking at the implications of cost, taste, ease and expertise needed to perfect each method. Many companies have attempted to condense the bespoke coffee shop experience into the commonly known coffee pod. These pods, typically made entirely from plastic – or aluminium lined with plastic – are not yet at home recyclable. Most pods need to be sent to specialist recycling centres with some companies offering pickup services to customers....
5 New Years Resolutions You Don’t Have to Break
A recent UK study found that 64% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions before the end of January. With ‘Quitters Day’ being just the 12th of January, it’s clear to see that our set resolutions are often too difficult or too tedious to uphold. Another reason that resolutions are hard to stick to is how vague we make them: get fit, eat more healthily, sleep better; these are all popular resolutions that have no clear, final goal or route to reach them. However, some resolutions are hard to follow because they can become inconvenient. Using less plastic, eating less...
Recycling Your Cartwheel Coffee Bags
Recycling isn’t a new trend, but you might be surprised to hear that the Household Waste Recycling Act was only approved in 2003! This law required local councils in England to provide every household with a separate collection of at least two types of recyclable materials by 2010. Even so, up to 15% of mixed, dry recycling could be contaminated with non-recyclable plastics. We have worked hard behind the scenes to design and manufacture a coffee bag that is fully recyclable – and we are still in the minority of roasters able to claim this! Whether it’s our tasting cards...
An (Almost) Comprehensive Guide to Coffee Jargon
Specialty coffee is sometimes thought to serve only an elitist community of coffee drinkers, inherently excluding those less knowledgeable about coffee from the conversation. Here at Cartwheel, we believe that everyone should be involved in the conversation and have the opportunity to try and buy specialty coffee. That’s why we’re releasing this (almost) comprehensive list of coffee terminology in order to help give you a leg up in your next coffee chat, to prove that specialty coffee really is available for everyone! A AA – A coffee grading term that refers to a specific, larger than normal, bean size. Acidity...
Save, Store and Reuse Your Excess Coffee
If you’re anything like us, you’ll have an impractical amount of coffee left over from the Christmas break. Whether it’s from gifts, personal treats, or that very specific blend that only one person in your house drinks… Often there’s just too much for one person to get through, and most of that good coffee goes bad or ends up in the bin. Well, we’re here to save your New Year, and offer a list of practical uses for your fresh coffee. Whether it’s your whole beans, ground coffee, or spent grinds – we’ll help you reduce waste and save you...
Reflecting on 2021
A look back at the last year… Any recap of 2021 would be remiss to mention the fallout experienced by businesses due to the ongoing pandemic. January is already a bleak time of year for many businesses. With Christmas out of the way and New Year resolutions to spend less, eat less and exercise more, this reality is normally compounded with short daylight hours and gloomy weather to create what are typically the 2 quietest and hardest months of the year for the hospitality industry. So at this point last year, we were faced with all this as...
Battle of the Christmas Cocktails
Fancy yourself a bit of a mixologist over the festive season? Well we think it's time to make coffee the headline. That’s why we’ve paired each of the coffees from our Battle of the Christmas Roasts bundle with it’s own signature cocktail – focusing on highlighting the tasting notes of our unique selection of coffees! The Polar Espresso Martini – Christmas Roast We had to start with a classic, our take on the Espresso Martini. Every coffee lover must have already indulged in this sweet cocktail, which takes a caffeinated spin on the traditional Martini. If you haven’t familiarised yourself...
Everything You Didn't Know About Nitro-Flushing
The ‘Holy Grail’ of coffee production and packaging is ‘coffee freshness’. Coffee freshness is inherently linked to the presence of its “solubles” – various chemical compounds, oils and acids that give a coffee its flavour. The biggest culprit for loss of freshness is our good friend oxygen, which reacts with coffee’s solubles over time, causing a loss of flavour, becoming stale - not ideal! To reduce this, our production methods limit the presence of oxygen and the oxidisation of the beans. Whole Bean Coffee Bags One of the main reasons that we prefer to package our coffee as whole beans,...
Reusing our packaging clips
If you know Cartwheel, then you should know that sustainability is one of our core values as a company and coffee shop. Because of this, we have taken extra steps to ensure that our packaging and waste are sustainably produced and disposed of. For example, our coffee bags are accepted in-store for specialty recycling – although they are still made from plastic, this is the most sustainable compromise we have discovered so far. And we are always looking into new technologies as we strive to become plastic-free. So when we got a message from a customer this week asking us...
Coffee Equipment—what do you need to brew barista quality coffee at home?
At Cartwheel we pride ourselves on providing our customers with a unique experience. Whether it’s a pour-over coffee method or the way that we brew our tea – we want to take the extra steps to ensure that your time with us stands out. Having tried dozens of different pieces of equipment over the years, some good and some bad, we love to be able to offer you tested advice. Almost all of our equipment is available to purchase yourself, so that you can replicate the coffee shop experience at home - check out our equipment store! Kinto Cups - Stackable...