Most of us love a good cup of coffee and more than ever we’re getting quite fussy about what kind of coffee we drink. With more and more independent coffee shops popping up in our city centres, we’re appreciating truly good coffee like never before. Ground Espresso, Northern Ireland’s largest independent coffee chain, invited me and my blogger hubs Ian to a special coffee making evening at their Belfast concession in Waterstones.
Ian and I regularly meet up for chats over coffee so this seemed like the perfect experience for us. And I’ll admit my other half Phill was a bit jealous (not of Ian, but the coffee experience). In our house we have an espresso machine and Phill loves to play barista at the weekend. I was looking forward to learning more about coffee at Ground Espresso and dazzling Phill with my new-found knowledge.
And learn I did! Namely about the art of brewing good filter coffee. I’ll admit I rarely order filter coffee when out thinking it is the cheap option. I tend to go for an americano or flat white. But coffee houses like Ground Espresso are enticing people back to filter coffee by giving it the attention it deserves. Filter coffee has had a bad rap for years, mainly because many coffee houses and cafes have been serving up stale, poor tasting filter coffee for so long.
Using a beautiful wood and copper brewing station, Ground Espresso Store Manager Michael first made Ian and I a filter coffee using Brazilian coffee beans ‘Fazenda Santa Lucia’. This beautiful contraption (which will set you back about £70) is all about making the most of the coffee and it’s delicate flavourings. The coffee is given the time and space to breath. I really enjoyed the flavour of this coffee and was actually happy drinking it without milk (which is not my usual preference).
We then went on to enjoy another filter coffee using Tana Toraja, an Indonesian blend which was Ian’s favourite. We learnt so much from Michael who has been working in the coffee industry for many years. Having recently come back from a life-changing trip to Honduras to see how the local farmers make the coffee Ground Espresso use, Michael was a wealth of knowledge about coffee, how it’s ethically sourced and authentically brewed. It was heartening to find out that Ground Espresso are committeed to using Fairtrade coffee and supporting the farmers and their families who supply their coffee. Coffee is such a well-loved commodity that it’s only right that the people who make it are treated fairly and ethically.
We finished off our evening with a delicious flat white and caramel brownie. I may have had a restless night’s sleep that night due to all the caffeine coursing through my veins but the experience was worth it! Thanks Ground Espresso for the enlightening evening.