Copper coffee

Vintage Swan 'Canterbury' electric coffee percolator | H is for Home

Shiny metallics have been very much in vogue in the interior design world over recent years – copper and brass in particular, have seen a big resurgence. In last week’s Price Points post we mentioned a visit to the Lakeland store in Windermere. We noticed lots of copper coloured kitchenware and appliances as we perused the aisles that day.

Vintage Swan 'Canterbury' electric coffee percolator components | H is for Home

Well, we picked up a kitchen appliance of a much earlier vintage this week – dating from the last time that copper had this much of a mass market appeal.

Detail from a vintage Swan 'Canterbury' electric coffee percolator | H is for Home

It’s a fabulous coffee percolator produced by Swan.

Detail from a vintage Swan 'Canterbury' electric coffee percolator | H is for Home

It’s made of polished copper with rosewood handle and finial – and here it is advertised in a 1970s Argos catalogue.

Page from a 1976 Argos catalogue showing a Swan 'Canterbury' electric coffee percolator

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It looks great – sleek and stylish. It has a setting for different brew times to allow for varying strengths. It also boasts a ‘keep warm’ setting, so a quick top-up is very easy and your second cup will be just as hot as the first. Perfect for those who need a real kick start in the morning!

Cup of coffee and biscuits beside a vintage Swan copper electric percolator | H is for Home

Having just given it a test run, we can happily report that it makes a very decent cup of coffee indeed. We’ve added it to our web shop this week for anyone interested.

Price Points: Reusable coffee cups

Selection of reusable coffee cups | H is for Home

The proliferation of plastic waste has been in the news a lot recently. The ever-expanding Great Pacific garbage patch is really alarming. At last, more is being done nationally and by the government to curb the use of plastic products. It began with the halt to giving away free plastic bags at the supermarket checkout. Recently, Iceland has been the first major supermarket to pledge to not use plastic on their own brand goods. Lets hope all the others soon follow suit.

Earlier this year, a call for a 25p ‘latté levy’ on disposable cups hit the headlines. Some coffee shops have long been offering a discount to customers who bring their own reusable coffee cups. Currently, very few people take up the offer. The hope is that the tax will increase that number in the same way as the charge on plastic bags.

Here are three of our favourite reusable coffee cups – much more attractive and easier to handle than the flimsy, throwaway ones passed over the counter by the barista.

We can all do our little bit to lessen the impact of plastic on the environment. Take reusable bags when we go shopping, buy loose goods where possible, recycle household waste

  1. Waitrose blue floral scatter coffee cup: £2, Waitrose
  2. Ecoffee cup William Morris Cornockle (400ml): £8.99, Planet Organic
  3. Bodum vacuum travel mug with cork band, 350ml: £20, John Lewis

Caprissimo Coffee is full of beans!

1 kilo bags of Caprissimo coffee beans | H is for Home

What’s the first thing that you do when you wake up in the morning? Check your phone? Turn on the TV? Ours is make two cups of coffee. No, I tell a lie – the dog wouldn’t leave us in peace if we didn’t feed him first!

1 kilo bags of Caprissimo coffee beans: Fragrante and Belgique | H is for Home

So, it was a no-brainer saying yes to The Coffee Mate when they offered us the opportunity to review their Caprissimo Fragrante and Caprissimo Belgique coffee beans.

1 kilo bags of Caprissimo coffee beans: Fragrante and Belgique | H is for Home

Caprissimo ‘Fragrante’ is a medium-dark roasted blend of two kinds of Brazilian beans. “warm aroma with nutty, buttery and chocolate sweetness”. The Coffee Mate website suggests it has an “aftertaste of slightly bitter walnuts” – we’d agree. When we tried it, it was reminiscent of the hint of oak you can get at the end of a sip of red wine. That will simply be a matter of preference for fellow coffee drinkers out there.

Our agreed favourite of the two Caprissimo Coffee types, ‘Belgique’ is a combination of 80% Arabica & 20% Robusta coffee beans. Also medium-dark roasted, it’s described as  having a “syrupy consistency… if made correctly, a hard body & strong aroma – with dark chocolate and sweet caramel finish”. Again, we picked up on these characteristics. In fact we’ve just had a lovely cup served alongside our pancakes with maple syrup!

Cup of freshly brewed coffee, coffee beans and coffee grinder | H is for Home

We prefer to grind our own beans because it makes for a better cup. We use an electric grinder that Justin bought me a few years ago. However, if you like the look of the manual one pictured here, we have vintage examples available in our shop.

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Price Points: Grown-up Advent calendars

Selection of grown-up Advent calendars | H is for Home

There aren’t any children in our household, however that doesn’t stop us getting excited about Christmas. Christmas proper for us generally begins on Advent – this year, the 3rd of December. On that day, the tree gets erected, decorations go up and, if we’ve managed a bit of forward planning, the first door of the Advent calendar gets opened.

There’s a growing number of grown-up Advent calendars on the market – and there’s something for everyone – glamour pusses, real ale drinkers, coffee connoisseurs as well as the sweet-toothed. Here are three of our favourites…

  1. Christmas coffee advent by Perkulatte: £40, Notonthehighstreet
  2. Beer advent calendar: £74.99, The Pip Stop
  3. 24-day beauty advent calendar: £120.00, Selfridges

Price Points: Home coffee roasters

Home coffee roasters | H is for Home

Coffee connoisseurship keeps reaching higher and higher levels. We have become more discerning about where our coffee comes from, the taste we prefer and how we like to take it. Many people have coffee makers of one kind or another in their kitchens. The simple, classic Bialetti stove-top percolator, the coffee filter machine and the high tech bean-to-cup machines.

The obvious progression is an increase in the popularity of home coffee roasters. The basic models are surprisingly affordable and, as they don’t need electricity to run, are perfect for use al fresco or when camping. If you’re not the outdoorsy type, there are many others available – at a range of price points – for stove-top or counter-top use.

  1. Nuvo eco ceramic handy coffee bean roaster: £33.77, Amazon
  2. Antique coffee roaster: £135.03, Etsy
  3. BOCABOCA 250 coffee bean roaster with cooler: £345.99 eBay

Price Points: Coffee machines

Three coffee machines to suit all budgets | H is for Home

Coffee is our morning brew of choice – double shot, flat white for both of us (soya milk, no sugar, for me – cows milk, sugar for Justin). I must confess, our first mugs of the day are usually instant (the horror!). Fiddling about with coffee machines when you’re only half awake is frustrating.

When I win the lottery (once I start buying a ticket!) I’ll travel ’round the world… and buy a top of the range Jura Bean-to-Cup. It’s the height of luxury having a coffee machine that you can control remotely from your phone. Pre-program your preferences into its memory and, at the touch of a button, it can grind and brew you your perfect cuppa… just to reiterate – that’s a double shot, flat white with soya milk, no sugar, if you’re asking!

  1. Dualit Multi Brew 84440 espresso coffee machine – chrome: £199, ao.com
  2. Sage Barista Express coffee machine – stainless steel: £ 599.95
  3. Jura E8 Bean-to-Cup automatic coffee machine: £1,195.00, John Lewis