Mastering the daily blend
Coffee is such an inextricable part of our daily existence – survival? – that it’s tempting to stick with whatever brown caffeine is put in front of us. Much like medicine, the flavour isn’t really the killer component here.
Not that Matt Wade, Roast Master at Coffee Planet in Dubai, would agree. He believes that every part of the day warrants a different coffee experience and that you should never compromise on taste, no matter how many goosebumps go up the arms. Here, he offers us an all-day guide to the best blends to ensure we stay sharp and stimulated from nine to, well, whenever.
It’s 8am. I need something to get me out the door. What do you recommend?
A good morning brew? I think for me, when I crawl out of bed in the morning, I need a strong coffee that kicks me into shape before I’ve even finished the cup. So I would recommend a Monsoon Malabar blend, which is produced by storing the coffee in the monsoon rains and winds of South India. This coffee is low in acidity but high in caffeine for that essentially morning kick. It works beautifully when brewed in a simple French press and is a lovely way to kick start the day.
Mid-morning, a few e-mails sent, a meeting on the way… what’s my mid-morning energy boost?
As coffee works as a digestive, it’s good practice to drink a mid-morning brew and get your body ticking over. My favourite option for this time of the day would be a fruity African Kenyan Single Origin or a sweet Central American Nicaraguan Single Origin – and both brewed with an aeropress. An aeropress, for those who don’t know, is a plastic mechanical device that that pushes the coffee through a paper filter and the result is a very clean tasting cup of coffee that becomes blended with a lot of the natural sugars. Interestingly, it was invented by those who invented the aerobie frisbee. When you team up the aeropress with a fruity or sweet coffee, the results are really delicious.
Okay, lunch is done, it’s 2pm and I’m starting to flag. What’s a decent brew?
The afternoon is one of the times in the day when a little pick-me-up is needed. To support this, a recent study was conducted by The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, to research the best time of day to drink an espresso. The study analysed both emotional and metabolic factors to come up with the answer: and apparently, 2.16pm is the best time of day to enjoy an espresso! They also found that a 15 minute nap immediately after drinking the coffee will add big benefits too. I’m yet to try the napping tip, though.
What coffee would you recommend after dinner and why?
The after-dinner choice can really go one of two ways: I’d recommend a macchiato with Coffee Planet Italian Blend or a sweet espresso, but nowadays I also enjoy a Turkish coffee for a rich and hearty flavour. I’d suggest using a light roasted coffee, ground extra fine, for a Turkish ibrik (coffeepot) and I’d mix it with half a teaspoon of sugar and a tiny pinch of freshly milled cardamom to make two cups of Turkish coffee, as one is never enough.
Matt Wade has been travelling the world since 2000 gaining experience on coffee, from how it is served in the best coffee shops all the way back to how the beans are grown, harvested and ground. He has worked in and visited New Zealand, London, the States and Dubai, and has recently visited farms in El Salvador and Uganda. He is one of only 10,000 Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Q-grading certificate holders worldwide and is a specialist in green grading, roast identification, coffee cupping, sensory skills and something called “sensory triangulation”.