Specialty coffee shops are taking over London and all over the world many cities are riding the same wave. The UK media are catching up too, so what was a niche trend now is turning into a global phenomenon.
One thing is clear: being a coffee connoisseur is a trend, Britain is now a nation of coffee drinkers, customers are better educated about coffee and more people want to learn how to brew the perfect cup at home!
For years I used the same supermarket coffee blend and a Bialetti stove pot. Nowadays I like to have multiple coffee choices: from freshly roasted specialty espresso blends to single origin coffees; from espressos to filters.
My husband is even more of a coffee geek than I am, so between the two of us we now have a range of brewing devices at home: a stove pot, an aeropress, the Hario v60 and a chemex (and the Hario Buono Drip Kettle).
The latest addition to our coffee makers' collection is the ROK espresso maker.
The ROK is a "finely engineered gearing that lowers the piston to generate the pressure to extract the coffee oils to create the perfect espresso". It's a simple machine that works without electricity: just the power of your arms!
I have received a ROK espresso maker from Selfridges London as part of their campaign Be The Barista and for the past week my husband has been experimenting with it. I just let him practice with the ROK, while I enjoy having my breakfast coffee served to me every morning! I hope this new routine will last! ;)
The Selfridges campaign celebrates the art of specialty coffee, and being able to create coffee shop quality at home. From artisanal coffee masterclasses and demonstrations of essential coffee-making equipment and accessories to amazing bean-to-cup coffee machines, discover a world dedicated to coffee.
Making the perfect espresso with the ROK requires practice, so allow some time to master the machine. There are also many other variables to a good coffee: the quality of the beans, the freshness of the roast, the coffee grounds, the right water temperature and brewing time.
For the ROK machine you need coffee grounds suitable for espresso (not too coarse or the water will pass through too easily, not too fine or it will be very hard to push the arms down).
Fill the ROK cylinder with hot water, lift the handles and then push them downwards in a firm, smooth motion. Hold them down until all the water has been extracted (this should take between 20 and 30 seconds). Your double espresso is ready!
Making good coffee at home is a priority for us and the day cannot start without it!
Whether it's an espresso or a milk-based coffee drink, we can use the ROK to make a good coffee. As I said, it requires a bit of practice and it's not as straight-forward as using a stove pot, but I'm confident we will master it soon and learn how to create a good espresso crema!
As part of the Be The Barista campaign, Selfridges have partnered with Origin Coffee Roasters to hold weekly coffee masterclasses in their store, in the "Cookshop" area on the lower ground. You can buy tickets online or in store.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ROK machine for this post. All opinions are my own.