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Kiva and Quest; July update

Here is a quick monthly update on YOUR donations to our tip-jar. As always a BIG huge thanks to all those customers that give to our chosen charity and help us help those that really need it. Here are the stats since we started in May 2015, we have

RAISED US2150

SPONSORED 81 PEOPLE

IN 61 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES

If you feel inspired to help Kiva yourself (and you really should) or want to see more of the work they do, make sure you check out our blogpost here to find out why we LOVE helping them or go straight to their website to get lending.  Every little contribution goes a very long way.

Thank you from us and KIVA!

Kiva: June update

Kiva and Quest; our June update

We are constantly blown away by the difference we can make by collecting your tips and helping people in developing countries with micro-loans. So a BIG huge thanks to all those customers that give to our chosen charity and help us help those that really need it. Here are the stats since we started in May 2015, we have

RAISED US2025

SPONSORED 76 PEOPLE

IN 59 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES

If you feel inspired to help Kiva yourself (and you really should) or want to see more of the work they do, make sure you check out our blogpost here to find out why we LOVE helping them or go straight to their website to get lending.  Every little contribution goes a very long way.

Thank you from us and KIVA!

How to order a coffee subscription at Quest Coffee Roasters

Whether you have see the sign in our Burleigh Heads cafe or have glanced at the subscriptions while scrolling through our online store, you may be wondering why you would pay for a coffee subscription.

Why subscribe instead of just ordering when you need coffee?

  • You don’t have to remember to order each month;
  • Coffee is delivered on time, every time;
  • Order for yourself or as a gift for someone special;
  • You won’t run out of coffee again; and
  • Save money – NO SHIPPING!!  (You save $15 every time – AMAZING!)

What about the current loyalty card system?

Well the great news is that nothing changes with our loyalty card system! We will continue to keep track of your ordered beans and reward you with a FREE 500g bag of beans when you are eligible.

How do you set up the subscription?

We have 6 easy options – you can choose from any of the 6 options below:

Coffee Subscriptions

1kg bag of coffee delivered fortnightly or monthly for 3 months
1kg bag of coffee delivered fortnightly or monthly for 6 months
1kg bag of coffee delivered fortnightly or monthly for 12 months
500g bag of coffee delivered monthly for 3 months
500g bag of coffee delivered monthly for 6 months
500g bag of coffee delivered monthly for 12 months

You just need to decide the subscription you would like; then ordering is simple. Sometimes the hardest decision is which single origin or blend you would like.

Some people have a favourite bean, while others enjoy a little variety. For those of you who like to change it up a bit, you may be interested in the Roaster’s Choice option. This gives you the element of surprise, allowing our master roaster to select a different bean for you at each delivery.

Coffee Subscription Ordering Process Part 1Ordering is simple:

1. Select the Frequency (monthly/fortnightly) you would like your beans delivered, your bean of choice (or Roaster’s Choice) and which grind you prefer then ‘Add to basket’;

2. ‘View Basket’;

3. Make sure the order details are correct. You will see that the shipping is ‘Free’ if you are just ordering a coffee subscription only. Then ‘Proceed to Checkout’.

4. Enter your Billing Details, ensuring that you make comments in the ‘Order Notes’ for any specific delivery instructions. If the coffee subscription is a gift for somebody and you would like it shipped to a different address, be sure to tick the box and enter those details, together with any special notes that you would like us to add on your behalf. If you order Roaster’s Choice and prefer only a mild flavoured coffee, you can add this preference in here also so we can choose beans more to your liking.

If you have not created an account, this is very easy to do. Simply select the ‘Create an account?’ box and enter your desired password in the field provided. This will allow you to log in each time you order instead of re-entering your details.

5. Select your payment option of either direct deposit, cheque or PayPal and then select ‘Place Order’.

sub2collage

All you have to do now is leave the rest up to us!

Here’s a review from one of our happy customers:

Coffee Subscription review

A simple, cost effective and splendid way to receive your coffee on time, every time.

The only question left to ask is…WHICH SUBSCRIPTION AND BLEND OF COFFEE WILL YOU CHOOSE?

Follow this link to order now!

Written by Therese Glowaski.

How does Altitude affect the flavour of your coffee?

If you’ve purchased beans in our James Street, Burleigh Heads café, or visited our online store, you would have noticed that each bean has a general description and each of those mention the altitude that the bean is grown at. Looks a bit confusing right?

We are going to help you understand a little more about how altitude affects the flavour of your coffee. In turn, this should help you find a coffee that you love (if you haven’t found one already).

Why is altitude important?

High altitude coffee plantation

High altitude coffee plantation

Altitude not only affects the shape and size of the bean but has a big impact on the taste of the coffee. In a previous blog of ours, ‘The 5 differences between Arabica and Robusta Coffee Beans’, we talk about how Arabica is grown at a higher altitude (600-2000m) in cooler sub-tropical climates, while Robusta can be grown at sea level, in warmer climates.

High altitude coffee plantation

Low altitude coffee plantation

How does altitude affect the characteristics of the bean?

When you look at green coffee (pre-roasted), the physical appearance can tell a lot about the altitude it is grown at. It can be small and dense, the colour can range from jade to a blue or light green and the opening of the bean would be either straight, open, closed or zig-zagged.

We won’t get too technical here but will say that a lower altitude bean would be partly opened and less dense. The colour would vary depending on the variety of the bean and the way it is processed. A higher altitude bean is a strictly hard bean (SHB) and would be closed and perhaps have a little zig-zagging. The bean would be very dense, which is a direct result of the slow rate of growth in a high-altitude environment.

Green coffee bean characteristics

Low altitude v High altitude…

Low altitude coffee has a lower acidity and the flavour is often very mild and bland. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a high altitude coffee (the most sought after due to its taste) would produce a more acidic and aromatic cup of coffee which is full of flavour.

Our best selling bean here at Quest is Guatemala Finca La Ruda and is a high altitude bean. Here is an example of its characteristics:

Guatemala Finca La Ruda characteristics

Guatemala Finca La Ruda characteristics

We’ve simplified the differences between altitude and flavour:

  • below 2,500 feet (762m) – soft, mild, simple and bland. We generally don’t sell beans which are grown at this altitude. Our exception would be the infamous Indian Monsoon some of you would remember us stocking. The processing of this bean is directly responsible for the exceptional flavour compared to other low altitude beans;
  • around 3,000 feet (914m) – smooth, sweet and low acidity;
  • around 4,000 feet (1,200m) – citrus, vanilla, chocolate or nutty tones;
  • above 5,000 feet (1,500m) – spicy, floral or fruity.
Altitude flavours

Altitude flavours

Now that we have broken down the importance of altitude, we hope that your decision making process the next time you order coffee at Quest is much simpler.

Written by Therese Glowaski.

Going bald? We have the answer for you…

There are many interesting topics of conversation that are had in our James Street, Burleigh Heads, cafe. One that had us wanting to know more was the link between coffee and your hair. So after lots of theories going to and fro, we thought we would find out more about this interesting topic and share the results with you.

Healthy hair and regular hair growth relies on  vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. There are also other things that negatively affect hair growth including genetics, disease and more. All of that aside, caffeine may have a beneficial effect on your hair follicles to promote healthy hair.

The Research

Research

The International Journal of Dermatology published a study looking into coffee hair growth benefits as a possible stimulant for hair follicles. Their findings showed that caffeine works by blocking the effects of a chemical known as DHT which damages hair follicles; this is thought to cause Male Pattern Baldness.

Dr Tobias Fischer, a researcher at Germany’s University of Jena also studied the effect of caffeine on human hair follicle growth. His study consisted of taking scalp biopsies from men in the early hair loss stages. He put the follicles in test tubes with solutions containing different caffeine levels and left them for up to 8 days so he could monitor the growth. He found that “caffeine is a well-known substance, yet little is known about its effect on human hair follicle growth. Caffeine shows it’s a promising candidate for hair growth stimulation.”  When he compared the caffeine treated hair follicles treated to those that were untreated discovered that caffeine boosted the length of the hairs by between 33 and 40 per cent.

Caffeine Absorption

You can consume caffeine via food and beverages which will enter your bloodstream, and eventually reach your hair follicles. Combine that with a topical application of caffeine-enriched shampoo. This would allow exposure to your hair follicles to a high dose of caffeine, without causing the side effects that can occur due to consuming high doses of caffeine.

Researchers in Germany determined via their studies that caffeine delivered to the hair follicles after 2 minutes of shampooing allowed the caffeine to penetrate into the scalp via the hair follicles and outermost layer of the skin.

Could this hair be stimulated by coffee?

Could this hair be stimulated by coffee?

Side Effects

While coffee rinses or oils can help keep your hair strong and minimise hair loss, it can cause some people with hair colours like blonde, light red and light brunette, to darken slightly. It could also give some hair colours a slight reddish colour. On the other hand, regularly shampooing or rinsing with coffee will help to darken hair colours like brunette and grey.

Our conclusion is that this is a great reason to continue drinking coffee (not that we needed any excuses)!

Written by Therese Glowaski.

How to Brew the Perfect Aeropress

A great tasting cup of coffee is the way most of us like to start our morning. There are many ways of brewing at home, or on your travels, but one of our favourite choices would have to be the AeroPress way! It produces a superb cup of coffee every time and is so fast!

You can make from 1 – 4 cups of coffee per pressing, with each pressing only taking around 1 minute.

AeroPress Coffee Maker Components

Here’s our easy step-by-step instructions to brewing a perfect AeroPress:

1. Make sure your AeroPress is clean and completely dry before using, otherwise the plunger tip may not be able to form a perfect seal inside the chamber.

2. Remove the plunger and cap from the chamber.

3. Put a micro-filter inside the cap and twist the cap onto the chamber.

4. Put the ground coffee into the chamber: 1 scoop for each espresso (up to a maximum of 4 scoops). A funnel is provided for use with a coffee grinder. Use the scoop to measure the beans into the chamber.

Water Temperature: Everyone we tested, from coffee lovers to professional coffee tasters, preferred coffee brewed with the water temperature between 80° to 90°. Lower temperature makes a smoother brew so we recommend that you do not use boiling water.

5. Dribble the water slowly into the chamber for the first few seconds to wet the grounds. Then fill to the desired level. Never fill higher than number 4. The plunger can be used to measure water. Just fill to the appropriate number (you can also use the plunger to heat water in a microwave).

6. Stir the water and coffee together with the paddle for about 10 seconds.

7. Wet the rubber seal and insert the plunger into the chamber. Press the plunger. After the plunger has moved a short distance, you can feel the air pushing back at you. Continue pressing gently to maintain pressure and the air will push the brew through the grounds. The plunger will sink slowly and reach the grounds in about 20 seconds for a double, slightly less for a single or slightly more for a triple or quadruple. Then let the coffee drip for a few seconds. Invert the AeroPress as you lift it off the cup. Pressing slowly is the key to a rich brew and an easy push. If it feels too stiff, just press more gently.

AeroPress step by step instructions

8. Sit back, relax and enjoy!

9. CLEANING UP: Remove the cap, hold the AeroPress over the bin and press the plunger to eject the ‘puck’ of spent grounds.

Aeropress 'puck' of coffee grounds

‘Puck’ of coffee grounds

10. Leave the plunger pushed fully in and rinse the rubber seal. Brush or wipe it to remove the coffee oils. AeroPress IS NOT dishwasher safe. Always store the AeroPress with the plunger pushed all the way in, or completely removed, to avoid compressing the seal.

Re-Using Micro-Filters:

2000 filters use about as much paper as one city newspaper, so you don’t need to feel guilty about discarding filters. You can however re-use each filter many times just by brushing it off under running water. The choice is entirely up to you. When re-using a filter, remove the plunger and twist the cap containing the wet filter onto the chamber. This will keep it flat as it dries and you’ll be ready for the next pressing. There is a year’s supply of micro-filters with your AeroPress so you are set for a long time.

AeroPress Stainless Steel Filter

Stainless Steel Filter

Alternatively, you can purchase a stainless steel filter for a lifetime of AeroPress happiness!

Steeping Time:

If you’ve used a plunger in the past, you may be tempted to let the mix steep for several minutes before pressing. Long steeping, however, only adds bitterness and acidity and is not necessary.

Alternate way of brewing an AeroPress:

During those hot Summer months, we often feel like a cold coffee to avoid the heat. How about trying this inverted method of brewing an iced coffee with an AeroPress? DELICIOUS!!

AeroPress Brewed on Ice

Written by Therese Glowaski.

Suprising benefits that coffee has on your skin

We all know having good skin is hard to maintain with age…but why is this? It’s pretty simple really. We’ve all heard the saying ‘you need to take better care of yourself’. Well that isn’t easy these days; with all the rushing around we do, whether it’s shopping, dropping kids off at school and sports events, grabbing a quick bite to eat on the run, or getting a chance to put on good sunscreen etc…the list just goes on. So it’s no wonder our skin starts to lose its glow.

Well it may surprise some to find out that coffee can help in this rejuvenation process. Together with a healthy diet with lots of vegetables and fruit, coffee is also packed with antioxidants. Polyphenols are the main type of antioxidant found in coffee and this plays a big part in helping to reduce skin cell damage.

By having at least 1 good organic coffee a day, you can boost the antioxidant levels. Making sure your coffee is made with good quality, filtered water, is a vital part of this process as well. And no, coffee won’t dehydrate you either; that’s a myth.

Coffee Scrub

Another great secret getting out is the use of an organic coffee body scrub. This will really get rid of those dead and dry skin cells, leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth all over.

This treatment is not only for girls…it’s great for men to use as well.

Coffee Scrub Review

Here at Quest, we have developed a beautiful Lime and Coconut Coffee Scrub.

100% Organic Coffee Scrub made at Quest Coffee Roasters

It is all natural and organic and is great for gift ideas as well. You have to try it out so you can start getting that great skin now; it really works! And with Christmas just around the corner, it’s makes for a perfect Christmas gift.

Written by Paul Henley.

Matcha Green Tea; this ‘superfood’ really is super

We’ve been hearing about Matcha Green Tea and its amazing health benefits for a little while now, so we thought that we would dive in, before the hype engulfs everybody, and add this incredibly delightful drink to our menu here at Quest Coffee Roasters.

What is Matcha and where did it originate from?

Matcha Green Tea originated in Japan. The Japanese have been drinking this delicious green gem in their tea ceremonies for hundreds of years. It was used as an aid in meditation.

Monk in Meditation

Monks would drink matcha to remain alert, yet calm, during long hours of sitting. They know a lot about living long and stress free lives. It’s no surprise that one of their secrets is drinking matcha green tea.

Not only is it a superfood; it’s also super good for you and super cool!

Matcha v Green Leaf Tea: What’s the difference?

Matcha is finely ground green tea, is 100% organic and is packaged with no extra ingredients or additives. It is, however, very different from your average green tea due to the way it’s grown and processed. Matcha is carefully shade grown, allowing it to grow slowly. This increases the amount of chlorophyl and amino acid levels in the tea. Only the buds of matcha are harvested, whereas other ground teas may contain the leaves and stems – this would create a more bitter flavour. After matcha is harvested, it’s dried flat and then stone ground into a super fine powder which retains a bright green colour.

Matcha Green Tea Plantation

Green tea leaves have been cut and dried. Some would argue that this process can actually damage the antioxidants and reduce their overall potency. When you brew a cup of green tea, the water only extracts a small amount of the green tea benefits. The rest remains trapped in the tea leaves and discarded. The best way to take advantage of all that green tea has to offer is to consume the entire leaf.

Matcha Green Tea v Green Leaf Tea

What does it taste like & what’s the best way to enjoy it?

Like all green tea, matcha has slight grassy notes. It has a richer, almost buttery flavour and can be enjoyed as a latte or a frappe. We have both alternatives available in our James Street, Burleigh Heads cafe, so be sure to ask our wonderful baristas what their recommendation would be.

We have tried (and recommend) the matcha latte and frappe with Barambah Organic milk, as well organic rice and soy milk. Almond milk may be a particularly acquired taste for some, although we have heard that adding a little honey helps!

Matcha Latte & Frappe made at Quest Coffee Roasters, Burleigh Heads

Matcha Latte & Frappe made at Quest Coffee Roasters, Burleigh Heads

 Health benefits…what’s the buzz?

Well we certainly don’t claim to be scientists or experts in health and wellbeing, but we have done our research and this drink is just too good to pass up! Here’s why:

High in antioxidants: One of the biggest words in nutrition these days is antioxidants, a naturally occurring chemical compound that prevents chronic disease and aging. It has 137x more antioxidants than green tea alone! Basically, the more you have, the better your body is able to fight infections and disease.

Increased metabolism: Matcha is a great addition to any weight loss program due to its ability to boost your metabolism and burn fat. Better still, unlike many questionable quick fixes on the market these days, it won’t put any stress on your body, nor will it raise your blood pressure or heart rate.

Detox your body: That green stuff, chlorophyl, is awesome for helping to detox the body of toxins, heavy metals, poisons, dioxins and hormone disrupters.

Improve wellbeing: Matcha contains up to 5x more L-theanine than green leaf tea! Without getting too technical, L-theanine is an amino acid which is capable of inducing alpha wave activity in the brain. This can relieve stress, promote relaxation and make us more alert, yet calm, at the same time.

Increase energy levels: Matcha provides a sustained release of energy throughout the day, minus the jitters! One study suggests that this was caused from the caffeine, but they found that it was actually a combination of matcha’s natural properties. Another recent study found an improvement in physical endurance by 24%. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me!

Matcha Green Tea Antioxidants Comparison Chart

So next time you are visiting us, be sure to try out this incredible beverage. You won’t be disappointed!

Written by Therese Glowaski.

A short history on coffee…

Written by Therese Glowaski.

With the richness of the coffee taste comes a rich history. Coffee has been in existence for thousands of years and has an interesting history that is full of tradition. Its discovery can still be considered a mystery and there are many legends and stories that tell how coffee came into popularity.

It has been said that the first coffee plant originated in the Horn of Africa. The native tribes would grind the coffee cherries and then mix it with an animal fat. This mixture would then be rolled into small balls and given to warriors as a source of energy.

Coffee has also gained a mystical reputation with many legends attached to its origin. One of the popular legends dates back to around 800AD, which said that an Ethiopian shepherd named Kaldi saw his goats beside a shrub that had red fruit. He noticed his herd dancing from one coffee shrub to another, grazing on the cherry red berries containing the beans. He copped a few himself and then found himself frolicking with his flock.  A monk who witnessed this then plucked berries for his bothers and that night they were uncannily alert to divine inspiration.

The history of coffee; Kaldi and his dancing goats.

The history of coffee; Kaldi and his dancing goats.

Aside from that, coffee’s origin can also be found in historical writings. Cafes were seen in Constantinople at the time when Columbus was starting his exploration in the world. It was during the 15th century when the cultivation of coffee began. During this time, the province of Yemen in Arabia was the only source of coffee in the world. The plants there were highly guarded and even prohibited to be taken outside the country. Despite this, Muslim pilgrims still smuggled the coffee plants out of the country. The coffee was then established in India.

In 1530, the first coffee house was opened in Damascus (now known as Siria) and not long after, there were many coffee houses in Cairo. Venice merchant traders took coffee to Italy and then Europe opened its first café in 1645. Not long after that, coffee houses became widespread in Europe as many Europeans became hooked on coffee. It gained so much popularity that even street vendors started selling it.

The Dutch presented it to their colonies in the 17th century. Eventually, coffee plants were transported by the Dutch to the East Indies and to the Americas where the french were the first people to plant coffee seedlings in Martinique, an island in the Caribbean. Those sprouts flourished and 50 years later there were 18,680 coffee trees in Martinique enabling the spread of coffee cultivation to Haiti, Mexico and other islands of the Caribbean.

The Island of Martinique, in the Caribbean

The Island of Martinique, in the Caribbean

 

History of Australia’s Coffee

Australians are considered one of the greatest coffee lovers in the world. It has been proven by the existence of many cafés in the country. It was during the late 19th century when Australian coffee began to grow commercially. It even won awards in London in the 1800’s.

The history of coffee in Australia.

The history of coffee in Australia.

Due to the high cost of labor, the industry was not able to compete with the prices of coffee in Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, and Central America. This caused a slight decline in the Australian coffee industry.

This situation didn’t last long though. In the early 1980’s, the coffee industry was re-established. With the help of machine harvesting, the growers had an opportunity to reduce the harvesting cost, thus enabling them to compete with imported coffee.

Australia, due to its geographical location, can only grow Arabica coffee.