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A day in the life of Quest…

Here is a little video to show you what a typical day looks like for the team at Quest Coffee Roasters.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Enjoy 🙂

Hario V60 Dripper: our guide to the perfect pour-over brew

A whole new range of Hario brewing products have hit our shelves and are also available online. They are not only stylish to boot, but they are really easy to use, not to mention affordable.

The Hario V60 Drippers, whether you opt for the ceramic or the transparent, lightweight plastic style, are beautiful to look at and guarantee great coffee on the go. The V60 transparent dripper would make a great travel companion for camping trips or weekends away (we wouldn’t recommend putting it in a suitcase for flying, unless packed well).

To maximise the flavour and quality of your brew, grinding your whole beans immediately before brewing is your best option. See our blogpost here to understand why we recommend that you Grind As You Go.

What you need for the perfect brew:

  • Hario V60 Dripper
  • V60 paper filter
  • 12 grams of Quest coffee – this will make 1 cup (120ml)
  • 150ml filtered water, plus extra for rinsing the filter
  • Burr grinder (recommended)
  • Kettle (preferrably the Hario Buono Kettle, so as to allow control over the pouring speed)
  • Timer
  • Scales (recommended as it takes the guesswork out of the equation)
  • Coffee mug/travel coffee mug

Hario V60 Drippers and Buono Drip Kettle

  1. Fold the paper filter at the dotted line and place in the dripper. Place the dripper on top of your mug.
  1. Rinse the filter with boiling water for approx. 5 seconds. This will warm the dripper and ensure that the paper taste doesn’t transfer to your brew. Take the dripper off your mug and discard the rinse water.
  1. Place 12 grams (or to taste) of freshly ground coffee into the filter. If you are using the VD-02 size, increase your grounds to 24 grams.
  1. Shake the dripper lightly to level the grounds, then make a half inch indent in the middle of the coffee bed with your finger.
  1. Slowly pour the boiling water in the centre of the grounds, using just enough water to cover the grounds (approx.. 40 grams) and let it bloom for 30 seconds.
  1. Pour boiling water from the centre, circling outwards, ensuring that the water doesn’t touch the paper filter. If you are using scales, you can stop pouring when they read 300 grams or alternatively, when your timer reaches 2 mins.
  1. Allow all the water to drain through the filter. The total extraction time is 3 minutes, regardless of the number of servings. If your final time was shorter than 2 minutes, your grind was probably too course and if longer than 3 minutes, your grind was probably too fine.
  1. Remove the filter from the dripper and discard the grounds. There are many ways to recycle your grounds. See our blogpost here for more information.

See this great little instructional video that Hario have created.

Now sit back, relax and enjoy the perfectly brewed coffee you have just made.

 

 

Written by Therese Glowaski.

 

How to store your coffee beans

Whether you have gone to the trouble of obtaining great quality, freshly roasted coffee beans from us at Quest Coffee Roasters, or the ease of one of our ever so popular coffee subscriptions, then you will want to know the best way of storing your beans. Our amazing baristas are asked this question often. Let’s face it; there is a lot of conflicting information out there, so we are going to simplify it for you.

Certain conditions, like air, moisture, heat and light (in that order) will affect the freshness and flavour of your beans, so proper storage is vital to great tasting coffee.

Best way to store coffee beans

Pic credit: Pact Coffee in the UK

The best way to store your beans and the optimal storage time:

The full flavour of coffee is at its best a few days after roasting and starts to fade after a few weeks. Most of the beans found on a supermarket shelf, particularly the pre-ground variety, are quite flat and far from awesome.

This is our recommendation for storing your beans and maximising that fresh, complex flavour:

1. Keep your beans in an airtight and dark container. There are many storage devices out there, but the one we love is the Friis Storage Canister. It is simple, stainless steel, has a vault which exhausts trapped CO2 gas and does not allow air in.

2. If you can’t store in a container, then keeping your beans in a good quality re-sealable bag will help keep them fresh. Remember that not all bags are created equal though. We would only recommend the packaging used at Quest, as each bag has a valve that will allow the gas to escape and block air from entering.

3. Avoid sunlight or direct light. This will help keep the temperature stable.

4. Avoid heat and steam; especially hot ovens, brewers, steamy kettles, etc. A cool, dark place is best and we recommend the cupboard for storage.

5. We recommend brewing your beans within 4 weeks for whole beans and 2 weeks for pre-ground beans. If you were unable to brew them within that time, then we would recommend putting your beans in the freezer. See below for the fridge -v- freezer debate.

6. It is always better to store your beans as whole beans, as opposed to ground beans. For the best tasting coffee, we recommend grinding your coffee just prior to brewing, whenever possible. See our previous blog, “Why Grind As You Go…” for a more detailed explanation.

Fridge or Freezer – Are either of these options a good idea?

The fridge is a definite ‘no-no’. Don't refrigerate coffee beansThe problem with the fridge is the amount of moisture and the temperature change that occurs when your beans are taken in and out. This causes a condensation build up. In addition to that, the fridge is not cold enough to keep your beans fresh. The beans will deodorise and soak up the humidity (much like baking soda would), especially if they are ground. Imagine the negative impact that would on the final taste.

Coffee storage in freezerIf you need to store your beans for longer than the recommended time, then we suggest the freezer as your next best option. Here are a few tips to prevent your beans from becoming ‘burned’ from the freezer.

* Store the beans in a deep freezer (if you have one), merely because it would be opened less than a fridge freezer.

* Store your beans in their original packaging, inside a zip lock freezer bag or an airtight container. If you use a zip lock freezer bag, you should remove as much air as possible before sealing.

* There wouldn’t be a negative impact on the beans placed in your freezer, as it is dark and opened less regularly than your fridge.

* If you are going to store them in the freezer, ensure that you do this within 2 weeks of purchase. Whole beans can be kept in a freezer for approximately 2 months.

* Ensure that the beans are allowed to come down to room temperature, while still sealed, to avoid condensation. Never return previously thawed beans to the freezer.

The bottom line is that you wouldn’t consider storing beans in the freezer unless you were living in a remote area and ordered your beans in bulk, eg. 2-3kg at a time; or, if you were going away on holidays and needed to keep them fresh while you were away. Otherwise, the kitchen cupboard, using our storage guidelines above, would be a perfectly suitable place to store your beans.

Fresh is always best! Buy what you would drink within 10-14 days so that you always have fresh beans in the house.

Written by Therese Glowaski.

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’.

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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.

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.

Our Quest Around the Gold Coast; Red Tractor Café

We’re back this month with our Quest Around the Gold Coast, featuring Red Tractor Café, which was established by chef Sam Perrin on 12 August with the values of fun, creativity and sustainability. This café may have only been opened a few months, but it has already made quite a name for itself – check out some of their great reviews on Trip Advisor.

Red Tractor Café believe that food should be enjoyed, rather than just consumed. They only use local and seasonal produce to ensure that all their dishes are full of flavour, while supporting Australian farmers. If it’s not in season, then it won’t be on the menu. Cooking with seasonal produce allows them to frequently add new dishes to their menu, so you’ll always have something new to try. There are plenty of vegetarian and gluten free options available also.

The bread used at Red TractorCafé is baked fresh daily, across the road at Mill Bakery, and they use the finest cheese from two local creameries, White Gold Creamery in Biggera Waters and Witches Chase Cheese at Mount Tamborine.

They make almost everything in house, which means better tasting food without the added nasties. Some of their homemade dishes include ice cream, granola, ricotta cheese, tomato relish, mayonnaise, cakes, muffins and the list goes on.

Delicious menu items at Red Tractor Cafe

Delicious menu items at Red Tractor Cafe

The Red Tractor team are passionate about their products and the environment. In addition to sourcing seasonal produce, they also use bio-degradable take away packaging and our very own Quest coffee. Their counter front is created by a local carpenter, using recycled pallets, and they will also reward you with a 10% discount for every brew if you bring your own take-away mug.

Red Tractor Cafe, Paradise Point

Red Tractor Cafe, Paradise Point

Be sure to check out Red Tractor’s social media platforms at Facebook and Instagram so you can stay up to date with their menu and latest specials. They currently have an offer of 25% off your total bill up until Sunday, 22 November, for breakfast or lunch. What an awesome deal! You’ll need to head over to Facebook to claim the offer.

Red Tractor Cafe Facebook Offer

Red Tractor Cafe Facebook Offer

If you find yourself up the northern end of the Gold Coast craving a good quality coffee and delicious food, be sure to stop in at this great new establishment. You can find them at 10 Grice Avenue, Paradise Point and they’re open 7 days, 6:30am to 3pm. Be sure to tell your friends that live close-by as well.

Written by Therese Glowaski.

How Much Caffeine is in your Favourite Beverage?

We often get asked by our lovely customers how much caffeine is actually in our coffee when compared to other favourite Australian beverages. So we thought we would do a little research and share the results with you.

Coffee happens to be the largest contributor in the typical Australian diet and it comes in varying forms; the barista-made coffee, restaurants, instant coffee or big chain cafés. There are also a variety of other ways to satisfy your need for caffeine via your favourite cup of tea, cola, chocolate or energy drinks but they really don’t compare to the amount of impact coffee has on our society. Coffee is by far our favourite beverage!

Different people have different sensitivities to caffeine, which allows some to have a much larger quantity each day than others. Not to mention the lucky ones that can partake in a late afternoon coffee without running the risk of insomnia. The rest of us simply look on with envy, while sipping on our trusty decaf.

Here is a little table that shows the approximate amount of caffeine in our favourite coffee, tea and other popular beverages:

Amount of Caffeine in various beverages

So what is considered the “acceptable” amount of caffeine a healthy adult can consume daily? Around 400mg or less per day. That is equivalent to about 4 cups of brewed coffee/espresso, 2 energy drinks or around 10 cans of cola. We all know, of course, that coffee will have a significant amount less sugar than the latter options so it’s not hard to decide the healthier choice.

I know which caffeinated beverage I will be choosing to consume…do you?

Beautiful Latte made at Quest Coffee Roasters

Beautiful flat white made at Quest Coffee Roasters

Written by Therese Glowaski.