New Chilli Hot Chocolate from the South Devon Chilli Farm

Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:58:12 Europe/London

The humble hot chocolate is a firm favourite on a cold drizzly winter’s afternoon. It triggers nostalgic memories of childhood, the comforting sweetness of liquid chocolate mixed with soft marshmallows and a mountain of whipped cream is bound to make anyone’s mouth water. In recent years hot chocolate has been reinvented time and time again. From festive themed pumpkin spiced hot chocolates to extra indulgent, creamy caramel hot chocolate to a sense explosion chilli hot chocolate, it’s a drink that seems to go with just about anything and the guys over at the South Devon Chilli Farm have been putting chilli and chocolate together since they started their chilli journey back in 2001.

But hot chocolate wasn’t always the sweet, comforting drink we know and love today. Since the 14th Century, ancient Mesoamericans have used cacao plants found in the tropical rainforests of Central America. By fermenting, roasting and grinding the cacao beans, they created a paste which they then added to a mixture of water, vanilla, honey, chilli and other spices making a frothy, chocolate drink. They believed the chocolatey drink enhanced your mood and acted as an aphrodisiac which led to the belief the beans had spiritual qualities. The Mayan’s were so mad about cacao it was reserved for rulers, warriors, priests and sacred ceremonies. When the Aztecs began to dominate Mesoamerica in the 14th, they discovered that the dry highlands of central Mexico were too hot to grow their beloved, spiritual cacao and so it became a type of currency between the Aztecs and Mayans.

4000 years later chocolate may not be considered spiritual or medicinal but over at the South Devon Chilli Farm, chilli chocolatiers Lucy and Elsa have done a pretty good job of recreating the classic Mayan recipe. Their superbly sweet chilli hot chocolate warms you from your tummy to your toes, it’s fiery after burn is enough to ignite your senses and leave your lips tingling for a while. We sell this delicious blend of plain chocolate, sugar, vanilla and chilli’s from the farm in 2 x 1Kg bags, all you need to do is add two tablespoons to a some hot frothy milk and you’ve got yourself a drink no Aztec could ever resist.

 

Wogan Coffee Welcomes Slayer

Tuesday, 21 March 2017 13:51:53 Europe/London

When it comes to comes to coffee, we realise that a good cup of coffee isn’t just about the taste; it’s about where the coffee came from, who helped produce it and what you use to make it. In a world where coffee is fast becoming as fashionable as clothes and cars, it’s been thrown into the limelight, with artisan coffee shops popping up left right and centre. So, when it came to choosing a new coffee machine, the beautifully stylish, sleek design of the brand new Slayer Steam and Slayer Espresso seemed like our only option.

Since it was founded in 2007, Slayer have been pushing the boundaries of espresso machine design, creating new and innovative ways to make and monitor espresso with the goal of producing a distinctly better tasting cup of coffee. The designers wanted to rethink their approach to espresso but 10 years ago the coffee industry wasn’t the upmarket, artisan café fuelled scene it is today and hardcore coffee fans took a lot of convincing that these revolutionary machines could really produce a better cup of coffee.

The journey started at a workshop in Seattle using modern Italian machines and traditional levers as a platform for experimentation. Modified beyond recognition, these machines were ruthlessly tested and countless ideas were tried before finally settling on the one theory that proved to impact the flavor of the coffee most. By monitoring flow rate control using a precision needle valve at each grouphead, Slayer was reinventing the way we experience coffee and in doing so became pioneers of flavor profiling.

The Slayer's unique manual paddles to control extraction

When Slayer Espresso first launched in 2009 at the Specialty Coffee Association of America in Atlanta, they had just two machines (the two they took with them). At the time, chief engineer Devin was working with Slayer as a side project to his full time aerospace job, but following the success of Slayer when it was finally revealed to the world, he quit his day job and took on his “side – project” full time.

Nearly 10 years on, coffee lovers all over the world have benefitted from these superior, sleek machines and their unique extraction technology. Boldly American, these strikingly different machines have become synonymous with the perfect brew and the innovators behind them  have continued to push the boundaries of quality coffee with their latest venture, Slayer Steam. Sought after by baristas, the brew actuator has become a vital tool for finding the best in any coffee and since their inception over 1200 Slayer Espresso and Slayer Steam machines have become the vibrant center of so many bars, café’s and restaurants.

The Slayer Espresso’s Slinkier younger sister, Slayer Steam has been designed to transform the process of milk steaming by allowing baristas to control the steam temperature and flow rate, ultimately improving the flavor of the milk and the taste it gives to the coffee. Using Vaporizer technologies, the compact super heater boosts the temperature of the steam whilst creating a dry, invisible vapor that simultaneously increases temperature and decreases dilution. What makes the Slayer Steam stand out against other coffee machines is it’s effectiveness at steaming low fat and non dairy varieties of milk whilst still producing a beautifully glossy, sweet finish.

For any fledgling barista the Slayer is perhaps as daunting as the name suggests. Replacing the automatic single and double shot buttons we are so many familiar with are smooth to the touch, carefully crafted wooden panels that you use manually to control extraction. Whilst using a manual machine might be enough to make the amateur barista quake in their boots, for the skilled barista it’s the stuff of dreams, it’s the Maserati of the coffee world, the crème de la crema some might say. It offers the chance to thrive, for man and machine to work in complete symbiosis and to understand the real art of coffee making.

We are absolutely over the moon with our Slayer machines and we would love to give people the opportunity to try out these beautiful creations. We are the only company in the UK to stock three Slayer’s, one Slayer Espresso and two Slayer Steams.. If you’re passionate about coffee and would like to see what all the fuss is about we’d love to hear from you. Whether you’re a barista, a coffee fiend or just interested in the future of espresso, drop us an email to book an appointment or look out for our next open day.

Our tip top testing room here at Wogan Towers featuring the Slayer Steam and Slayer Espresso

 

 

Silver Award Winners at the South West Fairtrade Business Awards 2017

Monday, 13 March 2017 14:31:17 Europe/London

Last Friday, Bristol Cathedral opened its doors to host the South West Fairtrade Business Awards; an event recognising the great work local organisations put into supporting fair and ethical trade. Hosted by Helen Cooper – managing director Of Neal’s Yard Remedies and opened by councillor Helen Holland, the event is a celebration of the businesses who want to ensure that the people who are In charge of growing their products receive a fair wage for the work they put in.

Buying Fairtrade Products guarantees better prices, decent working conditions and enables farms and plantations to inject money back into the community. By supporting the development of thriving farms and worker communities, the people who grow and process the produce have more say in their futures, are able to protect the environment in which they work and they are able to work in the knowledge that they are being treated fairly.

Fairtrade is vital in sustaining small scale farms and businesses and without it workers rights would suffer, the environment they work in may become hazardous and the wage they receive for their labour would be considerably lower leading to more poverty in already poor areas. Fairtrade provides a stable income for small businesses that otherwise would not be able to plan for the future. In order for something to be Fairtrade, it must meet the Fairtrade social, economic and environmental standards which include protection of workers rights, protection of the environment and payment of Minimum Fairtrade price.

In 2016, the South West Fairtrade Business Awards were attended by over 150 business leaders, with 69 businesses achieving Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards. The South West Business trade region spanning from Cornwall to Swindon is the leading Fairtrade region in the UK and this exciting opportunity gives both businesses and the public the opportunity to connect with the workers who produce the products we use in our daily lives. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

 

We are extremely proud to have been presented with a silver award at this years ceremony in the best Fairtrade Single Product Retailer category and are proud to be part of an organisation that from its inception in the 1970’s, had grown from strength to strength and continues to support fair, ethical and direct trade coffee farms all over the world.

 

We would like to thank Fair & Square Brownies for providing some very yummy treats, the Natural Beverage Company for supplying us with soft drinks and the Rest Bite Café at the Palestinian Museum & Cultural centre for a delicious lunch using Fairtrade Zaytoun. And to all the winners, congratulations, see you at the South West Fairtrade Business Awards 2018!

Could they look any happy? Our Very own Adrian and Matt holding our silver award in the single retailer category

Coffee Of The Month: Cafe Femenino

Thursday, 9 March 2017 16:26:03 Europe/London

This week around the world women have been celebrated for their social, economical and political achievements from speaking out against human rights abuses to defying social constraints of how a woman "should be". International Women's Day is a chance to reflect on how far women have come in the battle for gender equality whilst calling for action on gender parity.

All over the world, women struggle for equality, may that be to education, the right to work or access to equipment that will allow them to generate an income for their family. IWD recognises the harsh conditions so many women face and for over a century it has grow from strength to strength with businesses, corporations and charities celebrating the important day.

Women of the Cecanor cooperative dressed in traditional Peruvian Clothing

Back in 2004, the inspiring women of the Cecanaro cooperative commenced talks with co operative leaders about separating their coffee from the men's in hope they would be able to generate a better income with their superior quality coffee. These women believed that the care and attention they put into the farming of this coffee was much greater than the men's and they wanted to see if there was a market for coffee produced solely by women. Before Cafe Femenino was founded, female coffee farmers from all over the world were poor, uneducated and living in isolation. They had no voice in their communities, no control of family resources and were treated poorly by their male equals.

These female farmers are mighty happy about their crop

To their great delight, there was a market for female grown coffee and it seemed that cafe's and roasteries in countries around the world wanted to support these women's efforts to bridge the gap on gender equality. 13 years later the Cafe Femenino project is still going strong and continues to impact the lives of thousands of women by providing resources, a support group and funding. This non profit organisation is helping to combat poverty in some of the poorest regions and drive social change by empowering women through this scheme. Female farmers - and not just coffee farmers - all around the world are finding the courage and strength to do it for themselves thanks to this scheme and has changed the lives of so many women and their families.

Here at Wogan Coffee we are proud to support such an important cause and it only seems right that Cafe Femenino should be our coffee of the month. Not only do you know the money is going to a good cause and helping some of the poorest families in the world, it makes a pretty damn good cup of coffee too! Rich and chocolatey with hints of black forest gateux, you'd be missing out if you didn't try it.

Come and find us in our shop at the bottom of the M32 and buy some of these beautiful beans with the knoweldge you're helping women put food on the table and speak up in a male dominated world.

Cafe Femenino taking pride of place on our counter

 

 

 

To find out more about Cafe Femenino visit:http://www.coffeecan.org/

To buy Cafe Femenino visit: http://www.wogancoffee.co.uk/feminino.html