Coffee that is out of this world… literally!

Coffee that is out of this world… literally!

Photo credit
I loooove coffee. I really do.
But there are sometimes that I feel that my love of the bean pales in comparison to the love some others feel for their brew.




Photo credit: NanLawson
For instance, there were some people at the London Coffee Festival who were SERIOUS about their coffee… I mean “not interested in frothy milk on top because it gets into my hipster beard, the-darker-the-better, I know where the beans were harvested just by vaguely sniffing them” kind of intensity about their coffee.

But even these coffee aficionados pale in comparison to Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. 

Not only was she the first female Italian astronaut, but the astronaut to drink espresso in orbit. How out of the world is that?!

Up until now, astronauts have had to make do with instant coffee. And when you think about it, space isn’t really the best place to be attempting to create the perfect brew using a high-pressure machine full of steaming hot water.

No problem thanks to the ISSpresso – a specialist coffee machine designed expclusively for use in space, and was delivered to the International Space Station last week.

Using a regular coffee pod capsule, the ISSpresso makes the coffee by circulating hot water through a system of specially designed pipes. Once brewed, the coffee ends up being contained in a pouch with a straw (much like a drinking box!), allowing the astronauts to enjoy delicious real espresso, like you would on any piazza in Florence!

 The ISSpresso was an extensive collaborative project between Italian coffee comapny Lavazza and engineering firm Argotec.
Read more about the ISSpresso machine and the cups used by the astronauts on the NASA blog.



Now, I wonder if they have any problems keeping their coffee hot up there in space?! A future collaboration between Couva and NASA in the future?!

www.couva.co.uk


London Coffee Festival 2015 – Are you going?!

London Coffee Festival 2015 – Are you going?!

This week sees the return of the London Coffee Festival, taking place at the Old Truman Brewery from April 30th to May 3rd, 2015.

LCF-Logo-2013-Wood

Are you going?! You should! 
This year promises to be bigger and better than last year – and that’s saying a lot! Last year and years previous have been fantastic!
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Couva Coffee Couture were fortunate to have a space at the Festival last year, and it was an incredible show.
The buzz was indescribable… Maybe it was the caffeine (ok, probably the caffeine!). Maybe it was the impressive array of roasters from the BIG guys like Starbucks and Costa, through to the smaller guys like UE Roasters and Pact Coffee, right down to the even smaller guys like Round Square Roasters (have you tried their “Whiskey Cask Coffee”?! Seriously yum!) . Maybe it was the variety of teas available from people like The London Tea Company, and our faves, The Brew Tea Company.
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And we mustn’t forget to mention the wonderful music and food and the coffee-inspired cocktails and chocolate and industry people and…. You get the picture!  If you are  a coffee connoisseur, it’s definitely a show that you do not want to miss!
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If you want a review of the show last year, check out our review from 2014.
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Although Couva won’t be exhibiting this year (thanks to the new-ish arrival of the youngest member of the Couva Crew – 4-month-old Gray!), we will definitely be visiting!
Hope to see you there!
PS: Watch this space for reviews of the show!
couvalonger
London Coffee Festival 2015 – Are you going?!

London Coffee Festival 2015 – Are you going?!

This week sees the return of the London Coffee Festival, taking place at the Old Truman Brewery from April 30th to May 3rd, 2015.

LCF-Logo-2013-Wood

This year promises to be bigger and better than last year – and that’s saying a lot! Last year and years previous have been fantastic!

DSC_0118

Couva Coffee Couture were fortunate to have a space at the Festival last year, and it was an incredible show.

The buzz was indescribable… Maybe it was the caffeine (ok, probably the caffeine!). Maybe it was the impressive array of roasters from the BIG guys like Starbucks and Costa, through to the smaller guys like UE Roasters and Pact Coffee, right down to the even smaller guys like Round Square Roasters (have you tried their “Whiskey Cask Coffee”?! Seriously yum!)Â . Maybe it was the variety of teas available from people like The London Tea Company, and our faves, The Brew Tea Company.

DSC_0098

And we mustn’t forget to mention the wonderful music and food and the coffee-inspired cocktails and chocolate and industry people and…. You get the picture!  If you are  a coffee connoisseur, it’s definitely a show that you do not want to miss!

DSC_0086 Â Â Â fb1d84d657389704820c6dc09ff8b08f

If you want a review of the show last year, check out our review from 2014.

DSC_0073

Although Couva won’t be exhibiting this year (thanks to the new-ish arrival of the youngest member of the Couva Crew – 4-month-old Gray!), we will definitely be visiting!

Hope to see you there!

PS: Watch this space for reviews of the show!

couvalonger

www.couva.co.uk

Coffee according to Martha

Coffee according to Martha

Photo credit: Martha Stewart Omnimedia


I’ll admit it… I’m a BIG fan of Martha Stewart, and I have been for years. There, I’ve said it. I’m out of the closet! Ever since the insider trading scandal she was involved in a few years ago, it feels slightly taboo to be an uber-fan of Martha and her perfect ways. 

Photo credit: Martha Stewart Omnimedia


When we lived in Canada (many moons ago!), I used to watch her TV show religiously. I would follow her website, lust after her products on the shelves of our local department store, and dream up reasons for buying her range of crafting supplies (who doesn’t need a paper crimper or a stamp in the shape of a hummingbird?!). I’ve always been inspired by her recipes, her decorating ideas, as well as her idealist ways of housekeeping… anyone can dream, right?! 

But since moving to the UK 9 years ago, I’ve been slightly more removed from Martha both geographically, but also social media-ly (is that a word?!)  as she is considerably less well-known here in the British Isles. 

Photo credit: Martha Stewart Omnimedia

However, I stumbled across her again today, and I think I’ve fallen back in love.

While searching for some new coffee-related tidbits of information to keep on top of the latest ‘goings on’ in Coffee Land, I stumbled across a page on the Martha Stewart website that I didn’t really new existed…. A page dedicated to all things coffee**! 

We’re talking 125 recipes, 13 articles, 56 videos, and 1 gallery devoted to coffee… all by Martha… I’m in heaven! 

There are some lovely recipes that I’m looking forward to trying (ok, I’ll Pin them first, and then try them!): 

Mocha Macaroons… 

Photo credit: Martha Stewart Omnimedia


Molten Chocolate Espresso Cakes…

Photo credit: Martha Stewart Omnimedia

Espresso Rub for Steak…

Photo credit: Martha Stewart Omnimedia


And, oh my! Coffee Meringue Ice Cream Cake…. Yum! 

Photo credit: Martha Stewart Omnimedia


There are also some great tutorials (like how to make Tiramisu) and in-depth information about things like iced coffee, which is oh-so-trendy right now. 

I’m also quite partial to the Coffee Diaries. Each entry is a short interview with a coffee aficionado, asking them to share such inside info like their favourite brewing method or what is their morning coffee ritual.

This treasure trove of coffee goodies is going to keep me entertained for quite a while! I hope you enjoy it as much as I am! 

And thank you Martha! 

www.couva.co.uk



 **You can find the coffee-related content on Martha Stewart’s website by following the link above, or visiting: www.marthastewart.com/1059733/coffee

Weekend sunshine

Weekend sunshine

Couva Coffee Couture Spring Sun
Copyright Couva Coffee Couture

 

The weather forecast for Oxfordshire this weekend is sunny and warm (or at least sunny and warm by English standards!).

After months of grey damp drizzle, the prospect of a few glorious days almost makes me giddy.


I don’t know about you,  but the coming of Spring gives me such a boost of energy and enthusiasm and, literally, a spring in my step.
It makes me think of getting out in the garden, of throwing open all of the windows in the house, of lazily basking in the sun as it streams through the window while enjoying a very, very lazy brunch.

Copyright Couva Coffee Couture



What does a sunny, warm weekend mean for you?



Whatever you get up to this weekend,  I hope you take a few moments to soak up the goodness in life around you.

Couva Coffee Couture… Keeps coffee hotter for longer so you can enjoy the goodness of life for longer!

Hot Chocolate Weather

Hot Chocolate Weather

Copyright: Couva

 When we woke up this morning, Oxford had been transformed into a Wintery Wonderland! It is just so beautiful to see everything covered in a blanket of fluffy white… 
Everything looks so soft, so perfect… and so cold! It brings back fond memories of growing up in Southern Ontario in Canada where every day in winter looked like this. Now that we’re in the UK, snow is such a wonderful novelty, that our family is desperate to go out an enjoy the fun that a snow day brings! 
And there is nothing that goes more perfectly with a frosty, cold, winter’s day than a big mug of deliciously warming hot chocolate…. preferably with whipped cream and marshmallows on top!

Copyright: Couva
Copyright: Couva

I know that  the post for our “Ultimate Hot Chocolate” recipe was only written in October, but I just have to re-post… there couldn’t be a more perfect day for it! 

It really is  THE best hot chocolate you have ever tasted. It’s creamy, smooth, and totally luxurious… Yum!

You can make changes to this recipe based on what you have available in the kitchen or based on how intensely chocolatey you like your drink. But it’s really so easy, that however you make it, it’s going to be gooooood! 

Credit: Pinterest


The Ultimate Couva Hot Chocolate (makes 4 mugs)

Copyright Couva



Hot Chocolate

  • 4 mugfuls of milk (we use semi-skim in our house, but you could use full-fat milk for a really indulgent treat!)
  • 4 tablespoons of chocolate Ovaltine (any other chocolate milk powder would work too!)
  • 1 x 100g bar of Lindt Excellence Creamy Milk Chocolate OR Lindt Excellence 85% Dark Chocolate (if you like it a bit more intensely chocolate and slightly more bitter)
    (*you can use any other kind of milk or dark chocolate that you have available, but I have to say that Lindt is my favourite!  I’ve also used Cadbury’s, Sainsbury’s brand, etc… But just make sure that they are 100% PURE chocolate without any funny additives)
  • Vanilla Whipped Cream (see below)
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate shavings or more chocolate Ovaltine for sprinkling
  1. Warm up the milk over medium heat until there is steam coming up from the top of the milk, but be careful that it doesn’t come to a boil. 
  2. Sprinkle in the Ovaltine and carefully drop in the pieces of your chocolate bar. 
  3. Grab a whisk or wooden spoon and stir continuously until all of the chocolate melts. You want to try and keep the chocolate moving once you first put it into the hot milk so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. 
  4. Remove from heat and pour into 4 mugs.
  5. Garnish with a few dollops of gorgeous Vanilla Whipped Cream (see below), a few marshmallows and a sprinkle of some chocolate shavings or some chocolate Ovaltine powder. 
  6. Enjoy! (and trust me – you will!!)


Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • 150 ml double or whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (try to use a good quality, pure vanilla if you can)
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  1. Mix together the cream, vanilla extract, and sugar. 
  2. Whip on high until the cream starts to thicken. Be careful not to overwhip the cream or it will start to get clumpy, and clumpy cream just isn’t nice! You want to stop whipping when you’ve got some soft peaks, but the cream mixture can still be easily stirred. 

This Vanilla Whipped Cream is amazing on all sorts of things – cafe latte, cappuccino, apple crumble, or even just a spoon!

*You can also use this Ultimate Hot Chocolate to make the most amazing Cafe Mocha. Simply fill your mug half-way up with the hot chocolate, and fill the rest with your favourite freshly-brewed coffee. Again, top it with some Vanilla Whipped Cream and chocolate shavings… You’re going to love it! 


Keeps your coffee (*or hot chocolate!!) hotter for longer! 
Baby break

Baby break

For those of you who read the blog on a regular basis, you may have noticed that the frequency of the posts has dropped over the last number of months. Well, there has been a really good reason for this – Couva HQ is expecting the arrival of a new baby!


It’s been a rather difficult pregnancy (to say the least!), so I’ve decided to take a little break from the coffee world for a few weeks. 
While the Holiday Season is not the best time for any small business to take a break, at this time, I really feel that family needs to come first. 
I’ll still be writing the blog, pinning lots of fun things on Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/couvacc/), and posting the odd thing of Facebook (www.facebook.com/CouvaCoffeeCouture?ref=hl), but I wanted to let you know in case you were wondering why everything got a little bit quiet lately! 

That said, I have lots of great plans for 2015 – watch this space for lots of exciting things in the New Year! To all of our loyal followers, thank you for your understanding! 

Easy like Sunday morning…

Easy like Sunday morning…

After days of grey, mizzly rain, the sun in Oxfordshire is trying it’s hardest to shine through… 
In its own way, it’s enticing me to get outside and enjoy this fresh autumnal day.

Wherever you are,  whatever you are doing, I hope you have the chance to pause and reflect on all that is good in your life.
Have a happy Sunday! 

Have a Happy Monday!

Have a Happy Monday!

I don’t know about you, but it seems like Mondays keep coming around more and more quickly! 

Either way, I hope your Monday is a great one!
Photo: Pinterest