Do you offer ground beans or whole beans?
For our Gift Sets we do offer the option to choose ground beans - we understand when you are buying a gift for someone it may be tricky to know if they have a grinder or not - we also supply single bags in the gift sets - so we are pretty sure they will not be hanging around for long! :) However, for our Explorer Boxes and 1kg Boxes we only supply as whole beans. The roasted bean has a lot of delicate flavours locked up within quite a robust outer shell - as soon as you grind the beans the oils begin to evaporate and the oxidisation process begins. After 15 minutes ground coffee loses about 60% of its aroma! Grinding your beans fresh for every cup is an absolute must to get all the subtleties of delicious flavours from the quality beans we'll be sending you. If you enjoy filter coffee a Hario hand grinder for £35 (available here) will be a life changing investment.
What is the difference between the Filter and Espresso beans?
Are they interchangeable with different brewing methods?
With speciality coffee a lot of care is taken to make sure you get all the layers of flavour from the coffee beans - this is where the skill of the coffee roastery comes in - they will roast the beans according to how they will be brewed.
- Espresso beans are roasted hotter and longer (darker roast) and are perfect for specialist espresso machines where the water is pushed very quickly through the coffee under pressure. However, espresso beans can also be brewed as filter coffee in a press or drip method.
- Filter beans tend to be a shorter and lighter roast and do not have such a 'roasted' flavour giving a cleaner, sweeter coffee taste. Filter beans can be brewed with drip systems such as V60, Chemex or a Cafétierre or the Aeropress. They are not recommended for use in an espresso machine as you will probably end up with a sour cup of coffee using this quick, high pressure method.
How many cups of coffee will I get from a 250g bag?
Depending on which method you use and your cup size but generally expect around 15 cups for an espresso or flat white drinker (18gm shots, which may be described as doubles but this is a standard espresso shot at KOA) to around 17 cups for filter (8oz cups at the typical coffee/water ratio of around 1:17)
What is 'speciality coffee' ?
'Specialty coffee' was a term first used by Erna Knutsen in 1974 to describe the highest grade of coffee available. Technically it applies to any beans that have been graded '80' or above by an accredited taster - but the wider use of the term applies to the whole coffee chain and goes beyond the quality of the beans; the processing, roasting and brewing process is all just as important to have a great coffee experience. You can read more here and here .
Should I drink my coffee black?
You should drink your coffee however you want, be selfish, taste is subjective! The palette has massive variations, the taste experiences you have may be very different from another persons. If you are particularly sensitive to bitterness, milk can help bring out new flavours in the coffee.
However, filter coffee is often lighter, sweeter and more fruity/floral than espresso coffee so you may find you enjoy it and get more from it black. The nutty, caramel taste of espresso does suit milk - hence the flat white being such a well loved drink. If you are not a milk drinker you could try an alternative - we particularly like oat milk and some days sell almost as many Oatly flat whites in the shop as standard! the Barista version of Oatly is available in most supermarkets now.
What equipment do you recommend?
We have selected a range of our favourite equipment and you can buy them here - we have also written up in more detail our recommendations - from starting out to pro equipment you can read here
How do your Subscriptions work?
We offer two types of subscription;
6 months - Coffee £19 / Coffee & Choc £25
12 months - Coffee £46 / Coffee & Choc £58
Do you do decaf?
Personally I’m a big fan of decaf and we would love to include it sometime if there is demand. At the moment we would like to keep the shop as simple as possible, but please let us know if you are desperately seeking decaf
Are your coffees all single origin?
No, sometimes they may be, but like a whiskey or a fine wine, the best sometimes comes from the carefully selected balance of different attributes from a variety of regions or methods.
How do you ship?
We send our boxes and parcels out via Royal Mail 48 - if you are not in to receive the parcel they should leave a card so you can rearrange delivery.
Do you ship internationally?
Yes we do - but currently only equipment and the Coffee Explorer box. Subscriptions and chocolate are UK only at the mo.
How often do you change the roasters?
What we do here online follows what we’re already doing in the shop, which is a monthly rotation. We are constantly exploring and sampling new beans and discovering new roasters. The roasters are also constantly changing their offering as the harvests and seasons change - it's an ongoing process and our absolute favourite part of the job. A month gives us the perfect time to sample, enjoy, discuss and then choose the next month's beans - we hope you enjoy the adventure as much as we do. You can also read more about how we choose the roasteries we work with here
How do you choose the chocolate?
We are always on the lookout for passionate independent chocolate makers - who care about the process, the flavours and do not cut corners with quality or ingredients. It helps that this is an exciting area of growth and there are many, many artisan chocolatiers to be discovered - we hope you'll enjoy exploring the different tastes and stories behind the makers as much as we do!
I make chocolate/I’m a coffee roaster I would love to be included in your boxes how can I get in touch?
We are always on the lookout for new and exciting flavours to introduce to our customers, both in the shop and online. Drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you
Where does the name KOA come from?
KOA is a Maori word meaning to be glad, joyful, happy, elated