An update since publication >
Black White Red has closed its doors in order for its sister coffee shop Josie’s to open another branch in its place. Josie’s can now be found where Black White Red once was, and Kevin can be found pursuing his newest endeavour – The Wine Butler organic wine subscription.
Don’t fret – Josie’s still serve amazing coffee and brunch too! All of the coffee-making tips and tricks shared in this post remain the same – enjoy! ☕️!
Hey friends! How are you faring after the looong bank holiday weekend? I’m kicking off the (four day!! NBD.) working week with a lesson I think we’ll all be especially appreciative today – How To Craft The Perfect Coffee.
I’ve enlisted the help of the talented team at café/wine bar/tapas/awesome-place-I-visit-too-often, Black White Red, in Winchester, to share their wisdom on all things coffee. Clearly, they are vastly better informed than me.
Read on for my interview with one of Black White Red’s lovely baristas, Flora Byford, on how to get the best out of your coffee at home, and how to create THE perfect latte leaf.
It’s do-able peeps. Trust.
HOW TO CRAFT THE PERFECT COFFEE
INTERVIEW WITH BLACK WHITE RED, WINCHESTER’S FLORA BYFORD
What is your most popular coffee?
Our most popular coffee is a long black (an americano). There are many variations in which we serve it, depending on individual customer preference. We offer it black, with hot or cold milk on the side, and also have a smaller version called a 3/4 long black, served in a 6oz flat white cup.
One nicety about this job is you start to remember regular customers’ orders . . . there’s a man called Jack who has a 3/4 long black with milk and two sweeteners already stirred in for him, and we put it through the till as a ‘Jack special’ as soon as he walks in. He doesn’t even need to order!
Which coffee do you personally enjoy the most?
FB: I drink flat whites and piccolos. I love the creamy texture and flavour of a milky coffee, but I’m mildly lactose intolerant(!) so try not to drink too much milk! A flat white tastes sufficiently caffeinated but isn’t as intense in flavour compared to a black coffee. They’re the perfect size coffee for a quick caffeine fix, and are easy to pour simple latte art patterns such as hearts.
What is the best type of coffee to recreate at home, with minimal tools?
A ‘pour over’ coffee (instructions below) is easy to make at home and produces a clean, light and subtle black coffee, using freshly ground beans.
Pour over coffee: It may look fiddly with a ‘coffee dripper’ funnel and filter papers, but at a basic level, you simply place the funnel on top of your cup or jug, first wetting the filter paper inside with hot water to distill the taste of the paper. The coffee is then added to the filter and covered with hot water until it’s lightly soaked. The rest of the hot water is then poured over the top in a spiral motion, allowing the coffee to drip down whilst you wait impatiently!
It’s a great method to use as it puts you in control of the coffee making process.
Is there one piece of coffee-making apparatus everyone should invest in?
A V60 pourover or an aeropress are great soft brew tools which enable you to make great quality tasting coffee at home or on the go. Instant coffee machines may seem like a great and easy solution to getting your caffeine fix in the comfort of your own home – but nothing beats freshly ground coffee!
If you are dairy intolerant, what is the best alternative to cow’s milk for a cappuccino?
At Black White Red, we offer soya as a cow’s milk alternative. We use a particularly rich creamy brand of soya milk which tastes almost as good by itself as it does complementing our house blend coffee! However, it’s often hard to make the latte art look as pretty, as soya milk sometimes splits and curdles and overheats more easily.
What is the secret to creating THE latte leaf?!
To pour the rosetta latte leaf, you push the milk to the back of the cup, wiggle it forwards to the opposite end and then whisk it back through the middle. Each barista has their own (personal take on the) technique!
The real secret is that the better spun your milk, the easier it is to free pour any pattern. So keep your milk moving and spinning all the time before pouring to produce a shiny velvety texture.
What do you think makes a coffee meet-up so magical? People all over the globe get together over a fresh roast!
It’s great isn’t it! Coffee is a comfort. It makes you feel at home wherever you are in the world. It’s the central reason and excuse for any meet up, whether it be for a business meeting, or for a catch up with friends and family.
Sometimes it feels more like a necessity than a treat! Even when you are at the peak of stress and worry, once you have a cup in your hands, you instantly feel calmer and more willing to tackle the world. We all know the phrase: “But first, coffee.” And it’s true! It’s about taking a minute to think and reflect and gather yourself, and then talk it out and get back to the grind (excuse the pun). We all have busy lives, but we always have time for coffee.
Do you have any cafés on your must-visit list (other than BWR of course!)
Cafés are my weekness! Ozone in London grind their own coffee downstairs inside the cafe, and they do an incredible benedict on bubble and squeak cakes with hollandaise and halloumi! South Coast Roast in Bournemouth have great coffee and artisan sandwiches. Josie’s in Bishops Waltham has a homely feel, with the best toasties and coffee from Monmouth. The list goes on! There are so many independent coffee shops doing their own thing in England, we are too spoilt for choice!
What makes you, as a barista, happiest?
It sounds cheesy and obvious, but seeing people enjoying their coffee! I love to watch people smile when they see a heart in their coffee, as if it’s a personal gesture just for them. And hear them commenting on the quality of our beans. It makes me happy when people – both staff and customers alike – take an interest in the coffee . . . where it comes from, what guest blends we have on, and trying out new coffee styles! I’m still improving and perfecting my own barista skills. So every time I create a heart or a tulip or rosetta, I get a sense of pride and excitement, and I hope that never fades!
If you could recommend one coffee for a BWR novice to try, what would it be?
We are so lucky to use beans from The Roasting Party. The two lovely roasters, Kirby and Wes, are both Australian and roast their beans just up the road from us, so our coffee is always very fresh. Our house coffee blend The Captain is the best I’ve ever had (I promise they’re not paying me to say this!) and we change up our guest blends and single origin coffees every week or so, meaning there’s always something new to try!
One thing that makes us unique in the local vicinity is our cold drip coffee. We have a huge syphon apparatus at the back of the cafe by the wine rack, where the ground beans are soaked for hours, producing a black coffee which is naturally sweeter, due to the lower acidity. It’s served with ice and is a perfect summer caffeine quencher!
Do you guys love a coffee date? Are you a ‘home roast’ kinda consumer, or do you love nipping to a café for that enigmatic treat?!
Love, Monica x
Thank you to every one that made this shoot possible! It was AWESOME!
Location: Formerly – Black White Red, now a Josie’s, Winchester
Photography: Monica Beatrice Welburn