In brief...

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
My interests vary from conservation to education to heritage to Nature (biodiversity & wildlife) to outdoor activities to life in general.
They occupy most of my waking moment.
Do read my blogs, follow me on Twitter (@jocelynesze) and friend me on Facebook (subject to my discretion). Visit my Nature blog, Nature Rambles, at

UPDATE 2 Apr 2017 - This site is no longer maintained, please visit if you're interested in more recent writing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Making better coffee?

As I go through the stages of life, my relationship with coffee grows ever stronger. It seems a pretty natural progression, one that many students take; stacks of books, hours spent on essays and cups/flasks of coffee often go hand in hand. Though I do have a fair number of friends who seem to survive even without this drug.

Sometime last year (I think), I discovered Rainforest Alliance-certified Kenco on Sainbury's shelves and have never wavered from their freeze dried instant coffee since. They even have eco refill packs, cos why would you need that additional glass jar?

What is the point of decaff coffee? Image taken from Kenco website

Tried these 100% premium ones as well. Think I prefer blended. Image taken from Kenco website

So I've been pretty happy with my instant coffee, taken strong (a huge heap of tablespoon) and black (no milk or sugar) and requiring no more effort or time than making milo. In fact, it takes even less effort cos milo needs to be stirred properly and thoroughly, but coffee dissolves much faster and evenly and doesn't need stirring (one less spoon to wash!).

For my birthday this year, I was given a cafetière (French press) so I can enjoy (presumably?) better coffee:) really exciting, but I had to finish my current stock of instant coffee before buying ground coffee. Sadly, Kenco doesn't have ground coffee, but Sainbury's did have one brand of rainforest alliance-certified ground coffee - Taylors.

I went for '6' Hot Lava Java cos what's the point of weak coffee? Image taken from Taylors website.

For once, I'm kind of ahead of my deadline (project presentation in about an hour's time) and I'm so done with statistical modelling (for the time being at least) that I felt I could take things at a somewhat slower pace today (just a bit more editing for the project report to go). So after lunch today, I thought why not give the cafetière a go?

Main thought: too much effort. I have to:
  1. boil the water (in the electrical kettle, fine, so not that much effort and I've got to do that for instant coffee anyway)
  2. pour the hot water into the cafetière with a spoonful of ground coffee, stir it with a plastic spoon (cos apparently a metal one might scratch the glass and cause it to shatter. I don't have plastic spoons except for a disposable one from some takeaway ages ago..) 
  3. wait for four minutes. Now, that's a lot of time or not much time at all, depending on the situation...
  4. very gently press the filter down (cos it might squirt out otherwise)
  5. pour it own into a mug and drink
  6. clean the filter properly!

Instant coffee takes me all of 2/3 minutes, however long the water takes to boil. Put the kettle on, while it's boiling pour out an adequate amount of instant coffee in my mug, once the water's boiled pour into my mug and yay coffee to go!

Taste wise, it is nicer I guess and the ground coffee does have less of a bitter taste, but I'm not much of a taste connoisseur. I can barely differentiate different tastes, let alone quality. Food for me is kind of split into terrible and acceptable.

Nonetheless, now that I've got my cafetière and ground coffee, I can be a bit of a coffee snob I guess :P 

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