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FAQs

Questions about barista training?

JUMP TO TRAINING FAQ

Hey, Where’s my coffee?

All of our retail web shop orders are shipped daily, so they should be with you within 48 hours.

To make life nice and easy, we’ve included the shipping costs in the price of our coffee. For any of our hardware products, shipping will be determined at checkout and orders that exceeded £50 will receive free shipping.

All orders are dispatched via either Royal Mail for smaller orders, and Interlink Express for larger orders.

If you have any questions about your order please feel free to get in touch by emailing webshop@extractcoffee.co.uk

What is Speciality Coffee?

Speciality coffee refers to coffee that is grown and farmed in optimum conditions, harvested with care, processed meticulously and finally, roasted and brewed with a knowledge and understanding that does justice to everyone involved in this process. Speciality coffee is associated with delicious, well made and ethically sourced coffee. It is often used to refer to coffees that are graded (by qualified taste-testers, or Q Graders) and that score above 80 points (out of 100). However, it is important to note it is not a definitive term, nor a regulated one.

Is your coffee Arabica? / What is Arabica?

Coffee species can be divided into Arabica and Robusta (almost exclusively). Arabica has less caffeine, but almost twice the amount of lipids and naturally occurring sugars, which means it tastes much better than Robusta. The Arabica plant is far more chemically complex, making it a more exciting product to work with. It is for these reasons that we only buy Arabica coffee.

Where does your coffee come from?

Our coffee comes from all over the world, from anywhere we find coffee that we think tastes good. Great coffee is typically grown in the tropics, at altitudes of at least 1000m above sea level. We mostly buy coffee from Central & South America and East Africa, and occasionally Indonesia.

Is your coffee Fairtrade and/or Organic?

These are not buying protocols for us. The Fairtrade model exists to ensure a minimum price guarantee to producers for their coffee. When it was first introduced the model pulled a lot of farmers out of poverty. However, for the coffee farmer that produces exceptional coffee, it is possible to make much better returns for their product than selling through Fairtrade channels. It is also more lucrative for the farmer to take the most direct route to the roaster/importer. Fairtrade coffees will also often be blends from various farms, making the product less traceable. We look to showcase the provenance of each farm we buy from, which is why so many of our coffees are Single Origins.

Organic certification is another tricky subject. Organic is synonymous with better quality produce. However, in the coffee industry, this doesn’t really show the whole picture. Many of the farms we work with are very small, and the expense of Organic certification just isn’t a possibility for them. Most small scale or poorer coffee farms do farm organically anyway out of necessity, they just simply don’t have the funds to certify themselves. On the other hand, some farmers are left with no choice but to use some form of chemical fertilizers or pesticides in order to make a living. Many small farmers also grow other subsistence crops that also rely on pesticides. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we don’t buy Organic coffee. Many of our coffees do carry official certification (namely our ‘Organic Espresso’), however it is not a pre-requisite of our buying policy.

How do you maintain quality?

In order to make sure the coffee is of the upmost quality when it reaches you, we roast fresh each week and dispatch via First Class Royal Mail, or next-day courier. We use lined kraft bags with a one-way valve to ensure the coffee can de-gas, but cannot stale. We encourage customers to buy whole bean coffee and grind at home to improve cup quality.

In addition, and a big part of roastery life, are daily cuppings (coffee tastings). They ensure each batch is as good as it can be. Our coffee also comes to us in hessian sacks lined with plastic ‘grain-pro’ bags that give the raw product a longer shelf life too.

What support and training do you provide?

We offer our retail customers Home Barista Workshops during the warmer months on a Saturday of each month. These are designed not only as an opportunity to play on commercial espresso machines, but as an introduction to roasting, tasting and brewing by hand. These methods are often much more accessible to the home market. More information can be found here. For information on wholesale, please click here.

How do I know if the coffee is light roast or dark roast?

Each coffee we buy is carefully roasted to what we think tastes best. We look to caramelise just enough of the natural sugars present in coffee to balance with good acidity, body and mouthfeel. Our roasts can be split into two types:

Our Espresso is designed to be used in an espresso machine (or percolator). This a medium to light roast style that can stand up to milk.

Our Filter roast style is lighter than espresso and is intended to brew with pretty much every other brew method – Cafetiere, Aeropress, Pourover etc. We would also recommend this to be drunk black. Although, it is important to add that everyone has different tastes; it’s always better to find the style that suits your palette.

How should I brew my coffee at home?

Use fresh whole beans. Grind just before you want to brew. Rinse your filter, warm your vessel, weigh your coffee and water, set a timer, and leave the coffee to cool a little before drinking. For more specifics on each brew method see our brew guides.

How long does coffee stay fresh for?

If you are talking fresh beans we would recommend using within one month. With espresso, you can squeeze out a bit more shelf life than with filter. It is important to remember that espresso coffee is often better when a little older (we call this resting), say a week or so from roast date.

With ground coffee, you begin to lose quality straight away, so get it down your neck as fast as possible.

You can find your coffee’s roast date on the bottom of each bag.

When will my subscription start?

Your subscription starts on the day you place your first order. We will then ship your subscription on a weekly/fortnightly/monthly basis from that date.

Can I cancel my subscription at any time?

Yes. Using your log-in created when you first sign up, you can amend or cancel your subscription (and orders) at any time. If you have any questions at all please feel free to contact us at hello@extractcoffee.co.uk and we will do our best to get back to you as quickly as
possible.

EDUCATION FAQS

Why would I choose to train at Extract?

Aside from the fact that we have delicious coffee, we also have a training facility filled with the best equipment, right in the heart of our roastery, in Bristol.
Our trainers are experienced in all aspects of the hospitality industry and qualified to deliver the SCA curriculum, are certified UK sensory judges and absolutely love sharing their knowledge about coffee.

I want to make better coffee at home, which course is right for me?

We do run Home Barista workshops,usually on the first Saturday of each month (March-October), however any of the Foundation SCA classes can be taken without commercial cafe experience.

Do I have to be an Extract customer to book onto a SCA Course?

No, everyone is welcome to come and learn with us. We’ll just need a few more details from you and you’ll need to pay for the course in advance to secure your place.

Do I need any coffee making experience to sit the foundation class?

No, the foundation classes are designed for people with little or no experience.

I already know a few things, can I go straight to intermediate level?

Yes you can, if you already have practical cafe experience and have been trained to a reasonable standard. But remember, Intermediate classes assume you have learned everything in the foundation level already. You can view the Foundation curriculum here.

Can I sit all three levels together?

No, and we really wouldn’t recommend trying. Each level up assumes that you have not just learned, but put into practice, everything taught in the previous levels.

I’ve passed Intermediate somewhere else, can I sit the Professional with you?

Yes, but we would like to meet you first, have a coffee and make sure you are ready to take it on.

I’ve got loads of previous experience and I just want to sit the Professional level, why can’t I?

The SCA requires that you have successfully completed the Intermediate level in your chosen subject to attempt the Professional level.

I want to achieve my SCA Diploma, can you help?

Yes, of course. Just send us some details and we can map out a path and work out a financial plan that’s going to suit you.

I want to learn to roast, do you teach that?

Unfortunately no, our roasters are all commercial sized and busy roasting delicious coffee all day. They’re just not set up for training groups.

Do I need to drink coffee?

No, but it certainly helps. We like tea too, sometimes.

Do I have to be a member of the SCA to attend a SCA course?

No, but from Intermediate and above there are discounts on the certification costs if you are. And a whole load of other benefits from joining.

Do you run SCA classes on the weekends?

Generally no, we’re so busy during the week even we deserve a weekend off…but we could if there was enough demand to fill a class.

I can’t see a date that suits me…

We run lots of courses every month, sometimes they are already fully booked.
If you have a particular date range in mind, let us know and if we can, we will try and fit you in.

If I’m there all day, how much coffee will I drink?

That’s up to you, we wouldn’t recommend downing every one you make but tasting a few is essential to learning what’s what.

You said lunch is provided, what’s on the menu?

Lunch is made fresh each day by our local restaurant The Cauldron. It’s super tasty and healthy. They can cater for any dietary requirements you have, just tell us what they are when you book.

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