Tips & Tricks

The Bean

At Neli Coffee we pride ourselves on using the finest quality specialty grade beans. Our reasoning for this is simple; we think that to roast great coffee, starting with premium quality green beans is a no brainer. Although we have several signature blends, we encourage you to taste our single origin coffees. The beauty of single origin coffee is really in the range of flavours that can be found; from the floral and berry notes of an Ethiopian Sidamo Guji, to the caramel sweet body and malty aftertaste of a Honduras Cornelio Nunez Microlot , there is a variety and taste to tempt any palate!

The Roast

We always adjust our roast profile to suit the bean,  primarily we look at bean origin, varietal, processing technique, density and moisture. Ultimately, we are trying to get the best out of the bean whilst preserving/enhancing origin flavours…..this takes plenty of roasts to perfect.


Whether as a green bean or roasted, the natural enemies of coffee are humidity, high temperatures (including temperature variation), and sunlight. At home, we don’t think the best place for your coffee is the fridge or freezer, instead we suggest keeping your coffee in the pantry. Try and keep it in an airtight container or preferably the bag it came in. Coffee beans give off large volumes of carbon dioxide following roasting, the one way seals on our bags ensure that the gas escapes and the freshness is preserved. We recommend you buy coffee in small quantities, grind fresh, and use it all within 3 – 4 weeks of purchase.

Extracting Coffee

Please note that we are not big fans of single basket / single group handles. We only use a double handle, generally with an 18 – 20gram VST basket. We extract at between 92 to 95 Celsius depending on the coffee we are using. We don’t base our results on how long a coffee takes to pour or the volume in the glass, instead we intently watch the extraction and most importantly we taste the coffee. Times and measurements give us something to aim towards when we are making a coffee however they are not always correct. The notion that an espresso has to be 30mls in 30 seconds is a very rough guide only. We encourage you to taste your coffee and watch the shot rather than look at a stopwatch or a pressure gauge. A good set of scales will help you to dose consistently and then check the weight of your extraction (i.e. your ratio in and ratio out).

Cupping Coffee

Coffee cupping is a process by which small, consistent quantities of a roasted coffee are ground, brewed, and then tasted. Certain tastes and aromas are looked for in cupping and we use some of the below words to describe what we find.

  • Acidity – this is a good thing in coffee and refers to the brightness of a coffee. We might also say that a coffee has winey, dry, or zesty acidity to name a few. Acidity in coffee is vital if you want to cut through milk. Additionally, the darker you roast, the more you flatten out acidity.
  • Aroma – as the name suggests, this is the smell or fragrance of the coffee and it can tell you a lot about what you are about to taste. Dull, lifeless aroma will usually be indicative of a dull, lifeless cup. Whereas a pleasant floral aroma with hints of orange blossom and cinnamon might tell you you’re on to something good.
  • Body – this is how we describe the texture of the coffee on the back of the palate, whether its dense and heavy or light and vague.
  • Balance – again as the name suggests, this is used to describe flavours which are in equilibrium. Where one flavour does not overpower another.
  • Flavour – this is an all encompassing term to describe the attributes of the coffee and the final impression.