I like drinking coffee. Despite the fact that I am Yorkshire born and bred, I’m not a huge fan of tea. Coffee is my hot beverage of choice. However, while I know what I like (and what I don’t like), I wouldn’t describe myself as a coffee snob.
Nor am I a coffee addict. I can stop whenever I want, and I always do stop if I get a bit trembly, which is way before things go downhill towards tummy ache time.
That said, when I do stop if I get a bit trembly, I always start again at some point. And I’m still here.
Some time ago, I spotted a post on Instagram inviting me to get in touch with new coffee start up called Southland Coffee and give them a go.
Now, I’m no coffee snob. My love affair with coffee may be strong (and black), but it is also completely under control. I am not one who needs to go to that latest place or try that new blend or bean. No drama here: I can comfortably survive through a day without coffee (although I rarely prove it).
But I like drinking coffee and – like everybody else – I enjoy doing things I like. It’s almost like that’s how the word “enjoy” came about.
So, long story short, I got in touch and I received a box of individually wrapped coffee sachets. Here’s one now:
Tear the top off the sachets and you get something that is akin to a teabag with some stiff card templates attached on either side: a design apparently imported from Japan. Tear off the top of the “teabag” and fold out these templates and suddenly, you have a cup-top coffee filter. Thus:
Sorry about the mug. I couldn’t find one with Theresa May cuddling an Alsatian.
Add some hot water from your flask (if you’re out and about on the beach or the mountain) or your kettle (if you’re in your kitchen) and you have fresh, delicious filter coffee in just a couple of minutes.
It’s not rocket surgery. And you – like me – will be surprised at just how sturdy that filter clip thing is, despite its unobtrusive design.
Pretty ingenious stuff.
I asked for a bit more information from Jeremy – the man behind the brand, and got this:
My wife popped over to Japan last year and brought some of these hanging-ear coffee filters back for me because I have a love-love relationship with coffee. The are apparently huge in Japan. We source coffee from a few roasters around Cape Town, grind and pack ourselves and that’s pretty much it. We are trialing it at R120 for a pack of 10 and so far they are flying out the back of my Hilux.
Other features: Recyclable packaging, free delivery to Cape Town addresses (on Thursdays “so you have it for the weekend”), shelf life of 12 months in an unopened sachet, and yes: because they pack it themselves, you can ask them to stick your favourite coffee in there for you – but you will need to order a minimum of two packs. Reasonable.
And, let’s be clear here, while Southland did send me some coffee to try, they also made that offer to anyone else who saw that Instagram post. They didn’t ask me to blog about it and no money has changed hands here. This is an honest review of a cool product.
If it wasn’t very good, I’d tell you so, but this is simple, decent coffee, innovatively packaged and I’m going to see if my Dad has read this far by ordering him some for Christmas.
Ja. As you may have guessed, I have a few issues with it.
Let’s break it down into two handy statements, shall we?
Coffee as warm as a firefly’s nose.
Firefly is the common name for the Lampyridae family of insects in the beetle order Coleoptera. They’re called fireflies (or lightning bugs) because they use bioluminescence to attract mates at twilight:
The enzyme luciferase acts on the luciferin, in the presence of magnesium ions, ATP and oxygen to produce light.
All of which is biologically amazing, visually incredible and weirdly somehow rather romantic. But the reaction doesn’t yield any significant heat, and it certainly doesn’t happen in their noses (they don’t even have noses).
Fireflies produce a “cold light”, with no infrared or ultraviolet frequencies. This chemically produced light from the lower abdomen may be yellow, green, or pale red.
Not “warm” then. And certainly not hot (71ºC – 85ºC), which is the temperature I generally like my coffee to be.
And then that second statement:
Ice cream as cold as a polar bear’s toes.
I have some bad news for patrons of this particular ice cream parlour. Ice cream is best served at around -12ºC, while polar bears’ toes (such as they even exist) are maintained at a decent 37ºC, just like the rest of their body.
Polar bears are mammals, brilliantly adapted to their habitat in the Arctic. They have blubber and thick, air-filled fur, which allows them to survive in the sub-zero temperatures in the polar region. Their paws are no exception to this. If they were not kept at 37ºC, the polar bear would get frostbite, which without prompt surgical and antibiotic treatment, would likely develop into gangrene and septicaemia, and inevitable death.
There’s also an additional problem. Polar bears’ toes are smelly. They stink. This is due to prominent sweat glands on their paws, and the fact that that the bears use their feet to tread urine into the ground and ice. It’s simple scent communication, but it’s really not something that I want my ice cream to be associated with.
So. Nice rhyme, but wholly inaccurate. Very poor. Let’s sort that it for them:
Coffee as warm as the current ambient conditions at The Creamery. Ice cream served at body temperature, with a slight smell of sweat and wee.
That kinda works, and I bet that brings the customers flocking in.
I have no idea of the veracity of this*, but I think it’s great anyway. Gravity wins again:
Hadfield returned to earth this week after 146 days in space on board the ISS. And while there were other astronauts up there with him, he was the one who kept us updated with the goings on aboard the vessel and gave us brilliant pictures like this.
* actually, now I do. Real tweet, but not the real man. 🙁