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November 24, 2016

Hardware › News › Retail ›


Wilfa Grinder

A Pretty Typical Scenario:
A customer enjoys a cup of our coffee.
They ask the barista about the beans used to make the cup.
To recreate the experience at home or work, they decide to buy a bag.
When paying for the bag they query - “It’s ground, right?”.

Until now we've been able to provide the customer with two options: 

1.  We grind the beans to suit their preferred brew method. I don’t need to go into detail explaining why this is far from ideal, but suffice to say this is like having your bottle of wine opened in store.

2.  We broach the subject of grinding at home. Previously stocking only the Porlex Hand Grinder, we have divided the crowd. There are those who relish the tactile and portable nature of hand grinding. Others, less so. 

But rejoice! The Wilfa is here - an electric grinder with quality burrs and a small footprint, giving fantastic results without great expense or (somewhat physical) effort, and now we're pleased to announce the new and improved version, the CGWS-130B!

Wilfa’s newest model comes in a very cool ‘Batman’ matte black casing, and is fitted with a new DC motor that boasts higher torque but fewer RPMs than its predecessor. This means you’ll be able to grind dense and complex coffees with ease, preserving volatile aromatics during the grinding process as less heat is generated by the slower burrs.

Dosing
The chamber is designed to hold up to 250g, dosing out your grounds by use of the timer. We always find it better to weigh your dose before adding it to the grinder. The Wilfa retains very little coffee around the burrs (roughly 0.2g with each dose); weighing each time means your ground dose will be more accurate and the coffee stays fresher in its resealable bag.

We've spent a fair bit of time experimenting with the grinder and thought it prudent to share our findings with you, the main being the range of grind sizes proffered by the Wilfa is pretty wide and could be a little misleading.

Here are some rough grind settings you should start with for the various brew methods you might use to make coffee at home.

Grind Settings
The window you should be grinding in is much, much narrower than the settings on the dial suggest.

From left to right (coarsest to finest) the dial reads OFF, STEAP [sic], FRENCH PRESS, FILTER, AEROPRESS, MOCCA. The Steep, French Press and Filter settings are very coarse. You could potentially use the Filter range of settings for brewing 1L plus in a large Chemex, or something equally slow draining, but generally for our style of coffee we're looking squarely at the Aeropress range on the dial.

MoccaMasterFrench Press:
Rotate so you can read "AERO" of AEROPRESS (between Filter and AeroPress settings)
2-Cup V60:
The first "R" in "AEROPRESS"
Aeropress:
The second "R" in "AEROPRESS"

Basically, you want to see some part of the word "AEROPRESS” on the dial, or you're likely too coarse or too fine for best results with normal filter methods. Treat these suggestions as jumping off points, adjusting as necessary to dial in the coffee to your taste. 

Cleaning
Slide the grind setting to OFF, lift the hopper out and the top burr comes out easily. As mentioned before, the grinder retains very little coffee so a soft bristled brush is all you need to loosen spent grounds. It doesn't take much to securely lock it in again. Simply align the burrs and slot them back into place. 

We’re pleased to be the first in the UK to offer the new model of Wilfa Grinder. Still priced at £105 and retro-fitted with a UK plug adaptor, it’s ready to be unboxed it and put to use right away.

To make the prospect even more attractive, you can now group the Wilfa Grinder together with some of the other pieces from our hardware range in the form of our Brew Bundles. As well as providing you everything need to create the perfect cup of coffee in almost every eventuality, you score a rather substantial saving in the process.

If you relish the engagement and tactile natural of manual pour over coffee then this is the bundle for you (includes a 2 Cup V60, 100 Filter Papers, Salter Scale, Glass Decanter, Wilfa Grinder and a 250g bag fresh coffee: £125).

If you just want to press a couple of buttons and brew up to six cups in a few short minutes then this is the bundle for you (includes the Technivorm MoccaMaster, Wilfa Grinder, Gram Scales and a 250g bag fresh coffee: £240).

2016 Aeropress Championships


Late last year, we made the exciting decision to become the coffee sponsor of The World Aeropress Championship. Over the years, we’ve always enjoyed the convivial, taste-driven and light-hearted ethos of the event, so the opportunity to increase our involvement by roasting and providing the fifty national champions from across the globe with the coffee they’ll use in their attempt to be crowned World Aeropress Champion one too good to miss. 

Having also attended each event, we also know that there ain’t no party like an Aeropress party.

To kick-off our involvement, we’re delighted to announce that this year we'll be continuing the tradition of co-hosting the national event with our friends at Square Mile. As is now tradition, we’ll be working together on creating a collaboration competition coffee for all participants to use on the day (as well as some to practice with in the run-up to the event).

Opening up our new Roastery space to the public for the first time, the 2016 Aeropress Championship of England will take place on Saturday 30th April and be open to 27 competitors. Each of them will not only be vying for the top spot as the national champion, but for the chance to compete at the World Aeropress Championship in Dublin, Ireland on Thursday 23rd June, 2016.

The winner will receive return flights to Dublin to compete in the finals, as well as have their accommodation covered whilst they're out there. Second place will receive a 12-month subscription from Workshop Coffee and from Square Mile, while third place will be able to come home each month for half a year expecting to find coffee from both roasters waiting for them. 

Around the judging table, with fingers poised in anticipation, will be our three judges: Workshop Coffee’s Head of Production, Richard Shannon; Square Mile’s Operations Director, Felicity Tathis; and Master of Wine and author of the book Natural Wine, Isabelle Legeron. And, as you might expect, we’ll also be serving delicious coffee from Square Mile and ourselves that hasn't been brewed by competitors, alongside exceptional beer (kindly provided by The Kernel Brewery) all afternoon. 

Tickets for competitors will be £10.00 and available from the Workshop Coffee website on Monday 7th March, 2016 at 6:00pm. Spectators are not only welcome, but encouraged, and more information on the day itself will be released as it creeps ever closer.

When?
Saturday 30th April, 2016; 3:00pm onwards

Where?
Workshop Coffee
29-43 Vyner St.
London
E2 9DQ

Brought to you by:
Workshop Coffee
Square Mile Coffee Roasters
The Kernel
TKC Sales Ltd — Official Aeropress Distributor for the UK & Ireland

THE MAKING OF OUR CUSTOM CUPS

During the process of creating our limited edition, custom ceramic cups, we were lucky enough to spend some time in the studio with Moss Ceramics founder, Tsouni, observing and learning more about the ceramics process. 

Inside Turning Earth studios, in a railway arch beneath the overground line between Hoxton and Haggerston stations, we discovered just how involved, focused and time-consuming each stage was.

Every cup began its life as one non-descript, unassuming pound of stoneware clay. Before going anywhere near a potters wheel, it would undergo the process of wedging; a physically involved procedure, this required the repeated (and purposeful) throwing down of the clay onto a work bench in order to remove any air bubbles and to help distribute its water content more evenly. 

From there, it would be carefully and exactingly thrown by hand, transforming each ubiquitous lump into the shape of the beautiful and bespoke final pieces. Walking us through the steps she went through 160 times, Tsouni explains:

"For each cup, the clay was centred on the wheel and an indent was made in the centre. The cup walls were pulled up from there. My hands got so used to throwing the shape that by the end of the process, it felt as though they were almost making themselves."

Stamped with our W device, the cups were then left to dry for 24 hours before being checked over the following day for rough edges and imperfections and trimmed accordingly:

"The stamping required the most care – not only does it have to be done when the clay is at a precise point between wet and dry, but if you apply too much pressure you'll affect the shape of the cup. Of course, if you don't apply enough pressure, the stamp won't be bold enough."

Allowed to dry thoroughly for a further 48 hours, the cups then entered the kiln for their first firing at around 1,000oc. From there, each piece could be hand-glazed before being finished with one final firing in the kiln. 

Only then were they ready to be shared with us and, subsequently, with you. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. 

WORKSHOP COFFEE x MOSS CERAMICS

To celebrate our new look, we wanted to do something special and that we hadn't done before. Today, we’re incredibly pleased to be able to showcase the results.

Approaching East London-based Moss Ceramics earlier this year, we’ve since been working closely with founder and one-woman production team, Tsouni, to create a short run of handmade Workshop Coffee cups to add to our shelves.

After reviewing and considering numerous test and sample pieces, the final design is a beautiful, robust and understated handle-less tumbler. Its smooth, glossy white-glazed interior spills out onto the upper-half of the cups exterior before giving way to the contrast of an unglazed, sandy, textural lower-half. Combined, it creates a cup that sits snuggly in the hand and, with solid, thick walls and base, holds the heat well.

Each cup has been thrown by hand and subsequently offers its own nuances and idiosyncrasies, and means that every one of the 160 cups we’ve created is unique.

Having left the studio in Haggerston, 60 of the collection have been gifted to our staff, meaning there are just 100 left.

Starting tomorrow, these will only be available to buy in each of our stores whilst stocks last.