Here is what some of our members have to say about Coffee Days:

“I received my parcel this morning! It is terrific… The aroma of the coffee was absolutely stunning and I am very much enjoying my first brew as I write this.”
Jayne McS,
Balnarring Beach VIC

“Coffee making is becoming quite a ritual at our place, not to mention the anticipation of each month’s new supply. Thanks for the excellent service.”
Ngaire G,
Redfern NSW

“Coffee Days to the rescue! Easter entertaining meant I ran out of coffee. I bought locally a brand of beans – it had a burnt aroma and bitter flavour no matter how weak I made it…Fortunately, or unfortunately, my guests drank all the good coffee.”
Marcia B,
Rozelle, NSW

“The coffee is magnificent. Very smooth and very strong. We have been Nescafeing for ages now, so we have noticed the difference.”
Janine C,
Douglas QLD

“This year [at Christmas lunch] I’m extra chuffed to big note myself with special coffee all thanks to you.”
Annabelle A,
Ingleburn NSW

“The coffee is different to the boring stuff I’ve tasted recently.”
Vaughan D,
Homebush NSW

“We really like it and definitely taste the difference. So far the coffee and service are excellent.”
Claire L,
Beacon Hill NSW

“My brother is a member of the club and I am the ‘barista’ in the family. We recently finished the Kenyan AA beans and I have to say they were excellent. I am also currently enjoying the 3-bean blend…Congratulations on a great service!”
Simon C,
Lugarno NSW

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Coffee starts to deteriorate about 24 hours after it is roasted. Air, light and heat all contribute to making coffee go stale. It is therefore important to keep coffee in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Fresh coffee continues to produce carbon dioxide after roasting. This gas can also affect coffee taste.
One-way valves are used in coffee bags to expel carbon dioxide whilst keeping air out, but you must remember to reseal your coffee bags to maximise their effect.

Generally speaking, coffee should not be refrigerated or frozen as it can get damp and may develop harmful frost. Only refrigerate coffee if there is no suitable alternative storage place and remove as much air and moisture from the coffee bag as possible.

Whole beans stay fresher longer than ground coffee because there is less surface area in contact with the air. Purchasing your coffee as whole beans and grinding the beans when required ensures that your coffee is fresher and also gives you the ability to grind beans appropriately if you use more than one brewing method, eg finer for espresso machines and coarser for plungers.Back to top of page

There is a variety of ways to brew coffee and each has its own benefits.

Espresso is best known for producing strong, intense coffees however other brewing methods can also produce intense “hits”. Plungers are very good at drawing out the subtleties of African origin coffees and drip filters can produce a well balanced smooth brew.

The best brewing method to use depends upon your individual taste and convenience factors. Some beans are also more suited to specific brewing techniques (the Coffee Days tasting notes will highlight these characteristics to you).Back to top of page

Here are some useful tips for brewing coffee using the most popular methods...

Tips for all Brewing Methods:
Use fresh coffee.
  The fresher the coffee, the better the taste!
See the storage tips above.
Use pure water.
  Most of your cup of coffee is made up of water, so it makes sense to ensure that your water is pure. Tap water contains impurities so ideally you should either filter your tap water with a carbon filter or use bottled water.
Do not boil the water
  Coffee is best made with water that has not boiled and is slightly below boiling point.
Use coffee that is ground specifically for the brewing method you use.Different brewing methods require different grinds of different coarseness. If you use coffee ground to fine for your brewing method, you will experience over-extracted, bitter sludge. Too coarse and the coffee will be weak and watery.
Generally speaking, the longer the water is in contact with the coffee during the brewing process, the coarser the coffee should be. Espresso uses the finest grind while plungers use the coarsest.
If you use a variety of brewing methods, for example a stove-top at home and plunger in the office, grind your coffee in separate batches to suit.
Use the correct proportion of coffee and water for the number of cups you are serving. Use 7g of coffee, which is one coffee scoop or one heaped tablespoon per cup – and note that this is “per cup”, not “per mug”. Use a kitchen measure to determine how many real cups you are making in order to know how much coffee to use.
It is important to experiment with your equipment to know the perfect grind and quantities of coffee and water to use. Each piece of equipment varies slightly, so you should experiment to find the perfect grind and quantities for your particular equipment.
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Checklist for Great Coffee:

Fresh Coffee
Pure Water
Correct Grind
Correct Quantity

1. Make sure the glass and filter are clean of dust, dirt and old coffee
2. Use coarsely to medium ground coffee
3. Heat the water to just under boiling point
4. Warm the glass by sloshing some water around it and then throw it out. Plungers are a relatively cold way to brew coffee as the water is not heated during the long brewing process. Pre-warming the glass will keep the coffee warmer.
5. Scoop in the appropriate amount of coffee for the number of cups you are making
6. Pour in the hot water from a little height so that it stirs up the coffee as it enters the plunger. Remember to use the appropriate amount of water for the number of cups you are making.
7. Stir the coffee with a plastic spoon – don’t use a metal spoon as it risks breaking the glass
8. Put the lid on the plunger but do not let the filter descend into the liquid. This step traps the heat in the plunger to keep the coffee warmer.
9. Wait four minutes
10. Now for an optional but fun step – remove the lid and lightly break the crust to enjoy an intense aroma. With a little experience, the smell will tell you how well you have brewed your coffee.
11. Press the filter down firmly but gently. Make sure that the spout is open and clear to avoid the coffee backing up and flowing out. If the filter is hard to press down then you have probably used too much coffee.
12. Serve and enjoy. Remember to put a mat under the plunger when it is on the table to avoid slipping and heat damage to your table.
13. Plungers make an excellent, subtle black coffee that allows you to taste the combination of flavours. The slight pressure exerted as the coffee is “plunged” extracts the acidity or fruitiness of coffee.
14. When cleaning the plunger, it is best to hold the glass down on the table and withdraw the filter upwards. This avoids the embarrassing situation smashing the glass on the table as the filter is removed.
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Home Espresso Machine:
1. Make sure the equipment is clean, particularly the filter baskets and brewing heads
2. Heat the machine to bring it up to pressure
3. Prime the machine by running some water through the brewing head
4. Use finely ground coffee
5. Place one measure (7g) of coffee into the filter basket and “tamp” it by applying firm even pressure on the coffee with the tamper provided with your machine. This is important to ensure that the water flows through the coffee evenly and encounters the correct amount of resistance on its way through. Refer to your machine’s instructions for guidance.
6. Place the basket into the brewing head
7. Place a pre-warmed cup under the brewing head
8. Start extracting the coffee. If you are extracting manually, stop the process just as the coffee starts to lose its syrup consistency. The coffee should be syrupy and carry the bubbles of the crema as it emerges from the machine. Over-extracting will cause bitterness.
9. For a strong coffee, stop the extraction early in the process. This will result in a smaller quantity of strong, almost sweet coffee. If you want more coffee, then serve a double (doppio) measure.
10. For a weak coffee, follow the instructions above and then add hot water. Do not over-extract the coffee as this will result in an over-extracted, bitter cup.
11. The perfect formula for a cup of espresso is one measure of coffee and 30ml of water extracted for 30 seconds
12. Wipe clean the filter basket immediately after use and prime the machine again before making more coffee
13. If using the machine to steam milk, be sure to allow the machine to return to normal brewing temperature and pressure before brewing more coffee. Steaming requires hotter water at higher pressure than does brewing and it takes time for home espresso machines to return to the ideal settings for brewing coffee after having steamed milk. Ideally, you should steam your milk after brewing your coffee.
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1. Ensure all parts of the brewer are clean, particularly the filter basket and pot
2. Fill the lower compartment with water up to just below the relief valve
3. Use fine to medium ground coffee. Experiment with the grind to find what is perfect for your particular equipment.
4. Insert the filter basket and fill it with coffee to the top. Use a basket appropriate for the number of cups you are making. Scrape of any excess coffee with a knife, ensuring that no coffee remains on the rim as it can interfere with the seal. Do not tamp the coffee as you would for an espresso machine.
5. Assemble the brewer and place over strong heat. Gas is preferable to electricity because you can instantly stop the brewing process at the appropriate time.
6. Watch for the coffee flowing into the top section. It will emerge with a fantastic syrup consistency. Stop the brewing process by removing the unit from the heat or turning off the gas as soon as the coffee’s consistency changes from syrup to finer liquid, or when it starts to bubble or froth.
7. Allowing the coffee to brew longer will cause bitter over-extraction. If you want a weaker coffee, then add hot water but do not allow it to continue brewing.
8. Pour immediately so that the coffee doesn’t burn due to the pot’s heat
9. If the coffee did not come out in a syrup, you have probably used too coarse a grind. If, on the other hand, you did not get a lot of coffee out of the machine, then the grind was probably too fine.
10. Stove top machines can deliver excellent espresso coffee at a fraction of the cost of home espresso machines
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Drip Filter:
1. Make sure the equipment is clean. If using a paper filter, ensure that it is a pure one that won’t impart any other flavours into the coffee. If using a gold foil filter, ensure that it has been rinsed of any residual detergent since its last wash.
2. Scoop in the appropriate amount of coffee for the number of cups you are making
3. Ensure that the filter is assembled correctly
4. Heat the water to just under boiling point
5. Steep the coffee by pouring in a little hot water to soak the coffee, wait a few seconds then pour in the rest of the appropriate amount of water for the number of cups you are making
6. If you have used the correct proportion of coffee and water and the correct grind, your coffee will be perfectly brewed when the water stops dripping through the filter. If the coffee is too light then the coffee is over-extracted – the coffee should remain dark.
7. Drip filters produce a well balanced, mild brew because the only pressure acting on the coffee is the force of gravity. It is also a fairly forgiving brewing method.
8. Serve and enjoy!
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Vacuum Pot:

Vacuum pots are a rare but fantastic way to brew coffee. They can be cumbersome and fragile but the results are fantastic.

The vacuum pot is a great way to brew coffee because its design ensures that the coffee is brewed for exactly the right amount of time at exactly the right temperature. The only thing that comes in contact with the coffee is the water, so the coffee tastes very pure.

But probably the best thing about vacuum pots is the show they put on during the brewing process. This is definitely one way to brew coffee in front of your friends!

Vacuum pots look like an hourglass, with two glass pots connected at their necks. Coffee grounds are placed in the top pot and water in the bottom pot. As the water is heated, it moves up a tube into the top pot where it infuses with the coffee. As the water then cools, the vacuum in the lower pot draws the water back down through a filter. The top pot is removed and the coffee is poured from the bottom pot.

Vacuum pots are heated either electrically or by a small flame. Bodum makes both styles, called the Santos. Watch out for the new electric Santos to be released in Australia in 2004!Back to top of page

There are four characteristics to consider when tasting, or cupping, coffee:
A Aroma – the first impression upon smelling the coffee
B Body – the feel of the coffee’s weight or density. Whether or not some coffees are actually heavier than others, they can still feel thicker or heavier. The brewing method can also influence the perception of body, with espresso feeling the heaviest.

Flavour – the overall perception of individual flavour components in the coffee. This can be very subjective and there is no set vocabulary to describe the tastes. Like wine, almost any adjective goes. So feel free to express whatever it is you taste in your coffee!


Acidity – the fruitiness or crispness of the coffee. It has nothing to do with PH levels but everything to do with lively, refreshing flavours.

Coffee characteristics vary with and without milk - try it both ways. Differences are easier to detect in black coffee as milk masks many subtle flavours.

When you taste or "cup" coffee, slurp it so that it is aerated and contacts all parts of your tongue. This is because different tastes are detected by the taste buds on different parts of your tongue.

Each characteristic is influenced not only by the bean(s) used, but also by the roast.Back to top of page

Blend A combination of different origins and/or roasts.
Origin Coffee from a single nation or region, unblended.
Roast The extent to which the beans have been exposed to high temperatures in the roasting process. Roasts vary from light to dark.
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