Fairview Homestead | coffee – make mine a Nespresso please.
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coffee – make mine a Nespresso please.

I love a good cup of coffee…Remember, we lived in Namibia for 13 years and there we were introduced to a European style cafe culture. Often the coffee there is served with milk enriched with evaporated milk. We could buy imported coffee brands long before our coffee taste buds were developed to the degree that they are today in South Africa.

At the breakfast table I will often have guests express appreciation at the good coffee I serve. We buy our coffee, freshly ground, on a weekly basis from a local roaster. Which also means that I can order coarser ground coffee to go with the plungers that I put out in the rooms and finely ground for my Bialetti pots – my preferred method of serving the coffee at breakfast.

Tcoffee-pot-300x292he latest coffee buzz word is of course ‘nespresso’. High on my wish list… We stayed at a small boutique hotel in Cape town and they had a Nesspresso machine in their foyer where you could buy the Nespresso capsules – for the discerning guest who frowns upon the instant coffee sachets that they offered in the rooms – I thought that was quite clever.

But why the hype? Well, it comes down to top quality coffee , always fresh because the capsules are sealed in aluminium cases, perfectly protected from oxidation and light. A perfect cup with a perfect crema every time  as the worry about milk,steam,temperature, grind fineness or quantity is taken care of– with Nespresso, everyone’s a top notch barista.


My hot tips for a hot cuppa if you do not have a Nespresso machine:

• Coffee should be served as warm as possible, but never at boiling point.
• Do not make coffee with boiling water as this produces a burnt flavor, let the kettle stand for 1 minute after boiling.
• Coffee should not be reheated as it effects the flavor (which is why percolated coffee standing on the heating pad taste so vile after as short a time as 15 minutes from peculating) Keep it in a warm vacuum flask instead of on a hot plate.
• Peculated coffee should be consumed within 30 minutes
• A rougher ground is necessary for plunger coffee. ‘grind’ refers the the coarseness of the grounded bean ; ‘medium’,’strong’ etc. refers to the the length of the roasting process
• A good medium coffee suitable is French or continental blends.
• Java and Costa Rica coffee has a fuller flavor and therefore suitable for a stronger coffee.

In Europe coffee is often served in a glass

In Europe coffee is often served in a glass


Philda Benkenstein

In 1995 we moved from Namibia to a town called George on the Garden Route in South Africa - we found a wonderful property,first registered in 1861. The place was very neglected, but I undertook to start a guest house, so that the house could at least pay for its own upkeep after the restoration, and of course - for Desmond's garden. That is the start of my life as a guest house owner and this is the story of a house and garden,lovingly restored and shared with our guests, with family and friends...

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