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Your cup of coffee


A blog from the guy behind the coffee at Veg box..

This blog will delve into the origins, science & the geography of coffee. Where the hell does coffee come from?  
Stay tuned and you'll find out! 

First up though, is some of my back story and how I got into coffee, leading onto the different coffees we serve at Veg Box and why make them this way.

Hey! I'm Ollie & I'm the guy behind the coffee at Veg Box.


I've been lucky enough to experience many different coffee cultures around the world and work with some of the best baristas along my travels so here is me dumping some knowledge and opinions on this page


My real love for coffee started in New Zealand where I was working in a cocktail bar in Auckland. I used to watch the barista on the coffee machine wishing I could be as cool as that!  I would come in 2 hours before my shift began to learn the basics. Auckland is known for its great coffee culture, and I became obsessed with learning more.


So after becoming a barista in NZ, I then travelled the USA for 6 months, returning to Australia where the I fell in love with the coffee capital of the world...Melbourne. I didn't know what to expect but what I experienced was sublime.


This is where I really got stuck into learning coffee, I didn’t just want to be taught how to use the coffee machine and stretch milk, make pretty patterns etc. I wanted to understand the science, culture & physics also, I am definitely a perfectionist and need to know everything about everything! 


Coffee has been around since 800AD and its safe to say there are a lot of ways to make coffee, different opinions on how it should be served and a huge amount of variables to consider. I'm going to share with you how I feel coffee should be served and how I have tried to change the way we view and enjoy coffee in Exeter.


Im going to miss out heaps of information but lets start with the basics everyone might want to know.


The Arabica (most popular type of coffee) is a small tree between 2m & 8m tall and usually has shiny green leaves. The flowers are white and sweetly scented and the fruits are usually red, but sometimes yellow and purple. Each fruit produces two green seeds, which are commonly known as coffee beans. The bean itself is actually a seed from the berry of the tree.


I've tried to use all my knowledge and experience in working with coffee to ensure we serve the best coffee we can at Veg Box.


Let's go through some of our coffee’s.


Double espresso



Flat white 

Long black



ALL of these coffee’s start with the same base - A double espresso

Some of the terms and measurements (6oz, 8oz etc etc etc) I'll be using may be new or sound a bit confusing, but stay with me as I feel its important you understand all of the boring bits too.


The Latte 

A late is similar to a flat white, but has more foam and tends to taste milkier. It's commonly served in a glass rather than a ceramic.


A latte should typically be 1/3 espresso & 2/3 hot milk. A lot of coffee shops will serve as a 12oz drink (who needs that much milk!?), however a 10z balance works best with 2oz of espresso and 8oz of textured milk - to me this is the perfect ratio. 


The Cappuccino 


You'll sometimes find cappuccinos served in huge cups but here at Veg Box we serve them in the same cup as a flat white (6oz), with 2oz of espresso & 4oz of hot milk. 


However the difference in these two drinks is that a cappuccino has more aeration when texturing the milk, meaning that there is more air in the cup - giving a stronger all-round coffee to milk ratio than a flat white.


The Flat White

The flat white originated in Sydney, Australia & Moors espresso bar where owner Alan Preston created the drink and coined the term Flat white in 1985.


A 6oz drink that consists of a double espresso base (in some cases its made with a single espresso). To many baristas a “single shot” is just a double espresso (a shot of coffee).


The Flat white is smaller than a latte with less aeration making it flatter, it's best when its not ridiculously hot, served at 64 degrees.


The Long Black 

A long black is a style of coffee commonly found in Australia & New Zealand. It is similar to an Americano, but with a stronger aroma and taste.


The ratio of coffee to water is vital, too much water can leave you with a watery bland coffee like drink (no one wants that, trust me!)

The coffee needs to be diluted just the right amount for the ultimate experience.


The perfect long black (in my opinion) should be 2oz of espresso and 6oz of water, the water should be no more than 94 degrees in temperature (ideally 91)


The Mocha 

Coffee good. Chocolate good. What's not to like?

The Mocha is essentially a Latte with chocolate syrup added. The amount of chocolate/espresso varies widely however i consistently use around 15/20ml of chocolate syrup added to a 10oz latte.



This was just a basic intro into the different coffees we serve at Veg Box, which will be expanded on in future blog posts. If your going to spend over £3 on a coffee.. make sure your getting a good one, and make sure that the barista/coffee shop you visit has a good knowledge of coffee and can make you consistently good coffee every time you visit.


Don’t waste your time and money on bad coffee.  


In my next blog post I'll be writing about the origins of coffee and where it all started! 

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