MARLO MEETS: BALANCE COFFEE
Marlo are incredibly excited to welcome Balance Coffee for the latest edition of Marlo Meets. For many, wine and coffee form an integral part of daily life. Caffeine is a useful stimulant to start the day refreshed, alcohol - a delightful sedative to end it relaxed. They both affect the human brain in subtle and different ways and are capable of altering our mood, for better or worse. Like wine, coffee can offer an enormous variety of shades, notes, complexities and flavours - similar terminologies are used by Baristas and Oenophiles alike.
Balance are kindly offering all Marlo customers 20% off their first order across their entire range - use LOCKDOWN20 at the checkout to get your lockdown coffee fix sorted. Explore their range here.
1. Tell us a bit about how Balance Coffee started and what your mission is?
After 8 years of working in the coffee industry, James set up Balance Coffee during the Covid-19 pandemic, with a vision to use his experience and passion for coffee to create a sustainable and delicious tool for change.
2. Where do you source your coffee from? Are you always on the lookout for new locations around the world?
All over the world! We’ve had coffee from Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala and more. And absolutely. Many of our coffees are single origin (they all come from the same region or farm), so they’re only available for a short period of time. That means we’re always on the hunt for new and exciting coffees as they become available. Watch this space!
3. What are your views on coffee capsules and would you ever look into producing your own?
That’s a very interesting question. Typically, coffee capsules aren’t very environmentally friendly, although there are now some biodegradable options available. So that could definitely be a problem for us. We also just don’t think coffee from a capsule tastes as good as coffee that you’ve freshly ground and made yourself! Making coffee in an Aeropress takes about the same time as using a coffee capsule, and it’s far more sustainable. We’ll probably just stick to that.
4. How important is caffeine in coffee? Can decaf coffees be produced to the same standard as a natural caffeinated blend?
While a caffeine buzz can be a great part of drinking coffee, we definitely don’t think it’s the be all and end all. Believe it or not, James is trying to cut down on his caffeine intake! Unfortunately there’s this idea that decaf coffee can’t be delicious, but that’s simply not the case. Our Green and Black decaf coffee is just as delicious as any of our caffeinated coffees. You’ll be more focused on the taste of chocolate and hazelnut than the lack of caffeine!
5. Balance strives on its motives of creating ethical and sustainable coffee - how do you go about doing this, and how vital is it?
Sustainability is one of the key parts of Balance! We look at it in a variety of ways – obviously there’s environmental sustainability, but there’s also our duty to creating a sustainable life for coffee farmers, too. So, we have partnered with Ecologi to help plant trees and reduce the effects of CO2 – so far we’ve planted 195 trees, which is a CO2 reduction of 10.52T – and we reduce and recycle wherever possible. For every coffee sold, we also donate 1% to Project Waterfall, a coffee charity that helps provide clean water for coffee-growing communities, and all of our coffee beans are sourced from cooperatives and direct trade relationships.
6. What are the main differences between espresso and filter coffee and which do you prefer at Balance?
Espresso is the base ingredient for coffee drinks such as lattes and flat whites, and are made with an espresso machine. Whereas filter coffees are made using methods such as a Hario V60 or an Aeropress, and are best drunk black. We couldn’t choose between the two! James tends to have a flat white in the morning (it’s great for filling you up) and a filter coffee in the afternoon. It’s nice to change it up throughout the day.
7. The aromas and characteristics found in wine can largely depend on its origin - is this similar to how different coffees develop different flavours?
Yes, absolutely! It’s fascinating how certain countries or regions produce coffees with certain flavours. For example, Nicaraguan coffees often have notes of citrus and florals, whereas Zimbabwean coffee is woody and sweet. The elevation of the coffee farm and the climate also have a huge impact on coffee, much like wine.
8. Do you value coffees growingly frequent use cocktails and alcoholic drinks, and if so, which are your favourite?
Absolutely! Some of the most delicious cocktails use coffee. James loves the classic espresso martini, but what we’re really obsessed with at the moment is the flat white Russian. Kahlúa, vodka, espresso and milk – it’s simple but divine. We’ve got the recipe on our Instagram page!
Marlo are delighted to announce that we now feature in the 'Top 50 UK Wine Blogs' - Find the full list here.