Has Bean Open Day

On Bank Holiday Sunday, we drove up to Stafford for the very excellent Has Bean Coffee’s open day. I love Has Bean, and currently have two subscriptions on the go. The great thing about the subscriptions is that you get a (normally delightful) surprise as each packet arrives through the post. Even on the rare occasions that I’m not wild about the selection, I learn something about coffee.

Here’s the owner and coffee enthusiast, Stephen Leighton, introducing the day.

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The open day was to celebrate Has Bean’s fifth birthday. So that’s why you’ll see balloons and party decorations in many of the pictures.

Stephen Leighton and his team had laid on a great programme of demonstrations and events for the visitors. Here’s the schedule:

© Has Bean

© Has Bean


There were three cupping (tasting) sessions. I went to the processes and varietals ones. I must admit to being new to the techniques of cupping. But it certainly highlights the differences between coffees, and brings out elusive flavours. Often I wonder where that “slight aftertaste of blackcurrant” or somesuch went to, because I can’t detect it. I shall try cupping the new coffees in future.

The Has Bean team setting up a cupping session

The Has Bean team setting up a cupping session

The open day guests practising their cupping skills

The open day guests practising their cupping skills

In another area there were demonstrations of barista skills with espresso making, other brewing techniques, and latte art.

Perfect grind, perfect measurement, nicely tamped, a well-set-up espresso machine, and of course Has Bean coffee is all you need for the most delicious espresso:

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I’m afraid that, however much we all know it’s about beans not machines, I fell in love with some of the gadgetry.

This Slayer in Has Bean colours is a work of art.  Sadly it costs as much as a small car!

This Slayer in Has Bean colours is a work of art. Sadly it costs as much as a small car!

On the other hand, this Simonelli Oscar II might be within reach ...

On the other hand, this Simonelli Oscar II might be within reach …

... or even the gorgeous Simonelli Musica.

… or even the gorgeous Simonelli Musica.

MInd you, I'd need a grinder to go with it.  Perhaps not the big-ticket Mythos though, fabulous though it is as the name implies.

MInd you, I’d need a grinder to go with it. Perhaps not the big ticket Mythos though, fabulous though it is as the name implies.

While all this was going on, downstairs in the roastery the team were running continuous tours. Absolutely fascinating …

From the green coffee beans ...

From the green coffee beans …

... and from the biggest roaster ...

… and from the biggest roaster …

... to the smallest.

… to the smallest.

And just in case we felt the need for refreshment, Has Bean had laid on drinks – not just coffee – and delicious bread and cheese. Later on tacos were served too!

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And in between whiles we took the opportunity to look through the library for inspiration.

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Oh, and we went away with a party bag containing amongst other things a bag of Anniversary Blend beans (Brazilian and Kenyan – a classic British taste). We’re enjoying some made in the Aeropress right now.

A great day out, and well worth the journey!

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