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Chris Queen
A few customers have recently asked me which grinder I use at home. The answer often is not as impressive as they hoped...Read More
Chris Queen
In even the most lethargic of cafes you will usually find the staff have been well drilled into a routine of ‘back flushing’ the espresso machine. Whilst very commendable, I am yet to see the wide-spread removal of Porta-filters and baskets for cleaning.Read More
Here at Smokey Barn we have been lucky enough to sport a top end Espresso machine (Sanremo Verona TCS) in the roastery for the past few years. In that time I have often wondered: 'Is the additional cost of this high end, all singing all dancing commercial espresso machine, really justified when directly compared to a cheaper mid range version?'.Read More
Chris Queen
If you want to start drinking amazing coffee, then your fresh roasted beans must be ‘fresh ground’ too. I hate coffee snobbery, but having your own grinder is coffee basics. It’s the most important piece of equipment in your coffee making setup. A big shiny expensive espresso machine will only ever be as good as your grinder.Read More
Chris Queen
We often get asked: "Why are some coffee's 'Fair Trade' and others are not?"Read More
Chris Queen
A few weeks ago I asked a selection of independent coffee nerds to review our coffee beans. Here's just one of the many positive reviews that we got back:Read More

Caffeine Magazine Award

Chris Queen
A few months ago I noticed a 're-tweet' by Jonnie Drake, a Pro Barista that we follow on Twitter. 'Caffeine Magazine' were constructing an article to feature up and coming Micro Roasters and were seeking samples to compare in a taste test. What a perfect opportunity for publicity!Read More

Hario V60 Coffee Maker

Chris Queen
Fancy learning one of the simplest and cheapest ways to make a cup of speciality coffee? Great! - because I've made a video guide on how to use the Hario V60 dripper coffee filter.Read More


Now becoming one of the most popular ways to brew coffee, the 'Aeropress' is a great way to make coffee at home, in the office or on the go. There are many various ways to use the Aeropress, this video demonstrates my personal favourite.Read More

Pouring A Rosetta

Chris Queen

Frustrated by your lack of latte art skills? Well, today my friend, we're going to put that right. You have found THE definitive guide to latte art or specifically, pouring a roestta. I'm going to break the pouring method down into a 'step by step' guide. Plus for each step, I'm going to hammer it home into your brain so that it becomes part of your muscle memory. 

All you have to do is watch, concentrate, practice, then show off.

Read More

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