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Bedfordshire Business Awards 2016

Young Business Person of the Year Finalist

Chef of the Month

I am extremely grateful and proud to say that I have been nominated and go through to the finals of the Bedfordshire Business Awards 2016, for Young Business Person of the Year.

I am certain that I won't get any further than this, but becoming a finalist is more than enough for me, with only 8 months of ownership under my belt, in my first coffee shop, I am extremely proud of what I've achieved so far and will continue to strive to be even better in the future.

Thank you again to all of my lovely customers for your continued support and for making Espresso-Head more than just a job for me.

 

Bedfordshire Food & Drink Awards 2016

We came 3rd!

Chef of the Month

We were lucky enough to receive 3rd place (commended) at the Bedfordshire food & drink awards 2016 , Best Tea/Coffee shop - independent category.

Out of 23 nominations and 8 finalists this is a great achievement for us, especially being such a small shop in comparison to the rest of the competition.

We would like to thank all of our customers who voted for us, as none of this would have been possible without your time and support

We hope this is the start of more awards and better things in the future.

Apply today

Barista's Wanted!

Chef of the Month

Espresso-Head is looking for new ad-hoc and part time Barista’s. We are a small, but busy micro speciality coffee shop looking for enthusiastic, capable barista’s with a passion for great service to join our team.

You'll be working with some of the best machinery around, combined with coffee from some of the greatest roasters Europe has to offer.

Espresso-Head is an Icelandic inspired Coffee shop based in Leighton Buzzard.

Experience within the coffee industry would be a bonus but not necessarily a must for the right candidate as full training will be provided.

If you love great speciality coffee, fancy yourself a bit of a foodie, seek out artisan pastries or unique coffee brew methods then you will love Espresso-Head!

Are you?

  • Passionate about specialty coffee
  • Customer and service focused
  • Fun with a sense of humor
  • Organized with the ability to work independently
  • Willing to deliver outstanding service and products
  • Business savvy with the ability to demonstrate success

Well then join us…..

Send your CV with a covering letter

info@espresso-head.co.uk

Hand -Made chocolate from Reykjavik, Iceland

Omnom Chocolate

Chef of the Month

We are now one of only 5 proud resellers of Omnom Chocolate in the UK.


With its frame-worthy graphic packaging, bold, whimsical flavours, and Icelandic origin story, Omnom Chocolates has been drawing international interest since its inception in November of 2013. With virtually zero marketing and fuelled by pure love of the (cacao) bean, this little company has been growing exponentially while providing Icelanders and foreigners alike with thoughtful, punchy chocolate that hits all the marks.

The History

Back in 2012, after stints working as a chef in Norway, Sweden, Luxembourg and at Reykjavik’s Dill restaurant, Kjartan Gíslason realized that he knew very little about chocolate, an ingredient he’d used extensively over the course of his career. An innate and lifelong curiosity coupled with a natural propensity for experimentation led him to start ordering beans online and attempt to make his own bean-to-bar chocolate at home.

Gíslason would roast the cacao beans himself, cracking them open and grinding them by hand. Family and friends on the receiving end of this heady research responded with overwhelming enthusiasm, giving Gíslason and his now-partners—Óskar Þórðarson, Karl Viggó Vigfússon and André Úlfur Visage—the encouragement they needed to try their hand at commercial production. 

In September 2013, Omnom Chocolates was officially born.

From November to December of 2013, the modest team at Omnom made all their bars—about 5000 over that time period—by hand. Not long after they moved into their current production site: a minute house-shaped facility that sits on a now-defunct gas station lot. These days, they’re producing about 5000 bars per week. “It could easily have been a flash in the pan,” says Gíslason of his foray into the world of chocolate; but luckily for tastebuds worldwide, it grew into something more.

The Process

The Roast
Omnom receives their cacao beans fermented and dried from places like Madagascar and the Dominican Republic. The beans are roasted in an on-site convection oven, with personalized roasting times for each bean to ensure optimal flavour. 

The Winnow
After a 1-2 day cooling period, the roasted beans are then transferred to the winnowing machine, where the brittle husks are cracked and discarded while the toothsome nibs are set aside for grinding.

The Melange & Conch
Once the flavour-packed cocoa nibs have been extracted, they’re placed into one of the facility’s six melanger machines (from the French “to mix”) for about 72 hours. Here, granite stones grind the cocoa nibs into a liquid paste. This is also the stage at which any additional ingredients, like sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder or flavouring agents are added. The machines work double duty, “conching”—or further refining and incorporating—the ingredients, until they become a smooth liquid stream of chocolate (think: Willy Wonka’s chocolate waterfall).

The Temper
Once refined, the liquid chocolate is transferred to a tempering machine, where the chocolate is cooled while being kept in constant motion thanks to a large paddle. Tempering is essential for aesthetically pleasing chocolate and a silky mouthfeel. Properly done, it results in a final product with exceptional smoothness, shine and a crisp, satisfying snap when bitten into.

The Final Touch
Finally, the tempered chocolate is poured into moulds, cooled even further and wrapped by hand. Yes, every single bar of Omnom chocolate is wrapped by hand.

The Flavours

Dirty Blonde – Not your normal white chocolate. Made with organic unprocessed cacao butter, caramelized sugar and Icelandic milk powder*, this rich, buttery bar white and dark milk bar explores the previously unplumbed depths of white chocolate.

Milk of Madagascar – A silky smooth single origin 45% milk chocolate bar, featuring bright berry-flavoured beans from Madagascar, organic cacao butter and a liberal dose of Icelandic milk powder.

Dark Milk + Burned Sugar – Soft, smoky caramelized milk and sugar flavours make this 55% bar a wonder to behold. Its round, complimentary notes and caramel-like decadence lends itself to “just one more bite” syndrome, as you try to pin down what makes this bar just so damn compelling.

Madagascar – A 66% dark chocolate bar that encapsulates a range of nuances and highlights the complexity a single type of bean can have. Forest fruit and red berry notes rub shoulders with earthy, floral aromas.

The Packaging

Omnom’s distinctive colourful, graphic packaging was conceived by South African designer André Úlfur Visage. Captivated by Iceland after spending a few years travelling around the island, Visage eventually became a citizen, adopting the Icelandic middle name Úlfur, meaning “wolf”. Omnom’s logo became a physical manifestation of Visage’s wolf—all clean lines and angles.

The cardboard wrappers that envelope the chocolates are their own experience. Like unwrapping a present, they delight even further once completely unfolded with subtle designs on the inside. What’s more, the not-too-thick-and-not-too-thin material provides the perfect makeshift plate for sharing the chocolate (or not—we won’t tell). The kicker? Feeling like you’re throwing away a piece of art every time you go to recycle Omnom’s jazzy wrappers.

09/12/15

We're nominated for "Best Independent Coffee Shop"

Chef of the Month

We are extremely grateful and surprised to have been nominated for "Best independent coffee shop" in the Bedfordshire Food & Drink Awards 2016.

It is very humbling to have been nominated, and really proves that we are on the right track, which is always nice to know.

We would appreciate your support and votes, so if you could please spare some time to vote for us at:

Bedfordshire Food & Drink Awards

Thank you to all those who nominated and have voted for us.

12/11/15

The Gitesi Project - Our latest guest bean

Chef of the Month

Alexis and Aime Gahizi are the father and son owners of Gitesi, a coffee washing station in the Karongi region of Rwanda. Named after the community where the station is located, the village community of Gitesi was basically eradicated during the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Buildings were razed, families killed and the village community destroyed.

Having been born in Karongi and recently retired as a councillor in the Kigali Government, Alexis fondly remembered a time when his father and grandfather grew coffee in the region. Wanting to give back to his ancestral roots and help rebuild the area, he set about establishing the Gitesi coffee washing station in 2005.

Years of hardship ensued. With little experience Alexis wasn't aware of the quality of his own coffee. He had no choice but to accept the insistence of a local trader that the quality was poor and to accept a very meagre price for his harvest. By 2010, Gitesi was bankrupt and the bank was insisting the land be sold and the operation abandoned.

Through the foresight of a Technoserve 'turnaround' programme, which lead to a new financing arrangement and a partnership with a local exporter, it was realised that the Gitesi coffee quality was, in fact, excellent. Between 2010 and August 2012 the Gitesi washing station went from bankruptcy to taking 1st place in the Cup of Excellence competition, with a score of 90.194 out of 100. Buyer interest and prices both picked up, and today the station produces up to three containers of high quality and traceable coffee each year.

Cows are an important asset for the smallholder farmer, producing milk for nourishment and sale, as well as organic fertiliser for crops. The first year of our project will see the purchase and donation of cows to smallholder farmers contributing coffee cherries to the Gitesi station. In subsequent years we plan to continue supplying cows, and also taking the calves born from these animals to be gifted to other neighbouring farmers, allowing our project to grow exponentially.