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The East London

Coffee Company

Espresso coffee

A strong, concentrated brew of coffee where a small amount, usually 30ml, of near boiling water is forced through approximately 7-8g of finely ground coffee beans. Espresso is normally served as a single or double ‘shot’ (60ml.) and is the base for many other popular coffee drinks. Espresso is usually served without milk in a smaller cup.

Drip or filter coffee

Common in homes, conferences and offices. Hot water is allowed to drip through ground coffee which has been placed in a paper filter, and into a serving jug. There are numerous appliances used for this purpose, some keep the serving jug and coffee warm for on-going use. Filter coffee is generally made from a milder roast (beans) and a slightly courser grind than espresso. A commom error is for users to allow filter coffee to stand. The unfortunate truth is filter coffee is best served within 30 minutes of being made. From then it starts losing it’s flavour quite quickly.

Cafe au Lait or Cafe Latte

Directly translated as coffee with milk and defined as a strong coffee (usually espresso) mixed with hot or frothed milk on a 1:1 ratio. The Latte variant often containing more milk and/or froth than the au lait.

Cautionary announcement - Advisory

There are numerous ways of preparing coffee, too many to be covered here. We have tried to give some basic and very generalised descriptions of the more popular items on the typical coffee menu.

What is crema

Crema is the much discussed, so called holy-grail of good coffee. This is the light, reddish brown aromatic froth usually present on the top of a quality espresso. It develops when air bubbles combine with the coffee’s soluble oils. It is often said that it is the presence of a thick crema which measures both the skill of the barista.


“Ah, per favore posso avere un cappuccino!” Cappuccino is one of the more popular espresso based coffee drinks. Espresso is combined with hot milk and steamed milk foam on a 1:1:1 basis. A cappuccino contains a smaller proportion of steamed milk than a café latte and is often served in a slightly larger cup or mug. A traditional cappuccino was served in a small cup of between 120 and 150 ml and generally consisted of one shot of espresso and the rest 1/3 milk and 1/3 foam. In South Africa, we most often use a 240 ml cup for cappuccino and I find a single shot makes a milky-mix whereas a double shot or perhaps 1.5, makes a far better product.


Caffè Americano

Instant Coffee

Decaffeinated Coffee

Espresso with a dash of foamed milk, usually served with a cocoa sprinkle.

What or who is a barista

Barista is the Italian word for bar-tender, one who serves any type of drink, including coffee. The word has been adapted in the English speaking world to refer to one with a high knowledge and skillful ability to prepare and serve the different coffee types, more especially those that are espresso based. The term barista has come to represent someone who approaches the skill of serving coffee as a creative art form.

What is an artisan coffee roaster?

The emergence and convenience of instant coffee, from the 50’s to now, tempted many coffee lovers into a world of instant gratification at the cost of quality and flavour. While attempts were made at brand definition, workable additives and larger granules, it was never quite the same.

There are many elements to a good coffee from a manufacturing viewpoint, for example, the right beans, the roast profile, the cooling process, standing time and flavour analysis. Freshness, packaging and a multitude of variables all add up to make a so-called ‘good coffee.’ To mass produce coffee in accordance with a general recipe is difficult, nigh impossible, and this where the artisan roaster comes in. His role is to fine-tune the process, as an artist might do an oil-painting, to deliver a bean of exceptional quality.

Filter machines

Learn more about the most popular coffee drinks

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