An English, Italian and Fairtrade Breakfast with
Granola, Honey and Coffee
What can be nicer than a leisurely breakfast? And, especially when that breakfast is filled with high quality and delicious products and ingredients, such as treacle and pecan granola from Lizi’s Granola, a cup of organic fair trade coffee from Puro Coffee and some divine Italian acacia honey from Emilia Romagna. I was lucky enough to be sent samples to try from all of the above recently, and there is not better way to try them out for review, than enjoy them all for breakfast! I was asked to make a recipe with the honey, by Michelin starred chef Theo Randall, but as yet I have not had time, so I had some honey with my coffee and granola to “test taste” it before I make the cake this weekend! I also plan to bake with some of the delicious Lizi’s granola I was sent, but for now I would like to share an unadulterated review with my readers, all recipes for these products will follow on later. But, lets start with the coffee, as who doesn’t like a cup of coffee first thing in the morning!
Puro Coffee Review:
I was sent a lovely little coffee tasting kit, that comprised three of Puro’s fairtrade coffees, Puro Noble, Puro Fuerte and Puro Oragnic; plus some gorgeous little cups and saucers, some hot chocolate and some brown sugar – all of the products were presented in a lovely little hessian sack! Puro made a short film (a documentary brought to your right from the heart of the South American Rainforests, and filmed recently by them about their ongoing projects), that they are really proud of. You can watch online at www.vimeo.com/fairtradecoffee/our-story. Puro was created in 2005 and since its conception, has always sourced Fairtrade, organic and shade grown coffee. They recognise that in this day and age, with a growing ethical and environmental awareness, people want to know that they are purchasing a product that comes from a conscious heart and therefore paving a way for a better future. Taking it a step further, they are at the forefront of buying and protecting rainforests and are actively working alongside the World Land Trust, whose patron is Sir David Attenborough. For every cup of coffee sold, money is given to buy and protect areas of rainforest in South America. To date, they have saved over 5,600 acres (approx 6,000 football fields) of rainforest across 3 Puro reserves in Ecuador, Brazil and Colombia with the help of our loyal clients.
You may have already come across Puro coffee (although they don’t have their own coffee shops), as they supply some of the UK’s leading chains of cafes and restaurants, such as National Trust, Le Pain Quotidien, Leon, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Wyevales Garden Centre, amongst many others. I have enjoyed drinking it in many a National Trust tea room and I loved the samples I was sent. Below are my tasting notes:
Type: Fairtrade, Shade Grown
Variation: Also available in Decaf
Origins: Peru, Honduras, Guatemala, Congo
Finest Arabica content: 80%
Premium Robusta content: 20%
Description: The complex character of this blend comes from the mild and smooth yet floral Guatemalan high grown Arabicas skillfully blended with the Peruvian Arabicas for a perfect balance of flavour. Through the addition of the premium Robusta, a hint of dark chocolate is injected into the cup thus ensuring this blend works well in all situations.
My tasting notes: This coffee also comes in a decaffeinated version, which, for me would be perfect for night time enjoyment. It’s a lovely blended coffee with almost cocoa flavours, with a smooth and well-rounded taste. I tried it black and with milk, and I loved it both ways, especially when sweetened with floral acacia honey. A perfect all-rounder, and a coffee that is suitable for any time of day.
Type: Fairtrade, Shade Grown
Origins: Peru, Honduras, Guatemala, Congo
Finest Arabica content: 50%
Premium Robusta content: 50%
Description: Wow, good morning and a warm welcome from this intense fiery blend. This dark roasted blend of high grown Arabica’s with the finest Congo Robusta’s creates a warm balanced cup with lively fragrant flavours, which when added to perfectly tempered milk creates a bitter-sweet chocolate.
My tasting notes: Rich and robust, this is not a coffee for the faint hearted and it would be perfect as an early morning wake up or a mid afternoon pick-me-up. It’s a lively coffee with a lot of character, and my strong coffee loving husband loved it! I preferred the coffee when served with hot milk, and I will try it with cream next time I make a cup.
Type: Fairtrade, Organic, Shade Grown
Origins: Peru & Honduras
Finest Arabica content: 100%
Description: This amazingly delicate blend is distinctive in flavour. It combines beautifully soft notes of chocolate with citric over tones that gives it a fruitiness whilst adding natural sweetness.
My tasting notes: Beautifully mellow and a real smooth cup of coffee; I am a latte kind of girl and yet I loved this black, just sweetened with a little honey. I also tried it with some brown sugar, and the taste was almost like smooth caramel – a “mocha” type coffee with great depth, my favourite out of the three samples I was sent.
Conclusion: Ethical coffee that supports small farmers or plantation workers, beautifully but simply packaged with something for everyone in their range.
The Fairtrade Foundation has set the standard to help lift working conditions and improve the lives of millions of people who work in the coffee growing dependent communities in the developing world. We recognise the need for Fairtrade and are both committed and proud to pay fair prices for all of our coffee beans
Lizi’s Granola Review:
I was sent a packet of Lizi’s award-winning (2* Gold Taste award-winning!) Treacle & Pecan granola, and it was absolutely DELECTABLE! How Lizi’s granola started:
“Soon after Mick and I married, we went on holiday to Cornwall and stayed in a B&B which served a delicious toasted muesli for breakfast. I went home thinking that I would like to make something like that and so I set about experimenting with toasting my own oats, nuts and seeds. With help from Mick, who is the ultimate taste panel, I finally perfected a toasted muesli which we both loved.
Having made the perfect breakfast cereal, the next obvious step was to open my own B&B in our Oxfordshire cottage. Everyone loved the cereal, I seemed to be making it every day. But it wasn’t until some American guests said “your granola is just so delicious” that we heard the name “granola”, and, of course, after that I always called it Granola.
Lots of guests said I should “bag it and sell it”, and whilst that has taken many years to happen, I finally did just that. Over the years I have modified the recipe here and there to take account of nutritional developments, in particular to reduce its glycaemic impact, but always with the view that my Granola should taste “just so delicious”.
My tasting notes on Treacle & Pecan Granola: A “fresh” tasting granola that was not too sweet, which, is my usual concerns with this popular breakfast cereal. This particular flavour of granola has won a Gold Taste Award and it’s easy to see why; it’s packed with pecans and the treacle adds a rich almost toffee taste. The ingredients in this cereal are: Jumbo rolled oats, rapeseed oil, desiccated coconut, pecans (7%), fructose, black treacle (4%), oligofructose*, golden linseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and natural flavourings. (*Oligofructose is a natural soluble fibre derived from chicory. As a prebiotic it helps maintain a healthy digestive system.) I loved the texture and nuttiness of the added pumpkin seeds as well as the sweetness of coconut, it was really superb.
Review for Emilia Romagna Honey:
Emilia Romagna Honey: Emilia Romagna – ‘Il miele dell’Emilia Romagna’ (10,000 Beekeepers, 2,000 tons of honey per year) Located in north central Italy, Emilia Romagna is bordered by the Apennines mountains to the west and plains to the east to the Adriatic sea. For those interested in history, Emila Romagna’s past is richly documented by art, museums and architecture. But a plethora of food festivals, food museums, markets, food and wine routes offer a gastronomic adventure today (see Emilia Romagna Tourism). Honey and bee products are an important part of the region’s agricultural output. The National Institute of Beekeeping (Formerly the INA, now known as CRA-API) is located in Bologna since it was established in 1931. This houses an exhibition of hives and equipment of the past including cork bark hives from Sardinia and models of apiaries of regional villages. It is the home of the Big Honey Competition – ‘Grandi Mieli d’Italia’ held since 1980 in Castel San Pietro Terme in the province of Bologna where the best honey in Italy are awarded from one to three “Drops of Gold”.
My tasting notes: I was sent a pot of Acacia – ‘Miele di acacia’ (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) and I have to say that is was AMAZING! A clear, pale straw coloured honey, it had a pungent floral smell and yet a very delicate taste; I tried a teaspoon by itself, as well as adding some to coffee. I cannot wait to use this in the recipe I was sent, by Michelin starred chef Theo Randall! A beautiful, crisp and floral honey of the highest quality and with an excellent pedigree.
Disclaimer: I was sent the products as listed above for free, to try for review; all views and opinions are my own and I was encouraged to post my honest appraisal for all of the products I received. Karen S Burns-Booth