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One of the nicest things to happen this year was a surprise gift of coffee all the way from Lebanon. And all because of a blog.

Last year, I did a 30 days without supermarkets challenge, in which I aimed to buy all my food from local, small traders. The day I ran out of coffee, I discovered that my favourite Tooting Store, Daily Fresh, sold a very attractive looking Lebanese coffee brand called Maatouk (see earlier blog Wake up and smell the (Lebanese) coffee. As you’ll see from the comment on that post, my coffee adventure was picked up by none other than the nice people at Maatouk itself, in Lebanon. And as promised, the other day, a big parcel arrived for me with a load of different Maatouk coffees to try, a rakweh, and a boxed set of Private Blend that included  a very pretty designer coffee cup.

Private Blend is has a rich, chocolatey taste with no bitter aftertaste. There’s something about the coffee ritual that I love, but especially when it’s made this way. I don’t know which part of the equation is the most important, but there was something about this blend, the rakweh, the cup and the method that turned out one of the best cups of coffee I ever tasted. It’s also convinced me that the short, strong hit of coffee like this in the afternoon is better than anything the milky cappucino has to offer. I probably shouldn’t do, but I love ‘accidentally’ eating the coffee grounds too.  It feels as wrongly right as eating a bar of chocolate in one go. There’ll be more on this topic as I try the other coffees. Watch this space.

My Maatouk coffee collection

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist