Singletrack Magazine issue 114:The Black Fuel

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Words & photography Rob Crayons

Last issue, Chipps filled his crystal tumbler and took us through five of his top armchair whiskies. This time we look to Rob Crayons and his pick of coffees for fuelling our rides. Coffee isn’t just a hot beverage needed to prise one’s eyes open in the morning – there’s a whole world of flavours and aromas that can be extracted from each roast, blend or single origin. Whether it be that first coffee of the day, a mid-ride stop to break out the flask, or a reward for the end of hard ride, having a brew at some point during a riding day (or any day) is a necessity. 

Crayons (as a self-proclaimed office coffee snob) shows us his top picks and preferred brew methods, to give you that perfect hit of caffeine while out riding, or sitting on your sofa at home. Prepare your taste buds, slam on the kettle, and dive into this caffeine-packed selection of trail fuel.

Northern Espresso 

V5

Northern Espresso is the signature blend of The Barista who roast their own coffee in Leeds, and is a great place to start this hot-ticket list. The word ‘blend’ is used to describe a coffee that is made up of multiple elements. Built on a base coffee, a blend typically uses an additional one or two elements to add fruitiness, acidity and character to the brew. V5 is split 60/40 with Costa Rican and Columbian coffees delivering notes of raspberry and green apple, with a baker’s chocolate base. Brewed using a V60 filter, V5 has offered super-consistent taste throughout testing. It’s a belter.

Break Fluid 

Ethiopian Kayon Mountain

Re-establishing the more tenuous link to mountain biking, Break Fluid was set up by two adventure-seeking friends, Chris and Ant. Both mad for two-wheeled action, these chaps came together to create a coffee brand for coffee drinkers, and Break Fluid was born. This is one of their single-origin coffees – the sweet, fruity and mega-distinctive Ethiopian. This coffee is a great for those sleepy mornings with its notes of blueberry, papaya and cream. Perfect preparation before setting out for a day on the bike.

COFFEEKult

Athiopien Sidamo

While on a recent trip to Innsbruck, we had to get our hands on some COFFEEkult goodness. Based in that bustling Austrian city, COFFEEkult has a range of roasts, blends and single origins to try, and this Ethiopian is a super-tasty example. Roasted for espresso and filter, we’ve been tasting it brewed through an AeroPress and the results have been delicious. This is a heart-warming, bold coffee to have in a flask for those nippy, or early morning rides.

Sandows of London

Cold Brew

Unlike the rest of the coffees in my hit list, this little bottle of joy is best served ice-cold. Based in London, Sandows brew and bottle all coffee on site. Brewed overnight, cold brew is made with fresh coffee and filtered water. By brewing slowly, without the use of heat, the process extracts minimal acidity to give you a clean, smooth and more flavoursome end product. It may be an indulgence, but one that can be kept in the fridge until after that long, sweaty summer ride, ready to be enjoyed over ice or with a drop of milk.

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