As a very young trainee in the early 1950’s I was taught how to prepare my father’s first cup of coffee. As I carefully attended this responsibility and to the ritual of using the French drip filter, which made a lovely cup of coffee but required absolute precision in all aspects of its use, and could appear very temperamental if my attention wandered, and get me into all kinds of trouble, I would see on the shelf above my head a white porcelain utensil with internal fluted sides, shaped like a funnel, and would wonder at its purpose?

Presumably it was for coffee, something to make coffee, but how could you use it without getting coffee grounds into the cup? There was nothing else like it in the firm, and certainly not amongst the coffee makers I had to dust religiously each day.

Eventually I plucked up courage and at the risk of appearing foolish asked what the utensil was for. “Ah, said my father,”That’s a German filter, one day we shall have them to sell once again” He went on to explain how the filter required a special cone shaped filter paper, unlike the other filter methods we had at the time.

Well as everyone knows he was right the distinctive cone shaped filter did come back to the UK and by the time I was managing for the company in the late 1960’s and 70’s this filter method was influencing the UK domestic coffee market in a big way. In my opinion it still remains the most versatile of all the coffee makers, because it is able to give great results for all varieties, from the mildest to the strongest.

To celebrate the re-introduction of cone shaped filter system I decided to create a blend of coffee that would reflect the essential elements of what I found in the best German coffee of the time. A deep background of fullness, A light enticing “sparkle” of acidity, that could enliven the palate. Subtle nutty undertones, and on its introduction I called the blend Hanover(using the English spelling).

You will find it in our selection of Speciality Blends, under “milds”, but it comes at the “stronger” end of this selection, preparing well in other makers as well as filters. As with most medium roasts if you are using a plunger pot cafetiere I recommend being a bit more generous with the amount of ground coffee you use. I hope you enjoy it.

Tony Higgins