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1942 Blend - Mr Higgins Recommends
My coffee recommendation for the month of May is our 1942 Blend, created by my son David as a tribute to his grandfather, who began H. R. Higgins (Coffee-man) Ltd. in 1942 during the dark days of the Second World War. His fledgling business had to be wholesale only at first because, as he said, you couldn't expect retail customers to climb five flights of stairs to his attic premises!

It was there, two years later, that I climbed those stairs, gradually becoming aware of the wonderful aroma of freshly roasted coffee. It was then that he prepared me what was to be my first cup of coffee. I was six, and I fell in love with coffee and the business. He worked all hours of the day and night to get the business running and opened our first shop in June 1946 on the ground floor and basement of 42 South Molton Street where we roasted coffee, sending the enticing aroma to everyone coming into Oxford Street from Bond Street Underground Station.

1942 has become one of our most popular blends; you can find out more about how David created it in this blog. Though David created this blend of Central and South American coffees for espresso makers (see below for guides to making Espresso with an espresso machine or stovetop), have no hesitation in preparing it in filter pour overs, cafetières or Aero Press - I have yet to find the method that fails to show its rich, full flavour. It makes for a perfect finish to a meal, or just with a croissant or pastry at any time of the day.

I hope that it may become one of your favourites.


Tony Higgins


You will need:

Espresso machine, 18g coffee, grinder, tamp, knock box, tamp mat, scales.

  • Remove the portafilter from the group head and wipe clean and dry with a towel. 
  • Grind your 18g coffee to a fine, powder-like consistency
  • Put the coffee into the portafilter and tamp evenly with a medium-hard pressure on the tamp mat. The ground coffee should be flat and level.
  • Rinse the group head to remove any spent coffee that may have been left behind. Position the scales under the espresso cup and tare off. 
  • Insert the portafilter and press the double espresso button to begin extraction. The espresso should look thick and creamy as it begins to extract. 
  • The overall time of the extraction should be 28 seconds (+/- 5 seconds), any faster or slower and the grind will need to be adjusted. 
  • Total weight of the espresso should be 36g.
  • Remove the portafilter, knock out the spent coffee, wipe clean and place back in the group head. 
  • Serve and enjoy your espresso.
Stove Top Espresso

You will need:

Stovetop, 16g coffee, grinder, filtered water, hob.

  • Unscrew the top half of the Stove Top and remove the basket.
  • Fill the bottom chamber with hot water until it is just below the pressure valve on the side.
  • Grind your coffee to a medium-coarse, castor sugar, consistency and fill the basket with around about 16g, levelling it off with your finger once finished.
  • Place the basket back into the bottom chamber and screw the top back on. Turn on your stove to a medium heat and sit the Stove Top on.
  • Watch the amount of coffee coming through into the top chamber remembering how much water you put it, once it reaches half the volume remove the Stove Top from the heat and allow the rest to flow through.
  • Serve and enjoy! Allow the Stove Top to cool before you dismantle it.

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