Great Coffee and Neon Kitchen Tools

This week I’ve got a very colourful line up for you, in the form of Country Kitchenwares Supplies new “Zeal Neon” range of Kitchen Tools, but before I start on that, we had a very interesting training session from Jack Vincent, our Sage (Coffee machines and all things electrical) Account Manager.

The subject was their highly capable “Barista Touch Coffee Machine”. At £1,049 it’s not given away, but if you’re a coffee aficionado and love mucking around with the grind, the temperature et al then this machine is certainly one to consider, and it’s probably the market leader in this price range.

Currently we’re price matching at £899.00.

The training session was almost an hour long (and was really quite superb) so I don’t have time to go into lots of detail here, but I thought I’d pass on a few tips, most of which apply when making a coffee in any machine, where you have some control over the outcome (i.e. NOT pod machines like Nespresso).

One of the first things he talked about were the three or four elements that are essential for a good cup of coffee.

1.      Dose. The correct dose is between 18 and 22 gms of coffee.
2.      Temperature. There is only one correct temperature (to get the best extraction from the coffee beans) and that is 93°C.
3.      Pressure.  Ideally is 9 bars. This is also affected by the grind* and age of the coffee beans and how hard it’s been tamped down.
4.      Milk.  And lastly the milk should be steamed at 130°C.

*Older beans need to be ground finer to get the correct extraction.

Below is what he recommended, in an ideal world, to get the best cup of coffee.

1.      Coffee beans when fresh/green (unroasted) last 6-8 months.
2.      Coffee beans when roasted last 6 weeks.
3.      Coffee beans when ground last 6 minutes.

Decaf. If buying decaffeinated beans, go for ones that have the caffeine removed by the Swiss Water Method (not the chemical alternative)

Tamping.  And, talking of tamping down the ground coffee in the coffee holder, then the pressure you should apply is surprisingly high, at 10kg. Quite how one measures this is another matter…bathroom scales on the kitchen counter perhaps and measure what 10kg feels like? I suppose this may not be a bad starting point…?

Zeal Neon Kitchen Tools
Country Kitchenware Supplies have been around since the ark, or to put it another way, they were one of our earliest suppliers, run by a couple, Humphrey and Jenny Bartleet. James, their son, who has since joined them in the business, came to see me a few weeks ago to show me a new range of wonderfully bright kitchen tools, that I suspect he had a considerable hand in.

All fashioned in either Silicone or Melamine they come in four bright contrasting colours of Lime Green, Orange, Blue and Pink. To my eye they are just a winning combination… and, I suppose, that I’ve listed almost seventy of them, shows how impressed I’ve been, with both the colours and the quality.

There are 17 pieces in the range which comprise.


Spatula Spoon 

Cooking Tongs 

Square Trivet  

Small Tray 30cm x 21cm  

Cooks Turner 

Mini Cooking

Salad Bowl 26cm 

Butter Dish 

Cooks Spoon 

Stacking Egg
Cup Set 

Salad Servers 28cm

Mini Colander 15cm 

Ergonomic Spatula 

Basting Brush  

Mini Tray 18cm x 14cm
(a 2 mug tray) Imperially 5” x 7”


Small Colander 20cm  

Berry Colander 10cm


I have one or two favourite pieces, the Spatula Spoon which has wonderfully flexible edges that allow every last drop to be scraped off, the tongs which with their silicone “hands” allow surprisingly precise lifting and placing of foods, and the Mini Tray that I can imagine my afternoon tea arriving on, accompanied, of course, by a slice of freshly made chocolate cake on the tray beside it.

In my imagination this cake would be freshly baked in the shop, by a member of the team whose sole purpose in life is to keep me happy and pampered. Now, careful here…. if your mind is drifting off piste, then please remove it and give it a thorough wash. Bringing it back to tea and cake, be content that you are now privy to one of my fantasies, that along with many others, has yet to come to fruition.  

Everything is pretty well in stock, barring some colours of the Berry Colander and the Basting Brushes.  

The offer for you, dear subscriber, is 20% off when you buy two or more of pieces from the range.

Please tell us who you are if coming into Reigate or Cobham.

Alternatively use Code NEON20 if shopping online.

The offer finishes midnight Monday.


Browse all Zeal Neon Kitchen Tools


The Middle East or Irish Spelling?
Having been reading about the awful conflict unfolding in the middle east, I wasn’t sure whether to finish by sparing a thought for everyone involved, the roots of which go back 3,000 years and which makes trivial, talk of coffee machines and kitchen tools.

Or should I end on a lighter note?

I’ve chosen the latter, maybe because like everyone else (?) I find it difficult to see a solution to a conflict that has gone on so long.           

A little humour
We have a brilliant business adviser, who is of Irish decent but who’s surname defeats me every time I go to write it down. I’ll leave Bill Bryson to give you his take on how, in his fantasy, the Irish approach spelling.

He says, “Irish is a language in which spelling and pronunciation give the impression of having been devised by separate committees, meeting in separate rooms, while implacably divided over some deep semantic issue.”  

Beautifully put Bill…I so wish I could write so amusingly and with such pith!

I trust you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend.

Kind regards


Andrew Bluett-Duncan


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