Friday, November 21, 2014

Ethiopia Sidamo Suke Quto Late Harvest Pick

This coffee was already on our menu this year, but we are happy to present to you the Suke Quto Late Harvest Pick.
First time actually we buy the same coffee twice with a 6 months interval.

The Suke Quto is an organic coffee from the Oromia Region, and neighbour of our Sidamo Guji.
The farm was established in 2005 with the idea to implement environment-friendly coffee farming practices under the shade of the natural forest canopy. The original farm, around 1950 masl, was only 5 hectares big but has grown to over 221 hectares now. When a bushfire distroyed most of the forest surrounding the farm, many locals started to grown corn and teff on the land (which leads to soil erosion and will leave the land barren after a few years). Tesfaye, the owner of the farm, came with the idea to distribute coffee – and shade-tree-seedlings. Over 150 outgrowers are now replanting the forest and bringing organic coffee to the Suke Quto farm for processing.

After drying and sorting, beans are bagged in Grain Pro bags. These bags conserve the coffee's flavors way better than the old fashioned jute bags only.

Expect great florals and green tea notes. Clean cup. Superb mouthfeel. Awesome! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Caffenation Amsterdam

After 10 years of working together it's time to get married.

Bert and I worked 10 years our ass off to get Specialty Coffee as a Quality standard in Antwerp and surroundings. But also our professional clients were grateful to use our techniques and learn from our experiences throughout the years.
Of course all for the love of coffee, but, oh boy, what a fun ride that was.
Like this Saturday, back in 2008.
Every week, dozens of stories, and thousands of coffees.

But times roll on and 4,5 years ago Bert falls in love with a Dutch girl.
Things became more serious over the years and 2 years ago i advice Bert to follow that girl, where ever that would lead him. He agrees.
Apparently it became Amsterdam, cause that's the city Esther lives now.

So, we decided to end our relationship.
And marry in stead.
In Amsterdam.
Theophile de Bockstraat is the street, 37 the number.
December 1st the date, if all goes well.

Caffenation Amsterdam is born. You can meet me over there on Saturday mornings. The other days, except for Monday, Bert is running the joint. He's the real owner, but of course we guarantee the good old Caffenation vibe and coffees.

Some photo's of the works and address plates : and hope to see you soon...

Friday, November 14, 2014

New Mr LGB Autumn

60% Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Adado Grade 1
40% Nicaragua La Divina Providencia Red Caturra

-2 great fully washed Specialty Coffees
-Clean, bright cup
-Loves Milk

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Adado Grade 1 :
The Adado Cooperative washing station in the southeastern Ethiopian highlands is one of the best in the country.

The people, living in the Gedeo Zone, south of the capital Addis Ababa, are considered to be a culturally and linguistically distinct group. They are bordered by the Sidama in the East, the Alaba in the North, the Burji in the West and the Guji in the South. All of these groups belong tot the Eastern Cushitic speaking poeple, who traditionally occupied the upper reaches of the Rift Valley escarpment in northern Sidamo. Today the Gedo Zone is one of the most densely populated parts of Ethiopia and the main production area for the world famous Yirgacheffe and Sidamo coffees.

I have to admit we beat you almost to death with another Ethiopian, but isn't it so this year, they are all clean, fruity and very long lasting? This you won't find anywhere else than in the bird cage of coffee, Ethiopia!
Grade 1 stands for the cleanest pick. Less defects give better and more stable coffee!

Nicaragua La Divina Providencia Red Caturra :

The most special about this bean is its flavor of course, although there's something special about the variety as well; Red Caturra.
It is a derivative of the C. Arabica found in Brzail in 1950 and sent to country's like Hawaï, El Salvador and Nicaragua and is similar to the Red Catuai and Pink Bourbon.

The processing of this bean is Fully Washed.

The farmer's name is Misael Sauceda; As the history of many farms goes, Misael Sauceda Olivera and his brothers each inherited a part of the land of their father, Porfirio Sauceda. Misael, however, was lucky enough to be the only brother with a passion for coffee, so he was able to buy the lands from his brothers and gradually expand his own land. In the twelve years that the Cup of Excellence program has been running in Nicaragua, Misael’s La Divina Providencia made it to the international selection five times, ranking second in 2012. With the money he received from these successes, he has been able to greatly improve his farm and buy a new farm, Santa Maria de Guadalupe.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New Rules on the Aeropress Championships

Ensuring your national Aeropress competition runs smoothy and successfully now means fulfilling the below guidelines. It is important that you are still able to stamp your own personality on the competition by interpreting the rules as you see fit, however it is equally important that there is a level of uniformity to the national competitions.
New to 2015
1. A lead time of 6 weeks is required. 
Venue, dates, times, poster and entrance information is required to be submitted to WAC headquarters to ensure sufficient time is given to willing competitors and that enough exposure if given to the event.
2. Poster
A poster must be produced which must include the logos of the global sponsors, the official WAC circuit logo and local sponsors. A high definition version must be submitted to WAC headquarters.
3. Partnering with local distributor
Engagement with the local Aeropress distributor is required, nothing is expected from the relationship apart from allowing the opportunity for the local distributor to be involved - the level of involvement is up to the organiser. The local distributor should looked to as a possible financial supporter of the event.
4. Fulfilling global sponsor requirements
Depending on your country and the relevance of the global sponsors in your region, certain conditions need to be met. Specifics of this will be released soon. It may include ensuring the grinder sponsors grinder is available or the cup sponsors cup is used throughout the competition.
5. The winner of the national competition must be flown to the WACs
Funds must be collected to ensure the winner of the national competition is able to travel to the WACs - this year the WACs will be held in Seattle during the SCAA in April, 2015. This is the responsibility of the local organiser.
6. Reporting & documentation of the event
A thorough report of the event must be completed. This should include a review of the events itself, the top 3 recipes must be submitted, a collection of photography (and video if possible) must be submitted, the names and workplaces of all competitors must be submitted. There will be an online form created to be submitted on completion of the national competition.
7. Agreement 
Signing the agreement form must be completed before the competition organisation begins. This is now in place as multiple local organisers have simultaneously approached WAC headquarters to run the event. To ensure a successful event is carried out - the above conditions need to be agreed to being met.
The above guidelines are in place to ensure a straight-forward and cohesive operation of all national competitions, as well as ensuring the provision of appropriate support to national winners. Our aim is not to be unduly strict, but to encourage and support interested parties to put on a great event. If you feel that your country has exceptional circumstances, please get in touch to discuss the potential for tailored conditions.
Details on the other rules and regulations for the competition can be found here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New Quarter Kilo bags

Our new coffee bags!!
What were we looking after?

More clarity on the type of roast. (espresso - filter)
More direct information on the type of flavor. (strong - fruity - ....)
More help with brewing advise
More Caffenation brand up front (always same original logo and company colors)
Better conservation of the coffee (with alu foil inside)
Funkier (than a mosquito's tweeter) bags (color - funny fonts - ...)

You want to know how that last bit sounds?
Click here

One thing we didn't do is the valve. I know there's been a lot of discussion on this matter, but we tested it and did not notice the need within the first month of use.
And since most people order every week or every two weeks we didn't want to invest in this extra valve. Now we can sell the bags to professionals for 18ct a bag; with valve it would have been double.

Another thing on the choice for this bag :
In general i don't like the coffee bags i see on the market right now;
I don't like the plastic ones - too plastic. Doesn't feel nice and doesn't look nice. Plus, plastic and food is not my fav combo.
I don't like to stick with Kraft bags. Touch and feel is right and it even looks good, but it's so average and boring.
And i don't like all those glossy stickers on bags.
And, i think there's not enough color in the specialty coffee world.

Am i too critical? Maybe, but we wanted to change the game a bit.
On the other hand i see a lot of bars/roasters who invest ton loads in the nice design of their bar and tools and clothing and then got cheap looking and boring bags. I don't want to bring in any examples though.

Not only did we rebrand, but also all legal (Belgian) info has been written on the bags.
This is something missing entirely in today's Specialty Coffee market, but in Belgium they are very strict on this;
Company name and address
Lot number (to trace the coffee up to the roastery)
Conservation date (and eventual info conservation practices)

We need it all to put the bag legally on the shelf.

Hope you like em?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Natural Processed Coffees

El Salvador El Molina Jasal
Ethiopia Kochere Grade 1
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe microlot Red Cherry Superior Grade 1

but also the mega funky and 'natural flavored' Pacamara Kassandra from Mexico are in the house.

Enough sweet funky stuff to fill a lot of cups till the new year!!!

The first time i tasted a Dry Processed coffee from Ethiopia i was blown away.
It was August 2007 when Kees Van der Westen brought along 2 bags from Stumptown. He passed them on to Sietse and he gave us a sample.
One of them was the all mighty Misty Valley from Ethiopia and this was our impression :

Since that first encounter i cupped hundreds of 'naturals', with mixed results. It's typical to be very surprised the first time. The coffee is sweeter, much fruitier and has more body.
The down side is the barn yard smell and flavors. It's a thing we also notice a lot with natural wines and mostly you love it or you hate it.

Over the years it became a new kind of fashion to bring this type of coffees and we also sold a lot of them.
But always with a warning: "Be aware, this is a natural coffee and maybe not what you are looking for..."

I think it's good to serve them, but not when you don't have something 'regular' on offer. Sometimes bars offer just one filter or espresso and then is such a natural processed coffee not very smart.

For Ethiopian Naturals we tend to go towards the Grade 1 picks. These are way cleaner then the Grade 3 or 4. Less earthy, less barn yard and more towards sweet and body. Once cooled down it almost tastes like fruit juice with tea and coffee.

For Centrals we see a lot of experimenting going on. Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the worse.
When done properly we find them less funky, but as good as the Ethiopians. So, we like to offer both of them.

Now waiting when the first Kenyan naturals are coming to town. Or would that be too much of a 'killer'?

Here some more interesting info about 'Natural Processing" :