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;
Grammage
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 :
http://caffenation.blogspot.be/2007/08/two-bags-of-stumptown.html

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" :
http://stumptowncoffee.com/processing/natural-process/

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Oromia Coop Ethiopia


Our newest Ethiopian coffee for our main blend Mr LGB is called Layo Teraga. And again it's a coffee brought to us by Oromia.
For years this Cooperative is bringing very nice, sustainable coffees.
Although active in all Ethiopian coffee regions, we tend to stick to their Sidamo offers.
Here some more information about the organization and their beans :

Oromia is the region where coffee first originated and it is by the Oromo people that the usage of coffee as a food started in the beginning of the 5th century. Oromia is approximately located between 3 degree and 15 degree North latitude and 33 degree and 40 degree longitude. The region is known for its unique native vegetation as well as for being the center of diversity for many different species of plant. The region is the birth place of coffee. The Oromo’s use coffee as food, drink, trade, spiritual nourishment and as a tool for peace-keeping.
Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU) is a small farmers owned cooperative union which have members from all coffee growing region in Oromia regional state. OCFCU was established in 1999 to facilitate the direct export of coffee produced by small farmers organized in cooperatives. OCFCU works exclusively in Oromia Regional State, which accounts for more than 65 % of the country’s total coffee growing land
OCFCU exports traceable fair trade and organic certified coffees. The fair trade premium and support from roasters are invested in social projects like schools , health posts , clean water , bridge etc
By the fair trade premiums and support from different roasters above 224 different projects has been completed and provided to the farmers. Some of the project completed photo is posted in our website gallery.
OCFCU pays 70% of its net profit back to the cooperatives and the cooperatives also pay 70% of their profit to the member farmers. This shows that farmers are benefited by being paid three times in one coffee season. This has enabled OCFCU to grow from 34 primary cooperatives representing 22,691 household farmers to 274 primary cooperatives representing 254,052 household farmers. The life of farmers has improved and has also got social service in their village.
OCFCU now have a cupping lab for quality control located at its office and have massive central facility for technical, financial, administrative and also high tech processing facility with capacity of 5 – 7 tones per hour. The processing facility has created a job for more than 1,200 Seasonal employees.
OCFCU have recently created its own members bank which is one of the greatest benefits to its own members for the much needed pre-harvest financing. They also provide their farmers with insurance options to cover coffee against loss.

Sidamo coffee information :
  • Washed and Sun dried
  • Altitude: 1550-2200m(5080-7210ft)
  • Cup: Bright acidity, medium body with spicy and citrus flavors
  • Harvest: October to January
  • Shipment: October to January

Monday, September 1, 2014

Roast ED : New Bags, New Talk



ROAST ED ESPRESSO BLEND

Full city Roast - Strong - Nutty - Medium to Low Acidity

"Espresso blend with a lot of Character". What does this mean?
This coffee is a crowd pleaser. With mixed washed and unwashed (natural processed) beans, this coffee is more easy going and less acidic then most of our other coffees.
The roasting is a tad darker, but still light enough to keep all flavors trapped inside the bean.
The ingredients (mostly 4 different beans) change over time, although the general taste of the blend will stay stable. Our favorite origins for this blend are Ethiopia, Colombia and Brazil.

It fits very well for small or large espresso's and the Bialetti/Mokka Pot.

Our average buying price - green/unroasted coffee - for the ED is €4,7 a kilo.

We have special prices for professionals in Belgium or abroad. Mail us for conditions.

Friday, August 29, 2014

LGB Summer1 testing lab, by Big G

Blackjack (on Hydra Synesso)

Extraction Yield18.9 %
TDS8.0 %
Dose Weight16.1 g
Brew Water Weight54.4 g
Beverage Weight38.1 g
Measured EXT
Measured TDS
Measured BEV
Score8
Liquid Retained Ratio1.20
Moisture0.0 %
CO20.0 %

Shot Details
Temperature92.3 °C
Pressure9.0 Bars
Time30 secs
Pre-InfusionON
Roaster NameCaffenation
Roast StyleMedium - Dark
Farm/FarmerBlend
GrinderAnfim Supercaimano
Grind SettingFine
Roast Date20 aug. 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014