Sunday, March 30, 2008

Melitta Brew

Making coffee can be this simple. But don't forget to use fresh beans and grind, hot water (just beneath the boil) and follow the simple rules.

The most beautiful and important part is the blooming, which is shown very well in the video.

And later on the nice spread and slow pace of the pour.

The person on the video is not my grandmother, although she did it the same way.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Micro Roastery Verellen

Verellen is a cigar company with 140 years of tradition. Not so many people know they once roasted coffee as well. And, till today, even less people know they're starting it up again.
Our # 1 Caffenation aficionado Jazzy Jeff V. launched himself into coffee roasting. It's a micro roaster in the strictest sense possible, but it's working. We already had his wild Limu on the menu and now we're roasting samples of the Brazilian Coromandel Fazenda Sao Joao.
We took it to a Full City + and that's what we needed for espresso.
Cupping profile is medium body, but nice balance with acidity and fruity-floral flavors, a touch of mandarin and caramel and very clean aftertaste.

I'm already looking forward to the next try.
Well done Jeff.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Duane Sorenson

This man is inspiring me. Never met him, but hopefully, one day, i will.
Read this great article from The News Tribune, Soundlife.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

God Shot Wanted?

After reading this great article in The Guardian, i again was surprised how difficult it can be for a regular coffee amateur to brew a top cup at home. And because helping people to improve their Barista skills was one of the goals of this blog, i decided to write this post.

Of course your equipment does matter, but believe me if i say that a good Barista's going to pull better shots on your small household equipment that an average Barista with 'professional' gear. And forget about regular bartenders in this city/country ; they don't know anything about it.

What you need to do is reading blogs like this one, participate at Barista Jams, talk to professional or trained Barista's, watch the moves at the bar, read magazines or follow coffee forums. And for the Dutch speaking amateurs, which is a 60+ percent of Antwerp Barista readers(!), there's some good news these days on the forum front : KOFFIEPRAAT.
So everybody who's on the lookout for better coffee at home, at work or behind the bar : just click the link.

For those who want a quick resumé of what can help them to obtain a (espresso) God Shot :

Start with a clean and hot machine.
Use fresh beans.
Grind the beans yourself and shot by shot.
Take good and easy blends before experimenting with single origins.
Watch out for (too) lightly roasted beans.
Adjust the grind, volume and tamping pressure to obtain a correct extraction.
Use warm cups.
Never be afraid to ask for help : we're there for you.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Coffee Kids Day Today

Today was the day.

The whole afternoon Caffenation was packed with very enthusiastic and generous coffee lovers.
924,97 euros is the incredible amount we collected for the Coffee Kids Organisation.

Thanks Dieter, Bird, Daisy, Katrien, Noömi, Jessie and Elisa for the support. I'll count on you again for next year Easter Monday.

I'm very happy and satisfied with this beautiful day and hope the organisation can use this money in a good way.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Costa Rica Blue Mountain

When Roaster Jean showed me this bag, resting in his roastery, i was fully surprised.
We all know the all famous Jamaica Blue Mountain, but the Costa Rica B.M.????
Nothing reported on the web and also the trader Phoenix didn't give any more information.

Well, let us roast some...

And the results on Medium Roast :

This big bean (small Pacamara size) is a winner.
The cupping shows good balance between body, acidity, flavor and a super clean aftertaste. We're missing some fruit, but as we're going to use this one for espresso and because we have enough tea's, Colombian and African beans, i don't really care. A resemblance with the Jamaican B.M. is not noticeable.

In the small espresso's i like the strong, fresh overall taste, although not everybody enjoys the domination of acidity and bitters. I guess that a darker roast could do some good for this drink.

The larger coffee's made with 14 grams of espresso ground in a double filter, 20 pound tamp and 30 seconds extraction gives one of the best lungo's of the year. Nice body, superb acidity-flavor balance and an aftertaste that is very full, pleasantly mild and super clean!

Equipment : Faema E91 3-group, Portaflon portafilters, Fiorenzato T80 grinder, Espresso Lab convex Tamper.

This bean could be a winner in our future Specialty Coffee project.

Clover >< Starbucks

After numberous articles about Starbucks and Clover, this one is probably the most spectacular one and sited on the Clover Equipment website, which could be resulting in entering a Starbucks for a fine cup of Joe :

We are proud to announce that the Starbucks Coffee Company has entered into an agreement to acquire The Coffee Equipment Company. This merger will take our passion for coffee, hardware and innovation to the biggest possible stage. The Clover revolution couldn't have happened without all of our friends—the roasters, the baristas, the cafés, and the growers. The revolution lives on.

We are incredibly grateful to our early adopters for taking a chance on our machine. Through these partnerships, we've been able to elevate the profile of brewed coffee around the world.
We will continue to proudly support all of the deployed Clovers with parts and service.
Starbucks is uniquely positioned to change the way the world thinks about brewed coffee with its coffee heritage and tremendous passion for the industry. Working together profound change is possible.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Coffee Kids Charity Day







Bestmax Water Filter

Optimising drinking water with Bestmax filter cartridges from water + more.

After being pessimistic about all types of 'new' water filtering, i started to change after this Coffee Collective study. Part I. Part II.
When i met our Faema man Ronny the other day he convinced me this system is the one and only for the Espresso Machine. And so i ordered one. To install tomorrow. Curious....

Later on the month our testing results....

Apetown Drawing

We have a coffee drinking animal ; it looks like an ape on human scale. ;-)
And it's a damn good animator. Or is Ariete the animating animal? Thanks anyway.

Irish Barista Champion 2008

I noticed Stephen Morrisey's win on his flying thud blog (i like the name). And it's Peter D who mailed me yesterday to say Stephen and not Soren is his WBC favourite. Many more will probably follow, but we definitely are going to keep an eye on this flying thud, we all know as the trainer of James towards his WBC title last year.

And with him serving a Coffee Collective Coffee, it's really going to be a Kontra-CC battle in June. The Antwerp Barista's looking forward.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Danish Barista Championship 2008

The winner is: Søren Stiller Markussen.
I heard he diserved to win last year, but finally did it. And directly the main favourite for the WBC in his home city Copenhagen in june. Good luck Soren. I wonder he still goes with Kontra.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Vintage Machines

My friend Tibor from Switserland mailed me this
Julius Groten url.

Very very beautiful vintage espresso machines.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Jammin' on Sunday Eve

See all people staring at me talking about the Kenya AA. And the cupping table ready for take off.

Larissa, Liche, Nathalie, Jan, Addie, Roel, Michael, Kris, Yves, Andries, Mama Eva, Bart I and II, Caroline, Annelies and my charming assistant Katrien were all excited about last weeks Barista Jam.

We had a regular Santos, Yirgacheffe, Guatemala SHB and Togo Robusta to cup. No better way to teach about the difference between arabica and robusta as sending the people to the cupping table.
It was two hours of coming together, talking and drinking coffee and having good fun. As our world champion mentioned earlier this week ; that's what it's all about.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Espresso of the week : Puerto Rico

Espresso/Lungo of the week is the Washed Puerto Rico, Yauco Selecto Estate 17/18 AA

As i wrote last year : Very heavy body, some sweet bitter caramel, nice tanginess, dark and complex flavors and very clean aftertaste resting on the top of the tongue.

Our number 1 of 2007, but not that high level this year. Is the roast less? Too old greens? Still very good though.

More to know about this wonderfull bean : click it.

Notice on the photo our vintage Fiorenzato T80 grinder.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Latte Lingo Part III

You have all these very typical names and expressions in our (coffee) world.
In part 1 and 2 i already mentioned some stuff, but today it's about the weirdest abbreviations and names.

Going over the menu we notice a lot of remarkable things. What for Lingo you hear us screaming or writing down?...

Cor = Cortado
Mac = Caffè Macchiato
Cap = Cappuccino
CC = Cappuccino with chocolate
Soy Pooh = Soy based latte with honey on top
Art = Double shot latte
DSL = Double shot latte
Radi = Strong lungo radicale
Forte = Double shot iced mocchacino
Macho = Mocha
Bouchée = White chocolate mocha
Nutty Latte = Latte with a shot of hazelnut syrup
Perfecto = Latte with ice cream
Bitter Moon = Mokka Harrar shot with cinnamon and dark chocolate
Al C(apone) = Lungo with cacao powder and cream on top
Flat = Latte with (almost) no foam
Vienna = Cappuccino with dark cacao powder and cream
Soy Decaf Latte Hot = Extra hot decafeinated soy drink latte
Dolce = Iced Latte with cream and cinnamon sugar
Kids ... = Smaller and decorated version of whatever
Mellow Man = Cappuccino with marsh mellows
Soa = Iced Italian soda
Soy 70 = Soy based extra dark chocolate drink
Iced shock = Iced chocolate drink
MC = Milky Caramel or milk chocolate drink with ice cream and caramel
WW = Warm white chocolate drink

Of course some of these names are just fantasy names. Others are very typical for the world wide coffee industry in the year 2008.

For part 4 we tell you more about typical verbs and habits. Looking forward?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Faema History

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

FAEMA (Italian acronym: Fabbrica Apparecchiature Elettromeccaniche e Affini) primarily engaged in the production of espresso machines, was founded in 1945 by Carlo Ernesto Valente, in Milan, Italy. Faema was to become synonymous with the postwar production boom in Italy, by actively pursuing technological innovation as the company's driving force.

In the 1950s, Faema began with horizontal boiler, lever piston machines, which were typical of the time. In 1961, however, Faema released the E61, an espresso machine introducing many 'firsts' which are still commonly found in most espresso machines. The most significant was the delivery of pressurized water through a mechanical pump at approximately 9 BAR, replacing the piston-lever designs of the 1950s. Faema got around the problem of running heated water through the pump, by running cold water through the pump, through a heat exchange tube through the steam boiler to flash heat the water, before entering the diffusion block and through the ground coffee to create an espresso. Faema also introduced a new grouphead that was kept warm by circulating water from the boiler through the grouphead in a thermosyphon circuit. The grouphead was activated by a lever, which when partially open, allows the release of pressure created from the municipal water line. That pressure soaked the coffee with brew-temperature water, allowing for a smoother extraction. When the lever is fully raised, the pump is activated and the coffee is extracted at full pressure.

The implications of the technological innovation of the E61 was nothing short of revolutionary, and allowed Faema to acquire a significant espresso machine market share within years. Faema recently reintroduced a replica model for commercial use.

Another impact of the E61 is in the home espresso machine market. A generic replica version of the E61 grouphead, coupled with the heat exchange boiler has become popularized in Europe, North America and Australia. While the aesthetic appeal of the E61 group is cited as a reason for its popularity, the grouphead paired with a heat exchange boiler also created a new level of home espresso quality for consumers.

Arty jkOnTheRun Logo

Monday, March 3, 2008

Explosivelimes Espresso Drawing

Starbucks is emphasizing their Espresso this Spring. I decided today to paint with it. Materials used: Starbucks Doppio Espresso, and Stir Stick. Enjoy!


Found this nice espresso drawing at the explosivelimes blog.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Espresso Bar Photo's

Coffee Bullit. For fun.

Cookie's waiting for coffee.