Thursday, June 26, 2008

Beans & Blends

What never gets tired is tasting coffee. Mostly we taste espresso's, but of course we also do a whole lot of cupping.
And the more we do so, the easier it is to see how we have to roast them and what would be the best brewing technique, or totaly not.

Lately I've been searching for a new Brasilian with a nice price tag. I'm happy with Daterra for example or some Minas Gerais, but it's not only our goal to offer the best coffee, but also at an affordable price. We want to bring the coffee to the people and a good price helps a lot.

What did we cup and what did we blend?

I found out a fantastic Washed Rwanda. Also in England you see this country is getting more and more popular and for good reason. Very interesting for both espresso and filter/press and a taste that's a little bit in between Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and stronger (robusta) African beans. Our bean had good body, nice acidity with bits of fruit, wood and nuts. And a very good clean finish. Top catch and even better than the Rwanda Gold we recently bought at Hasbean.

We were very enchanted the first time we were tasting the Papua New Guinea beans our Roaster Jean bought a couple of months ago. And the more we taste them the better they get.
On lighter roast fantastic for Eva Solo or Press. It has a bit of the earth taste of the neighbours from Indonesia, but less overpowering body, much much more fruit, good balance and a cleaner finish.
On medium/dark roast is goes as a single origin espresso or you can blend it in. And that's what I did.
Since long I was hoping for a good bean to replace the 20% Honduras share in our House Blend. Very fresh, the espresso quality of the Honduras was one of a kind, but never met a bean that looses so much taste over time. And nevertheless we deal very very fresh, it did of course a lot of harm to the stability of the blend.
So we trew out the Hond and took in the Pap. Only 10% ; that's a normal part for beans from this area, but even then most Java's or Sumatra's come through way to hard and give it a tangy touch. Not this Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately we do not know more about the origin of the bean. No specific origin and certainly no estate tracking. So I'm already afraid not to be able to catch the same bean next year. I tasted recently a neighbour version of this bean at Efico though ; maybe we can vary with this one.
At the same time we elarged our Brazil part, although I'm still thinking we can make some improvement here. And we kept our jewels Yirgacheffe (Ethiopia) and Everest SHG (El Salvador) at the same share.

I'm very very happy with the new blend. First reactions were super. Curious what my Copenhagen tasters will tell about this Blend that suits for both espresso and filter/press, lungo's, espresso's, americano's, cold coffee's and milk based preparations. Not easy, but I think once again we were able to push up the bar.
And hopefully by the end of the year available online.

To end I wish to share my cupping experience of some (Danish) Estate beans. I was very surprised to see Estate coffee at the local grocery shop around the corner in Copenhagen. I like the espresso bar a lot and know these guys are experts, but oh what a disappointment at the cupping table. The Kenya was very boring. Too sharp, no undertones. And the Mexico Chiapas had nothing to offer either. Pfff. And for 28 euros a kilo!!!! A shame.
I remember now that on my first trip to Copenhagen i liked more the coffee at Estate than at Europa, but at home i had way better results with the Kontra blend (also at Europa) than with the two bags of Estate. Isn't this strange?

Now time for a well deserved holiday. Ciao.

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