Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Planning & Predictions 2009

What's on the Antwerp Barista agenda for the year 2009?

We start with some Trabocca imported coffee. Finally.
Just ordered 15 bags of organic Yirgacheffe. It was about time we found one another.
This isn't a first grade single but work horse for our House Blend in which it always played a major role. Hopefully it's in stock be now and for sale from next week on.

Meanwhile waiting for the newest Latin American beans to roll in. Fresh Guatemala Antigua Gloria, El Salvador Everest, El Salvador Pacamara, Costa Rica Tournon, Costa Rica Blue Mountain, Nicaragua Maragogype, Columbia Popayan, some naturals and a Panama are on the buying list. Exciting times for us.

And we can use some of these beauty's since I decided to start our Caffenation online shop from March on. Unfortunately only for Belgian buyers. The Netherlands should be following one or two months later and the other country's once we're on the roll, probably by September. I'll keep you all informed.

My own plantation is bit by bit growing. I brought along some personally picked Sidamo cherry's from Ethiopia and now 18 fresh plants should be showing their heads this month. Ethiopian coffee plants in Antwerp, hush hush.

New milk. Ra Ra, wait and see....

At Hopland we planned again to install our newest espresso machine, the La Marzocco Linea. First plans for installment in December failed due to electrical problems. Hopefully by end Jan we'll be pulling shots from this Florence build beauty.

For April we have an early WBC. If they continue to shift the championships forward they will organize the 2010 edition in February and the 2011 by the end of 2010! Poor Stephen to be ambassador for only 10 months.
My planning is to visit the fair and championships in Atlanta on Saturday and Sunday and to combine this trip with a New York city visit before or after. It's way too long since I last visited my favourite city, so I'm really looking forward!!!!!

As Jimseven is predicting the trends for the year, I can't stay behind; so here are my top 3 predictions for the upcoming year :

1) Tamping chaos. What tamper to use? Do we have to tab the filter or not? If yes, where do we tap? How hard do we tap it? What tamping pressure? A tamper with wooden steel, aluminium or iron? Flat or convex? And what about the right distribution technique or shall we all go Anfim with hopper? Tamp once or twice? Do we need a different tamping technique for 54mm baskets? .... It's getting more complicated by the hour and surely not all answers by the end of the year.

2) Singles on the rise. This is not America and people in Antwerp and Belgium don't get a good understanding about what a Single Origin or Single Estate is. Sometimes they seem to understand and then finally they ask me : "And how much robusta you have in there?" Yes, we still have a long way to go. I hope to show you the way, since I believe it's very, very important people start to taste all these different singles. And the better the taste buds are used to all this, the better also the blends will be understood and taste and being appreciated.

3) For the Barista Championships I predict the end of the Latte Art, which I regret. The most spectacular part for the audience is bit by bit going to disappear due to the new rules. So, who's going to applaud for a boring looking cappuccino (if there's still someone watching)?
They made the Latte Art Championships a top class act, but meanwhile the regular Barista Championships became a specialty show soo boring that even pro's aren't watching anymore. Let's hope Sammy Piccolo and/or one the Ritual boys are going to give us some magic and a win in Atlanta and not one or another 'silent' performer without latte art.

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