Sunday, May 31, 2009


It wasn't exactly the same pie we had, but it all combined well with the coffee.

Geertrui celebrated her 10000th click on her Truizoektwerk(blog) in our (smelly - what was that? sorry guys) garden at Hopland.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sidamo Adem Bedane

Today's arrival of Jeff and mine 49th Parallel Roasters order.
An outrageous 60 dollar transport for six 12oz bags of coffee! These UPS guys are serious.

And the coffee's serious as well.
Without any hesitation I opened the Adem Bedane Sidamo (Ethiopia).

"This coffee was grown in the red clay soils of the Bonko farm, that consists of 300 farmers with an average farm size of 1 hectare. The farm is certified organic shade grown and vacuum packaged at origin.
Raspberry, sweet apricot and a base of cocoa. Sweet, refreshing and clean." Dixit 49th P.R..

Hard to find the fruits in my Durobor filter. Maybe some got lost in the air transport? Shouldn't they give reduction now?
Fantastic cup anyhow. I've always been a Sidamo fan for filter or press or vac pot.
Highly recommendable.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Starbucks Ads


Read the other ads here.

"How's the coffee Shorty?"

Or Jack Gyllenhaal's question at the coffee man sitting besides of his perculator at the SF Chronicle office in the movie Zodiac.
The poster at the wall does the answering : 'Delicious as hell'.

ps : Jack G looks like Peter D in this movie. :-)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tim Wendelboe & Caffènation News

I was a bit disappointed by the general level of coffee blogs this year. James (Jimseven) is having a couple of big top quality posts every month, but most other blogs in my link list are having a tough time it looks like.
So scrolling through my bookmarks for more blog news...
And as a couple of times before this year I read interesting stuff on Tim Wendelboe's site/blog. News from the Panama Esmeralda auction, the Aeropress championship and a couple of other things online and therefor he gained himself a spot on my link list.

Tired of working 13 (thirteen!) hours today.
Having funky looking beans as our Roast of the Week : A Brazil Caracoli. Cupping today was very good. Cleanest Brazilian we had this year, although the cooling down could have been better.

Our Burundi is a success. Mostly surprised by the fantastic crema this coffee's producing. Very nice texture!

And testing some new milk.
We recently changing to Campina/Stabilac. We used the 'regular' UHT bricks, but the plastic bottles Or Gent was using were surprising us. Very sweet - almost fresh - tasting milk. So, a good motivation to do the test ourselves.
And sweet it is. More difficult to obtain perfect microfoam and therefor less decorative latte art, but we should go for the taste, isn't it?

That's it for today and this weekend.
Happiness is a warm puck. See you on Monday or Tuesday.

Friday, May 22, 2009

New Bodum Boiler

The Marco Uber boiler is a very convincing piece of equipment.
I don't think there is any production yet and I don't even think there are prices yet. But I sure do know they're not going to be cheap.
This Electric Bodum Boiler is a good low budget home Barista kind of equipment that's helping you out with the right brew temp.

It's not on sale yet, but keep your eyes open.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Week Diary

Some good latte art at Hopland and Oever last weeks. What to think about this quatro? All in one go, with one pitcher!

Our House Blend is on its prime I think. With equal parts of Yirgacheffe, Sigri, El Alvador SHG and some Brazil the taste is very exciting. All aspects come out very well in the palate. The combination of tastes is great and the finish has never been so joyful.

After savouring one clean shot on my arrival Monday morning I had to go to the Color Copy shop for our new Oever menu (now at Oever 18 - come over and taste the Turbo Konijn) and passed by the Antwerp Illy shop.
Last year they changed location and are now situated besides of the National Bank. I never was so found of the espresso at their former address and was curious to see if something changed. Finally they have their espresso at the right temperature, but the overal result was still disappointing. The crema shows lots of air bubbles and was very thin. And the taste too dirty and one dimensional. They yell out very loud of using nothing but Arabica, although you don't taste it here.
A suggestion : Drag the Della Corte-Mahlkönig set up from the 1st floor training room to the bar, maintain it, keep the extractions in hand and you'll see some wonderful results brothers. Then I'll come back. Good luck Barry.

The Burundi is ok on espresso, but nothing more than that. I think I gonna use the rest of the Burundi in a mix with some left over Zambia, Cameroun and the best African blender called Yirgacheffe. Next month on the menu.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Burundi Coffee

This week's Roast is a Burundi.
Burundi? Yes, it's not the most expected country, but one worthwhile to throw a closer look upon.

Dixit Sweet Maria's : "The first arabica coffee tree in Burundi was introduced by the Belgians in the early 1930s and has been growing in the country ever since. Coffee cultivation is an entirely small holder based activity with over 800.000 families directly involved in coffee farming with a total acreage of 60.000 hectares in the whole country with about 25 millions of coffee tree."

And now 2009 the coffee comes (back) to Belgium.
The one we have doesn't have a particular name. They call it a 'fully washed A'. And that's surprising, cause the character in the cup isn't a washed one at all.
It tasted more as a natural one. Bit of a weird under laying earthy/sweaty/dirty taste that resembles of some better natural Rwanda and Ethiopian beans.

It starts with a funky baked fish flagrance. A flavor that brings us back to the smell of a fish stand at the weekly food market a couple of blocks from our bar on Hopland. Christophe (our Malines aficionado) has a great theory for this. The most popular fish at the large Tanganyika lake is the Daga fish. Once on land they use plastic to collect and transport the fish. And this same plastic could have been used in bean processing. A fantasy of course, but it stays a very weird tasting bean.

It's fruity, with most pronounced apricot flagrance. There are deep wooden undertones, light bitterness and a very pleasing acidic finish.
Now we need a couple more days to have a better idea about the espresso capabilities of this Burundi. Can't wait no longer.
I'll keep you posted.

Add on one week later :
Till 5 days after roast the Burundi espresso's were disapointing, but it all changed two days later. As very often this bean fully developed itself only one week after roast.
Nice round and pleasent tasting bean. Some roasted nuts and leather notes, but most of all fantastic crema, feeling very silky on the lips and tongue. Happy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Repeat for Schat

The Dutch Championships are over and Sander Schat prolonged his title.
After a slightly dissapointing WBC he proved in Rotterdam last Monday he just had an offday in Atlanta. Happens to the best Sander ; good luck next year in London. I'll be there to support you.

De volledige uitslag:

1 Sander Schat
2 Onno van Zanten
3 Yakup Aydin
4 Angelo van der Weerd
5 Victor Constandse
6 Sanne Koets
7 Claudie Donderwinkel
8 Lonneke Dijkhuis
9 Frans van den Berg
10 Margot van Lierop
11 Francesco Grassotti
12 Maisy van der Honing

Geen onverwacht, maar des te mooier podium. En het ziet er goed uit voor Jochem volgend jaar gezien de enige 3 persoonlijke bekenden zich allen op het podium hesen.

Wel opvallend dat de DBC nog tot vrij recent door vrouwen gedomineerd werd en de eerste nu pas 6de was. Time to strike back ladies!

(photo's from Jeroen-Koffiegek. Thanks)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mokka is Back

Happy to announce the new crop Mokka Harrar d'Ethiopia is finally at the Hopland shop.
Full Body, Strong, Chocolate and a hint of (Louis) Tobacco.
At our Anfim grinder as espresso week (1,70), lungo week (2,30) or long black.
Full beans or grind on demand for 3,90 per quarter kilo.
Roasted May 8 at Full City (medium).

Also our Oever bar, In Den Toren, Inspire Breda, Bart a Vin, Vandoag Is't and Barchoq are offering this great bean this or next week as espresso or lungo, grinded à la minute. Check it out.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Photo's Cuptasting

Me cupping with the new (and old) champ Bart.

And a very nice photo of Belgian's elite Barista's Bert and François, both waiting to start the show.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Belgian Cuptasting Championship 2009

I picked the right training partners last week.
Bert was 7th, Jean 5th, Laurent 3rd and Bart 1st.

Louis from Donko finished 2nd, Tom - Or 4th and Peter Deprez 6th.

It was a lot of fun, good coffee's and a perfect organisation.
Later a review and photo's.

Oh yes, unfortunately I didn't learn from my friends at the cupping table last week. I finished 13th and the 4th out of 5 Barista's competing. Snif.

I'm thinking about my retirement right now. :-)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Espresso Bar Run Gent

Gent is close by Antwerp and after Teddy last week and Fanny earlier this week it was time for 3 other Caffenation reps to do an espressobar run in this city.
The following is in our Dutch language.

Barista is een leuke bar op de hoek van de Vlaanderenstraat waar ik een kleine twee jaar geleden een eerste keer binnen sprong.
Toen stelde ik dat er ruimte was voor progressie en dat is er zeker van gekomen. Meer zelfs ; eerste Barista Melanie is intussen Belgisch Barista Kampioene en de zaak krijgt veel volk over de vloer. En terecht. Er hangt een mooi licht en over het interieur is nagedacht. De mooie chromé Mini Mazzers malen vele Viva Sara koffiebonen en de La Cimbali doet de rest. Sabine Van Dorpe is de stijlvolle eigenares en ze was vandaag ook van de partij om ons een warm welkom te heten. Na onze gezellige babbels in het verre Atlanta is het duidelijk dat het haar menens is om dag en nacht te vechten voor betere koffie in ons friet- en bierland. Het idee om binnenkort een extra molen te installeren om op regelmatige basis een gastkoffie of een in eigen huis gebrande single origin te brengen lijkt me een fantastisch idee.
De espresso was vrij lang en een tikkeltje te heet maar verder prima. Zeer makkelijk met geen enkel vervelend smaakje, maar dat was dan ook weer het nadeel. Ietsjes te weinig persoonlijkheid, wat ie volgens mij wel zou gehad hebben tussen de eerste en tweede week na branding. Ik discuteer hier al langer over met Peter en denk dat dit richting espresso bars als Barista iets is om over na te denken. Hoop ik.

Twee straten verder te Walpoortstraat 26, tegenover de Minard schouwburg, ligt Or. Een kort en krachtige naam voor de nieuwste en eigenlijk enige echte espressobar te Gent.
Een hoekpand is altijd leuk voor dit soort type zaken, maar hier hebben ze er toch wel iets heel erg moois van gemaakt. Met heel veel hout, mooie planten en bloemen en een schitterende bar is de toon meteen gezet. Maar het mooiste staat achter de bar. Een blinkende La Marzocco FB80 met Portaflon kit, ofte portafiltersbinnenkanten en steamwands in Teflon. Dan een Mahlkonig K30 voor de lungo, Anfim Super Caimano on demand voor de espresso en 2 Compaks K6 voor specialiteiten. 2 Coffee Consulate tampers en schitterend servies. Volgens mij doet niemand beter in België!
Oh ja de koffie. De blend die ze gebruiken is de Or Bleu. Maar liefst 12 bonen worden met veel zorg door brandmeester Tom gemelangeerd en volgens de regels van de kunst gebrand in hun splinternieuwe branderij te Ninove.
De smaak houdt zowat het midden tussen een type blend als onze House Blend (medium gebrande 100% arabica melange met goed wat Ethiopië) en een iets donkerdere Italiaanse stijl gebrande blend. Een smaak die niet anders dan goed kan vallen en heel goed samengaat met melk. De bonen zijn vers en de machinerie clean. En de Barista's : ook hier heel positief. Zowel Katrien, Isabelle als Simon (latte art volgens het boekje) kennen de knepen van het vak. Echte pro's!
Wat kan er beter?
De koppen minder heet.
Ook hier zou een origine of andere blend op espresso een extra attractie zijn.
De espresso's ietsje kleiner en met langere extractietijden.
En ambiancemuziek. Ben geen fan van achtergrondmuziek op kleine bosespeakers. Weet dat ik altijd zaag over de muziek, maar het is zo'n belangrijke sfeerschepper dat ik het niet blauw-blauw wil laten. Ook te Barista miste ik dit. Een beetje installatie en wat oude muziek op een beetje volume zou wonderen doen. Zeker met wat volk in de zaak ; dan krijg je een beetje de sfeer van een gezellig caféetje.
Ik kan me verder inbeelden dat een melange van de bonen na branding nog meer detail en rafinement zou kunnen geven, maar dan moet het aantal bonen natuurlijk weer omlaag en dat is dan ook weer een serieuze zware aanpassing. Iets om over na te denken toch.
Voor de rest : doe zo voort. Wij komen zeker terug.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Thai Coffee Carnation Man

Nick Cho calls this the 4th wave of Coffee. :-)
After viewing this video I started practicing straight away. Then I hired a cleaning company.