Here we are with the best of the year from Caffenation.
CD's is coming next week, but first things first : espresso's of the week :
1) Brazil Dutra, roasted by Alfons Schramer for Mondo Del Caffè Luxemburg.
This was a gift from Luca Sierman and spot on.
Great balanced, mild and clean coffee. Maybe not the most complex and detailed tastes, but for sure the most popular cup we had on the menu this year.
Just as last year 3 coffee's from England in our top 10, but also 3 from Luxemburg and even on 1 and ...
2) Rwanda Musasa, roasted by Knopes Luxemburg.
Personally this was my favourite one. Smashing all the way and back on the menu soon.
3) Guatemala El Bosque Red Bourbon. Greens by Hasbean. Roasted by Jean Vermeulen.
Isabelle used this one for her finals performance at the BBC. Complex and very fruity and really nice in the caps.
4) Little Green Bag- Caffenation. Roasted by Jean Vermeulen.
5) Yirgacheffe Conventional (by Bagersh). Roasted by Jean Vermeulen.
6) El Salvador, Finca Los Amates COE. Greens by Hasbean. Roasted by Jean V.
7) Square Mile Winter Espresso (Minas & Sidamo). Roasted by Square Mile London.
8) Isola Blend. Roasted by Johan & Nyström Stockholm.
9) Guatemala Puerta Verde. Roasted by Knopes Luxemburg.
10) Ethiopia Limu Grade 2 (by Efico). Roasted by Jean Vermeulen.
So, a mixture of 'own' coffee's, some by Knopes and a couple others.
2009 was our best year so far, that's for sure.
And thanks to James from Dose who sponsored us number 7, now on the grinder at Caffenation Hopland 46. A perfect way to end the year.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Here we are with the best of the year from Caffenation.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
This years Christmas coffee is a single origin from Rwanda.
Those who are frequent blog readers remember this post I wrote about this coffee. That day we just had a small bag from Origin Roaster Capetown.
When Knopes told me to bring it in half December we knew we didn't have to look any further for our X-mas coffee this year.
The Rwanda Musasa is one of the most fantastic beans we ever tasted. It has a very full taste. It's complex, but still very easy to drink. It has plenty of body, a fine acidic touch, deep flavors of wich chocolate and green vegetables are the easiest to spot - there's much more, and a sweet mellow after taste.
Top tip : pull a double very concentrated shot (plus minus 1 ounce with +20 grams of fine ground) and pour over nicely textured fresh milk. This cap has such great texture ; it's like an angel pissing on your tongue. Very soft and sweet. Just perfect.
Is this the coffee of the year? Probably. And if not ; it's going to be close. Next week we know ; the top 10 of the year is on its way.
We only have 24 K in the house at only (special X-mas promotion) € 9,90, for half a kilo.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
For me Schomer's Barista handbook is still the bible to start with.
And it was his video we (and I mean Caffenation crew and Peter Hernou) learned Latte Art from. We probably watched it 100 times. No shit.
Now I read this article at Coffee City.
I think Schomer is right about this. It's very very important to keep on tasting/testing all the singles from your blends as espresso.
We also do it regularly and this way you can see how the beans evolve over time. Is the crop still fresh enough? Is the bean still delivering what's in for? Is the roast ok for espresso?
This way we noticed last week our Papua New Guinea Sigri is going downhill. We have it in the blend for it's body and spicyness, this last bit mostly in the finish. But the body is fading and the spicyness gets too acidic. It's still a nice blender, but body and balls of the blend is at drift.
With also the Bolivia La Paz Organico almost out of stock, and the Yirgacheffe in a danger zone, we have to reshuffle.
Luckily we have great Harrar on the shelf. It's not the easiest to blend in, but on a 15% base, combined with a Dominican, Yirga and a mild Brazil, we still have a very good House blend.
With new crop Brazil and Rwanda coming the last 2 weeks of 2009 we'll have to keep Schomer's blending techniques in mind the upcoming weeks.
Hasta la vista, baby.
(between brackets : the old time La Marzocco lover who Schomer was, changed weapons and is using a Synesso. 3rd wave coffee world is moving fast)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
It's not hard for me to write this. I've been helping Jens from day one, which was almost 2 years ago, and this has always been good fun. He's a great student and bit by bit over classing us. On my short trip yesterday I noticed some changes, great changes.
First the bar was loaded. And not with tourists or young girl with a chocolate crave - not that I have anything against it. No, nice people, all styles, all ages, nice.
Then his Latte Art pouring progressed. It was very good before, but that double shot latte he poured out for Sophie was breathtaking. Perfect 13 leaves, well balanced, brown circled and good contrast. Unfortunately no photo.
Then the first in Belgium with Aeropress on the menu.
We work together on this little program, but if I'm sure it's not going to stay a little program if this brewer keeps on brewing coffee's like this.
I had a Kenya Ndimaini. Superb cup! And very close to the best Clover I ever had, which was a Kenya, roasted by Peter Dupont, on a Clover at Estate, Copenhagen.
This Ndimaini was delivered by Caffenation and roasted by Knopes.
Then the first Anfim Timers set in Belgium and maybe a world première.
We get used to see timers build in the Caimano. Sometimes even 2 timers, but this chap has 6 (six!) timers on a row. With special buttons on the side of the La Marzocco to activate them.
Brilliant Jens, really brilliant. I want the same.
Keep up the good work. I'm proud.
And may the rest of Antwerp and Belgium follow these great initiatives.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Nice little article and photo from Daniel's blog.
Here you see how these newly rebranded Starbuckses look like. I'm curious who delivered them the Synesso and Anfim Super Caimano's. If 49th did this, I'm wondering what's in the grinders. Can't be the regular over roasted SBux stuff.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Copenhagen is home of coffee, we all know.
But today Copenhagen is also the home where a new Climate 'Save The Planet' agreement should be signed these days.
The Climate Change we're seeing these years is influencing also the coffee volumes and quality. There's an increased demand for (quality) coffee, but the problem is that because of these changes in climate the total coffee production seems to decrease.
Even in Brazil, where lots of new coffee fields were planted last 2 decades, there seem to be a decrease, something like 8 million bags of Arabica for this new crop. That's a lot.
Nevertheless Brazil is, thanks to scientific models, an example on how you deal with this warmer earth. If you want to plant a crop where the model says you shouldn't, then it's going to be very difficult to get credit for that.
And what happens more and more is farmers changing from Arabica to Robusta. Less rain and stem borers that are attacking Arabica more than Robusta make Robusta fields more productive.
We can see in the Bean Belt (part of the earth where (most) coffee is produced) that most of the country's expect a decrease in volume this year. So, expect high prices for 2010.
And, nevertheless a big decrease in crop for country's as Uganda, a future for Robusta.
If you see how Robusta quality is improving lately! In India they started new agricultural and processing techniques on the Robusta's, with amazing results. I don't think we're going to pull single origin Robusta shots the upcoming years, but an increased percentage in some espresso blends could well be possible.
Most country's in problems with this 'wild' weather are the African, like Tanzania, and Latin American country's, like Nicaragua.
And a last danger in these days of Climate change is the hurricane risk.
In Puerto Rico they didn't have a great crop this year, but imagine a big hurricane on top of this....
An interesting read on this subject is this one at coffeehabitat.com.
And this one from USA Today.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Nieuwe week, nieuwe bonen.
Alle weken een andere Mokka Harrar (Ethiopië). Soms dezelfde boon, maar de minste verandering in branding en/of ouderdom geeft een sterk wisselend resultaat. Ik heb 2 professionele klanten die er in hun resto mee werken en die komen soms klagen. Niet dat ie per se slecht is, maar wel weer anders en soms moeilijk om te zetten.
De Harrar Bashawieh de laatste keer was net iets te donker om ook voor press te dienen, maar wat onze reguliere brander deze week meegaf dan weer wel. Veel fruit en diepe en wilde toetsen. Een smaakfeest. En voor 4,20 euro het pakje....!
Ik zag daarnet dat de Harrar bij hun de best verkopende koffie is op dit moment. Wellicht niet toevallig. November-december is niet direct een hoogvlieger in nieuwigheden, terwijl de Ethiopische bonen - heel laat geoogst vorig jaar - nog altijd heel erg goed smaken.
Soms zelfs beter, zoals onze Yirgacheffe. Waanzinnig op Aeropress vinden we. Ongeveer het beste wat we dit jaar al geproefd hebben. Incredible sweetness op lagere temperaturen. We durven tot 40 graden te zakken voor deze bak te brouwen en het blijft werken. Check it out!
Terug nieuwe Kenia binnen. Ben naam vergeten. Iets makkelijker en minder sprankelend dan de vorige, maar nog altijd een stuk spannender/smaakvoller dan de reguliere AA die je op de meeste plaatsen terug vind. Slechts 4,50 euro.
Verse Indian Monsooned Malabar, nieuwe Oogst Brazil single estate!!! en een gourmet melange voor press/filter. Maar die moeten nog getest worden. Da's voor zaterdagochtend. Wie goesting heeft....
Oh ja, ook nog een Daterra Sweet Collection voor espresso, momenteel Espresso & Roast of the Week. Kort gezet heel lekker al moet ik toegeven dat, ondanks de Penta Box verpakking, er toch wel sleet komt na 1 jaar in het magazijn.
En tot slot : Elk jaar met Kerst een speciaal offer. Dit jaar de onovertroffen Rwanda Musasa. Een zeeeeer spectaculair boon die - hou je vast - asperges met pure chocolade in zich draagt. Tenminste vorig jaar toch. Kom dat zien. Normaal vanaf 18 december at Hopland.