Last year someone told me San Francisco is the hippest coffee city in the world.
This week I am there with Jeff to experience this myself.
This statement is right and wrong.
Fantastic coffees, bars and roasters.
Supermarkets packed with great beans and the inhabitants really up to date with the newest tastes and style.
But no, its not the hippest coffee city. Here, they all say its Portland.
We wont be travelling to Portland this time, but we do some serious research and coffee drinking around here and hopefully some nice posting one of the days.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Last year someone told me San Francisco is the hippest coffee city in the world.
Monday, January 25, 2010
After our Red Cappuccino we now offer a Red Latte.
Two bags of strong Rooibos thee in a cleaned single portafilter. (also rinse well grouphead)
The we pull 4 time 2 espresso's with intervals, so we get a good full tasting tea extraction.
We finish of the tall glass (32 cl) with some milk foam and a stripe of cinnamon.
Add on eventually a bit of Vanilla syrup.
This one is a nice alternative for those who's not so into coffee or regular tea's. Yes ; people like that exist. :-)
Sunday, January 24, 2010
It took me a couple of years, but finally I visited this espresso bar at the Westergasfabriek.
Nice location and interior, but what about the equipment and coffee?
2 Mahlkonig K30's, one mini Mazzer and a KVDW Mirage lever machine. Say no more.
The coffee's from The Golden Coffee Box.
I know since a couple of years they have great singles, but till today I never had one great shot. And here ; I had 2 in a row.
The Panama Berlina was a true sensation on my buds. Perfect size and strenght and temp. Great body, beautiful texture, nice smell and plenty of tastes. With an extra touch of acidity this one would have been close to 'perfect'.
The Ethiopia Gayo Amaro was another stellar espresso. Same feeling as the above one, but a tad more tasty with an incredible chocolate flavor and thrilling aftertaste.
It was a close battle between two fantastic origins. If I had to pick a winner it would be the Ethiopian after all, but better is to go there yourself and taste them. I hope they'll make you as happy as they made me.
Congrats to the Barista.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I have to admit this first Starbucks bar in Antwerp generates a lot of talking.
They should be opening soon on the right hand side of the main Rail Station entrance.
I passed by this week. Very quiet.
No movements since a while. Problems?
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
High-quality espresso from low-end machines - The Boston Globe
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My comment :
It's sad that in a city like Boston they're still struggling so much with espresso.
First they want to show us low budget espresso. I'm sure there are fresh coffee suppliers existing that charge less for a bag than pre ground Illy, to just name one.
Freshness is key. I understand they only want to talk low budget, so no grinder, but you can find this roastery and ask them to grind it for you. At Caffenation we have plenty of people who come every week for a new bag of freshly ground.
Then I read the comments and a lot of people recommend their Mokka/Stove Pot Cafeteria. First of all ; this is not espresso! And secondly ; I think we can make better coffee on a cheap espresso machine.
The saddest thing about this article is the way they make their espresso. The packing and pre heated cups are fine enough, but isn't there a way to make the espresso run at least 20 seconds? I can't imagine this 10 seconds extraction to taste any good.
So, once again you see why it's good I keep this blog.
Maybe it's a good idea to make a small movie about home brewing on a (cheap) espresso machine. My opinion is that Barista skills are the most important link in the whole coffee chain, from seed to cup.
With good coffee.
Friday, January 15, 2010
We were happy to see our friend from Taxipost with 6 big boxes of Aeropresses.
For all those waiting so long. Sorry for inconvenience.
Price : € 34 (with free bag of coffee (250 grams))
Ask for a free demo.
Heavy Metal Cuppers : Isa, Jeff, Roel zoekt Boel, Bird, Me.
African Coffee's : 3 Rwandas and 4 Ethiopians.
Rwanda Murambi (Hasbean) : Nice Body, Sweet, Woody/Smoky, Peas, Clean. Me likey.
Rwanda Gikongabo & Butare (George Howell) : Tons of Citrus, Apricot, Cherry, Very clean. Top.
Rwanda Buremema COE (Hasbean) : Perfect Balance, Chicory, Apple!, Clean. Me likey.
Ethiopia Zege Lake Tana (Hasbean) : Wild Fruits, Djimma family, Body, Funky yes. Better on Aeropress.
Ethiopia Wild Bonga Forest (Hasbean) : Raw African Power, Inconsistent says Steven. Probably. Expected a bit more. Last crop seemed more pleasant and subtle.
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Chelba Union (Square Mile) : Natural Processed wonder, Barnyard, Spices, Tropical Fruit, Super Finish, Sweeter when cooling down.
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Conventional (Caffenation) : Easy going, Sweet, Very Clean.
7 big coffee's! Rwanda's were generally more appreciated. GH and SM on a lighter roast. The Chelba Union and Buremema our favourites.
Thanks Jazzy Jeff for the samples.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
For those wondering were they are ; the new load of promised Aeropresses.
Aerobie San Antonio US, shipped the goodies December 15.
I did the necessary payments. It was a big order!
All boxes did well arrive at the Customs Department in Brussels.
They called me two times the week before New Year to check if papers were OK. And promised me to deliver the presses at the end of December or, the latest, beginning of 2010.
Meanwhile we're Jan 12 and we still didn't see a thing.
Today I tried to call them. It took 1 hour and something like 25 phone calls before someone picked up the line.
This person couldn't help me. They know nothing.
Via US Postal Services I'm trying to find back tracking number and hope the Aeropresses are going to be at Hopland soon. Pfff.
Once they're in ; I'll let u know.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
First of all a very happy new year.
With lots of good coffee and funky music.
Best music at Caffenation last year :
After an invasion of French music in our 2008 top 10, 2009 was more of an African year with some fantastic new cd's from the crazy Strut label. On 1 and 4.
And of course, once again, the best Jazz, P Funk, the new Air and a little bit of Jamaican shit.
1) Mulatu Astatke/The Heliocentrics : Inspiration Information (2009 on Strut)
Ethio Jazz Hybrid, Hypnotic beats, wicked breaks and a touch of Addis Ghetto funk. Buy this!
2) Alan Hawkshaw : Mo'Hawk; The Essential Vibes & Grooves 1967-1975 (RPM Records).
Nobody seems to know much about this English Library music maker. He was half performer, half composer and never had his own band.
The CD is a must have, and a mixture of TV themes and free work, and as the title explains : it's old and packed with Vibes & Grooves.
3) Good Fellas Soundtrack (Atlantic Records)
The most popular new music trend in 09 at Caffenation was our devotion for crooners and 50's music. On this CD you find a lot of this kind of music.
Also bought and recommendable are the Mobster Soundtracks from American Gangster and Casino (with Louis Prima, Ramsey Lewis and Dinah Washington on 1 CD!). Ideal stuff for your espresso bar.
4) Nigeria 70 : Lagos Jump (2008 on Strut)
Different from Ethiopiques but almost as good. Very authentic and groovy.
5) The Meters : The Meters Remastered (1969 Rhino Records)
Very fat bas lines, disturbed scats and unstoppable rhythms, very well remastered.
6) Horace Silver : Serenade to a Soulsister (1968 Blue Note)
7) Lee Perry The Upsetter : Essential Madness from the Scratch files (Metro)
8) Ramsey Lewis Trio : In Chicago + Stretching out (1960 Jazz Beat)
9) Lee Morgan : The Finest In Jazz Compilation (Blue Note)
10) Air : Love 2 (2009 Virgin)
11) Lots of compilations from the German Jazz Club Records-Universal. All very refreshing and recommendable. Spice up your espresso bar with Electric Jazz Lounge, Jazz meets Pop, The coolest Rhythm 'n Blues, and many others.