Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Brazil Harvest 2010

Ordered today my first bags of the new crop Brazil - to arrive at the warehouse by monday. Very curious.

Meanwhile read this Bloomberg rapport about the current situation in Brazil :

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Coffee crops in Brazil, the world’s largest grower, will receive adequate rain to flower properly in coming days, alleviating concern that hailstorms could harm trees after four months of drought, a forecaster said.

A cold front reached the southeastern states of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais on Sept. 26 and arrives in Espirito Santo state tomorrow, said Expedito Rebello, head of research at the government’s Meteorology Institute, known as Inmet. The likelihood that it will cause hailstorms fell to 10 percent from a 60 percent probability estimated a week ago, he said.

“The rains will help the coffee harvest after all these months of drought,” said Rebello in a telephone interview from Brasilia today. “The weather will be very good for the flowering of coffee trees from now on.”

Coffee trees in Brazil’s Southeast, which grows about 85 percent of the country’s output, need showers this time of the year to flower properly before developing beans for the next harvest. The region went through a 120-day drought, compared with an annual average of 50 to 80 days in the past five decades, Rebello said.

The area’s crops will receive about 50 millimeters (1.9 inches) of rain in coming days, Rebello said.

The state of Mato Grosso, which produces about 30 percent of the country’s soybeans, will also get rains tomorrow, Rebello said. Soybean growers have delayed planting to wait for rains, he said.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Testing Some Championship Beans

Espresso of the Week : Columbia Consaca, from the Narino area, not far away from Pasto (in between the city of Cali and Ecuador).

The average temperature in the area ranges between 18 to 24 Celsius. The soils in the Consaca municipality are rocky and volcanic, and they provide the coffee plantations with excellent basic nutrients. The production area at the farms is on average 0.9 Ha.

Towards the championships, we're experimenting with some beans. This one is the first from a impressive line up of greens we have stocked now, or on their way towards us.

It's a washed Caturra-Castilla-Colombia variental.
Expect sweet ripe stone fruit, a touch of strawberry and chocolate finish.
€ 6,00 a 250grams bag.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Abid Clever Dripper

New at Caffenation : The Abid Clever Dripper. Very clever € 20 investment if you ask me.

Abid Clever Coffee Dripper from The Other Black Stuff on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Budget Sample Roasting

I don't like hot air (sample) roasters.
I don't like the price of professional sample roasters.
Here we maybe found a solution. Cupping still needs to be done. Curious....

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tim and Tim

The craft from Brendan Inkognito on Vimeo.

Finca Los Placeres Nicaragua Matagalpa

In the house : a mighty Maragogype from the Los Placeres Estate, San Ramon Matagalpa Nicaragua.

The maragogype bean is very popular in Belgium. It's the favourite bean of our grand mothers and still roasted in all 130 roastery's in Belgium.

We are not so found and rate most of the margagogypes as too expensive for it's quality, but this one is different.
Not the country ; Nicaragua is famous for their margagogype bean.

Special is the size :
It's a huge 19+ screened marago from the Mierish family, who also produced that great Nicaragua Limoncillo we had before (and still one green box waiting on the shelf!).

And the taste :
As velvet as it can be. Medium body. Sweet. Almost mild as a white tea. And super clean.

Soon we'll give it a go for espresso, but now only for filter. I think it's even too light for the Aeropress.
At the shop for €5,00 per 250 grams. A steal. :-)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tamp Control

This item comes back once a year.

Last week I read a great article about it.
I don't think I have a better explanation so I'll just link it.

One more top tip to add : buy a naked portafilter to master your tamping technique. This is the easiest way to see where you're at.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Dorito stands for DOuble RIstretTO.

These days in specialised bars in all English speaking country's they mostly serve you this kind of drink when you order an espresso.
It's a very concentrated double shot, barely larger then a one ounce 'classic' espresso.

We at Caffenation use a naked portafilter to pull these kind of shots. It enables you to master your dosing and tamping technique. And believe me ; here it is where you can seperate the boys from the men, if you know what I'm saying.

Of course you need the right coffee and a sturdy machine.
And a grinder well adjusted.
We mostly use our House Blend, an Anfim Barista grinder and La Marzocco Linea machine. The shot is undoubtedly very syrupy with lots of dark brown crema, so you have to stir it well before drinking.

The problem with most double ristretto's is that the coffee gets too bitter and harsh, so you're desperately looking for a glass of water to rinse your mouth. And here, I think, we're delivering a good job. I've tasted 2 Dorito's yesterday and twice it was very strong, but not harsh, but velvety and with a very smooth aftertaste.

So, a happy Antwerp Barista is greeting you.
(and by the way : this ristretto photo is not mine, but one from Gimme).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Roastery Diary

Three weeks on the run with our own roasts and time for a first evaluation.

Reason for starting up our own roastery was triple.

First we wanted to upgrade our coffee's. We thought that a new Giesen roaster with computer on the side, better roasters tasting buds and new roasting techniques should do the trick. And yes, this is already going really well. Still things to improve of course, but a general good level.
Mostly we have been roasting our coffee's a tad lighter than before. More taste is our reward.

2, we wanted control over the greens. In the past we bought some bags and made recommandations to our roasters, but now we have full control over this part we notice considerable improvements. If you compare for example a low budget Brazil Santos Fancy 17/18 with a Brazil Daterra Montecristo Fairtrade...... So no more.

3, the fun. It's a whole lotta fun to do. And anti-stress compared to the hectic Barista life behind the Caffenation bar.

Most disapointing beans so far : Papua New Guinea. Sometimes you see a good bean go to the devil in no time. This Papua is one like that. At once it was all over. Plus it's PSC A/X grade and as a non-roaster - at the time of cupping/buying - I underestimated the importance of a stable screening.
Also the Harar Star performed not to our liking, although a different roasting profile can maybe help us here.

Most liked beans were the Daterra, Ethiopia Sidamo, Mexican Decaf, Kenya Gethumbwini on filter roast (hell of a F press this morning), Honduras San José and the new crop Peru Altomayo.

This week we hope to improve our air control and start roasting larges batches.

Soon we'll open doors for all people interested to have a peep at our pride. Let u know soon.