Sunday, October 31, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I haven't been there, but this article is really inspiring and I want to go as soon as possible.
On championships we've seen already a couple of years great performances. Hopefully I can taste some of those shots on origin at 5 Points, 1000 faces or 2 Story's. All numbers and coffee ha!
(photo from OnlineAthens)
Sunday, October 24, 2010
It's not close to the city center, but if you have some time to kill in Amsterdam; maybe take a tram at the Central Station and go to Espressofabriek's second bar at Ijburg.
We did last week and saw a nicely designed bar in the middle of modern buildings surrounded with water.
The menu and equipment is (almost) the same as at the Westergasfabriek bar. And even the staff looked the same with grandmaster Francesco at the steering wheel.
The doppio of the Amaro Gayo was a bit dissapointing. I suppose it's just not my bean this year. Too smoky and dark? I don't know. I always liked it before, but now it fails two times in a row. Is it the roast? Is it the season?
Great cap though! I'll come back when the weather's back on track and my sailing boat finds the way to an Amsterdam canal.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Back home from another Championship and again we have a cup.
Isabelle gave a fantastic show and came in 2nd after Kathleen.
For months I've been expecting Kathleen to win this year's title. And Isabelle to finish second.
I can't say who's the best Barista in general, but Kathleen has just a little bit more experience and with the Rombouts team on the side I knew she was the one to beat.
So, no surprise she's going to defend our country in Colombia next year.
A bit more suprising was her coffee : a Puerto Rico. Most blog enthousiasts know I'm a big Puerto Rico fan and when tasting 'our' Dominican Republic coffee last week I remarked big resemblance with this typical 'Puerto Rico flavor'. A nice clean coffee with moderate acidity and a clean chocolate aftertaste.
We had this year just one big problem, and that was our championship roast. Young roasters we are, and the final roasts from last week were a tad too short. So forget body and sweetness. I don't say Isabelle would have won with a better roast, but sure thing is that we came short on this part.
Congrats anyhow to Isabelle. Technically maybe the best performance ever on a Belgian stage. And congratulations Kathleen ; what a classy performance, proud we'll have someone like you to defend our colors.
3rd place for Louis Donk. This man is a roaster! He was 2nd at the cuptasting championship two years ago and is a real self made man.
His Panama Carmen Estate is a great cup and Louis a very nice chap.
Remarkable that 4th spot was a typical island coffee (Galapagos) as well. Seems to be a new trend.
Cuptasting : Not Caffenation in the finals. Bert, Jeff and Roeland underachieved unfortunately. Roel from Java coffee won the cup. Very nice fella and coffee fanatic this man. Congrats.
Bart was second and Tom and Katrien from Or 3rd and 4th. Wow, that's amazing.
Last round of applause for Jeanne Gennar who was organizing this event. And all sponsors. Very well done.
Friday, October 15, 2010
October is our bussiest month of the year.
Halfway now and things are rolling smoothly.
Other years I have a lot to say about the upcoming Barista Championships, but minor news this year.
I had the honour of sitting through one of Isabelle's run, on the side of Joost Leopold. Oh dear, this guy knows ten times more about this kind of stuff. Lots of experience, good tastebuds and a fresh look - as an outsider. Hopefully this training was a good push in the back to perform well next week Tuesday at the San Marco Village in Aartselaar.
3 other Caffenation participants that day. All 3 at the cupping table. Bert is going to defend his title and Jeff and Roeland are going to prevent him doing so. Wish them all the luck.
After reblending our House Blend twice a week we hope to have a more consistent recipe from next week on.
The newest Brazils are afloat and very promising.
Almost ready to launch our newest top blend : Little Green Bag. Ambition was to have all beans organic, although this seems to be harder then forseen. Wait and see, probably something for half November and then changing every quarter.
The same for this online coffee sales. This is a project pending 3 years now. Pfff, hopefully we'll have something ready by the end of the year. Don't expect a full shop ; I'm playing more with the idea of postbox memberships. 1 for filter, 1 for espresso. Also for our neighbours from the North. Exciting.
Fanny meanwhile had her debut performance yesterday eve. She bought a caravan and rebuilded this one into a mobile espresso bar. Stunning. Sexy. Mean. (the Caravan). Soon some pics.
And we're also planning to launch Take Out Nation next doors of the main bar in Hopland. A coffee display, education, cupping and take away bar, all in one.
And, and, once this one is on the roll we have some space for the Bunn Trifecta. (November?)
So, enough stuff for the rest of the year.
I'll keep you posted.
Have a good cup,
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Newest coffee on the menu is the Bonga Forest. This is an unwashed Jimma from the Kayakello Cooperative from Bonga, Kafa.
Yes, it's at the birthplace of coffee.
We serve it as our filter of the week and you can take some home at €5,40 a 250 gr bag.
Expect wild, but mild coffee with earthy mushrooms and wooden notes and a soft and short aftertaste. Not the coffee of the year, but something a true coffee lover should taste anyhow.
Soon this one comes in roasted for espresso, which makes more sense probably, but at Caffenation we like to experiment isn't it?
Here some more info about it :
It is no secret for coffee lovers that the coffee plant coffea arabica originates from Ethiopia.
The mountain rainforests in the south-western part of the country are its original - and indeed,
ideal - ecological environment. The wild coffee bean, only to be found in Ethiopia,
encapsulates this rich and genuine flavour that propelled coffee on its global journey.
However, the wild coffee is in danger. A growing population means that more and more
forests are being partially cut down or even totally transformed to farmland. With the help of
international scientists, the Ethiopian government identified the Kontir Forest, situated close
to Mezan Teferi in Bench District, as an important natural coffee forest. As from 2003, it is
protected as primary coffee forest sanctuary. 200 guards have been deployed. In line with best
international practice, protection measures involve the local communities. Families living in
the surroundings have the right to collect the wild coffee. In return for this privilege they are,
however, obliged to help protecting the forest. The yield is strictly controlled to avoid over-
exploiting the forest.
Marketing wild coffee from these truly unique preserves provides an important income to the
local communities. Conserving the coffee forest becomes an expression of partnership –
between coffee collectors and coffee consumers. Our supplier has obtained a certificate
according to EU-Regulation 1992/91. The coffee is certified both as organic and as a wild
collection fruit. The supplier works hand in hand with the local farmers’ cooperative, based
on a long-term contract. The quantities available through this unique arrangement are very
For more information please visit: http://www.bcs-oeko.de/
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
More and more we have people over who order a large Cappuccino or large latte or small latte or stuff like that.
And then they see me as an 'unfriendly man' when explaining there are no sizes in these drinks.
Mostly Dutch clients have been brainwashed by big chain coffee company's as Star**** and Coffee Company and do not know anymore that a cappuccino is a cappuccino.
I agree you can make 15cl or 20cl cappuccino's, but I'm against a menu full of small, medium and large sized milk drinks. I'm not even talking about caramel machiato's, 'venti's' and other insane American monster drinks.
I remember Coffee Company arguing a couple years ago that they increased 10% after introducing different sizes in their milk drinks.
Well, mister CC, we increased last year 25% by keep on serving 'traditional' cappuccino's.
Our 'Company Credo' = not more, but better coffee's. The rest will follow.