Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Espresso Brew Temp Control

4 out of the box La Marzocco's in a row, brewing espresso's at 94,5 degrees. Is this Naples?

The same this morning at The Village, Utrecht.
Not their fault of course, but it's something we have to keep our eyes onto. As we do right now.

It doesn't mind if you have Lavazza in your grinder, but Caffenation roasts are lighter and blends brighter. The taste balance with this high temp is gone. Too much acidity upfront. Not enough body. And sourish, flat aftertaste.

Average temperature at Barchoq, Inspire or Caffenation is 91! Result is a punchy start, then sweetness and body and a long lingering mild aftertaste. Perfect on cappuccino. Very good for espresso.
An maybe on the side an espresso of the week that gives you the opportunity to go for a different SOE or Blend.
Count a 20 grams for a double. Anfim Super Caimano grind time of 8,5 seconds and an extraction time of approximately 28", pre infusion included. Everybody happy.

Next week we start pulling shots with scales.

BTW : The Village rules. A blog post soon.

Monday, March 28, 2011

BAC Line Up

BAC 24th of April, from 10 O'clock at Caffenation Hopland :

With :
Jeff Verellen (vice world champion)
François Knopes (former latte art champ)
Bert Van Wassenhove (former cuptasting champ)
Christophe Fajs
Stein Peé
Simon 'Or' Boone
Thomas Labath
Vincent Stroep
Frank Platteau
Brian 'Legend' Birdy
Jens Oris
Marc 'Berringe' Vandebroek

reserve : Roeland 'Mc Doeland' Lenaerts

Judges :
Joost Leopold
Sietse Van Den Berg
Kees Kraakman

Audience :
Everybody's invited. Free entrance. Free booze.

Competition rules :
First round : best of 3 advances to the semis.
Semis : one against one knock out battle.
Finals : there can only be one winner.

Judges taste blind for best cup.

First 4 get a free new design Aeropress.
Second is having a 2 Kg Caffenation coffee present.
Champ takes 2 kg and a Sowden Brewer with him. (unfortunately no 'her' on the list)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Peter Giuliano on the 'Coffee Crisis'

Click the question.

One of the Godfathers of coffee, Counter Culture's top coffee sourcher Peter Giuliano with a fantastic explanation about the current coffee market.

Well done Peter.

Those who want to hear him, click this to go to the Jim Seven Podcast.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Aeropress Championship Prep

We have our 12 warriors ready to compete at Easter for the first Belgian Aeropress Champion crown.
One of the days we list competitors and judges.

The coffee is going to be the Rwanda Rwanbisindu. A coffee with lots of possibilities. A challenging coffee. A fantastic coffee. Bags are going to be spread very soon.

The 24the of April we're not going to open the bar at 12, so we can handle as many spectators as possible.

On this moment this event is not (yet) in collaboration with the SCAE, and that's one of the reasons we're not sure yet to have the winner officially in Bogota. More info soon.

Warm greetings,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Super Market Coffee in Belgium

My number one challenge as a Specialty Coffee Company owner is to improve overall coffee quality in my city, area, country or ....

We come a long way, but ahead of us is still a galaxy to go.

Today I was wondering how the newest Albert Heijn super market would look like.
Yesterday this big Dutch distributor opened their first shop in Belgium-Brasschaat.
(Dutch speaking readers can click here for the link.)

Here in Belgium an average super market has 1 1/2 bags of whole bean coffee on the shelf.
When I shopped at the Albert Heijn of Bergen Op Zoom, which is just across the border, I saw a full meter of whole bean coffee bags!!!!! This relatively small super market had a selection of 30 (thirty!) different bags presented.

So next time one or another Belgian (old school) roaster starts telling me the Belgian coffee is way ahead of the Dutch one, I'll drag hem/here to the local super market, we pick a random bag and taste the stale coffee together.
I think Belgian super market coffee is the bottom, but every day ten thousands of people still buy their pre ground cheap shit in the local Delhaize, Carrefour or Match.
The only one making an effort on this domain is Colruyt. Here you find a larger selection of smaller or larger whole bean bags. Generally the content is not to my liking, but you have to start somewhere of course.
By the way ; it's not by accident Colruyt took over #1 position in this business.

So, anyone to go to Brasschaat soon?
(sorry for the awfull iphoto picture)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Coffee Story on Napkins

This one is still the best coffee cartoon ever.

Read the whole story.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Look at Life - Coffee Bar, 1959

You are looking for inspiration for your own bar? Here you are.
Beam me up to 59 please.

BAC : Deelnemers Gezocht

Still are looking for a couple of participants for our Aeropress Championship. April 24th at 10 at Hopland.

Mail with all your references on

Let's have a big one.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Utrecht-Antwerpen-Utrecht Fixie Bike Tour

En daar zijn de jongens van 'Village Music & Coffee' (met Bert).
Fietstochtje heen en terug Utrecht-Antwerpen om koffie op te halen.
Emmertjes Little Green Bag en nog 2 Anfim koffiemolens.
Geluk was er ook een bezemwagen mee.

Dus voor allen die binnenkort in Utrecht vertoeven : allen naar The Village!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Your Blogger Became Lazy

Is it the Twitter and facebook?
Is it the age?
Or is the fact blogs become less popular?
Sure thing is that i became very lazy on this site.

I could talk about our latest coffees, my newest brewing techniques, new bars, baristas or blends, but not today.

Maybe i'll need to adress back the way i started. Picking up a piece of paper and brainstorming on topics.

Maybe yes.

Be back with more inspiration later on.

Coffee greetings

Friday, March 4, 2011

Espresso Bar Run Crusio Bergen Op Zoom (Dutch)

Bergen Op Zoom is een stad die niet ver van Breda ligt, maar ook heel dicht bij Antwerpen.

Toen Coen en Kiona, alweer enkele jaren geleden, op zoek gingen naar een leuke koffieplek kwamen ze ook bij ons terecht.
Na veel geplan, trainingen en investeringen werd het ijssalon omgebouwd tot een ijssalon annex espressobar. Met onder andere Caffenation op de molen.

De zaak is heel sfeervol ingericht en de espresso bar line up oogt schitterend.
Een 2-groeps La Marzocco Linea, 2 zware Anfim Super Caimano's, een Mini Mazzer en een joekel van een Compak (R80).
Met deze laatste wordt de koffie voor de slow bar gemalen, alsook, indien nodig, de koffiebonen die de mensen mee naar huis nemen.
Een aparte Bravilor boiler verzekert je het juiste water om een Clever, Syphon of Chemex brew te verzorgen.

Steeds afwisseld is er een filter van de week, espresso van de week en de Caffenation topblend Little Green Bag.

Ik geef toe van niet onpartijdig te zijn geweest in dit project, maar ben er heel erg gerust in dat de Crusio ploeg elke koffieliefhebber kan verwennen met het juiste kopje. Heel pro allemaal.

Doe zo voort zou ik zeggen. De start was denderend.
En als het binnenkort wat warmer wordt dan mag je mij een lekker hoorntje met koffieijs. :-)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Espresso Cupping and Brew Temp Check

We've been (blind) espresso cupping Monday with Friso and today with the Roasting team, Toon and me.

Heavy but unevitable if you want to learn more about your beans and espresso roasting profiles.

Also we wanted to see how Kees (our trainer) his profiles from the roasting last Wednesday were holding up against ours. Or the other way around of course.

Monday we were enchanted by Bert and Jeff their profiles. More taste (fruitiness, acidity, aftertaste) and less bitter.
Today at Broer Bretel we had a way more difficult task in finding our prefered roasting profiles. It was very tough cupping overall with even difficulties recognizing the origins.

I was on a hurry to my meeting with Brian 'legend' Birdy in Brussels for finding the right spot for a Caffenation bar in Brussels. Opportunities yes, but still a whole lot of work. Hopefully more news soon.
But driving my station car packed with coffee towards Crusio I realised what a big influence temperature and pressure have on your espresso.
Theoretically we know this since ages, but the results today were a remarkable.

At Broer Bretel we have the same coffee, grinder, tamper, cups, machine, you name it. The only difference is the temperature of the water and the pressure. The machine still needs to be adjusted a little bit by Jens.
After today I think it's an urgent matter, cause these 3-4 degrees extra and a little extra pressure gave us a lot of difficulties finding the right flow. All coffee came out stronger and more bitter.

Fanny was telling me last week that the Crema on our LGB espresso was rather thin.
Today it was crema up to rim, as a matter of speaking. And it didn't do the coffee any good if you ask me.

So, dear Caffenation clients, control this temp - we say between 90 and 92°c. And tame that pressure. And with these profiles; push the extraction towards 30". Your clients will love it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Coffee Common in the sunlight.

That would be my line up as well - with an extra Anfim maybe :-)