Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top 10 CD's 2011

Here we are again with the sound of the Nation : this is a Flash Back.

Flashing back on this year's best CD's. (not published, but bought by your royal highness, huk hum)

1) I remember myself, long ago, collecting rare Jazz. And one of the wickiest labels was 'Cadet Mainstream'. This year I was really impressed by a best of Mainstream CD, called THE MESSAGE.
Wicked Jazz Funky fat bass groovy horns kinky keys. I totally dig this one.
Listen why by clicking this link.

2) TRUE BLOOD Compilation. Never saw a minute of the TV show-series, but the Grammy Nominated CD's are really rockin. Volume 1 as hard as Volume 2. And the 3rd one is coming. A must have for every espresso bar!!!
Check out the first compilation.

3) BATTLES : GLOSS DROP (on Warp Records Japan).
New Wicked shit and good to theme with a double ristretto.
See their funky Clip.
Want more? Click this.

and rest of the best
4) Soul & Funk : Bill Withers, Still Bill (from 72 on Sbme Special Mkts)
5) French : Wizz, Volume 2 (on Born Bad Records)
6) Jazz : Freddie Hubbard, Groovy
7) Guitar : Gypsy Hotel, Volume 1 (on Gypsyhotelrecords)
8) Reggae : Tighten Up : Trojan Reggae Classics 1968-74
9) Film : Movie Themes go Disco (on Jazzclub/moods)
10) French bis : Camille, Ilo Veyou (on EMI/Virgin)

Hope you all are going to be inspired and pump up da espresso bar vibe will you?!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Finca Zarcero kicks in (LGB 4.3)

The LGB 4.2 with the geisha from Mzuzu is dead. Our supply of Malawi Mzuzu was only 10 bags. We didn't buy in a lot because the coffee was not the freshiest of crops.
Sometimes it's very difficult to find a sparkling coffee this time of the year. This season is good for crops from Peru or Brazil, but it's more an in between season actually.

Nevertheless we found a nice Costa Rica one from last seasons crop that still taste very fresh and vibrant and clean. Also thanks to the good Grain Pro packaging.
It's a microlot from Finca Zarcero.

In West Valley, the farm is located 1680 meters above sea level, and has volcanic soils
The farmer has been working this land for 45 years. The varieties in the farm are caturra, catuai and Villalobos, and he renovates them every 15 years. The coffee is characterized by its acidity with chocolate and floral taste. Ecological milling, mechanical wash and sun dried.

In the West Valley, the ideal conditions for the cultivation of the best coffee bean are: very fertile volcanic soil, 81% percent humidity, a stable temperature of 21.5*C (70.7*F) and adequate sunlight year round (from 48 to 52%) with an average of 2,250 hours annually.

These new microlot initiative is coming from Micro-Mills, tiny low-volume farm-specific coffee producers who now keep their lots separate, mill it themselves, gaining total control of the process, and tuning it to yield the best possible flavors (and the best price!) This revolution in processing is possible due to new environmentally friendly small milling equipment, and the disatisfaction of small producers who sell coffee at market prices, only to see it blended with average, carelessly harvested lots. With an independent Micro-Mill, a farmer can become a true "coffee craftsperson," maximize the cup quality of their coffee, dividing lots by elevation or cultivar, and receiving the highest prices for their Micro-Lot coffees.

The body of this coffee is light, but suits this high-toned and mouth-refreshing flavor profile. As it cools, the cup sweetens, and pear juice fruit character comes up.
Oh yes, did I already mention that the brightest coffees in the world come from Costa Rica.
Of course not always, but this one is for sure the brightest coffee we had this year.

In the Little Green Bag blend it pairs up with the (good old) peaberry Brazil from the Pereira Estate. This coffee is in the line up since the beginning of October and seems to be better then ever.
In the cup we have a very well balanced cup. Not the biggest body, but very nice mouthfeel, floral notes, fruits, bright acidity and a clean and long finish.
The cappuccino's are heavenly. Cream, caramel and milk chocololate combined ; just the way I like it.

(thanks Sweet Maria's, SCACR and Coava for all the info about this country, region and farm)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

X-Mas Espresso 2011 : Brazil Fortaleza

It is a Mundo Novo from a tiny plantation by the waterfront of a lake delta in the cold climate and mountainous area of Caconde in Alta Mogiana, São Paulo state. The plantation is called Nossa Senhora de Aperecida and is run by the Menussi brothers. Quite young and very hard working guys, who really cares for their land and their coffee. They hand harvest everything themselves with help from only a few friends. They meticulously dry them and sort them the entire day during harvest. They are hard workers. They are privileged by having a uniquely located plantation with a huge potential that they are really starting to realize. There processing facilities are simple. No floaters or de-pulpers. So they only do naturals and that they do well. They have the perfect climate for it. Everything is done by hand. First drying on patio the first few days and then up to 2 weeks drying on raised beds, where the coffee is sorted and turned every day. They really deserve the premium payment they received for this coffee.

The Mundo Novo sits on the highest ridge of the plantation. This part has quite a bit of shade trees and in the end of the afternoon this part of the plantation is in complete shadow, ensured by the angle towards the sun and the surrounding hill tops. This enables the plants to rest. Together with the cold climate and the water near location this ensures the freshness and clarity that comes with the fruity acidity developed through the night time. In the morning this piece of land is hit by sun early to kickstart the photosynthesis and sugar production. This coffee has a high sugar concentration and a high level of glucose in particular, which contributes to the rich, thick, coating, fluffy (marshmellow) mouthfeel that builds a layer on top of the smooth, oily/buttery mouthfeel. High glucose levels give more even roasting around the crack, but also potential a faster roast development at times, so be aware. Don´t go to easy on this though as it does have a higher than usual density due to the fairly high elevation, but particularly due the cold climate, which adds a few hundred meters to the actual altitude.

ID: FAF_10_1076
Categori: Dried Fresh Raw Clean Green Coffee Seeds
Land: Brasilien
State of origin: Sao Paulo
Region: Alta Mogiana
Subregion: Caconde
Exporter: Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza
Plantation: Sitío Nossa Senhora de Aparecida, ca. 1180-1230 moh.
Producer: Selvio and Celsio Menussi
Method: Organic
Botanical varietal: Mundo Novo
Process: Natural, Selective Harvest (Cereja Cocô, Colheita Selectivo)
Drying: Concrete Patio + Raised Beds
Quality: Clean; Specialty Grade
Screen: 14+

From today on at Caffenation Hopland for €6,50/250 grams.

Saturday, December 10, 2011