Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Espresso or Ristretto?

Let's first start with some thoughts i blogged before :

and here

Some stuff does come back, but coffee is an un going story isn't it?

Long ago it was all very simple.
You ordered an espresso and they gave you a 3cl (1oz) beverage. Strong, full of flavors, good with milk, no problems.

Then they started to up dose the filter baskets - those bloody aussie's :-) - and the drink became sweeter and more bold.

Bit by bit the espresso volume went down towards 2,5 cl and soon after you saw a lot of Barista's going back to the original 3 cl, but not with a single espresso shot in the cup, but a double; so actually a double ristretto.

Where will it end and how do we deal with it?

It is very clearly not global, but meanwhile wide spread. Although the WBC rules insist on pulling 'regular' doubles, in the field the double ristretto's are taking over.
Go visit the average San Francisco, London or Melbourne Specialty Coffee Bar, order an espresso, and they will serve a double ristretto straight away. The rules (mostly adapted): 20 grams of extra fine ground of espresso roast, approximately 1+ ounce of filtered water that's pressed through it and we have a 20 to 35 seconds dripping naked portafilter, preferably engined by a high tech pressure profiled espresso machine monster. A lot of power and complexity in the cup and great base for fine textured fresh milk.
In The Netherlands, Belgium or France this is mostly not the recipe and also Germany and Scandinavian are in jeopardy.

Normo Antwerp is the first Belgian bar only pulling ristretto's, although still splitting them (for milk drinks) with the double Portafilter. Nice initiative and double as good once this Strada is going to land at the Minderbroedersrui - go check out that monster once its in.

We, at Caffenation, have fantastic results with our double ristretto's, called Dorito (on the menu).
The naked filter technique results with the La Marzocco Linea were very shaky, but our Mistral now does a great job and the ('naked pulled') Dorito and Dorito based Flat White (16cl cup or 22cl glas) are on the rise.

The next logical step for us would be to offer this concentrated shot straight away when someone orders an espresso. Most probably this is something we can't stop happening, but what about the 'classic' espresso we spoke earlier about?
I think this still is a bloody good drink and I don't want to lose it and, as a result, weaken our menu.

So for the moment we ask our clients - certainly the international and progressive by nature ones - to specify what they want when ordering their espresso.
And the same for the cappuccino; "1 shot of espresso or a double (ristretto) based one"? "In a cup or in a glass"?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Filterabonnement : This Week Costa Rica Monte Cadet

Costa Rica Monte Cadet Estate : Roast 18 oktober 2012

Voor filterbereidingen is mijn favoriete overzeese land wellicht Costa Rica. Voornamelijk de helderheid/brightness van de boon is heel apart, en verslavend.

Farm info : Monte Cadet :
Area :  7 has,
Variety: Caturra, Catuai, Geisha
FARMERS:  Mario Solis
REGION: Tarrazú
MICRO REGION:  Canet , San Marcos
PRODUCTION:  170 bags,
WET PROCESS: Semi Washed
DRY PROCESS: Patios and  African beds, 
Geographical location: Latitude 9.6826 °N & Longitude 84.0042°O

Deze boon is enorm clean en heeft toetsen van
Drop en framboos en smaakt ook een beetje vlezig.
Smakelijk! Rob

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Filter van de Week : Panama Don Pepe

Address:        Volcancito, Boquete, Panama       
Producer:        Antonio Vasquez
Product Availability:    Harvesting in October – February – Available from November – August
Beans:    SHB (Strictly Hard Beans)
Soil:     Volcanic
Processing:    Washed

Founded in 1899 by Don Enrique Vásquez, Don Pepe is a fourth generation coffee farm and a former Best of Panama winner. Perched high on the slopes of Baru Volcano, Don Pepe is located in Volcancito, a micro-region within Panama's celebrated Boquete growing region.

After picking, skin and mucilage is removed using Penagos machinery before the coffee is dried. First part of the drying happens at cement patios and finished using raised beds with a mesh bottom - allowing air to circulate freely around the coffee. The coffee is of the Typica variety - one of the main cultivars of Coffea Arabica, whom many other varieties have derived from. The yield is pretty low, but the cup quality rewarding.

Geuren en smaken :
De versgemalen koffie geurt bijna als vers gezaagd hout.
En ook in de smaak komt iets van (zoet)hout omhoog.
We merken dadelijk waarom deze koffie bij ons voor 95% als espresso (LGB) gebrand wordt : vrij krachtig en een lage aciditeit. Toetsen ook van colanoten.

Best Brewed hot enough to enhance the acidity : 93-96°c.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Keep Cup at Caffenation

I remember when we first discovered these reusable, eco friendly, funky colored cups, i was very sceptic about the value for our bar.

When Joke pushed me half a year a go to give it a chance in our Take Out Nation i was still reluctant. But she swore she would sell it, so we ordered a box of 30 or 40.

And one month later they were gone.
We ordered a new box, and again .... all sold within a month.

This time we start dealing them at our main bar at the Mechelsesteenweg and so do some of our dealers.

The prices are €10 for the 20cl and €12 for the 30cl version.
With our FFFF system : First Fill For Free, we expect lots of positive reactions (again).

When clicking here you see how fashionable these cups became, all over Europe.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What's in the Postbox this week : October 10

We have a great Ethiopian coffee for our Membership clients this week.

Interested in a weekly bag of Specialty Filter Coffee (and living in Belgium)?

Here the (Dutch) explanation :


Elk oogstjaar is anders en zo ook de 2011-2012 oogst uit Ethiopië.

Van de grote 4 Specialty regio's Harar, Sidamo, Yirgacheffe en Limu weinig goed nieuws.
De Harar heeft een kleine oogst. Onze (Semi) Direct Trade is behoorlijk, maar minder spectaculair en ook duurder dan verwacht.
Van de Sidamo hebben we zelfs nog niets bruikbaars binnen gekregen.
En de meest Yirgacheffe's vallen ook wat tegen.
Terwijl Limu in dit kwartet meestal het zwakke broertje is, krijgen we dit jaar een uitmuntende kwaliteit.

Zo ook deze Washed grade 2 - meer info spijtig genoeg niet ontvangen.
De espressobranding van vorige maand was al een topper, maar ook over de 'filter' niets dan lof. Heel veel mooi rood fruit, viooltjeswater en een aangename aciditeit; vooral dit laatste was de vorige jaren niet echt de specialiteit van de meeste Limu's.

(noot : 50% van de Ethiopische (export)koffie is van Djimmah, maar hier komt zeer zelden een lekkere boon vandaan)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Espresso Bar Run : Koko Amsterdam

Yes, they're open.
Finally, after 2 years of planning and training.

This project was very ambitious and both Carolien and Karlijn need a full income out of this project and so it took a while to find the right spot and budget.

Oudezijds Achterburgwal 145, 1012 Amsterdam is the place to be. Yes, that's very central and along the canal.
The space is old and industrial, but of course the girls totally pimped it to their own taste.

Fashion combined with Design and Specialty Coffee is the concept. And the atmosphere is Stylish and Sexy. I don't see another place that has this kind of atmosphere.

So, very proud C&K chose our Little Green Bag as their main coffee blend.

The equipment : a shiny GB5 from La Marzocco, 3 sturdy Anfim Grinders; one is for LGb, one is for espresso of the week and one is for filter or bags, fresh tea from Van Aelst and filter coffee on your prefered brewer.
After extensive training at the Espressofabriek, The Village, Inspire and Caffenation they know how to steer the gear and this you can taste.

Good luck Carolien and Karlijn. And keep up the good work. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Filter of the Week : Panama Lerida

De eerste van 2 mooie Bouquete koffie's die we in september binnen kregen.
Panama is 'on the rise' en zowel de Don Pepe als de Lerida farm is daar een mooi voorbeeld van.
Deze koffie is dankzij zijn Natural Processing enorm fruitig. Volop Framboos & Mandarijn, maar ook mooie kruidigheid (lichte cayenne zelfs) en een toets van Jasmijn thee op het tipje van de tong.

Situated in the Highlands of Boquete, Panama, at an altitude of 1600 to 1800 meters above sea level, on the foothills of the Baru Volcano, the quality of this special coffee takes advantage of the deep volcanic soil, the micro-climate (abundant rain and sunny, dry and windy during harvesting season) and its varieties (Caturra and Catuai). The Caturra variety is a mutation of Bourbon coffee discovered in Brazil
while the latter is a semi-dwarf Arabica whose cherries hold solidly to the tree.
The Lérida Estate was founded in 1922 by a retired Norvegian, Toleff Boche Mönniche. Not only did he establish one of the finest coffee farms in Panama, he also had a great interest in the preservation of nature.  Therefore, he made sure that 60% of the Finca Lérida is an ecological reserve.