Sunday, November 25, 2012
Thursday, November 22, 2012
With Hopper 2nd and The Village 3rd. Nice podium isn't it?
And proud of course.
Thanks to the Barista's. Yes that's what i said on stage after Jeffrey offered me the trophee.
And, briefly, the key to succes in 3 small steps :
1) Get your Barista's trained. I mean better. I see a lot of Barista's with all kinds or degrees these days, and then they think they are Barista. It's a profession dudes. And you only get better while practicing, and by preference in a real espresso bar on serious equipment. And, if possible, aside of an experienced Barista.
We train appr 35 professional Barista's a year. All our trainers are people who still pull their own shots on an almost daily basis.
I see a lot of Barista trainers who are not behind the machine anymore. They need to get their asses back there. In between the youngsters and some other fanatic Barista's learning the small in-and-outs. Maybe just ask the specialty bar around the corner to do a weekly shift. Or at least a monthly visit and play with the newest coffee's and equipment. You'll notice you lost a lot of the 'real' stuff in your training room!
2) You have to pay your Barista's better. They are the face of your company. They make or break you, and it better be the first thing.
What your clients are paying for is a piece of art. Without good Barista's you won't have a good bar!! So, train them better. Make sure they perform. And then pay them properly.
Of course I see a lot of 'Baristas' doing the dishes, spreading sandwiches, making soups, serving cola's. Well then you are probably running a sandwich bar or restaurant and then we talk about a different ball game.
But an espresso or specialty coffee bar needs to focus on coffee and it's the Barista that's running the show, so pay him/her for it!
3) Looking for a new Barista? Don't look too far.
I have 2 or 3 people a week asking for a job. And the first thing I ask is if they are Caffenation fans. If they are not visiting the bar from time to time I won't hire them.
I hire people who love the bar and its atmosphere and coffee (of course). This way we are sure this future Barista knows us, we know him or her and we will all be one big happy family.
So, again; it's not me who made Caffenation win the award, it's the team of Barista's who did it!
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
MEXICO COE LOT#5 :
Agustin Moreno Salgado, Finca Corral de Pidra.
1) Cup Of Excellence is an organisation who's on the research of the 'perfect' bean and auctions every year the best lots in 11 different country's. This movement is very important to stimulate coffee farmers and cooperatives to improve their coffee and via this program raise the price to a more-than-fair level. For Mexico it was the first year they entered the competition and we scored a part of lot #5.
2) The farmer Agustin lives in Veracruz and began cultivating coffee 20 years ago. They renovated almost all the coffee plantation and began planting in grafted coffee that are more resistant to nematodes, 6 years ago.
3) We haven't been happy with the offer of Mexican beans in the past. Mostly to the specific climat (Mexican is most Northern of all American coffee producing country's) the average bean has a very flat and boring taste.
4) But not this one; here we a Panamesque full flavored cup with some florals, hints of stone fruit and an elegant chocolate touch. Enjoy!
Saturday, November 17, 2012
PICKED NOT FAR AWAY FROM THIS GORILLA :
RWANDA WASHED VUNGA NYABIHU BOURBON/TYPICA (ROAST 7 NOV)
Vunga cooperative is a washing station (coffee mill) in Jomba, Nyabihu, Western Rwanda and named after the nearby village. The Vunga station is at 1463 meters, with coffee coming from the surrounding hills ranging from 1700 to 2100 meters. The area borders the Virunga national forest, which has a healthy mountain gorilla population, and is just a couple hours from the borders of Uganda and DRC (Congo).
This area features rugged terrain with steep hills and deep misty valleys, which provide a natural water resource. The Virunga mountain range, which consists of eight major
volcanoes, is a branch of the Albertine Rift, also known as the Western Rift Valley which spreads over Rwanda, Uganda and DRC. The name “Virunga” comes from the Kinyarwanda word ibirunga, meaning “mountains.”
The Rwanda are early this year.
And this one is not only our base for the Little Green Bag, it's also our stunning filter of the week.
A spectacular Autumn coffee that taste like a lot of seasonal veggies : bitter carrots, asperges and nuts.
The cup is clean and has enough acidity to give it a balanced profile till the last drip.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
First and most important part is the Rwanda Vunga.
Vunga cooperative is a washing station (coffee mill) in Jomba, Nyabihu, Western Rwanda and named
after the nearby village. The Vunga station is at 1463 meters, with coffee coming from the
surrounding hills ranging from 1700 to 2100 meters. The area borders the Virunga national forest,
which has a healthy mountain gorilla population, and is just a couple hours from the borders of
Uganda and DRC (Congo). This area features rugged terrain with steep hills and deep misty valleys,
which provide a natural water resource. The Virunga mountain range, which consists of eight major
volcanoes, is a branch of the Albertine Rift, also known as the Western Rift Valley which spreads over
Rwanda, Uganda and DRC. The name “Virunga” comes from the Kinyarwanda word ibirunga,
Our coffee is a mix of bourbon and typica and relatively small in size.
Last year we had a lot of delay on the new crop Rwanda's, but this year they 'sailed' the containers around the cape and so it arrived very early in the Antwerp harbor. This means very fresh, and tastier.
Don't kill me if left or right a potato bean pops up, but don't mis interpret this flavor with the typical pie, carrot, salsify (schorseneren) and asperges notes. Yes, it's all in there.
And more of the autumn, with nuts upfront, and laurel and some green tea bitters on top.
A very spectacular, but clean cup indeed.
Second part is a classic from Ethiopia, the Limu Grade 2.
In the past we hardly discovered a Limu that matched the quality of a 'normal' Yirgacheffe of Sidamo, but this year the crop of these last 2 area's is very shaky, with this Limu lot being better then ever.
The Ethiopian part gives a bright tone to the blend, also a good (red) fruityness and pairs wonderfully with milk.
This way the cappuccino's pretend of being sponsored by Snickers.
Our doubles give a nice acidity and some bitters upfront, big nuttyness and the best after taste ever.
Extra bonus : Thanks to the Limu we can keep the price of this Little Green Bag under control.
Hopefully we have enough supply to stand tall with this one till the new year.
Then we suppose the Brazils and Burundis come into play. B&B magic. Working on it.
See you soon,
Friday, November 9, 2012
Normaal babbelen we hier over 3rd wave of koffie-op-het-scherpst-van-de-snee.
Maar ik was toch wel heel nieuwsgierig naar dit nieuwe apparaat van Douwe Egberts.
En zo ook onderstaande bloggers en testers :
Ikzelf wist niet goed wat er van te denken. Is het nu een espressomachine of niet? Bij DE zijn ze daar niet duidelijk over, en zelfs na het bekijken van de video is het me niet duidelijk.
Nespresso toonde duidelijk aan dat Espressodrinkers een krachtige 3cl drank willen met een donkerbruine cremalaag. Terecht. De manier waarop kan beter; maar geen discussie over de looks en de definitie van de drank.
Hier bij de Sarista gaan ze ineens weer richting grotere koffie en een 'lungo crema' laagje er bovenop.
Voor mij is grotere koffie's zetten met een espressoapparaat zowat de slechtste manier van zetten die een mens ooit verzonnen heeft en ik hou mijn hart dus al vast voor het resultaat.
Voor de donker gebrande fabrieksbonen pas ik sowieso, maar blijkbaar kan je die funnel/bonenhouder makkelijk de top afsnijden en er dan je eigen 'stash' in doen.
Mijn persoonlijke You Tube over Nespresso refill mag dan al honderduizenden hits hebben; deze keer ben ik niet echt van plan me zo n machine aan te kopen voor de test. Mocht iemand het echter in huis hebben gehaald en er eens Caffenation koffie op willen testen; dan stel ik me met deze altijd kandidaat.
Dus mogelijk in de toekomst toch nog een vervolg, maar voor vandaag; halt aan de Sarista en terug richting Specialty Coffee.