Honestly, i like writing this post more then the TOP 10 Coffee list.
2014 was a remarkable year on the music front. I felt like we made a 180 degrees turn at the bar.
Where Bert and I were always driving forces behind the cd and ipod players, we saw Emiel, Joke And Yannick take over the steering wheels.
Where i'm still stuck with my feet in the late 60's-early 70's mud, these youngsters focus more on contemporary stuff.
And this you can already see in the Top 10.
And; always we had real CD's in the list, but that changed with the number 1; only played fully digitally, from download on.
1) The War on Drugs : Lost in the dream. This CD won dozens of prices this year, and with reason. It reminds us at the young Springsteen and a bit of Pink Floyd and goes on where Muchacho left us with Phosphorecense in 2013.
Addictive rhythms, mysterious voices, brilliant composing, good lyrics. Lost in the Dream had it all.
Here a link to the album
2) Disco not Disco : Post Punk, Electro & Leftfield Disco Classics 1974-1986 on Strut.
Strut albums cover these charts every year. This year with Disco not Disco compilation that should be on every espresso bars' playlist!
"Can i lick the crunch of your biscuit?"
Hypnotic and funny, and vibes that bring me back to my youth when i liked this kind of 'white boy punk/funk/disco'.
3) Black Sabbath : Sanctuary : Greatest Hits :
I know this band my whole life but never went any further then their Paranoid chapter. This CD is totally different from the other metal bands from the past.
Or as i read it in their biography :
The group took the blues-rock sound of late '60s acts like Cream, Blue Cheer, and Vanilla Fudge to its logical conclusion, slowing the tempo, accentuating the bass, and emphasizing screaming guitar solos and howled vocals full of lyrics expressing mental anguish and macabre fantasies. If their predecessors clearly came out of an electrified blues tradition.
For €5 you have a CD in your bar that can be played daily. A must buy.
4) Kavinsky : Drive original Movie Soundtrack.
Dark & Wicked.
5) Bombino : Nomad
Desert guitar punk boom.
6) Funky Chicken : Belgian Grooves from the 70's
Two Belgian CD's in 1 list!!! As funky as it goes. Brilliant.
7) Intergalactic Lovers : Little Heavy Burdens
What a voice.
8) Coeur de Pirat : Coeur de Pirat
Subtle French stuff for the morning cups.
9) The Pioneers : Long Shot.
Bring on the good mood.
10) Jack White : Lazaretto
Head Banging Psycho shit for the dark evenings.
Monday, December 29, 2014
Honestly, i like writing this post more then the TOP 10 Coffee list.
Monday, December 8, 2014
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
After this review we were informed about new improvements the builder did on this Rhino :
"On the next one which you will receive we have made the outer burr tighter on the chamber and now it doesn’t move, we have tested and this improves grind. It doesn’t completely eliminate the bigger chunks but goes from around 15% big chunks to around 8-9% which is better."
That's what we want to hear.
The Rhino Hand Coffee Grinder sells in our Caffenation shop for €39.
And is included in our magnificent Ultimate X-Mas Gift Box Set : Aeropress, Rhino grinder, Caffenation mug and a bag of coffee to your choice for only €70. Already on the shelf!
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Starting up a coffee roastery is easy when you buy a home roasting device, put it in the corner of your espresso bar and start roasting small batches.
It IS a totally different ball game if you upscale.
From 15kg on, the home roaster becomes an industrial machine. It need to be placed in a separate space and you have all sorts of safety, health and environment rules and regulations.
Summing them up would get me way to far, but briefly you need to have a good trace and track system, separate spaces for the greens or roasted coffee, Rento kill help, staff regulations, clean workspace, and so on, and so on.
On the photo you see our green storage space.
Friday, November 21, 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
After 10 years of working together it's time to get married.
Bert and I worked 10 years our ass off to get Specialty Coffee as a Quality standard in Antwerp and surroundings. But also our professional clients were grateful to use our techniques and learn from our experiences throughout the years.
Of course all for the love of coffee, but, oh boy, what a fun ride that was.
Like this Saturday, back in 2008.
Every week, dozens of stories, and thousands of coffees.
But times roll on and 4,5 years ago Bert falls in love with a Dutch girl.
Things became more serious over the years and 2 years ago i advice Bert to follow that girl, where ever that would lead him. He agrees.
Apparently it became Amsterdam, cause that's the city Esther lives now.
So, we decided to end our relationship.
And marry in stead.
Theophile de Bockstraat is the street, 37 the number.
December 1st the date, if all goes well.
Caffenation Amsterdam is born. You can meet me over there on Saturday mornings. The other days, except for Monday, Bert is running the joint. He's the real owner, but of course we guarantee the good old Caffenation vibe and coffees.
Some photo's of the works and address plates : and hope to see you soon...
Friday, November 14, 2014
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Adado Grade 1
40% Nicaragua La Divina Providencia Red Caturra
-2 great fully washed Specialty Coffees
-Clean, bright cup
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Adado Grade 1 :
The Adado Cooperative washing station in the southeastern Ethiopian highlands is one of the best in the country.
The people, living in the Gedeo Zone, south of the capital Addis Ababa, are considered to be a culturally and linguistically distinct group. They are bordered by the Sidama in the East, the Alaba in the North, the Burji in the West and the Guji in the South. All of these groups belong tot the Eastern Cushitic speaking poeple, who traditionally occupied the upper reaches of the Rift Valley escarpment in northern Sidamo. Today the Gedo Zone is one of the most densely populated parts of Ethiopia and the main production area for the world famous Yirgacheffe and Sidamo coffees.
I have to admit we beat you almost to death with another Ethiopian, but isn't it so this year, they are all clean, fruity and very long lasting? This you won't find anywhere else than in the bird cage of coffee, Ethiopia!
Grade 1 stands for the cleanest pick. Less defects give better and more stable coffee!
Nicaragua La Divina Providencia Red Caturra :
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
What were we looking after?
More clarity on the type of roast. (espresso - filter)
More direct information on the type of flavor. (strong - fruity - ....)
More help with brewing advise
More Caffenation brand up front (always same original logo and company colors)
Better conservation of the coffee (with alu foil inside)
Funkier (than a mosquito's tweeter) bags (color - funny fonts - ...)
You want to know how that last bit sounds?
One thing we didn't do is the valve. I know there's been a lot of discussion on this matter, but we tested it and did not notice the need within the first month of use.
And since most people order every week or every two weeks we didn't want to invest in this extra valve. Now we can sell the bags to professionals for 18ct a bag; with valve it would have been double.
Another thing on the choice for this bag :
In general i don't like the coffee bags i see on the market right now;
I don't like the plastic ones - too plastic. Doesn't feel nice and doesn't look nice. Plus, plastic and food is not my fav combo.
I don't like to stick with Kraft bags. Touch and feel is right and it even looks good, but it's so average and boring.
And i don't like all those glossy stickers on bags.
And, i think there's not enough color in the specialty coffee world.
Am i too critical? Maybe, but we wanted to change the game a bit.
On the other hand i see a lot of bars/roasters who invest ton loads in the nice design of their bar and tools and clothing and then got cheap looking and boring bags. I don't want to bring in any examples though.
Not only did we rebrand, but also all legal (Belgian) info has been written on the bags.
This is something missing entirely in today's Specialty Coffee market, but in Belgium they are very strict on this;
Company name and address
Lot number (to trace the coffee up to the roastery)
Conservation date (and eventual info conservation practices)
We need it all to put the bag legally on the shelf.
Hope you like em?
Friday, September 12, 2014
El Salvador El Molina Jasal
Ethiopia Kochere Grade 1
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe microlot Red Cherry Superior Grade 1
but also the mega funky and 'natural flavored' Pacamara Kassandra from Mexico are in the house.
Enough sweet funky stuff to fill a lot of cups till the new year!!!
The first time i tasted a Dry Processed coffee from Ethiopia i was blown away.
It was August 2007 when Kees Van der Westen brought along 2 bags from Stumptown. He passed them on to Sietse and he gave us a sample.
One of them was the all mighty Misty Valley from Ethiopia and this was our impression :
Since that first encounter i cupped hundreds of 'naturals', with mixed results. It's typical to be very surprised the first time. The coffee is sweeter, much fruitier and has more body.
The down side is the barn yard smell and flavors. It's a thing we also notice a lot with natural wines and mostly you love it or you hate it.
Over the years it became a new kind of fashion to bring this type of coffees and we also sold a lot of them.
But always with a warning: "Be aware, this is a natural coffee and maybe not what you are looking for..."
I think it's good to serve them, but not when you don't have something 'regular' on offer. Sometimes bars offer just one filter or espresso and then is such a natural processed coffee not very smart.
For Ethiopian Naturals we tend to go towards the Grade 1 picks. These are way cleaner then the Grade 3 or 4. Less earthy, less barn yard and more towards sweet and body. Once cooled down it almost tastes like fruit juice with tea and coffee.
For Centrals we see a lot of experimenting going on. Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the worse.
When done properly we find them less funky, but as good as the Ethiopians. So, we like to offer both of them.
Now waiting when the first Kenyan naturals are coming to town. Or would that be too much of a 'killer'?
Here some more interesting info about 'Natural Processing" :
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Our newest Ethiopian coffee for our main blend Mr LGB is called Layo Teraga. And again it's a coffee brought to us by Oromia.
For years this Cooperative is bringing very nice, sustainable coffees.
Although active in all Ethiopian coffee regions, we tend to stick to their Sidamo offers.
Here some more information about the organization and their beans :
- Washed and Sun dried
- Altitude: 1550-2200m(5080-7210ft)
- Cup: Bright acidity, medium body with spicy and citrus flavors
- Harvest: October to January
- Shipment: October to January
Monday, September 1, 2014
ROAST ED ESPRESSO BLEND
Full city Roast - Strong - Nutty - Medium to Low Acidity
"Espresso blend with a lot of Character". What does this mean?
This coffee is a crowd pleaser. With mixed washed and unwashed (natural processed) beans, this coffee is more easy going and less acidic then most of our other coffees.
The roasting is a tad darker, but still light enough to keep all flavors trapped inside the bean.
The ingredients (mostly 4 different beans) change over time, although the general taste of the blend will stay stable. Our favorite origins for this blend are Ethiopia, Colombia and Brazil.
It fits very well for small or large espresso's and the Bialetti/Mokka Pot.
Our average buying price - green/unroasted coffee - for the ED is €4,7 a kilo.
We have special prices for professionals in Belgium or abroad. Mail us for conditions.
Friday, August 29, 2014
Blackjack (on Hydra Synesso)
|Extraction Yield||18.9 %|
|Dose Weight||16.1 g|
|Brew Water Weight||54.4 g|
|Beverage Weight||38.1 g|
|Liquid Retained Ratio||1.20|
|Roast Style||Medium - Dark|
|Roast Date||20 aug. 2014|
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Sunday, August 3, 2014
I've been posting a lot on iced coffee brewing the last couple of years. And when I look into the coffee market's future, i guess this is just the beginning of a new coffee era, with Iced Coffee as the corner stone of business.
We've been starting to sell Cold Brew iced coffee last year. We knew how it worked, but it was just the first summer we had it on the menu. Of course we always had our frappaccino's and iced americano's, but black and pure and iced was something new.
This year we changed the recipe and started to bottle it. We don't do Cold Brew anymore, but prefer to brew on ice. This way we have a 'less-flat' taste.
The succes of all iced coffee, with or without milk is unstoppable. This very long but interesting article on The Atlanctic website is a must read.
We are bit by bit convinced this 'iced coffee movement' could be major for us as well and we are in full prep to elarge our quantity's and distribution platform for 2015.
There's even a possibility we are going to serve all our iced coffees with the same base. This means a Iced Mochaccino (frappé) will be prepped with the brewed iced black as well.
Also the Soft Drink menu will be reviewed and tuned with iced black inspired drinks.
Yes, it feels like this episode is solid enough to get us going for while.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
Mr LGB Summer of 14
• 1/3 Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kochere Gr1
• 1/3 Costa Rica Tarrazu Monte Canet Estate
• 1/3 Kenya Kirinyaga Zahabu Peaberry
LGB Summer is our Summer Espresso Blend for those who are looking
for something clean, fruity or excellent with milk.
The first part is, again, a Yirgacheffe. This Kochere is picked southwest of the town of Yirga Cheffe and near a little village of Ch'elelek'tu in the Gedeo zone.
The plantation is situated around 2000 masl!
It's from various Heirloom Varientals.
Our volume on Kochere is relatively low, so possibly we will have another Ethiopian bean taking over by the end of August.
The second component is a yearly classic. And we're so fond of it that we bought the full European lot this year.
The coffee comes out of Costa Ricas' most famous region Tarrazu, more precisely San Marcos. The man running the farm is called Mario Solis.
This bean grows at an 1650 meter altitude and the variety is a mix of Caturra, Catuai and Geisha(!).
This coffee is a real espresso championship coffee; very well balanced, powerful, nice body and super clean.
Last washed bean is one from Kenya. First 2 beans are relatively low in acidity and therefor we needed something with more fruitiness and acidity to help cut through the milk.
We chose this Peaberry coffee from Cooperative Societies, Nyeri - Kirinyaga.
A very well balanced bean (SL 28/34) that makes the blend also suitable for filter brewing.
Don't hesitate to tell us what you think about this unique Seasonal Specialty Coffee Blend.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
11 years Caffenation and now 4 year Specialty Coffee Roasters as well. It gave us a lot of stories and some great professional challenges as well.
And the latest is Krakow, Poland.
International our ball started to roll 6 years ago with Inspire Breda.
After that a fist full of Dutch cities followed, but also Vienna, Paris and recently Norwich England. We shipped stuff to Barcelona, Milan, Helsinki, Barcelona, Berlin, London, Lucca and Lille, but the latest shipment was a big box of goodies into the direction of Krakow where we found our latest dealer.
When David and Agate spoke me one year ago about their ambitions, i was very hungry to help them to fulfill their dream, which was the start up of a specialized espresso bar.
Meanwhile month after month passed by and finally Velodrome Krakow is a fact.
'Bikes and Coffee' has been a winning formula a lot of times before and also David thinks this is the right fit for him and his wife, although at Velodrome it's more decoration and a show off of his passion.
The bar is located at Berka Joselewicza 12, one of the green and cosy side streets of the Kazimierz quarter, a neighborhood is full blossom.
Their La Marzocco Linea PB is the very first one in Krakow and coupled to a Mazzer Kony, Anfim Caimano and a state of the art Bunn Water Tower. Great!
They'll give you the choice between a blend, a single origin espresso or a couple of filter coffees. Also they use fresh milk and offer a while selectoin of iced coffees and teas.
Lots of luck David and Agate with this great project. You'll have a lot of work in front of you, but i am sure every one who reads this article will pass by your door the day they visit the gorgeous city of Krakow. Very much recommended!
Friday, June 20, 2014
Monday, June 16, 2014
4 times our head roaster Jeff Verellen was able to defend the colors of our country at the World Aeropress Championships and 4 times he's going home with a medal.
After bronze in London and gold in Milan and Melbourne he became 3rd again in this years finals.
A fine result after a fine day.
While Bert and I were still on our way from Bologna to our apartment in Riccione, Rimini, our 2 roasters Jeff and Simon were moving towards the fiera to see Charlene De Buysere doing her thing at the Barista World Championships.
First WBC ever for Charlene. Never easy and no semi finals for her.
Curious to know the final results I went surfing on the World Wide Web, but can't find any info, except for the finals. Unbelievable.
I have the feeling all these competitions are losing interest. A pity, but a bit understandable cause it's a bit boring to watch if you are not competing yourself or a fan of one of the champs.
The rules get more complicated by the year and there's still no chance to taste what the Barista's are prepping on stage.
If one of my Barista's want to compete next year I'll be more than happy - it's a great stage to show your skills and a lot learn - but if nobody's in, we won't be sad about it.
Luckily there's still the Aeropress Championships!! More popular every year thanks to the relaxed settings and easy rules.
This year the setting of the WAC was the best ever ; on the Rimini beach.
La Marzocco organized this event together with Tim Varney. What a splendid job. The Barista's were performing barefoot in the sand of Rimini while the sun was omni present and even showing a fantastic sun set around the finals. Brilliant!!
Simon Boone represented The Netherlands and Jeff Verellen Belgium. Both were favorites in their series. Lots of expectations on Simon's shoulders when his recipe works wonderfully at the rehearsals a couple of hours prior to the comp.
Jeff was, because of the heat in Rimini, still struggling with temperatures and the (relatively dark) coffee; a splendid Ecuador by Cafe Imports.
Mélodie from France was another side favorite, just as Lara from Spain and Dylan from Australia.
27 competitors. That means 9 rounds of 3.
While Mélodie, Jeff and Lara advance, Simon falls off with a lightly under extracted cup. Ooooh.
The comp goes on and on and judges Tim Styles, James Hoffmann and Tim Wendelboe keep on cupping. Finally we see the Japanese Presser Shuichi Sasaki wins the finals, after uber Judge Tim Varney had to cup through all 3 cups because the judges were undecided on what the best cup was.
More info, photo's and recipes here.
Every year we see more and more country's organizing an Aeropress Championship. Mostly in a bar with the crowd side by side with the competing Barista's. Beer, coffee and friendship go hand in hand and people can taste the recipes after the judges decide on the heats' winner.
The design of the posters and T-shirts are becoming an event on itself and we expect this competition to grow every year.
Is this the future of coffee championships? Partly, yes!
Oh yes, Japan also won the Barista Title this year.
My friend Coen van Sprang 7th! Respect!
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
We did use a lot of white Melitta number 4 filter in the past. We needed them in our bar at Hopland to go into our Clever Drippers. And in the Mocca Master brewers.
Very often we were cursing though, when - once again - they busted and so we started putting 2 in after a while.
Very expensive at the end of the line and more work as well.
These Filtropa filters seem to be much stronger and still not expensive at all.
Since this week we have them available in our shop at Caffenation.
First we have to finish the small boxes of 40 pieces (at €1,40), but later on the normal sized boxes with 100 will be available at €2,45/box.
Here a small discription on the Filtropa's by Sweet Maria's, who's selling them since a while :
"The Filtropa are my favorite cone-type filters. They don't impart much paper taste and are very sturdy. I think they are far superior to the flimsy Melitta filters that have busted at the seams while I have brewed my coffee on many occasions. The filter is bonded without the use of any glues or chemicals, and the paper stock is certified dioxin-free. Filtropa uses an oxygen-based whitening process which produces a totally chlorine free paper."
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Onze eerste Cup Of Excellence koffie kwam uit El Salvador. We spreken 2010 en sindsdien zijn er vele COE Coffees gevolgd.
Nu maandag 2 juni organiseren wij, in samenwerking met 32cup, een Cupping (koffieproeverij zeg maar) met de 33 (!) winnaars van de COE El Salvador 2014.
Vanaf 15u bent u in de bar uitgenodigd om (gratis) te proeven wat er zo magisch is aan El Salvadoriaanse Specialty Coffee.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
It couldn't be a coincidence that a journalist from 'De Tijd', our highly rated daily business news paper in Flanders, called me to talk about Company Coffee. And more in particular why it's always that bad.
Well, those were his words.
I don't have so much experience on this domain, but it's true that we get almost every day someone complaining about the coffee in his or her company.
After some thinking i wrote this post last year.
One year later and after a few interesting experiences, i know better what we need to do to help people who fancy something more up level at the office or work floor.
3 things i want to say :
1) In the post from last year you can read about my hatred for lungo's. Something has changed here. I certainly need to do some more research on this one, but one thing that struck me a while ago was that the lungo (say the 15cl 'regular' cup of Joe) coming out of a full automatic machine is way better than when we prep it on a big espresso machine we use in bars or restaurants. Strange enough it is less bitter, less astringentcy and a nice fruity touch (at least with our beans).
I think it different for Italian machines, but Swiss and Dutch machines give a better lungo.
Don't go espresso on those office machines cause that's not working. The machines and grinders aren't heavy enough.
2) Meanwhile we see companies now manufacturing automatic filter machines. I need to do more testing, but this could be a winner. It goes relatively fast, it's cleaner, more people 'go black' and it saves money to the company.
The day i have more info on these type of machines, i'll let you know
3) Caffenation wants to start changing the ball game. We changed the espresso bar experience in Antwerp and surroundings by offering specialty stuff, real espresso's, fresh in season beans, lighter roasts, more service and more information on the coffee. If feel like it's time to hit the company coffee market as well.
Working now on the team and machine park and soon you hear more.
(Dutch) Article from 'De Tijd'
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Quick word on the Belgian Barista Championships this year.
Finally we have a winner that's doing this for a living : Charlène De Buysere.
Working behind the bar at Or, she is almost a veteran and a girl that's going to be capable of finishing within the first 20 at the WBC, why not semi finals?
With a Belgian Aeropress and Brewers Cup title and a World Aeropress title already in the pocket, she adds a 4th title on her sleeve.
Well done and good luck in Rimini Charlene.
Those who never saw her : here's a action vid from her, winning the Belgian title at the first BAC. Click it.
Oh yes Marriane (also Or) was 2nd and Jade 3rd. Congrats to all.
Never been against Direct Trade. It's just so hard to keep up with it.
In the past we've been have a couple of Direct Trade coffees. These beans arrive at our roastery, and our roastery alone.
But not a 100% direct, cause there's always a trader in between helping us with the paper work and logistics. Or a local Co Operative dealing with this.
When the trader comes in, we pay for their help of course, but mostly they pay the invoice at origin. Easy peasy. It costs a little, but your ass is save.
Working via a Co Op we have to pre finance the coffees. And there's always a risk the goods aren't coming, or too late, or the wrong beans were send off.
But, because it's important to have great beans, and exclusivity, and a nice price, these kind of Direct Trade coffees grow in popularity. We are April and our 3rd DT (First 2 Colombia's and now a Natural Brazil) is on the shelf already. Counting for 15% of our total coffee volume this year.
The Brazil one is a special story. Read more here.
Even more gain there is for the coffee farmers! The average price they are getting is way higher than the Fair trade price. And this way they stay more motivated to improve their harvesting and processing methods. So, everybody wins.
By the end of the week we'll have this exceptional Brazilian coffees on our grinders.
And also blended in the all famous Roast ED espresso blend. Enjoy. Rob
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
18 Aeropressers at the starting line. A great coffee. And lots of spectators.
The judges from a country North of Belgium were a the top of their toes and picked these 6 semi finalists :
Sofie from 32 cup : Vice champ last year : she went for a strong full bodied cup with nice acidity. For sure the most extreme drill of the year.
Alex from Caffenation : Light cup, sweet, well balanced. And the only one using the company's competition water. Most contestants prefered Spa blauw or (Sofie) Lidl water.
Charlene from Or : Improved version of Alex her recipe and close by her world championship recipe of 2012 in Portland.
Jeff from Caffenation : Very compact flavors. Sweet. Perfect mouthfeel. The first time you drink this your mouth falls open.
Bert from Caffenation : Comparable cup, but a tad stronger. Clean mean, but just not good enough for the finals.
Isabelle from Coffeelabs : Stellar cup! For me the sexiest cup of the day. Sweet, clean, but with an extra twang - spices, sours. She was also the only one analyzing her first brew and then redialing it the second round. Still waiting for her recipe though.
TOP 3 :
1. Jeff Verellen. Multiple and Reigning World & Belgian Champ : The king is still on his throne
2. Isabelle Verschraegen. Reigning UK Champ and ready to take over next year.
3. Sofie Nijs. Second podium in a row. What a gifted girl.
With 4 out of 6, the women were omni present this year.
No amateurs in the semis this year.
Price for bad luck goes to the 2012 champ Vincent. 2 years in a row it felt to me that he had the best coffee of all losing first rounders. Keep it up 'boyke'; you still got it.
Jeff's recipe (in his own words) :
This recipe sounds easy, but actually it is (to use WAC host TC Varneys words) : a fiddly one to nail.
Isabelle's Recipe :
16,5 gr - fines out - medium to coarse grind
240 ml water at 84°
pour, stir for 10 seconds
steep for 40 seconds
plunge for 30 seconds
For next year maybe already a good new idea.
If we would have 27 competitors in the first round, 9 in the second and 3 in the finals.... Possible.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Bijna geen enkele van de espresso bars die we beleveren heeft interesse in onze decaf koffie. Begrijpelijk want het publiek in deze plaatsen vraagt er ook niet naar. 1 van de redenen is omdat onze koffie's veelal weinig cafeïne bevatten. Een andere is de jonge leeftijd van vele bezoekers. Dit maakt dat ze nog goed de cafeïne verdragen en dikwijls ook niet zo vroeg willen gaan slapen. (dit is inderdaad ook een halve grap)
Te Caffenation hebben we altijd de ambitie gehad om alle koffieliefhebbers gelukkig te stemmen en dus ook diegenen die gevoelig zijn aan cafeïne.
En met de La Serrania gaan we hen zeker gelukkig maken, maar niet alleen de cafeïnehaters. Deze koffie is echt top en moet zeker niet onderdoen voor een andere boon. Deze week verstuurden we zelfs 50 zakjes naar online abonnees, als filter van de week. En met rede. Mooie balans, fruitige toetsen, lekker zuurtje en zeker clean genoeg om eenieder blij te maken.
Hier de info die onze online abonnees toe kregen. (voor diegenen die interesse hebben om ook elke week, of om de andere week, een pakje genot in de bus te krijgen : click hier.
Colombia Huila La Serrania Decaf
Roast Date : March 25, 2014.
• Blauwe lichtjes rijpe druiven
• Beetje bloemig en een mooie balans
Ja, je leest het goed; de filterkoffie van deze week bevat geen cafeïne.
Misschien een beetje verrassend en voor sommige met angst om het hart, maar je zal zien, na je eerste kopje, dat ook cafeïnevrije koffie heel lekker smaken kan.
Mensen iets bijleren over koffie en koffiegeschiedenis schrijven zijn altijd doelen voor ons geweest. En deze weekkoffie is er eentje die uniek is in ons Belgenland. Bijna al de aangeboden decafs zijn heel goedkope bonen die in een speciaal bedrijf met benzeen van cafeïne ontdaan worden. Het resultaat is meestal ondrinkbaar.
Ofwel gaat men grondiger te werk en neemt met een bepaalde boon en decafeïneert via de Zwitserse watermethode. Dit hebben we de voorbije 3,5 jaar gedaan, en dit was wel drinkbaar.
De La Serrania is een zorgvuldig uitgekozen blend van koffie's van verschillende boeren in Huila. Onze locale partner Virmax zendt dan deze bonen naar Manizales waar ze met bergwater en natuurlijk bekomen ethylacetaat (zoals bij wijnen) gedecafeïneerd worden.
Zo blijven de karakteristieke smaken bewaard en resulteert het vandaag in een clean cup die tijdens bepaalde blindproeverijen zelfs de tafel kon winnen tegenover vele andere dure Specialty Coffees!!
De donkerdere kleur heeft geen smaakinvloed.
Friday, March 21, 2014
Back in 2011, Colombia was my 3rd trip to origin.
Together with my main man Bert I visited the El Roble Farm in Santander. We participated at an extensive cupping organized by Virmax. Click this link.
During the same trip we visited the WBC in Bogota and cupped a lot of damn good coffees. It must have been since those days that Colombia became one of my favorite coffee regions.
Before this trip I wasn't used to drink top quality Colombian coffees. Although Colombia is one of the largest coffee producing country's (12% of the total market comes from Colombia) in the world and Antwerp the biggest coffee harbor, I never cupped something better than average. In Belgium they talk a lot about Supremo, Excelso and Popoyan. This is a fantasy name given to a certain kind of Colombian commercial graded coffees. Origin is not specified, although most the Popoyan seems to come from the Cauca area.
Supremo is the highest grade, extra second. The two are often combined into a more comprehensive grade called Excelso. With these you are almost certainly contemplating a standard Colombia from the Colombia Federation of Coffee Growers. Nevertheless, these standard Colombians will not all taste the same. Some lots will display much more quality and character than others, and skillful coffee buyers will find them for their customers.
However, if a Colombia coffee is identified by a regional or estate name, rather than grade name, it may be either a private mill coffee or one of a group of specialty coffees developed by the Colombia Federation of Coffee Growers. It mostly displays more character and a cleaner cup than standard lots of Colombia, although there is a lot of difference between all the different regions.
Most of the cup character is medium bodied, vibrant acidity but not overbearing, and the cup lively and nuanced by understated fruit tones. Certainly the Huila and Southern picked beans are sweeter, the more Northern ones more spicy and lower in acidity.
Two years ago we bought a lot from Virmax called El Meridiano.
Last year Villa Esperanza. Dutch link.
In between we bought a lot of Colombians, but not always to our liking. The most problems we discovered, had to do with freshness.
Freshly picked, processed and shipped Colombian coffees do taste very good. Unfortunately we mostly saw a big decline over time. Where Ethiopian coffee stays fresh over a very long period (up to 2 years sometimes) and most Central Americans can be very tasty upto six months after arrival, we notice most Colombians fade seriously after the first 3-4 months.
So our politics are relatively easy ; we buy often, but lower quantity's.
Not so difficult cause one of the biggest advantages of Colombian coffees is the fact the shipments keeps on coming. There's almost no other origin that has such an ongoing stream of freshly picked beans.
With over half a million farms it is relatively rare to buy single estate coffees in Colombia, although we managed to do so from the Las Mercedes farm. 3 different lots already this year. And very happy with the cup result, but the best ones are just landed at our Roastery.
El Tesoro (San Agustin) : a honey with a lot of depth and clarity.
Los Idolos (Huila) : a super balanced and clean cup
El Serriano (Huila) : best decaf ever
So, together with a conventional Huila, we blended in the Roast ED during this winter, we talk about 7 different Colombians since December.
Yes, that's why we call it 'on the rise'.