Monday, December 29, 2014

CD 2014 Top 10

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'.

Listen yourself.

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 8, 2014

The Lido 2 Grinder Review (by Bart)

The Lido 2 grinder review

As I told you last time, I have been reviewing two new grinders for Caffenation. In my previous review you can read about my motivation to getting a new grinder and my experience with the Rhino, a very decent portable grinder. Now it's time for something completely different: the Lido 2 grinder.

If you compare just the two boxes of the grinders, you will notice the Lido 2 comes from a different league. The box is very large and heavy compared to the small Rhino box. It contains the Lido 2 grinder itself, a stand to fit the grinder, a brush to clean it, the manual and a ball driver to deconstruct the Lido for thorough cleaning.
Certainly most striking is the design and the size of the Lido: this grinder is big and made of sturdy glass and metal. At first I was afraid that this glass design might make the Lido fragile, but actually it feels strong and reliable. 
Surprisingly for this price range the Lido does not come with a pouch. This confirms my suspicion on how I would use this grinder. This cool tool is not made for a quick cup on the road, it's made for a slow and perfectly tuned cup at home or even better at a competition.

As you would expect from a top range grinder, operation is more difficult. Fortunately after a short read you can easily use this grinder without having to refer to the manual continuously. Inserting beans in the grinder is simple: there is no lid on top, just pour your favorite beans in the grinder and you are ready to go. To collect your ground beans a glass jar is screwed under the Lido 2. At first this jar looks like a good old fashioned marmalade jar, but it feels more sturdy and reliable.

Adjusting your grind is much more flexible than with the Rhino, the Lido 2 gives you a much larger range of settings because it is infinitely adjustable. Because of this, I expect to see this grinder turning up at local Aeropress championships, where a perfectly tuned grind can make a large difference. The grind is adjusted with two rings, a larger ring determines how coarse or fine you want your ground coffee and a smaller ring locks the larger ring in place. The manual explains in detail how this works, including suggestions for different settings. The makers of the Lido 2 claim this grinder can grind your beans for espresso and I believe them, it will work. However, for daily espresso shots or in an espresso bar I would not recommend this grinder. Then you should look for a large volume machine.

This is an impressive tool, so what are the bad points? Weight and size certainly are not optimal for usage on the road, this is not a grinder you toss in your backpack when you go camping. Also important to note is that you will face a learning curve with the ring operation. The manual admits this, you will have to learn how to control this system to properly use it for perfect grinds. Finally, this is a professional grinder, which comes with a professional price tag. I believe it's worth its price and I seriously consider buying this one for perfect drip grinds at home. If you are a serious coffee amateur looking for a better grinder this is a good candidate.

To summarize, the Lido 2 is an impressive and high quality grinder, which is very powerful and flexible. It's not portable or cheap, but very powerful. I expect this grinder to show up at future coffee competitions or in the hands of passionate amateurs. If you want to invest in gear to get the best flavors from your beans, this grinder is for you.