This morning, I brewed a batch in the V60 at home, then brought it here to the office. Since I had a lot of leftover batches lying around my kitchen, I combined the end of two batches to get an acceptable amount of coffee for my desired yield size. The coffees? Roughly 60% of Costa Rica Don Mayo La Ponderosa Bourbon and 40% of Ethiopia Beloya Selection Eight, both of which were kept on the lighter side of the roasting spectrum.
Last Friday, Peter and I spent the majority of our work day meandering throughout Louisville, visiting as many coffee shops as we could. The primary purpose for this venture was to make people aware of Prima Coffee's existence, and, secondarily, to invite baristas -- and anyone else interested -- to our very first Prima Coffee event, Barista Bash 001.
This morning, I pressed a batch of Panama La Berlina Estate Typica. I remember it having a wonderful, full and round mouthfeel, quite viscous and pleasant. I go back and forth between thinking it's a bit syrupy and a bit hefty, like whole milk. No chalkiness, either, which is extra nice. And its taste? Brightness like a Central American coffee often has, with citrus fruit notes that fade into a graham cracker finish. It's a somewhat juicy cup, too, in that it doesn't give off too much of a drying sensation.
Today, the city of Louisville is being hit with what the meteorologists are predicting will be four to six inches of snow, which, when translated into practical terms, means many of the area's schools and some businesses are closed for the day. It also means that more than a few folks are snowed in and unable -- or unwilling -- to get out of their driveways. Thus, I feel honor-bound to produce something of interest for those of you who are in need of some sort of coffee-themed delight, and therefore have compiled another list of links for you to peruse and ruminate over.
Last week, I wrote about what I perceive to be one of the most common misconceptions in all of coffee, the myth of the french press. This morning, I got a text message from my buddy Justin telling me that he's becoming frustrated with the fines he's getting in his french press brews.
We've gotten confirmation from our distributor of Hario products that they're bringing in, among other things, an electric version of the Buono V60 water kettle. As someone that loves the pouring qualities of the kettle, I often find myself heating water in another electric kettle first, then transferring that water to the Buono.
A week or two ago, Kyle Glanville of Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea shared a thought on Twitter: many high-end coffee shops that pride themselves on the quality of their espresso serve downright mediocre filtered coffee. This is not a sentiment I can agree with based on my own personal experience, as I've not been able to frequent many such shops in person, but I do agree with it in principle.
Editor's note: This is what I hope will be the first in a long series of barista reviews, a blossoming section on prima-coffee.com that will feature a practical look at equipment written by someone in real-world conditions. Sam Lewontin is a barista and barista trainer at Equal Exchange Espresso in Seattle, Washington. He contributes to the Why Not?
Last night, I had the privilege and honor of hanging around with the staff at Quills Coffee as Kenny Smith helped them install their new La Marzocco Linea 3MP. To the best of my knowledge, it's the only paddle-group machine in the city, and by all accounts, it's well worth the investment. It took us a little while to get all the kinks worked out, and Chris Heiniger claimed to be nuzzled by a family of possums, but the early closing time of 4 PM yesterday still allowed us to get everything done by midnight or so.
It's an interesting Monday: January is here, the holidays are clearly behind us, and Winter is now at the point where I feel like it's offered me just about all I'm wanting out of it. Why interesting, then? Well, coffee-wise, there's a lot going on, but I feel like I, and those around me, are sort of missing out on the action. Winter doldrums kicking in? Perhaps. In light of that, then, here are a few links to some coffee things I find noteworthy:
Anyone who knows Chris Heiniger knows that the man just doesn't smile all that often. Or, if he does smile, it's fleeting and not easy to glimpse. Thus, it becomes all the rarer to see not only a picture in which he is smiling, but a picture in which he is posing and smiling. This Linea 3MP, which he will be working very closely and lovingly with, was deemed by him a more than adequate reason to pose and smile.
Why does a light-roasted, natural-processed Ethiopian often give off a great deal more of the herbal bitter notes, rather than the fruited notes foretold by the dry and wet aromas, when brewed in a syphon? This is one of those brewing conundrums that has been sitting around in my head for several months now. Take a batch of roasted coffee and brew it in a press or in a pour-over, and bam! you get tons of berry notes all up in your retronasals, you know? But just as often as not, that same roast will yield a syphon pot that is...just...lacking.
On Sunday, I had an interesting experience with one of my favorite coffees from the past several months, the natural-processed Ethiopia Wondo Bonko Sidamo. This coffee, whose greens came from PT's in Kansas, has that lush bouquet of distinctive fruited notes, both on the tongue and in the nose. I had roasted a batch of this to just a shade past first crack on Saturday afternoon, making it very young in the post-roast sense. I brewed up a batch in the morning using the V60, then did the same in the afternoon.
In the blogging, twittering, and generally-interneting specialty coffee world, there seems to be a renewed interest in not just the way we brew coffee, but particularly in the specifics involved in the ways we brew coffee. Take, for instance, the french press: it allows coarsely-ground coffee to be saturated with hot, almost-boiling water for roughly four minutes to create a brew that is then filtered by the pressing action of the french press, thereby separating the grounds from what has now become brewed coffee.
When the Average Joe goes to seek out his usual Cup of Joe, the tendency is that there is not a whole lot of variety to it. In most cases, the idea that there are "origins" or "roasting profiles" or "in-season offerings" go against the very spirit of that indomitable, dependable constant: a simple cup of coffee. A little cream, a little sugar, and all is well with the world...right?
This past weekend, after already spending time in Seattle for Coffee Fest, I found myself northwest of Louisville once more. This time, I was a mere five hours away in the Windy City. What's a coffee nut to do, you ask? Why, head on over to Intelligentsia's Millennium Park Coffeebar, of course!
This is the first of our two part guest barista review on the
pour over brewing method. For these reviews, we bring you Collin Moody (
) reviewing the 155 Series, and John Letoto (
) reviewing the 185 Series.
Collin Moody's review of the 155 Series Kalita Wave Dripper
Collin is from Houston, Texas but currently lives in Chicago and serves as the lead barista at
in the Wicker Park neighborhood of West Town, Chicago. He's an avid home brewer and has contributed some great posts to the coffee community. Check out his blog,
. But for now, check out his review below:
Pioneering a new front for specialty coffee, pour over brewing represents the intersection of artistry and excellence. In this guide, we set out to examine the available options and scrutinize them side by side.
The Baratza Forté is the newest coffee and espresso grinder on the planet – what in the world is it all about? We've pitted it against some classics and peeked under the hood to help get the word out: this grinder's got guts!
The siphon is the most complex of all manual brewers and the cup it produces might be the most unique. For a clean, full, and flavorful coffee, hit play and let Chris walk you through the whole process.
The Clever is one of our favorite coffee makers for no-fuss, no-matter-where, single-cup brewing. Gather a few familiar tools, quality ingredients, and your new Clever and you'll have a delicious cup in front of you in just minutes, sans hassle.
The end of the Big Eastern Brewers Cup is just about here! We've seen dozens of top notch services this weekend — and tasted most of their fabulous coffees — but now it's time to watch the last of them and learn which of the final 12 competitors our judges scored highest.
Welcome, watchers near and far, to the 2nd installment of our LIVE Big Eastern Brewers Cup coverage! You're looking at the internet's only on-the-fly, off-the-cuff, all-inclusive report of everyone's favorite filter coffee comp. Come see what happens on day 2!
The next phase of the United States competition season is upon us! This weekend, the SCAA, the BGA, and sponsors like Prima present the Big Eastern Event. Watch with us – on the web or in the flesh – as Brewers Cup competitors bring their best, hoping for a spot on that national stage.