So, it has been an embarrassingly long time since we have blogged. Perhaps one could blame it on the holidays, or the New Year, or all the time spent trying to stick to those resolutions that we are about to break soon anyway, but in the end there is really no excuse. I'm not even sure what to write about, to tell the truth. We have some ideas for educational and helpful blogs in the future, but alas this is not one of those. So I will just take the time to speak of the good things in coffee that I have experienced over the last several hours.
The first is this delicious cup of Counter Culture's Baroida on my desk. The Baroida is a washed coffee from the Eastern Highlands region of Papua New Guinea. Not only is this one of the best Papua New Guinea coffees I've experienced, but one of my favorite coffees I've had period. I have been very surprised and pleased by this single estate selection. The Baroida hits the tongue with a surprisingly sweet and citrus fruit acidity and even carried some similarities to a natural processed bean. The body is full and deep, covering the palate like a silk blanket. The dry aroma is like cantaloupe while the wet aroma brings grapefruit to mind. Counter Culture describes the tasting notes as mango and passion fruit, and I happen to pick up tangerines and clementines, as well as a deeper molasses on the aftertaste. In short, a very pleasing coffee! (For those interested, my parameters were a #6 setting on the Mazzer Mini, 28g to 450ml in an 01 V60, between 200-205 degrees, 2:15 brew time)
Last night my wife and I had the opportunity to hang out at our friend Chris Heiniger's house, with a few other Louisville coffee folks, to taste some delicious coffees that he roasted on his Hottop, as well as a selection of the Papua New Guinea Agoga from Square Mile Coffee Roasters that Kenny shared, along with a couple of selections from Sunergos that Kane brought to brew up. The two coffees that Chris roasted were the Ethiopia Amaro Gayo and the Panama Elida Estate, both naturals. I won't be overly detailed, but we had a blast talking about roasting, brew methods, discussing tasting notes; brewing with the V60, Chemex, and Eva Solo. It brought to mind the old days in the Louisville coffee scene, and by "the old days" I mean about two years ago, when there were just a few rogue baristas having house barista jams and geeking out at roasting parties. It brought back some fun memories for sure and good times were had. Those were humble beginnings, and now I'm excited to be watching several of these guys compete in the Latte Art Championship competition at Coffee Fest in Chicago next month!
Well, I guess I should wrap things up. I did want to link to a couple of good reads I've come across recently. The first is actually a video, and an "ah ha!" moment of sorts; The Most Practical Chemex Tip Ever by Sprudge. Can't believe I never tried this. The second read is a good post on "How to Taste Coffee" over at hermitudinous.com. I now chew coffee because of it. Check it out.
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$1,687.00(For a guest barista review, click here.) Anfim's Super Caimano espresso grinder, upon its initial release, was a solid addition to any high-end coffee house. It featured a 75mm flat burr set that helped to give a very consistent grind, allowing baristas to rely upon it for excellent shot-to-shot uniformity. When dialing in a coffee, the Super Caimano had 70 holes in its adjustment collar to allow for tinkering between shots. Now, however, Anfim has added an additional 20 spots for a total of 90 holes in the adjustment collar. The benefit of this? When dialing in and finding the sweet spot for any coffee being used to pull shots of espresso, a key factor the barista must take into consideration is the size of the grind particles. Yes, uniformity and consistency of those grind particles is also key, but the ability to make tiny, incremental adjustments is always helpful when striving to find the right balance of all a coffee's characteristics when pulled as espresso.
Small, lightweight, and portable, the Skerton is the ideal hand grinder for the traveling coffee enthusiast, or the home enthusiast on a limited budget. The Skerton employs adjustable conical ceramic burrs for grinding any of the wide range of grinds employed in today’s coffee market. It can easily handle anything from fine espresso to a coarse French Press setting. The Skerton’s detachable 100 gr. glass jar is perfect for collecting the grounds, and in combination with the plastic screw-on lid (included in order) can even double as a storage unit for whole beans on those long trips. After grinding is finished, cleaning the Skerton is as easy as placing the unit in the dishwasher since the entire grinder is dishwasher safe. Whether you desire a quality, handy grinder for the road or enjoy the fine art of manual coffee preparation, the Hario Skerton is the ideal candidate. For an even more portable hand grinder from Hario, check out the Mini Mill (for a more detailed comparison of the two grinders, check out this blog post: Hario Skerton vs. Mini Mill).
We've looked long and hard for a scale that we can recommend for our avid manual brewing friends. The scale needed to have a high weight capacity, fast response time and precision calculations, and the ability to disable the auto-off feature to ensure the scale would not shut off mid-brew. The Jennings CJ4000 is the first scale we have offered that meets all of these requirements. With a 4000 gram capacity, accuracy to .5 gram, and the ability to disable the auto-off feature, the Jennings scale is the perfect companion to manual brewing.