Happenings in the Coffee World
April has been a busy month for the coffee industry and we wanted to give you a quick summary:
First of all, the biggest coffee event of the year will take place tomorrow through Sunday in Houston. The 23rd Annual Specialty Coffee Association of America Event will feature lectures, exhibits, skill building workshops, and competitions. The two most notable competitions are the United States Barista Championships and the new USBC Brewers' Cup. The SCAA will be streaming on the USBC website.
Speaking of the Barista Championship, the current reigning USBC and World Barista Champion, Michael Phillips, announced recently that he was leaving Intelligentsia Coffe and Tea to embark on a new coffee endeavor. This new endeavor has now been announced as Handsome Coffee Roasters, a joint coffee operation consisting of former Intelligentsia employees Michael Phillips, Chris Owen, and Tyler Wells. Since the announcement was made a few weeks ago, there is no possiblility of me coming up with an original pun for you...so I'll just recommend following Handsome Coffee Roasters to keep up with the next biggest coffee roaster.
No doubt the biggest coffee news of this year came from Mark Prince of coffeegeek.com. Mark released an exclusive (and in-depth) preview of Baratza's newest grinding technology. The Baratza Esatto and Vario-E will be the first weight based grinding devices to hit the coffee market. We'll have more on this latter and will update when we have these available for order. For now you can check out Mark Prince's Baratza Exclusive.
We've got some more blog post in the pipeline so stay tuned.
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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.
As the interest in specialty coffee continues to increase, so does the interest in brewing methods that best compliment the quality and ideals of specialty coffee. Up until this point there have been limited options when it comes to pour over brewing devices that offer both a small learning curve as well as excellent results. Garnering praise for both their calculated design and ease of use, the Kalita line of pour over brewers are helping that small list of brewers grow. The Kalita Wave Dripper is being offered in both small (1-2 people) and large (1-4 people). The small size is offered in both glass and stainless steel while the large size is offered in glass, stainless steel, and ceramic. For an overview of the unique style the Kalita Wave Dripper brings to the pour over method, a feature chart that overviews the design, technique, and advantage can be found below.
$53.00Hario's stainless steel water kettle, the V60 Buono, has been spotted popping up in coffee houses and the kitchens of baristas for some time now. A detailed search on the web will reveal, for the moment at least, that the Buono seems to be widely accepted as the most useful pouring kettle available. What makes this kettle so popular amongst pour-over enthusiasts? Several reasons stand out.
First, the thin pouring spout enables greater pouring precision as well as a slower, more consistent and controlled rate of pour, both of which are very helpful in achieving a precise, prolonged extraction.
Second, the stainless steel construction and large 1 liter capacity contribute toward keeping up the brew temperature for the duration of the entire brew cycle.
Third, the ergonomics involved in the design of the kettle help to make using it much easier. This may not seem like much, but if you're brewing large batches of coffee and pouring for three or more minutes per batch, doing several batches of coffee will quickly become a chore if your kettle doesn't cooperate with you.
Combine all of these facets with the fact that the Buono is manufactured by Hario, a very popular name in the coffee-brewing community, and the kettle's popularity is easily understood. For best results, combine the Buono with a V60 Dripper or Chemex to get a truly exceptional cup of coffee.