So we can't keep the secret any longer. We are letting the cat out of the bag. Within the next several days, Prima Coffee will be the proud new owner of a two group Dalla Corte Evolution espresso machine for demoing in the office and future Barista Bashes and latte art competitions around town! And that's not all; it will be paired with the excellent Mazzer Mini grinder! If you want to stop by and pull a shot, give us a call!
This is the first of what we hope to be many tasting blogs in the future featuring roasters from Louisville, the Midwest, and nationally. Our hopes in doing this are threefold. First, we want to bring exposure to great roasters and shops we believe are doing good in the specialty coffee movement. Second, we want to introduce these roasters to the readers of our blog. And third, we love trying out great coffees in the office!
We received our first shipment of Aerobie Aeropress brewers this morning. I wasn't sure what to expect from a frisbee manufacturer, but the reviews I've read were all very positive. As soon as we could, Lee and I both headed off to the break room to brew up the first two cups. Lee used more water with a medium grind. I used less water with a grind only a little coarser than espresso.
We are planning to add a new focus for the blog in the next several weeks. Starting soon, we hope to regularly review coffee from different roasters locally here in Louisville, as well as across the country (and beyond!). This will provide us with an opportunity to not only cup great coffee in the office, but also to provide those reading our blog exposure to roasters and shops who are bringing specialty coffee to the mainstream. Get excited; we sure are! And to all you roasters out there, you are welcome to send us free samples, if you wish!
The good folks at Prima Coffee asked me to introduce myself on the blog, and I said I would be happy to do so! This is my first week as the newest member of the Prima Coffee team, and I am thankful for being given this opportunity to be a part of the vision Prima has for coffee in Louisville and beyond.
PT's Coffee very graciously sent us bags and bags of coffee and espresso for the Bash a couple of weeks ago. There was some Ehtiopia Sidama Ardi Natural left over and we snatched it up for our office enjoyment (which is what we are sipping on this morning). The citrus fruit notes have mellowed out a bit after a couple of weeks but there is still a deep, sweet fruit and spice taste that is keeping me well satisfied. Thank you PT's and thank you Mike!
Sorry for the delay, but this is my first day back in the office since the Bash. First off... wow! What an awesome success! So many people showed up and so much great coffee was consumed. Congrats to Chris Heiniger and Kenny Smith who took first and second place in the latte art competition, and a HUGE thank you to Chris Deferio for driving down from Muncie and gracing us with his coffee expertise.
There are so many more people to thank. I'm not sure where to begin and I'm sure that I will forget somebody. Here goes, thank you to:
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.
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.
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:
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.