Monday, December 19, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
As the merry season is upon us, we've gathered a few gift ideas for the coffee interested.
Both stores have the gift box with 3 Weeks From Kieni at just 250,-
You can also buy 6 small cappuccino cups + a bag of Espresso for 250,- (save 54,-)
We also have the Hario Skerton hand grinder. If you don't know it, it's an awesome little manual grinder with ceramic burrs. At 325,- it's an amazing product and great for travelleing too.
If you want to try more coffees we have our Taster Pakke for 260,with 4 different Direct Trade coffees.
In Torvehallerne we're now selling the Hario V60 and filters. You can get it as a package with a bag of coffee for just 175,- The perfect hostess gift. Includes our little V60 brew guide.
At Jægersborggade we've stocked up on Aeropress and they are only 238,- also including a brew guide.
We hope that leaves you with some options to put under the Christmas tree!
Monday, November 28, 2011
To showcase the subtle nuances in coffee, that we as cuppers get to experience and come to love, this month we'll be roasting three different lots from Kieni and sell as a package.
The three lots are from three consecutive weeks, harvested the first three weeks of December last year. The lots are called Lot 15, 16 and 17 as that are the week numbers from beginning of the harvest in Nyeri, which is what the coffee millers in Kenya work with.
Kieni is a cooperative wet mill, or Factory as they prefer to call it in Kenya. There's around 300 members of the mill, where each member is usually a family, growing coffee as one of many crops on their land. The families grow and pick the coffee cherries and bring them to the wet mill. So a wet mill is usually the most defined "producer" of coffee you can find in Kenya beside the (usually very large) privately owned farms.
At Kieni the lots are separated by weeks. So for each week lots you will have different families bringing in cherries and the climate and conditions for the fermentation will change week from week. This leave subtle differences in the week lots, but overall the Kieni mill delivers a very high standard. For us some of the absolutely best coffees we've ever tasted from Kenya.
Our goal with this little package is to allow you as a consumer to taste those differences that all too often is limited to the cupper's table. It's essential that you brew this coffee using accurately filtered or bottled mineral water. Copenhagen tab water will ruin the nuances.
You can read the report from our visit to Kieni earlier this year by clicking here.
The Kieni Week Lots will be available only in our two coffee shops from Wednesday at 17.00, where Casper will be hosting an open cupping of the three lots at Torvehallerne.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Barista i DM Infoaften
Kom og hør lidt om hvad Barista mesterskaberne egentlig går ud på, og hvordan du kan forberede dig på at stille op.
Barista Verdensmester 2006 Klaus Thomsen vil fortælle om konkurrencen og give tips og tricks til hvordan man kan skrue en præsentation sammen. Der vil være rig mulighed for at få besvare spørgsmål og få hjælpe til at finde på signature drink osv.
Arrangementet er åbent for alle baristaer, der kunne ha interesse i DM, og du er også meget velkommen selvom du ikke tænker på at stille op i år.
Det foregår nu på onsdag, d. 23. November 2011 kl. 19.00
The Coffee Collective
DK-2200 København N
T +45 60 15 15 25
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Throwdown at Torvehallerne November 10th
It's time for the first Latte Art Throwdown in Torvehallerne. Come and challenge your colleagues on the infamous Spirit espresso machine. You don't need to be a master of the milk or a barista champion to be in on the fun.
Bring 10 Danish Kroner to enter and the winner takes the pot. Of course anyone is welcome to just come by and look on and cheer for your favourite barista. It's gonna be a cozy evening in any case.
Thursday November 10th 2011 at 20:00
The Coffee Collective Torvehallerne
1363 København K
Monday, October 17, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
On top of the new store opening we've also changed to new bags. White stand-up pouches with a zip lock.
As a little gimmick we've made the bottom of the bag transparent. We've always thought it's a pity that you can't see the product it self - the coffee - when you buy a bag. But since light destroy the flavour of the coffee, completely clear bags should be avoided. So we've had this idea for a long time to just make the bottom transparent, so you can see the coffee but without light getting into it.
But more importantly we wanted to get more environmentally friendly bags. In Denmark most of the trash is burned and any metal becomes a waste product that can't be re-used. So we wanted to get rid of the metal (foil) in the bags completely. Metal in coffee bags are used as a barrier for air, primarily developed for ground coffee with an expiration 2 years after the roast date (where the flavour will be gone anyway). With fresh roasted coffee and shorter shelf life there's an overpressure in the bag for the first many weeks, so the extra barrier from the metal doesn't even matter.
We have also been able to add some text about our roastery and green coffee sourcing on the back. The label has also gotten a little bigger and more reader-friendly and all in all we think the bag looks more simple and presentable.
Monday, September 5, 2011
We're seeking baristas!
Following is the job description in Danish:
Update: Thanks for all the applications we've recieved. We have now filled all positions!
Arbejdet vil primært bestå af betjening af kunder og brygning af kaffe. Men der er også en del arbejde i forbindelse med vores risteri som vore baristaer hjælper med. Det er ikke en forudsætning, at du allerede har vundet verdensmesterskaberne i baristakunst, så længe du er interesseret i at lære mere om kaffe. Vi har et omfangsrigt oplæringsprogram, hvor du både vil lære om kaffens smag og hvordan man kan brygge en exceptionelt god kaffe og arbejde effektivt i baren.
Barista erfaring er selvfølgelig en fordel, men ikke en nødvendig forudsætning.
Hvis det har din interesse, så send din ansøgning med CV til os hurtigst muligt på firstname.lastname@example.org. Mærk ansøgningen med "deltid" eller "fuldtid" samt kontaktinfo inkl. Email-adresse.
So. We had sort of promised to write a lot of blog posts about the progress of opening our new store. We intended to. However, once things started really rolling our focus shifted toward just getting the place ready and not so much on sharing what we were doing.
And now it's open.
But we would like to share a few of the thing we have had going on.
We're extremely proud to have the world premier of the new Kees Van De Westen espresso machine Spirit in a coffee shop. Some of you might have seen this machine at some specialty coffee trade shows.
Kees is widely known in the specialty coffee circles for designing and producing awesome espresso machines. He designed the widely known Mistral espresso machine from mainly La Marzocco parts. A design that La Marzocco later bought and put into their own production. The original Kees machines are still a collectors item and I remember vividly working on those awesome machines back in 2005 at Stumptown.
The Spirit is his newest invention and features a lot of cool ideas. And overall it's such a well made machine that just feels awesome to work at. Personally I love how much work Kees has put into the detailing on this machine and I think it looks amazing.
These pictures are from the WBC show in London last summer, but this same machine is now the one you'll find in our new shop. We definitely put it to the test over this opening weekend with over 1000 cups a day going through it. And it held up beautifully. The temperature, which you can set and read for each group, was extremely stable. In typical Kees-style he also send us teflon-coated portafilters and VST baskets as standard. On top of that he sent three extra steam tips, so we could choose which hole size we liked best. What a guy!
There's some interesting stuff going on 'under the hood'. When looking into the group heads you'll notice that there's no screw, but the shower screen covers the whole area. Theoretically this should give a more even dispersion of the water over the coffee bed. There's also a build in mechanical pre-infusion plus a nice slow flow that secures an even wetting of the coffee before the full pressure is applied.
All in all there's a great number of things going on, and Kees is working on even more for the final production models. What we can already say is that it's capable of making some amazingly great tasting espressos. And that's what matters in the end.
(We'll try to upload some pictures to Flickr from our own shop when ever we remember to bring the camera...)
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Tomorrow, Friday, we open our new shop at Torvehallerne.
We are ready and we're very excited!
Torvehallerne doesn't officially open till 10 o'clock, but we're going to open as a usual Friday, which means we'll be there three good hours before. You can read the opening programme here.
Our opening hours will be:
Mon - Fri 7.00 - 21.00
Sat - Sun 8.00- 18.00
On Tuesday we did a test run for two hours and the bar was slammed. As with an new store opening it'll take a little while before everything is running as smoothly as you want it to, but we feel much better after the test run. All machines are now working and we're ready to deliver some very tasty coffees.
A couple of (bad iPhone) pictures from the Test Run
Torvehallerne is located at Israels Plads next to Nørreport Station.
Our shop is at the south end at Vendersgade. It should be pretty easy to spot throught the glass windows.
Vis The Coffee Collective på et større kort
Looking forward to see you in Torvehallerne!
Friday, August 12, 2011
Today we're lauching a new espresso from the Kieni wetmill in Kenya.
It's an aromatic bomb with loads of sweet fruit and berrylike acidity. Citrus, black currant and cherries stand out in the aroma. We think the aftertaste is amazing and in milk those aromas just pop out and you can feel a funny balance between the acidity from the coffee and the sweetness from the milk. On it's own the mouthfeel is oily and coating. It's probably not an espresso for everyone (read: people who's afraid of acidity) but for those seeking wild aromas and an intense espresso this should be interesting.
If you want to know more: Taste it.
It's in the grinder at the coffee shop right now and available on our webshop.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
With the Nordic Barista Cup coming up and generally a lot of people visiting Copenhagen these days, we're getting a lot of emails, facebook and twitter messages asking for advice on where to go. So I thought I'd just sum up some recommendations for you all. This is by no means a ranking and there's lot of other good places around and I'm sure to forget about some. I'm also not gonna bother with writing long descriptions. Just click the links and check it out.
Restaurant Relæ - must visit!
Manfreds - will re-open September 2nd. Relæ's little brother.
Aamanns - Smørrebrød to perfection.
Fiskebaren - great seafood in the meat packing district.
noma - but really, you can forget about getting a table.
Geranium - some say they're equally good as noma.
Kiin Kiin - Michelin star thai restaurant. Awesome.
Oubæk - just really good food. (Boeuf Bearnaise FTW!)
Den Røde Cottage - a bit outside CPH but extremely good and beautiful.
Mikkeller Bar - probably the best beer bar in the world. You have to go there!
Meyers Bageri - one of the best bakeries in Denmark/Europe/The World
Sing Thehus - if you'd like some fantastic tea.
Ved Stranden 10 - when you get in mood for some fantastic wine.
Coffee crawl you'll have to figure out yourself, but we do have a map of places with our coffee here.
Vis The Coffee Collective på et større kort
Monday, August 1, 2011
We have put up new barista courses for the next half year on our webshop:
There's is one course per month. If a month sells out we'll try to put an extra course up the same month.
This is our home-barista course aimed at enthusiasts with an espresso machine and grinder at home. We'll focus on espresso preparation, grinding, dosing, distributing, tamping, extraction and of course tasting lots of espresso shots. Milk steaming will also be covered with a focus on the cappuccino. Finally we'll go through cleaning procedures of the equipment. These classes are in Danish and with a maximum of 5 people, so everyone will have time on the machine.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Our new store is starting to be built up. In the coming weeks it will more and more resemble our drawings.
As mentioned the idea is to have a good dialog over and aside the counter. Therefore you can still see it as a kitchen table where you gather to talk- a very big kitchen table. We have kept the level at a height where the customer feels comfortable and invited- and at the same time to have a height where the barista can work efficiently.
There will be a front table where we face the customers and prepare coffee and behind it a back table where there is room for zinks, dishwashers, storing etc and of course a big surface to work on.
To build this bar we have teamed up with GARDE HVALSØE, which is a carpentry firm that does pretty much anything. They are very good at kitchens and they have an eye for details in wood that is exeptional. They have some really good craftsmen throughout the firm and we have had a very intense and creative dialogue with them.
Elmwood will be used for the main structure and fronts. The tabletop will be made of a kind of granitestone- all black.
For lighting all this up we asked Møller og Rothe (specialists in light) to help us. There will be a lot of daylight in the bar, but we need a bit more artificial light to make the bar as transparent as possible for the customer and facilitate the work of the barista.
Møller og Rothe came up with a proposal that puts light right where we need it.
We have always wanted to do a lot more public cuppings than we could at Jægersborggade, and now this will finally be possible in an easy way.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
After three and a half years on Jægersborggade we feel ready for the next step for the collective: Opening a second coffee shop!
At the end of the summer we are going to open at Copenhagens new food market Torvehallerne.
Torvehallerne is a project that has been a long time under way. We first heard about it and saw the initial architect drawings about 8 years ago. The idea for a new food market was originally promoted by architect Hans Peter Hagen in the place where Copenhagen's original market for vegetables, fruits and flowers had been. Israels Plads, as the square is called, is situated perfectly, right next to Nørreport Station - the busiest traffic point in Denmark, accessible by both metro, train, bus and of course by bike.
There will be two main buildings; one for fish, meats and dairy products, and one for groceries, bread, fruits, vegetables and of course coffee. We applied for a specific spot at the very end of the latter building facing south. The sunlight hits that area around 11 o'clock and is there until it sets over the park to the west (Ørstedsparken). It's a beautiful spot with a great atmosphere and lots of people around. We will have seating outside so you can enjoy the sunny days there or take your coffee with you.
When we opened the shop on Jægersborggade we had one goal in mind: We really wanted to show people what the barista is doing. Too often the customers can't see the craftsmanship of the barista, and with our reversed, open bar we have had great success in sharing brewing tips with customers on a daily basis. With the new shop we want to continue that idea of an open, transparent bar. But at the same time we felt the need to do a more efficient bar, that doesn't get as cramped as Jægersborggade on a Saturday. Both ends of the bar will be open, allowing folks to watch and at the same time be able to talk to the barista over the counter.
Coffee-wise we're keeping things relatively simple. You can expect the same quality coffee drinks as you're used to on the Jægersborggade shop, but we're also building a designated brew bar, which will focus on filter coffee. We both want this to be an opportunity for customers to taste each of our single coffees brewed by the cup and for them to engage in conversations about the coffee. At the same time we're working hard to ensure that it's efficient, and that the whole process can be fast.
However, we don't want to take focus away from espresso either. We love espresso. Most of us start our mornings with a delicious cappuccino. And that's something we want to share with our guest along with exploring the espresso possibilities even further. We're hoping to be the first to present a very exciting espresso machine in the new shop and we'll write more about that later. Finally we're also going to host public cuppings, that will be open to anyone who'd like to join.
There's a lot of ideas right now, and we'll try to keep you posted on the progress. We're very excited about it all and look forward to share some extraordinary coffee with a new crowd as well as those who's followed us for years.
As you have seen, the coffees from other farms and countries have been coming in to our roastery these last weeks. Here on the Daterra farm in Brazil the harvest has just started, or to be more exact, it started a month ago. And we will get our share of green beans from Daterra in November/ December.
Monday, July 4, 2011
Thanks to everyone who came by our coffee shop at the Roskilde Festival. We had an amazing time and it was nice to see so many of our regulars drop by. We served around 6.000 cups of coffee in those three and a half days the music was playing, so we're pretty satisfied.
Our BMX rider Niels Thanild was one of the organizers of the BMX show out there and sent us a few pictures:
It's been a great festival for sure with many memorable concerts. We hope to see you all there next year!
Monday, June 27, 2011
The Roskilde Festival is about to start. The camping area is already full, beers are being drunk and music is being played. And again this year we're ready to serve some tasty coffee for the hungry masses together with Manfreds / Relæ. We've assembled a great group of baristas and is packing up the La Marzocco and Mazzer Robur as I'm typing this.
You can find us the same place as last year, next to the Gloria stage:
The menu will be very simple again this year; espresso, cappuccino, caffe latte and iced latte, but this year we'll be brewing up some delicious filter coffee in stead of americanos, for those in search of great tasting black coffee. We'll be shifting through Finca Vista Hermosa from Guatemala, Kieni from Kenya and Daterra from Brazil.
See you there!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
A couple of months ago our barista Torfi won the first Danish Brewers Cup - the competition for black, filter-style coffee as opposed to the espresso-centered Barista Championships.
This week the World Brewers Cup takes place at the SCAE show in Maastricht. You can read more about that at SCAE-events.com. On Wednesday June 22nd Torfi will compete and represent Denmark, and of course we hope he'll make the finals on Thursday.
In any case he will be joined by Christian, who placed 2nd in the Danish Barista Championship. Together they'll be brewing up our fresh crop Kenyans, Gichathaini and Kieni, for the good people attending the SCAE show. This will happen at The Village - a new area focused on showing new trends in coffee and some of the new specialty coffee roasteries around Europe. So if you're at the SCAE look for Torfi and Christian and ask for some great fresh coffee.
Monday, June 20, 2011
As you might know we were fortunate to get a lot (#ES8-16) of this years La Esmeralda Special.
Tomorrow, Tuesday 21st, we're roasting the first batch for sale. If you place an order in our webshop before noon tomorrow we'll send it out the same day.
On Wednesday, June 22nd, from 14:00 to 16:00 we'll be giving out free samples of Aeropressed La Esmeralda Special in our coffee shop. Come by for a taste of one of the worlds most aromatic coffees.
As last year, we probably won't be roasting this coffee every week, but will post on our Facebook page when we plan to roast it. If you order several coffees together with Esmeralda in our webshop, please notice that the entire order will wait for next Esmeralda roast.
Friday, June 17, 2011
So my run for the WBC ended with a decent 15th place this time. Only 9,5 points separated me of being in the semi-finals. Overall the championship has been a great experience.
Sara and I came down Friday the 27th, doing some preparations for practice time on the machine the following days, finding milk and getting ourselves situated.
Klaus came down the following day with more coffee and his celebrity glamour, so we were ready and in shape for a two-hour training session the following day.
Anxious to see how the local milk would taste and appear in combination with my coffee, what the water would be like and of course there’s been a lot of talk around how the espresso will react to such high altitudes, we were an excited little group of people with many questions entering the training space at Amor Perfecto.
We tested some different roast dates and found the oldest date (17/05) to be the absolute best. Having this high an altitude makes the crema of the espresso expand more, making it very bubbly, so using beans that have de-gassed a lot work better. We practiced with local fresh milk, but found the milk we brought from Denmark to be better in what we were looking for in terms of flavor and texture. A big thanks to Leo Corleone for bringing some additional milk and coffee for us all the way from Denmark.
The next day we were on our way to Armenia and a 2- day coffee trip sponsored by Café de Colombia. We visited coffee farms; saw the coffee research facility of Cenicafe, Juan Valdez funpark and much more. It was an amazing trip from start to finish. Also great to see that there are serious focus on bringing right information out to the farms themselves, giving them tools to produce good quality coffees.
Back in Bogota we had our official practice time, the day before the competition itself. It was a nerve-wrecking and intense few hours. As the Mazzer Robur grinder was stuck in customs and would be arriving as my practice time was done and over with, we had no grinder to practice on. At that point everything was looking a little black as we would only have 15 minutes the next morning to dial in the burr set that we brought with us from Denmark, also dialing in both roasts and test the very limited amount of Danish milk we had.
Lucky for us we were very fortunate. Unsure if it was because of my desperate look in my eyes or not, but the lovely Marcus Boni let me split my 1 hour practice time in two parts, and squeezed me in for 30 minutes very early the next morning to set my Robur.
The WBC back room
I used my first day practice time on milk steaming and the lighter espresso roast was set to perfection, all there was to do now was to go home, do some mental training and get lots of sleep.
That didn’t happen. After having a very nice relaxing massage the same night I was feeling a bit low, and very drowsy, and I couldn’t sleep at all, in the halfway between sleep and being awake I kept going over the different parts of my presentation. So waking up at 5am, with a fever that is, was more a relief if anything.
We arrived at Corferias where the competition took place and were quick to get our gear in shape due to the short amount of time we had. It went well, with expertise assistance from Sara and Klaus right next to me.
Still feeling lousy and building an even higher fever, I was not feeling fresh or ready to compete at all, so I stuffed myself with some painkillers, went had my mental training for a small hour and got myself amped for competing.
This was IT! Getting out on stage and setting up was the best part ever. I didn’t feel nervous, I was calm, and my hands didn’t shake as I was preparing the cupping, as they normally do when I’m nervous. The shots I pulled from both espressos also tasted incredible, so I felt very secure on my dial in and the roast dates we’ve had selected.
My 15 minutes started, I was giving my introduction and went to prepare my first shots of espresso when something went very wrong. The grinder was acting really weird. The dose, which had been set perfectly with minimal amount of waste in my preparation time had suddenly changed, and a lot more coffee came out. I decided to go ahead and make both double shots, wasting a lot of coffee as a consequence of the higher dose. I quickly saw the shots weren’t running as they should, so in the heat of the moment, I bluntly stopped them without wasting more time. I could almost hear Klaus’ heart jump from the sideline. I remade the espresso and the second set was better, although not as good as I’d have liked.
The rest of the presentation went ok. I knew that I was very limited on time and had to do things very disciplined and pick up the pace to finish in time, which I did, with a finish time coming in on 14:51 minutes.
The next two days I was in bed with a fever. No energy and not eating anything much but watermelon, so I can’t say I was in my top form. Sara even had to stand in for me when announcing the semi-finalists.
Unfortunately for me there were 14 great baristas doing a better job on the score sheets, so there was no need for me to prepare myself for the next day, which I was very disappointed not to do. The semi-finalists were all excellent and well deserving semi-finalists, I only wish I could have gotten that second chance.
Semi-finalists announcement (with Sara standing in)
Watching the finals on Sunday was amazing. The roof almost lifted when Alejandro Mendez from El Salvador was announced the winner. What a great performance, great concept and a truly great ambassador for specialty coffee this man will be. I’m very excited to follow him in the coming year. I wish him the best of luck!
I would like to thank a few people that have really stood behind me and beside me in this little adventure.
First I would like to thank The Coffee Collective for giving me loads and loads of support creating solid frames and great guidance all the way thru the process. It has been truly amazing to feel the engagement from your side.
Then my two key persons I could not have done anything without. Sara Sundby; my coach and right hand all the way from the Danish champs to the WBC. You have been such a star! And Mathias Skovmand Larsen; food chemist and the Man of mans when it comes to innovative thinking in gastronomic ways. You have spent more time on this then I ever could imagine, Thank you!
Then we have all the tasters, and judges throughout my training and practice presentations, for taking the time, giving great feed back and golden advice along the way.
I would like to give big thanks to Edwin Martinez and the whole Finca Vista Hermosa team, for the great help of getting the new crop Finca Vista Hermosa to the roastery in time for WBC. I know how hard you worked for the beans getting here fast enough.
To Eva Solo, for everything I needed in glassware, utensils, serving trays etc. - I got it pronto. Uh la la Julie for helping out with signature drink cups even though she gave birth a week before the WBC, Paco Jet for sponsoring the machine for WBC, to Roger Wittman and La Marzocco USA for amazing assistance on the Mazzer grinder to and from Bogota. The help from all of you has meant a great deal to me.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Prior to the World Barista Championship I had the opportunity to attend the Cupping Extravaganza held by Virmax and Hacienda El Roble. The extravagant part was that we were going to cup 31 varietals from one single farm. Actually we were about to cup both species and varieties. If you want to know more about this I can highly recommend this article.
Varieties are all the rage in the coffee world right now, as you probably also noticed in the WBC presentations. However, it's quite rare that we can confidently say we're tasting the varity. Different varieties take to different climates, soil conditions, altitude and so on, so linking a single variety from one farm doesn't mean you're necessarily going to like it from another. From the cupping I've done of different varieties in different countries I have become more and more convinced that general, broad characterizations of varieties' flavours are probably not possible at the moment. The terroir and processing plays too big a role. Even tasting several varieties from one farm can be misleading, because quite often the farm expands over a large area and the varieties might be exposed to different microclimates and terroir.
All this had me so much more intrigued by the idea of cupping these 31 varieties from one far, grown at the exact same area of the farm and processed the same way. And with all the controversy surrounding the new high-yielding Castillo I think it's even more important to support experimentation with varieties based on taste. Just think how successful Hacienda La Esmeralda have been due to great tasting varieties.
I must admit I had little expectations to the event, as I didn't know who was going to attend and how serious it would be. It surpassed any expectations I could have had, though. Firstly, the group that attended was awesome. Mie from 49th Parallel, Jenny Howells from Terroir, Mark Dundon from Seven Seeds, Russell Beard from The Source, Tal and Zachery from Four Barrel, Bjørnar from Kaffa, Ryan Brown from Stumptown and many many more really great coffee people attended (we were up to 20, so sorry for not naming everyone here!). It was such a nice mixture of people I've known for a long time and new acquaintances. And definitely some very experienced cuppers. Mark and Russ came straight from the Honduras Cup of Excellence, so they were very calibrated.
Mie & Ryan
Next I was happy to see how professional Virmax was running the competition, following CoE procedures. It's just so nice when the organisation around a thing like this is running so smoothly that you can focus 100% on what's in the cup. A big applause to everyone at El Roble as well for being so timely and precise with coffee, water, timing etc. First day we cupped three tables (11, 10 and 10) with proper time between each table to relax pour taste buds. The next day we cupped the Top 10 from the previous day.
The 31 varieties we cupped were actually out of a total of 72 varieties and species that are being grown at El Roble's coffee garden. We took a tour of the garden and I think it's safe to say everyone was impressed. It's astonishing how different the plants look. I've seen a lot of the different species and varieties in other places (for example last year at the Instituto Agronômico de Campinas) but here were even more varieties in one place. The leafs range from tiny and narrow to big round ones, that remind you of rhubarb leaves. I took a bunch of pictures, but I'm too poor a photographer to really capture that sort of thing. Besides the look of the plant you can taste a huge difference in the cherry itself and especially when sucking on the mucilage.
Not all the varieties are producing enough cherry yet to process, roast and cup. I think Virmax had gone through something like 50-60 of them and after their initial cupping some could be sorted out and some there simply wasn't enough left off to roast and cup. But I also felt that 31 was quite enough for us to cup.
So what were the results?
Well, overall the difference in flavours on those tables were astonishing! There were just as much variety in flavour on those tables as a lot of roasters have in their entire assortment. And that came from one little area of one farm. We had some that tasted like earthy Indonesians, others like nutty Brazils, but more excitingly we had flavours reminding of the great Kenyans coffees and one that I would have bet was a well grown Geisha (but it wasn't).
The top two coffees are mysteriously labeled "HR" for Hacienda el Roble. Until a few weeks ago the people at El Roble thought the HR61 was Coffea Liberica and the HR62 was Coffea Racemosa. Two other species of coffee, hence it was not Arabica. However, the chief scientist from the Colombian national coffee reasearch center Cenicafe was at El Roble to validate the different varieties. But he could not confirm it was those varieties, because of different characteristics (like a bronze-colored tip leaf). Unfortunately he couldn't confirm which varieties they then are. Coffee's genome has not yet been decoded, so it's not possible to confirm from the DNA. So for now those two will just be labeled "HR".
The HR61 was incredibly floral with loads of jasmine, coffee blossom and also citrus fruit, orange, bergamot. A very very good coffee that really excited me. The HR62 was my second favourite. Also extremely aromatic but more fruit-tones, like peach and pear turning into berries in the aftertaste.
The SL28 was a little wild and crazy and we suspected that the fermentation would need to be different for that variety. It didn't present the clarity that we're used to. Some scored it really high while some flunked it for being too fermented. Borderline coffee for sure.
One of my favourites, although apparently the scorekeeper read my sheets wrong (I wrote 89 but can see how it could look like 84) was the Moka/Mocca. Super sweet and creamy with a lovely vanilla aroma in the aftertaste. It was particularly when it cooled that you noticed it. It didn't scream out as the more wildly aromatic ones, but made of for it in sweetness and mouthfeel.
I'm not gonna get into detailed descriptions of all the varieties as this post is already long enough. But the Mibirizi on the last table was stunning as well. Very sweet and almost a perfumed scent of melos mixed with rosehips and lemons. Quite light mouthfeel but very delicate.
Overall I'm really looking forward to more of this kind of thing. We need to encourage farmers to try different varieties. If you go through Latin America the same 8 varieties are grown almost everywhere. Now of course Esmeralda became a bit of a game changer making the Geisha famous. But the Geisha only performs well in some areas at certain altitudes. And there might be 10, 20, 50 other varieties out there that would be just as good or even better if matched with the right conditions.
Farmers that I've spoken to would like to try other varieties, but their primary concern is making a living, and higher yielding plants will still give more money in the end. So if we want those better tasting varieties out there, we need to be ready to pay a lot more for them and make it financially interesting for farmers to produce them.
I'd like to thank Oswaldo Acevedo, the owner of El Roble, and his entire amazing staff for hosting us and engaging in this experiment. Also thanks to Giancarlo Ghiretti and Alejandro Cadena of Virmax. And finally to the others in the 'little' group. It was great fun to get to know everyone there.
Slideshow with all the pictures from the Slurparama:
Monday, June 6, 2011
When Casper and Klaus was in Kenya earlier they found an excellent new lot from Kieni. But they also tried coffees from other producers and they fell in love with this particular lot from a producer we have worked with earlier - Gichathaini.
It has these extreme floral notes that is only found in very few lots from Kenya each year. An to our experience these notes are also very fragile. Therefore we roast it very very light and with lots of heat applied both early and late in the roast profile.
You can tried it in the coffee shop from tomorrow (tuesday 7th of june). There will be free samples at 14.00 and 17.00 hours.
Friday, June 3, 2011
After several month of empty shelves we are very happy to announce that we have been able to get hold of lot of the New Crop of Hacienda La Esmeralda!
Because of delay in shipment it will not be ready Tuesday 7th unfortunately as earlier annouced. It should be ready for sale on Tuesday 14th of June instead.
At 14.00 hours and 17.00 hours on Tuesday 14th it will be possible to taste free samples in the Coffee Shop!
Monday, May 30, 2011
|Training in Bogotá|
We will celebrate the event by offering You to taste Anne-Stines espresso in the Coffee Shop - just ask for her espresso (its also great in cappuccino)!
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Tomorrow we leave for the 2011 World Barista Championship in Bogotá, Colombia !
We know we haven't been blogging much about AnneStine's presentation since the Danish Championship, but rest assured that she is well prepared and ready to go.
With the great support from Edwin Martinez of Finca Vista Hermosa we managed to get some boxes of this year's fresh crop flown in to Copenhagen a few weeks ago. We have been able this year to cup 14 different microlots from Edwin, from which we've decided to buy 3. The lot AnneStine will bring to the WBC is called Cypresal, and is actually the same microlot she had picked for the Danish Championship. We've been dialing in the roast, cupping like crazy and AnneStine has made us a LOT of espressos from it. It's turned out beautiful and now we're really excited to taste it on Bogotá water at 2.600 meters!
Edwin at Finca Vista Hermosa in February
AnneStine is right now packing all her stuff and checking her lists. It's always unbelievable to see how much stuff the baristas need to bring for this competition. It's taken AnneStine's faithful coach and helper, Sara (Bar Manager at our coffee shop) a lot of time to simply organize the logistics around this whole thing. Getting a Robur 110V version to Bogota isn't so easy, when you're in Europe. But we've gotten great support from a lot of people, both here in Denmark, in the US and locally in Colombia. So now things are all good to go.
Yesterday we had the (very last) Grand Rehearsal for AnneStine and were so lucky to have some really good people to come judge. Big thanks to Björg from Café Europa, Yara from Estate Coffee and Troels from Kontra for coming in and acting judges. We can't think of a better opportunity to test AnneStine's nerves and get some final feedback on the whole presentation.
Tomorrow we leave for Bogotá. We're very excited. "We" unfortunately is not the whole collective. As much as we wish we could all go, our travel budget is spent on visiting the farmers we buy from, and someone needs to make sure there's coffee available for our customers here in Copenhagen. So besides AnneStine will be Sara and Klaus. We hope others will support them in cheering loudly.
We look forward to see everyone at the WBC and for those of you stuck at home, you will be able to watch the Live Streaming of the WBC at The Coffee Collective! More details will follow.
AnneStine is set to compete on the first day of the WBC, June 2nd at 11:06 Bogotá time - that's 18:06 Danish time. We're sure we'll be able to hear the roaring crowd across the globe!