Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

News for 2012, first quarter

Our Website is almost ready. Take already a peep now.

We're running the last mile of our coffee envelope membership. This project was a full marathon, so the leggs do hurt a little bit right now. Soon more.

Aeropresses are back in stock. As well as the filters, €4.

Still planning to organise the next Aeropress Championships on Easter Monday.

And at the same time an open Roastery door for all interested...

6th of Feb we have the Belgian Barista Championships with both Roeland and Emiel in the finals.

7th of Feb there's some cuptasting to be done. Roast Master and AP champ Jeff is going to defend our colors at the Belgian heats.

These CC's are being held at the Venuez Fair, Waagnatie. On this fair our National La Marzocco dealer Limarc will have a big LM (I suppose a Strada) fired up, teamed by Anfim grinders and tamed by Grandmaster Bert, the Birdyman. Come on over and taste some delicious Caffenation spro's.

Besides Kolonel Koffie, King Kong Coffee and Kornel, we also have Korsakov opening up, tonight at the former Bato Batu café. Caffenation House Blend coffees from tomorrow on (i believe).

Why is the K-K combo so popular these days?

We sell also sell Baratza Grinders now. The Maestro plus, Virtuoso and Virtuoso Precisio. Great gear for grand prices ; this means 'cheap'.

After reigning as number 1 Caffenation client (volume wise), Inspire came in 2nd last year, after rookie sensation The Village music & coffee. Lennaert & Angelo started off like rockets. This deserves a price; more coffee.

Much more classes soon at Caffenation Hopland, beginning with blitzing Home Brewing Classes. Jeff and Bird welcome you Sunday Feb 5th at 19h. €10 a person, still people needed to complete the class. Let's brew!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

One Year Trifecta

Yes, it's already one year we bought this remarkable Bunn brewer.

First tests with this machine were very convincing. 1) The taste was good. 2) We were able to offer plenty of beans on the Slow Menu. And 3) I saw a good business opportunity to install such a device in first class restaurants.

We start back wise with 3)
It's still a good idea to offer a real coffee menu in Michelin Star Restaurants. And the Trifecta would be an ideal help. A monkey can use it, it's fast, brews very stable and doesn't take a lot of space. The disadavantages could be taste wise (later more) and price wise - Count quickly €6000 for the brewer+grinder - but mostly they couldn't see any business in it. Why? Simply because these type of restaurants do not believe in filter coffee. It's very sad, but that's the truth.

I'm a hundred procent sure that they are wrong, but probably it will need some more time before they start realise this by themselves.

2) From day 1 we offer people 4 different coffee's. 2 of them are (light) filter roasts ; a weekly one and the Afro Man in which we have 1 or more premium African coffees.
Then we offer 2 coffees roasted for espresso, but on the light side. One is the LGB blend. This Trifecta brew is called the House Coffee and our most popular one. The second is the Mokka Man, mostly a medium roasted Mokka Harrar from Ethiopia.
Most coffee professionals prefer lighter roasts for filter brewing, but half of our clients think these coffees taste a bit too thin or tea-like and go for something stronger. I understand this and do not mind to keep on playing that ball.

1) The taste. Yes it was good, but even the best Trifecta brew of the year wasn't more than a 7/10. And while playing with the idea of filtering the Trifecta's or maybe even swith the machine with a Bunn ICB brewer, I had a mind blowing Aeropress at Broer Bretel last Sunday that gave me the last push.
During the night I couldn't sleep and by the morning I found the solution.

Isabelle and I were already filtering some brews with V60 material, but that was way too slow and the Kalita Flat Bed filter way too brown, but that early Monday morning I remembered having some more Belgian filters somewhere hidden in our kitchen.
Read this article from 3 years ago and you know what I'm saying.

First brews didn't go well at all.
The problem we discover in our Trifecta brews is the sediment that comes with this type of brews. When using Medium Roasted coffees it's less irritant, but on lighter roasts it costs you guaranteed 3 points on that scale of 10.
But these metal filters didn't stop the residue.
Then I noticed the form of the filters were exactly the size of our small Aeropress filters.

From the first Aeropress/Belgian Filter filtered brew we saw a great improvement in cleanliness and it didn't need a lot of extra experimenting and fine tuning to implement this in our way of working.
+ 2 points for every brew is significant isn't it?

Swing by one of the days and ask for a filtered Trifecta. I hope you enjoy it.

This photo shows the residue 'catched' by our filter.

Melbourne Coffee Vid

Sunday, January 1, 2012

10 Best Coffee's of 2011

Different year, different theme.
We had a lot of coffee's from Roastery's all over the world. Never tasted so many brilliant coffee's as in 2011.
Although we didn't mind the other years, I think it's very difficult to really judge a coffee well by only bag, even if it's a 1k bag.
So only Caffenation coffee's this year.

We had some ups and down. Not only in our coffees, also in our roastings. It was only by easter our espresso roasts were really hitting the spot on a consistent basis.
For the filters it even took a couple months longer, but then my boys Jazzy Jeff, Mc Roeland, Birdy Bert and Sickboy Jurgen seemed to be unstoppable.

The Five most memorable Espresso coffee's of 2011 were :

1) El Salvador Miralvalle COE lot #8. A coffee with a lot of faces, but always clean, complex, aging very well and easy to pull. Most remarkable flavor : Candied Fruits.
2) Burundi Burimba. Not the most stable one, but on its best, the best. Very deep, full flavored coffee that was really triggering peoples buds. Flavor # 1 : Fruity Spices. (does this exists?)
3) Rwanda Rwabisindu. A very versatile coffee and therefor the perfect fit for our Aeropress Championships, but even more outstanding on espresso and also part of the LGB around easter. Most dominating flavor : Lemon!
4) Malawi Mzuzu. It made its first appearance around May, to come back - half force - in November. A Geisha that was liked immediately by almost everybody.
Most remarkable flavor : Vanilla.
5) Zimbabwe Pezuru : Probably surprising for most of people, cause we only had it in very briefly. It also came in a bit on accident, since I thought i ordered a new bag of Zimbabwe Salimba, and I first used the Pezuru for our Mokka Man Blend, but that one batch as SOE was a big surprise. Clean and powerful and very typical Eastern Africa acidity. (Blood) Orange upfront.
And fresh AA crop will arrive at our warehouse next week!! Something to look forward to.

Then the filters. It was a Kenya walk over in 2011. Lots of nice Ethiopians, Tanzania's, Centrals and a super popular Zambia (Munali), but the Kenya coffee's were only (briefly) stoppable by this famous Panama.

1) Kenya Thunguri. It wasn't number 1 at the cupping table, but that one Sunday in Milan at the WAC it gave everything we (and the judges) ever wanted. Most special about this coffee was the combination of sweet fruit en green vegs - very, very special!
2) Panama Esmeralda. Not their best lot, and yes, it is over priced, but how full flavored was this coffee!? No, not the first week, but then it slammed us all. Most special flavor : Pomegranate.
3) Kenya Mwiria. This coffee was number one in our clients popularity charts. It felt like every single person that bought a bag of this bean came back for more. Hopefully back in the program for this year and hopefully the ripe Red Cherry flavors are back in it.
4) Kenya Karimikui PB. We just missed the AA version and didn't really like the AB, but the Peaberry had it all. A stunning coffee at a 'normal' price. "We Want More. We Want More"!! Caramel in the house.
5) Kenya Kiria. Our current Kenya and as spectacular as the others. It's like a liquid tropical fruit basket juice. But even more : Strawberry (full) Yoghurt. Yes.

I want to end up with mentioning the Costa Rica Zarcero fell short in both lists. It desserved a Top 5 I think, but it's still a bit young at our menu. Call it a top tip for the beginning of 2012 and, together with the Kiria, still available thoughout Jan and Feb.