13 Aug 2017

Coffee Crawl Lima Edition

Where to drink coffee in Lima, Peru

There is a whole lot of coffee in...Lima.

I had the good fortune to travel to Peru this August to see several producers during the harvest season, travelling to San Ignacio in Cajamarca and to Rodriguez de Mendoza in Amazonas. Which was an amazing experience. Peru is such an amazing, beautiful country. 

If that was not lucky enough, I also had the pleasure to be able to stay in Lima two days, and got to visit some of the amazing cafes in Lima. I was able to set foot into seven of them. But, there are many, many more. And all of them are more inspiring than the next. 

Serving only Peru, you get the freshest of the freshest harvest, and although the espresso culture is more prominent, pour-over is available, pretty much, everywhere.

These are the seven coffeeshops I visited, and I'm planning to go back and visit an other seven!


23 Jul 2017

What is a Coffee Professional?

The Difference Between a Cupper and Other Coffee Professionals, and the Need for a Common Language

In December of 2015 I went to one of the Odorama events of Mediamatic. It was an evening dedicated to the vocabulary of fragrance. The whole evening was structured around the question of our sense of smell and why it is so difficult to find the words to capture what we experience. 

One of the most interesting talks was given by Ilja Croijmans, a linguist researching this very thing. Apparently Western languages are one aspect of making the act of aroma descriptors difficult. Just think about it, how many words to you know that are only dedicated to a smell?
In other languages around the globe, and specifically in some parts in Asia, there are words dedicated only to olfactory experiences; there are specific words to specific smells, and so constructs such as: 'smells like ...', are not necessary.
Ilja wanted to know if in Western society the fact that we find it difficult to describe smells is due to this lack of specific defining words, or if there is an other layer of explanation: do we simply not get enough practise?

To test this

2 Apr 2017

Cascara Banned in the EU?

What is a novel food and why can we suddenly not drink cascara anymore?

A lot of people have read this article "Is cascara actually banned? Mixed messages in The EU" by Perfect Daily Grind the last couple of days, which was probably inspired by the video James Hoffmann of Square Mile posted recently.

The article is quite short, slightly confusing and arguably incomplete causing some misinterpretation of what is actually going on with cascara in the EU. As someone working in coffee as head of quality, which not only includes quality control of the products, but also the food safety aspect, I wanted to give some background and further information on the concept of novel food and how it is linked to the use of cascara.

what is a novel food?

The whole idea is to keep people safe and not bring anything to the food market that could be harmful or even deadly to humans, literally food safety. For the EU this is regulated through the European Commission. A novel food is a food  is a food that has:

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