28 Jan 2014

Mollura's Irish for the Dutch CiGS 2014

A Recipe Born

As I mentioned in my previous post, whether we are talking about food or coffee, it takes some effort to create the perfect recipe. The CiGS championship being a perfect example. All competitors have to create an Irish Coffee. An Irish Coffee, how hard can it be?

To answer this question I met up with Jose Mollura, the new Dutch Champion. We met up on a slow Sunday afternoon in the Scandinavian Embassy, over some lovely home made pastry and Coffee Collective Kenya filter coffee.

Jose is an all over the place kind of guy, in more ways than one. He has lived all over the world. Being born in Argentina, he has lived in, amongst others, Spain, India, a Thai monastery, before landing (for now) in the Netherlands 7 years ago. But not only literally has he been in more places than one. Besides his work as a roaster at Brandmeesters, he is also very active as a sewer, creating the most beautiful bags, aprons and sleeves from Patagonian leather and coffee sacks. And then he commits time to coffee competitions, successfully placing 2nd in the Argentinian Barista competition, winning the Dutch CiGS twice and placing 10th during the World Championships in 2013.
He is constantly busy creating new ideas, plans and possibilities. Clearing his head every once in a while with a nice 6 K run.

So what did he do for the Dutch finals? How do you create an Irish that is different, and better, than the competition's?

As a roaster, the starting point is always going to be coffee. Using a self roasted Sumatra Lingtong, brewed with a Silverton Yama. A beautiful system, with the appearance of a syphon and the ease of use of a Clever DripperFor the entire run, being an artisan himself, Jose used hand made products, if possible without colourants or conservatives, or any of the like. All though that limits the options, all ingredients still have to fit the chosen coffee and have to balance each other out.

For the whiskey, a Maker's Mark Bourbon from Kentucky, a company involved in product, barrels, charring, copper, and anything else that will influence the flavour, but with a very confusing website.
To intensify the flavour of the Bourbon Jose infused it with raisins, vanilla and a home made syrup of palm sugar. The raisins from an organic farm just outside of Amsterdam, the vanilla as pure as can be from Madagascar and the palm sugar from Java. All balanced out in the correct ratio, infused for the correct amount of time in a Syphon.

All that is left is the cream, because what would an Irish Coffee be without the thick white cream to top it all off? Now, again Jose did not want any kind of cream. After a lot of research and travelling across the flat lands he found Theodora. Theodora, a milking cow at the dairyfarm Steenwijk, provided the milk that her owners not only milk, but churn themselves into a rich, colourant and conservative free, cream. Providing the perfect thick and sweet topping any Irish Coffee could want. 

And there you have it, a recipe born, creating an original CiGS national Champion worthy coffee with its classic Ale like appearance, ready to be served and enjoyed. Not that easy to reproduce, but does that not an original, once in a life time recipe make?

Of course, as it will be difficult to bring Theodora to Australia, Jose's mind is already making over time, creating his run for the CiGS World Championship in Melbourne 2014. I wonder what creations can be thought up in just over 4 months.

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