The coffee scene is ever growing. New gadgets, new brew methods, theories and new coffees. These were my favourite discoveries this spring.
1. new coffee
Panama Geisha from the Hacienda Esmeralda is known for it's yearly auction of their best Panama Geisha lots. I had the honour and opportunity to roast and grade samples of this year's lots, through my job as quality coordinator at Trabocca. And this natural Bosque lot [Jamarillo region, 1670-1780 masl and harvested on March 2nd] stole my heart. Tropical fruits and florals, amazing body, great aftertaste. What else could you want? It ended up selling for $122.01 to "Linking coffee / NingboAncientCoffee寧波愛咖啡 / 羅錦銘". So yay for the small sample roast and the remnants of that sample enjoyed on the aeropress at home.
So this was a rediscovery for me. I first found this On Balance scale when, as a training manager for Coffeecompany, I was looking for scales to weigh espresso shots. Because were do you go for a 500x0.1G scale that does not break? Apparently you go to the other coffee shop. In an online smart shop I found an array of scales, even more precise than this one. But this one is sturdy and travels well. Which is exactly what you want for a chain of coffee bars, that works with temporary young baristas, who throw things around and where everything ends up in one messy drawer.
With my job I travel a bit and I love to bring my aeropress brew kit, consisting of a porlex grinder, aeropress, small pitcher, coffee, filters and now this scale. It is precise, it does not break and it fits into the blue aeropress bag. Awesome!
3. something not coffee
Okay, so Buchu is not coffee. It's not tea. But it's a leaf, and you infuse it with water. And it's mindblowingly good. I discovered it through Mevrouw Cha, who was kind enough to gift it to me. Buchu grows in South Africa and can only be harvested by licensed pickers, as it is quite rare. The Hottentots used Buchu for bladder and stomach problems, as well as to perfume their bodies.
The taste? Fresh, with notes of pine leaves, mint and lemon. And it is absolutely delicious as a cold brew too.
4. new brew method
The Bodum pour-over was put into the portfolio of a large Dutch supermarket chain this year. Filter coffee is a big thing, the Bodum is not that expensive (under EU40), so why not? As I already owned a Chemex and did not want to splurge on something similar I left it in the store. Alas, it looks like the supermarket was a little to enthusiastic about the Dutch love for home filter brewing. Because just a few months later, these things ended up in the sales items for under 10 euros. And there he was, this snazzy yellow number.
It has the ease of a Chemex, meaning you have a pour-over device and carafe in one. The metal filter has the same shape as a clever dripper. But the holes are only in the mesh on the sides, and not in the bottom. The metal filter does mean you need a coarser grind, and so I would advice overdosing to compensate. It also means that you will have a more French Press-like profile, with a fuller body and some residue.
PS, it does not fit Chemex, or basically any other, filters, unless modified in some way.
5. new coffee cocktail recipe
Dear coffee lover, please do not hate me, but try this out. Because it is heaven. A cold brew coffee cocktail. A spring favourite that can carry very well into summer. 1/4 tawny port, 2/4 cold brew, 1/4 yellow Fernandez. The cold brew provides a chocolate fruitiness that is well balanced with the more acidic and sweet Fernandez, the port gives a little orangy tang. I used a three day steep cold brew of a Colombian Cauca coffee, but I expect any chocolaty cold brew will do. Now if you say, pause, wait, go back....a three day steep? Yes, I three day steep. Try it. It clears that foggy cold brew right up, and gives a much cleaner and brighter brew than a shorter steep. Once you tried that, try this cocktail.
That were my Spring favourites. Tell me yours! Follow this blog, or the facebook, google+ or other outlets to stay up to date on the summer fav's.