Just so it’s clear:
Scientists have finally answered a burning question of mine: why should an espresso be brewed in 25 +/- 2 seconds and use approx 15-22gr of dry coffee to yield 50ml of (a double) espresso?
Who came up with this rule and why? Not that I have a specific problem with it but it seems so arbitrary. Also, once you start to make espresso’s a day long, you’ll notice that it’s really hard to dial in the equipment a certain way and maintain those rules for every cup. Sometimes it’ll be 21 seconds, sometimes 29. The grinder is pretty accurate. The beans are practically the same. So where does this high variation come from?
Well, it turns out that brewing your espresso differently yields the same great taste and flavors while achieving this with much greater consistency and reducing the cost per cup of espresso!
How did they do it? Well, they started by reducing the process to a proper model with solid mathematics behind it. Brewing an espresso is basically fluid dynamics of a bed of particles. The “puck” being coffee grinds of varying sizes and water is pushed through this bed at a certain pressure.
These mathematics are very well understood and accepted. So the scientists started with this model, created equations for everything and solved the equations using differential equations. That resulted in a few parameters and then they found the optimal solutions.
Sounds easy enough but believe me the math is pretty impressive, yet their logic is sound.
Turns out if you lower the pressure to 6 bars instead of 9, use 7-15gr of dry coffee, ground more coarse then tradition tells you to and aim for an extraction of 8-15 seconds, you will get a beautiful espresso that is much easier to reproduce!
Don’t believe it? Read the articles:
We all need good coffee beans.
We all want good coffee.
So what are the best coffee beans in the Netherlands? Well, that depends a little on personal taste and favorites, but I can tell you who roast amazing coffee beans in the Netherlands and sell their coffee online!
Traditionally, there are a handful established coffee roasters in the Netherlands who have been producing specialty coffee since it wasn’t called specialty coffee. These are oldskool roasters who’ve always been on the lookout for great green beans and who know how to source these beans and treat them well. In my opinion, these are:
- BOOT koffie (since 1963) in Baarn
- Bocca in Amsterdam
- Capriole Coffee Service, Den Haag (1975)
However, the whole third wave coffee movement have sparked a bunch of great newcomers with new routes, difference sources, smaller batches and that great newcomer creativity and curiosity. The get beans that are “off the beaten path”, if you will, or from non-traditional coffee producing countries. These are, amongst others:
- Single Estate Coffee Roasters, Den Haag (2007)
- Giraffe Coffee Roasters, Rotterdam (2013)
- Manhattan Coffee Roasters, Rotterdam (2017)
- Stooker Roasting Co., Amsterdam (2014)
- Koffiebranderij BOON in Den Haag https://www.koffiebranderijboon.nl/
- Man met bril, Rotterdam (2008)
- Black and Bloom, Groningen (2012)
- Nordkapp Coffee, Utrecht (2015)
They are sometimes pretty large scale roasters already, roasting every single day to keep production and delivery going. But some are small artisan roasters, roasting green coffee beans to order once or twice a week.
I’ve had excellent coffee beans from all of these sources, but two that stand out for me and who’s taste I can still recall are:
#2 Black and Bloom
What’s the best coffee I’ve had from a non-Dutch source, you ask?
Amavida Coffee! ❤ Price was high but the rewards were too!
But don’t take my word for it! Check (the sadly discontinued) “Koffie Top 100” which ranked the 100 best places to drink coffee in the Netherlands. Ranking was made by a professional coffee jury and each venue was visited at least 3x to see if they were consistent. Very impressive list, even today.
This post on Insta by GoldMountain Coffee shows you very clearly the road a coffee bean takes from being planted to harvest, sorting, washing and so on. Very good pictures!
Dutch newspaper NRC did an investigation into the total energy it takes to produce a cup of coffee. By total they mean the LCA, Lifecycle Assessment, from growing to harvest to transport and roasting to you making your cup.
You will be surprised to learn what the most energy efficient type of coffee is. I.e. the least amount of energy required to make one cup of coffee…
- Ja we blijven allemaal zoveel mogelijk thuis.
- Ja we houden afstand.
- Ja we wassen vaker onze handen en geven geen hand meer als we iemand begroeten.
- En ja, we drinken gewoon thuis koffie en thee…
Maar wat als je een wandeling maakt en ontzettende trek in een ouderwetse espresso of cappuccino hebt? Nu iedereen dicht lijkt te zijn, waar kun je dan toch nog terecht voor een bakkie?!
Koffietje.nl maakte wederom een handig overzicht van alle hen bekende koffiehuizen, espressobars en koffie salons die koffie takeout bieden!!!
Koffietje.nl already had the great idea to list as many local coffee roasters in the Netherlands with a webshop as possible, so that everyone who’s working at home #stayhome due to Corona crisis can enjoy the best coffee possible. Excellent!
Of course this leaves out those roasters who don’t have a shop (yet)…
Thankfully, Misterbarish.nl already has an extensive list of coffee roasters in the Netherlands (and a list for Belgium). Yay! With these two lists together there is nothing stopping you from ordering fresh roasted coffee beans that suit your taste to brew at home.
Als je thuiswerkt en verse koffiebonen nodig hebt, check dan deze megapost met links naar alle branders in Nederland, die bekend zijn, met een webshop om bonen te bestellen! ☕🌱
Koffietje.nl worstelde met dezelfde gedachten als ik:
Hoe kom ik aan lekkere, goede, verse koffiebonen voor m’n koffie als ik het huis niet meer uit mag?
Bezorgen natuurlijk, maar door wie? Wie brandt nog dagelijks koffiebonen en heeft een webshop waar ik die kan bestellen zodat ze bij mij thuis bezorgd kunnen worden? Want ik wil geen oude bonen! 😀
Nou, het is een megapost geworden op Facebook en de lijst groeit nog steeds. Gelukkig hebben ze de lijst met koffiebranders in Nederland met een webshop ook op hun website gezet, daar is hij wat overzichtelijker! #stillroasting
En als jij zelf nog goede suggesties hebt, geef ze vooral door aan koffietje op facebook! Daar hebben we allemaal wat aan!
PS: Ben je een koffiebrander maar heb je nog geen webshop zodat klanten bij je kunnen bestellen? Neem dan ff contact op! Zelfs met een gratis Google Forms bestelformulier kom je een heel eind en dat is zo gemaakt! Shopify kan ook maar vergt meer tijd, heb je later ook wel weer wat aan.
To all my fellow coffee fanatics who crave a good espresso but cry every day because the coffee places are mostly closed: you owe it to yourself to get a Cafflano Kompresso! The only way to make anything that comes close to an espresso at home, easily.
It’s durable, cheap and portable. Will save your travels, hotels, and vacation rental too! Works on a train boat or train.
You can grind your own beans (for best results) or start out with ground coffee from the supermarket. I’d choose a medium roast wherever possible, not a dark, French or Italian roast, as these are likely to turn out too bitter and “ashy”, IMHO.
Then move up to a pound of gourmet coffee from your favorite shop around the corner, ask them to grind it for “espresso”. This way, you can still support your local shops even though they can’t make you your coffee and you create a nice relationship with them for when all this is over and you can get a real espresso again!
And eventually get your own grinder. If you do, get a burr grinder, always! The best entry-level grinder out there is the Baratza Encore, for approx $130 or so. One step up and only different in the number of different grind-size settings it has, it the Baratza Virtuoso.
Baratza was bought by powerhouse and specialty coffee shop darling grinder manufacturer Mahlkönig (German for “King Grinder”, BTW!). It’s the only thing they do, build grinders. They are superb in quality and stability, the latter meaning they grind still very well when the burrs start to get dull.
Now, if you’ve read trhis far that means you are serious about coffee, just like myself. I like that.
If you’re thinking of getting the Kompresso, you may also be interested in the Cafflano Klassic. It’s the filter coffee equivalent of the Kompresso. Having the two means you will never NEVER EVER having to go without superb coffee that you make yourself. Anywhere, everywhere, all the time. (The Klassic comes with a grinder built-in so you can even grind the beans just before you brew the coffee.
And because the proof is in the pudding:
The outbreak of the Corona virus in the Netherlands has effectively put all (or most) of the baristas out of a job. Only corporate coffee and espresso bars are still operating, but these are mostly staffed with permanent employees. Even there many caterers are forced to close when the companies force all their employees to work from home!
I’m not sure how long the quarantine period will last but for now at least until Sunday April 5th. That means it’s time to play and practice with coffee at home!