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brewing coffee news

Ideal water composition for espresso extraction

The Coffee Science Education Centre (CSEC) in Australia tested the impact of a range of tap, artificially modified, and purified waters on the flavors of coffee in an espresso. The chemistry of the resulting brews and brew waters was analysed scientifically through gas chromatography with mass spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, a bank of photometers, and a series of pH/conductivity multi probes.

What a brilliant idea! I have long asserted certain differences in the flavors in a cup of coffee to the water used, but never really thought about it scientifically. Sometimes my favorite coffee tasted completely different when brewed at a friend’s home. Other times I simply couldn’t replicate the same great taste for a coffee I’d had at work in my home. I varied the recipe, tried to compensate for certain differences but never really solved the problem…

The study looked at how three elements of water affected flavours in extraction: hardness (the amount of calcium, magnesium, carbonate, and bicarbonate in water), pH levels, and total dissolved solids (TDS).

The biggest effect on flavour was achieved by modifying the hardness of the water

Dr Adam Carr of Seven Miles Coffee Roasters

They brewed an espresso on an industry standard machine from La Marzocco and then measured the concentration of chemicals in the coffee that are attributed to certain flavour characteristics, such as nutty/roasted (2-methylpyrazine), fruity (furaneol), vanilla/caramel (vanillin), and caffeine/bitterness (caffeine).

They found what I had sort of self-analysed by drinking coffee made with desalinated water, some mineral water and very hard (dH) water in my hometown in Bussum (dH around 9-10).

source: Seven Miles

Lessons learned:

  • Minimum hardness of 50 ppm for “best” flavors
  • Higher than 60 ppm has little effect on flavors
  • pH tends to concentrate flavors, much like salt enhances flavors in food
  • Higher pH tended to concentrate stronger flavours in coffee, though not to the same extent as hardness. However, higher pH levels also led to issues in the extraction process.
source: Reddit

Read the whole article to find out the recommended pH and what the effect on TDS was…

Source: https://www.beanscenemag.com.au/ideal-water-composition-espresso-extraction/

It just so happened that the water quality you want for coffee is what Sydney Water is pumping out of their stations!

Dr Adam Carr of Seven Miles Coffee Roasters
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brewing coffee news

The math of brewing a better espresso

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:

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brewing coffee news roasting

De energie van een kop koffie – NRC

https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2020/05/29/de-energie-van-een-kop-koffie-a4001234

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…

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brewing coffee news

Coffee Roasters in Netherlands

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.

hario v60
Hario V60 brewing fresh filter coffee
Categories
brewing coffee roasting

Verse koffiebonen bij het thuiswerken

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! โ˜•๐ŸŒฑ

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! ๐Ÿ˜€

coffee and latte art
coffee cups and latte art

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.

Categories
brewing coffee news travel

Making An Espresso At Home During The Corona Crisis

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.

cafflano kompresso blow up view of components
Cafflano Kompresso

It’s durable, cheap and portable. Will save your travels, hotels, and vacation rental too! Works on a train boat or train.

Only hot water needed to make an espresso anywhere

Cafflano Kompresso

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 Mahlkรถnig (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.

cafflano Klassic
Cafflano Klassic with built-in grinder for on the road. source: Cafflano

You’re welcome!

And because the proof is in the pudding:

View this post on Instagram

: ๐ŸŽฅ @costas_of_sweden Freddo espresso made with @CafflanoKompresso Probably the simplest way to make a good espresso ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ˜‹ ๐Ÿ”ฅโ˜•๏ธ๐Ÿ”ฅโ˜•๏ธ๐Ÿ”ฅโ˜•๏ธ๐Ÿ”ฅโ˜•๏ธ๐Ÿ”ฅโ˜•๏ธ๐Ÿ”ฅโ˜•๏ธ โ €โ €โ € โ €โ €โ € ๐˜พ๐™–๐™›๐™›๐™ก๐™–๐™ฃ๐™คยฎ ๐™†๐™ค๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™š๐™จ๐™จ๐™ค ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ทโ €โ €โ € โ Authentic Espresso Maker โž More Tips ๐Ÿ‘‰ @CafflanoKompresso ๐Ÿ˜˜ โ €โ €โ € โ €โ €โ € โ €โ €โ € Hydraulic compression (Pascal's) & Squeezing handles magically deliver consistent 9-bars pressure over 30 seconds. โ €โ €โ €โ € โ €โ €โ € โ €โ €โ € โ˜† Main Features โ˜† โ €โ €โ € โ€ข Hydraulic liquid compression โ€ข Consistent high-pressure over 9 bar โ€ข Light! 178g (0.39lb), Compact (17cm) โ€ข Filter Basket max. 15g coffee โ€ข Durable and hygienic โ€ข Easy to use and clean โ€ข Sustainable & eco-friendly โ €โ €โ € โ €โ €โ € โ €โ €โ € โ €โ € โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ € โ €โ €โ €โ €โ € โ €โ € โ €โ € _______________________________________________ #cafflano #cafflanokompresso #espresso #latte #americano #coffee #cafe #coffeetime #coffeelover #coffeeaddict #barista #coffeebreak #instacoffee #coffeegram #coffeeholic #coffeelife #specialtycoffee #travel #outdoors #camping #cycling #backpacking #trekking #costasofsweden #sweden #freddoespresso #์นดํ”Œ๋ผ๋…ธ #์นดํ”Œ๋ผ๋…ธ์ปดํ”„๋ ˆ์†Œ

A post shared by CAFFLANOยฎ COFFEE MAKERS ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท (@cafflano.official) on

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brewing coffee news

Barista at Boeken Bonen & Blaadjes

I’m happy to inform you that I’ve found a super freelance coffee partner in Amersfoort! It’s also really close to our new home, if the purchase goes through, so that’s even better!

I’m helping out 3 days a week in the relaxing atmosphere of the coffee salon and tea house Boeken Bonen & Blaadjes in het Singelhuys in Amersfoort. It’s a place cultural center and lunchroom with a vintage feel that boasts barista training workshops, private dinner events, remote work spots and meeting place as well as being a magnificent place to chill, relax and unwind in a “home away from home” style. Couches, comfy chairs, a quiet corner or the central tables to meet others and shares experiences.

boeken bonen blaadjes
Boeken Bonen & Blaadjes

Joet Halmos, the owner, could use the extra hands during the lunch rush and would like to leave the coffee and tea prep in capable hands so she can focus more on guests and preparing lunches (the ample bread platters are really worth the trip alone!).

Filter Thursday

On Thursday’s I’m there and using the day to experiment and practise with filter coffee brewing methods as well as assisting where and when needed. So I try new beans, choose and finetune recipes and experiment with an Aeropress, Hario V60, Chemex or Kalita Wave. Once Summer comes and days get hotter, I’m sure I will also try cold drip and cold brew coffees to see how temperature affects taste and flavors. All this to better prepare for the qualifying rounds of the Dutch Brewers Cup 2020 later this year in November.

Friday and Saturday I help out with the lunch rush and assist Joet wherever needed between 11:00 and 15:00 those days.

Categories
brewing coffee news training

Barista ethics, principles and practice

After working as a barista in various places since our return to the Netherlands in July 2019, I’ve learned that the coffee business is vastly better here than on Sint Maarten. The beans, the machines and the skills of the baristas working there are much better than there.

But what’s surprised me the most is that most places stopped after buying better quality beans or investing in a good machine.

Many places shamelessly use the same beans for espresso as well as “gewone koffie”, the historical Dutch name for normal coffee meaning filter coffee that our parents and grandparents used to make.

Some establishments use at least a different grinder when making “koffie”. But they opt using the same espresso machine because it’s there, so the “koffie” is most often approximated by a lungo.

A few use both a different bean as well as a separate grinder. A conscious decision. But I fail to understand why you don’t simply make “koffie” using a filter method?! After all, if it is about the money, and I think it is, then the math of making a liter of coffee from 57-63g of ground coffee is always better than turning 17-19g of the same coffee into 50ml of espresso or 90-100ml of “koffie”. Right?

And if you decide to use different beans for espresso and “koffie”, because of flavor I assume, then how come you don’t use different beans for cappuccino? After all, roughly 70% of coffee drinks sold in the Netherlands are “white coffees” aka milk-based coffees such as flat white, cappuccino, latte macchiato and large lattes.

I’m often disappointed by what I find in espresso bars during my Temper shifts. Large 3 group machines supplied by a caterer and left to more and more careless baristas who’s level of care and quality goes down by the month when management is not present, training is no longer provided and customers don’t know better.

Granted, many people working as barista are students either during the studies or directly after, earning money for leisure time, travel plans or settling down. They learn on the job while doing it and some of them are truly gifted and highly skilled by intuition. Nothing wrong with that. But as soon as they leave, and there’s always a better laying barista position coming next month – turnover is a bitch – knowledge is drained and whoever is left in charge has to pick up the slack. But pay is low, pressure is high and people don’t seem to care or know.

I’ve been searching for a better place to make excellent coffee now for 2 months and every place that I’ve talked to is stuck to bean contracts, doesn’t want to invest anything further and can’t train the people with SCA courses.

Well you can’t have it both ways! You want cheap high quality coffee fast, but you only pick two at any time. Not three. Skilled baristas cost more, care for the equipment, as well as customers. They know how to tweak the machine on a daily or even hourly basis to result in the best quality coffee.

Nothing makes a barista more happy than a great clean machine, new grinder or a kilo of fantastic beans to try out. Reward staff with perks, not salary. The effect is the same, if they truly love their jobs. Hire a legendary barista or roaster to give a workshop and spark their interest again, relight that fire (no, don’t go there!) and give the team a new boost of energy.

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brewing coffee news

Trying Amavida Coffee

I’ve been waiting for a good reason to do so, but now that my beans are gone, there are no visitors scheduled to arrive anytime soon and I really don’t enjoy local supermarket coffee, I had to find a new supplier.

Now, from my experience at the Marketgarden supermarket, I know that Carib Bean Company in Antigua is a good, local and reliable supplier. They make fabulous blends that have stood the test of time, roast on-demand and deliver via airfreight. Fast, but expensive. So I need an alternative. Maybe it can be achieved cheaper, better coffee or faster?

Amavida coffee roasters

So I ordered a couple of small 8-12oz sample orders from Amavida in Miami. I use a US mailbox address that can repack multiple orders into one small package and forward that via boat, DHL or Fedex. MyMalls is fast and reliable but also not as cheap as using local shipping companies such as SCS, Tropical or the Mailbox. However, for fresh roasted coffee it must be fast.

The tropical heat and humidity kill off roasted beans in 15 min when left exposed to air!

So Amavida it is and I’m very excited! They were awarded “Roaster of the Year” in 2018, so my expectations are very high! I hope they equal or surpass my experience with the Ethiopia single origin from Evermore in Rotterdam!

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brewing coffee news

Barista Christian Peper on island92 radio

I had an interview with the famous Dr Soc of island92 radio last Monday. We talked about coffee in general and what you can do on the island of St Maarten make a better “cup ‘o joe” in the morning.

Summary:

No matter what ground coffee you are using on Sint Maarten, use a filter coffee maker and

  1. use Volvic (bottled) water
  2. boil the water and let it cool a minute or two
  3. pick a spoon to measure the ground coffee and always use the same exact one!
  4. use between 50 and 65 gram ground coffee per liter of water.
    I recommend starting with 30 gr for 500 ml and see how that tastes.

    • If too bitter: use less coffee, for instance 27.5 gram for 500 ml
    • If too bland: use more coffee, for instance 32.5 gram per 500 ml
  5. pour a little bit of the water onto the grounds and let the coffee “bloom” for 30 sec
  6. pour the rest of the coffee not taking more than 3 minutes for all the water to seep through
  7. let it cool a little bit before drinking

Enjoy!