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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 show 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 โ™ป๏ธ (@cafflano.official) on

Categories
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!

Categories
brewing coffee news

Baratza Virtuoso

So happy to finally have received my Baratza coffee grinder and Bonavita water kettle!

With the grinder, I can finally start grinding my own beans for brewing with my Aeropress or Hario V60. I’ve had these beans for months already so I’m glad I can use them at last. Most fresh roasted beans are beyond their peak after 3 months, so sadly they won’t be as good as they could have been.

I’m starting with Ethiopian beans from Nordkappcoffee.com in Utrecht, my friend Jasper also supplies coffee to the Koffieschool where I got my training and Jasper is a King in roasting. Ethiopian coffee is fresh with citric notes and green flavors, so that is something completely different from the dark roasted Ethiopian coffee I get from the local supermarket!

Next in line is the beans from Man met bril in Rotterdam! Can’t wait!

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brewing coffee

Getting Started with Specialty Coffee

If you are serious about coffee and want to learn and experiment more, I’ve put together a list of items on Amazon that will help you getting started.

You basically have a choice to make about which brewing method to start with:

  • Aeropress
  • Chemex
  • Hario V60

If you prefer an espresso-style (stronger) cup of coffee, then choose Aeropress. If you prefer a more smooth, rich bodied cup of coffee.

Next, you will need to get a coffee bean grinder,a scale to measure the grinds with a precision of 0.1 grams, a water kettle with precise control of the water temperature and ideally also a thermometer to check the water temperature. But if you choose one of the kettles I’ve listed, they have a built-in thermometer so you can forgo that.

If you’re the only person drinking coffee at home (I sympathize with you) then you might want to get a great hand grinder and skip the more expensive Baratza grinder for now. You always get them later and then use the hand grinder for your travel needs!

hand grinder

Categories
brewing coffee

Facts about coffee

Ideal coffee water is fresh and pure in taste and has no discernible odors. It should be mineral-rich, yet have a balanced mineral content. A total hardness of 7โ€“12ยฐ EH, a carbonate hardness of 3โ€“4ยฐ EH and a pH value of 6.5โ€“7.5 are ideal. Only then can coffee develop its full aroma.

Source:ย Deutscher Kaffeeverband

Read more about the meaning of EH or Eh, as chemical literature calls it, here.

What does this mean for anyone on a small island making coffee?

  • Don’t use tap water!
  • Don’t use water that has been desalinated!
  • Don’t use Reverse Osmosis (RO) water!
  • Don’t use just any mineral water but pay attention to pH and “dissolved minerals” per liter

If you do get RO water, get some tablets from Third Wave Water and you are fine!
Update: Chemists at MIT and 2 UK baristas have made aย deep dive on this subjectย and analysed why soft water is particularly bad for making coffee.