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brewing coffee news roasting

Best Coffee Subscriptions in the Netherlands

One of the better things that Corona has brought to the world is the increasing availability of fantastic, fresh roasted, coffee bean subscriptions to all those who value excellent coffee when working from home! There are so many coffee roasters that have popped up as well and they sometimes bring you true gems from the coffee world to your home.

A coffee subscription brings you freshly roasted coffee beans to your doorstep on a regular basis. Some let you choose the frequency at which this happens, others deliver it to you every other week or month. Often, you can choose the “profile” of the coffee, which means you can decide if you want to the coffee roasted for espresso (a little darker) or for filter (a little lighter).

Most coffee subscriptions give you a fixed set of beans that will rotate regularly. A few promise to occasionally send you a surprise coffee or a special coffee as well, as a thank you for your loyalty. This means you get a reliable source of great coffee beans sent to your house. The quality level is above and beyond what you can get from the supermarket or your local coffee store, despite the latter already offering a much better bean than the supermarket. Local coffee roasters simply have access to better green coffee, take more pride in their (artisan) craft and take more care to roast the beans slowly, which greatly enhances the flavors in the beans. (source)

Another benefit of getting a fixed set of beans on a rotating schedule is that you don’t need to complete redial your brew settings all over again. Each bean often has a unique recipe: the setting on the grinder, the weight of dry coffee you use for the best flavor, the temperature of the water used to brew the coffee and maybe even the number of pours used to make filter coffee. If you write down your recipe (I highly recommend you do!) then when you get a known coffee again, you can simply reach for your last recipe and use that instead of having to go through several runs to optimize the recipe for taste.

Rarely, these coffee subscriptions give you a different specialty coffee every time they send you your subscription. And understandingly so. It’s a lot of work to source coffee beans on a regular basis, roast them and taste/cup them, adjust roasting profile, weigh and package all the subscriptions and do it all over again a week (or so) later. That’s something that only a handful people manage.

Here is my list of recommended coffee subscriptions in the Netherlands:

Not a subscription, but an honorable mention: Black and Bloom’s filterbox. They really should offer a subscription plan because they roast excellent coffee and have a nose for finding small lots with exotic coffee!

Update: the filter box by Man met bril coffee also deserves an honorable mention!

If you are a coffee roaster, you offer a subscription as well and would like to be included in this list, please get in touch with me!

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coffee news

Watch how “washed coffee beans” are produced

Washing beans removes the skins of the berry of the coffee bean and leaves it clean and green.

https://instagram.com/stories/goldmtncoffee/2499313378821181523?utm_source=ig_story_item_share&igshid=1lgf3lch0yctz

After washing, the beans have to be dried to remove excess water from the beans before they can roasted or transported. Drying has various techniques and styles, each producing different flavors and tones in the bean. You can also ferment the bean before roasting, very popular and trendy at the moment.

Fermenting introduces a wealth of different and unique flavors in coffee. Very similar to how grape juice is fermented to wine.

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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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news

Best Coffee Beans in the Netherlands

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
    boot.nl
  • Bocca in Amsterdam
    bocca.nl
  • Capriole Coffee Service, Den Haag (1975)
    https://www.capriole.nl/

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:

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:

#1 Giraffe

Fabulous lush sweet yellow fruit tones combined with a medium to full body coffee, just enough bitters and everlasting flavors. And the smell when you brew is intoxicating!

#2 Black and Bloom

Super super sweet Summer berries!

#3 Nordkapp

Super tasty creamy coffee with red fruit tones and a full body. But the peculiarity is the thick fermented “wine-like” notes you smell when you open the package.

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.

Update May 2022:
Added Blommers to the list after tasting their excellent beans during the Dutch Brewers Cup finals in March 2022 at the Amsterdam Coffee Festival (ACF).

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coffee news

The road of a coffee bean

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!

View this post on Instagram

We've now shown you what our specialty farming group's coffees go through before reaching your roasteries… 👉🏾 Swipe right for a quick recap 👉🏾 🌱 Planting—Your coffee beans first start as seedlings, which take 5 years to become strongly-producing coffee trees 🌿 Growing—Coffee beans grow inside of cherry-like fruit. After five years of growing to maturity, each tree can produce only 1-1.5 pounds of coffee per year (harvests happen just once/year)! 🍒 Picking—For maximum sweetness and development, we pick only the reddest coffee cherries, leaving green ones for another day 🤏 Sorting Cherries—After we pick the ripest cherries, we sort through them again to remove imperfections! ⚙️ Depulping—The “depulper” separates the outside fruit from beans inside. This is part of "wet processing" 🍷 Fermenting—Next, a naturally occurring honey-like layer (mucilage) outside each bean is fermented with no additives! ☀️ Drying—After we remove mucilage by washing with water, we dry your coffee at the dry mill (a trip down the mountain)! 🚜 Hulling/dry processing—A “huller” is a machine that removes parchment (a paper-like layer) from around each bean. At this stage we use light sensors, density tables, screen size sorters, and more to remove imperfections from your coffee! 👀 Sorting again—If any imperfections make it through all these processes, a room full of people (or at tables when we need social distancing) pick the remaining bad beans out! 🚚 Shipping—Last, we ship your coffee to warehouses in the US and Europe, from where we can ship to roasters anywhere in the world in big or small amounts. Much of it just arrived, with more fresh crop afloat and on the way! . . . Need to know more about our coffees or just want to say hi? 📱 Check out the link in our profile. . . . #greencoffee #specialtycoffee #sca #naturalprocess #thirdwavecoffee #coffeesourcing #worldofcoffee2020 #beyondfairtrade #directtrade #directtradecoffee #cupping #qualitycontrol #coffeeprocessing #sustainablecoffee #coffeequalitycontrol #coffeeprocessing #coffeeroaster #coffeeroasters #coffeeroasting #coffeeroastery #coffeefarm #goldmtncoffee #besocialbegold #coffeefermentation #anaerobicfermentation

A post shared by Gold Mountain Coffee Growers (@goldmtncoffee) on

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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! ☕🌱

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! 😀

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.

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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!

Categories
coffee news roasting

Sourcing coffee beans, next stage

The story continues…

After choosing two US coffee roasters from the short list of four for Double Dutch Café, we have entered the next stage.

  • Amavida.com (Florida)
  • Batdorfcoffee.com (Washington)
  • Carib Bean Coffee (Antigua)

We’re ordering samples from both suppliers, determine how the ordering process works and how we must handle the logistics of getting the fresh roasted beans from the warehouse in Miami to Sint Maarten. I trust they will deliver them appropriately to Miami but the warehouse must store them in a temperature controlled environment and ship them in the same way.

It will be learning experience for everyone on our side, because coffee is usually not treated with this much care.