Coffee Cabana has a new barista

I will be working as a part-time barista in the wonderful new Brasilian-minded coffee place Coffee Cabana, in Utrecht, starting today!

Single origin Brasilian coffee from the owner’s region where she grew up. Roasted to spec by Spot On Roasters in Amsterdam. We’ll try to bring back the smells flavors of the coffee she grew up with.

They also offer Brasilian bites and dishes for lunch and in between. Many products made from Tapioca flour which is naturally gluten free and vegan. Come check them out! Close to train station Vaartsche Rijn in the Vondellaan in Utrecht.

Coffee Cabana beans from Brasil
Coffee Cabana

Officially Registered “No Pressure Coffee”

No Pressure Coffee is now an official one-man company and registered at the chamber of commerce in Utrecht.

My KvK number, for tax purposes is 75493039.

So I’m available for all your short or long term shifts, projects or events! Use my contact page to get in touch with me.

I’m also on several modern temp and traditional job sites or services. You can find me on:

Look forward to hearing about your coffee business, your plans or your dream! I’d be happy to help any way I can!

Checkout my certificates as well as my services. I have been a member of the SCA since 2018.

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!

Running out of beans

After having finished the amazing reserves of coffee beans I’ve had brought to me by visitors, the sad time arrives when they run out… This happened last week so now I am resorting once again to supermarket coffee from St Maarten.

Which coffee do you drink?” is a question I get asked regularly. Well, I don’t make it a secret but bean selection on St Maarten is pretty poor and limited. I’ve tried all the coffees, both ground and whole bean, and my favorites are the house brands from either SuperU or Carrefour. Value/price is super. They both have the same supplier that packages the coffee in custom packages for both, but the coffee is identical as far as I have been able to test and taste.

They come in different “flavors”: Peru, Colombia, Brasil, Ethiopia and Mexico. The Peru and Ethiopia match the best with my tastes. Bold, strong smells and flavors, full bodied strong coffee with enough balance and sweetness not to make it too bitter. They are blends from 100% Arabica beans. Both of them.

Normal recipes call for 30 gr of coffee for 500 ml of water (at 92-96 Celsius) but since this is an espresso grind and not a filter grind (much finer than would should be used), I either use colder water than prescribed (82-86 C) or I reduce the amount of coffee by 10% (3 grams here).

My favorite brew methods are Aeropress in the morning (it makes a more bitter espresso-style cup) and Hario V60 in the afternoon (smoother, milder, less bitter oils)

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!

Double Dutch Café enriches Market Garden supermarket

Daily Herald of Sint Maarten features a new article that explores the supermarket Market Garden in Simpson Bay. The store management has created a whole range of healthy ready to eat products around the Double Dutch Café where Christian Peper from No Pressure Coffee is Head Barista.

The cafe provides a low threshold factor to enter the store for a cup of excellent coffee and then tries to entice you to try and buy something from a whole range of food and drinks.

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.

Sourcing Great Coffee Beans for Sint Maarten

Getting good coffee on this island is a challenge. That’s funny because we live right in the middle of the some of the world’s best coffee countries. So you’d expect a larger selection. Sadly, the opposite is true.

While every coffee selling business here seems to focus on making coffee from cups (Nespresso, Lavazza, Illy) and the local population mostly used to and stuck with cheap, large scale, commercially produced filter coffee such as Santa Domingo ground coffee, very few places have whole coffee beans to begin with.

When I started to make an inventory of the equipment needed to create a Specialty Coffee shop on St Maarten, I immediately noticed the lack of good grinders & espresso machines, long delivery times, uncertain product availability and total lack of good single-origin coffee beans. Malongo, a large French roaster with a presence on the French side of this island (Saint Martin) was the exception. Sadly, their stock was low, the beans old (almost a year after packaging date, no roast date mentioned anywhere!) and the selection limited to four countries: Brasil, Colombia, Rwanda, Ethiopia. And they had just survived hurricane Irma as well but I have no idea how good or bad their stock survived that storm.

So I am doing what everybody here does: if you can’t get it here and people won’t get it for you, you find and buy it yourself in the US, send it to Miami, FL, and have it shipped here by one of the several shipping companies that visit the island at least twice week. Here’s the list of roasters that I’ve contacted and who’ve replied to me they’d be interested in selling us beans at wholesale:

I’m very excited to make a choice from these wonderful companies, their coffee descriptions online give me a lot of confidence that they are indeed “Third Wave Roasters” and take quality seriously. I still have an order coming in from Malongo that will last a while, but their orders take 2 months to fulfill and that’s simply too long. I contacted Smit & Dorlas in Curaçao but they don’t have single origin coffees, only blends – but can ship these in 2 weeks -, and blends are not what I want to serve in the Double Dutch Cafe for black coffees, if at all possible.

I will blog about the progress that I’m making in getting serious coffee to St Maarten and having people take coffee more seriously on this island. 🙂