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!

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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. 🙂