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!