Thoughts from the last week

June 7th, 2008

As hectic as everything is here, it hasn’t stopped by brain going off on one during spare moments (a couple of hours commuting is plenty of time to think about stuff.)

So here are a few of the things I have been thinking:

  • Tasting every roast of every component is slowly but surely breaking my head and teaching me a huge amount.
  • This could probably do with a post of its own, but we have a fairly consistent set up here around the grinder yet it is staggering to see how far apart grind settings can be for two different coffees. Thus when you blend these two coffees is this a compromise too far? Roasting coffees so they all perform very well at a certain brew temp (or small range of temps) makes some sense to me (though of course is not the only way to do things) but surely it must also make sense that combining coffees that shine at similar doses and grinds makes good sense? Am I just over-caffeinated? Either way the odd one out coffee isn’t in our espresso right now.

  • Sample roasting continues to terrify me
  • Like a giddy child I muscled in at the Gothot for a quick play, and very quickly discovered I wanted out. I am not a roaster and the speed and precision of sample roasting makes me a bit edgy. I am happy to be the one who just gets rid of the chaff after roasting. However I am loving cupping so much, and I am very excited about coffee right now. (that said I really should be practicing cupping a bit more for the competition!)

    alt text

    Before chaff removal

  • Blending coffees in the cooling tray is substantially more fun than it has any right to be.
  • It is also a nice moment to give the coffee just one more hand screening, and it is so hypnotic….

  • I want to be better at more brewing methods
  • My cloth brewing failures have been a little frustrating but I am determined to improve. Mark Prince has long been a big fan and I admit to just being a bit too scared of it. That said I did have a lovely cup (for many, many reasons) at Herbazu last December, brewed in a kitchen overlooking the coffee trees. Thanks to Ben for some recipe assistance – I know the brewer I have has a very, very long sock. So to speak. Anyone’s input welcomed? And if anyone can point me somewhere I can buy a nice hand pour kettle I will be eternally in their debt!

    alt text

    Cloth brewer

  • Really enjoying Roast magazine
  • This isn’t to disrespect any other coffee magazines – just been enjoying some very interesting and educational articles there recently. I don’t mind admitting that I have contributed articles to the last couple of issues, but then I don’t mind admitting that I have a very different point of view to the author of those articles on espresso and blending for espresso, and don’t agree with a lot of what he said. That is hardly a bad thing though. Still – I find myself interested in stuff I didn’t think I was interested in. I don’t want to drink aged Sumatras (I really don’t) but I do want to read about them. There is no hope for me.

  • I miss competition and I don’t
  • Copenhagen and the WBC is looming, Stephen is practicing and worrying about all the right things – though that doesn’t make the process of worrying any easier. Competition this year is going to be insane. Looking at some of the champions through to CPH makes me very glad I got out whilst the going was good! David Makin’s massive score, and Kyle Glanville’s high profile victory make them both ones to watch for sure but there are one or two champions returning (I am not going to list them all because I will forget somebody and they will be rightly upset with me!) who are going to be very exciting to watch. Can’t wait to catch up with everyone, and it is fun reading the blogs from competitors or the people assisting them. Plus Stephen’s soundtrack will pwn all you barista n00bs.

    What are you all thinking this week?

    Comment Policy

    There are no longer comments on new posts. If you'd like to respond you can find me on twitter.