Archive | February, 2011

Coava Disc – First Impressions

28 Feb

It’s been busy here at Coffee Folk, and thus I have put the Coava Disc on hold while I worked on a few espresso blends.

This is an interesting innovation, and I couldn’t resist covering it. I’m calling this first impressions because I have not done enough testing with it to post my results.

I’m including an over-view with some photos. The last one is a great close up of the precision machined holes, and their size.

And here are the photos:

$1 postage. Excellent service.

$1 postage. Excellent service.

The Coava Disc - 008

The Coava Disc - 008

And the close-up as promised:

Coava Disc 008 - Close. Click for larger.
Coava Disc 008. Click for larger.

That’s all for now, have a good Monday!

Any of your own impressions? Please leave it in the comments!

Best,

– Matt

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What do you want to see more of?

27 Feb

What would you like to see more of? Less of?

Double Espresso in the Cup

Double Espresso in the Cup

Vote here and make it known:

Best,

– Matt

Coffee Adventures – The Odd Couple

25 Feb

Over the past 2 weeks, Jamie @ The Coffee Adventures down in Florida sent me two bags of her best-selling blend “The Odd Couple”. Thankfully, both were roast dated – something you don’t see often enough in the coffee world (but that’s a whole other post).

The Odd Couple with Roast Date

The Odd Couple with Roast Date

Right, so this review was a bit of a Coffee Adventure in itself [pun untended]. Originally designed as a two bean blend for press-pot and pour-over, we decided to do some testing on the espresso machine. This of course was very exciting!

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Before I go any further I do want to post a disclaimer stating I did try this as both a press-pot and an aeropress (with the new Coava Disc). I will be comparing my notes from these techniques to what I get in the cup as espresso.

WARNING: this is very bright as an espresso. Love it or hate it, but I’m always open to working the coffee to find the best notes.

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To be honest, this coffee actually benefited from an unusually long rest period of a week or more. Over the course of the week I found more jam-like notes coming off the coffee, and this was especially true as an espresso. It really mellows out and rounds off, and I was able to get a really desirable result.

The best results I got as an espresso were all around 96 degrees Celsius (relatively high for espresso). Dose could vary from 19-20 grams, and total shot length of ~30 seconds was ideal.

Brewed as a Presspot / Aeropress with Coava Disc

This is a whole other beast, so I’ll do my best to be brief here and set-up for the espresso details (this is valuable information to use as a comparison).

This blend really was certainly odd, and the best way I could describe it was both coffees (in the two bean blend) ‘fight’ back and forth offering different notes across my palate. My notes were: berry, honey and pecan on the finish, which was strangely dry. I also found a little spice in there too. I’m calling it a medium acidity with a spring-off-my-tongue brightness. On the aeropress I was even able to find this excellent strawberry note (with the Coava disc). There was a little bit of a musty, gritty note occasionally from the Indian coffee which added a strange contrast (not necessarily balancing the coffee).

Straight Shot

First Drips of the Odd Couple as Espresso

First Drips of the Odd Couple as Espresso

I battled for a long time to try and find exactly how to describe one particular flavour, which I kept thinking was orange juice, but it was more of the acidity. Unfortunately it fell a little flat as espresso, but nevertheless it was interesting because of the brightness and berry + stone fruit notes. I REALLY need to point of that my favourite shots were a whopping 10 days off roast.
My notes were: brightness like crazy, acidtiy goes up from the non-espresso methods, with honey and some brown sugar elements. Again finding a nutty dry finish. Unfortunately the body does suffer as an espresso, but nevertheless still fun. As the espresso aged, I was able to find some jam-like notes around day 10 and 11.

In Milk
As a 6oz cappuccino, I could still find some of that brightness, which was excellent in contrast to the whole milk I used. It was relatively sweet and the acidity cut through the milk really well. I also noticed the musty, gritty element from the Indian smoothed out a little into a chocolate play.

Americano
As an americano I found it was okay. Honestly, I’d take it as a press-pot or pour-over any day rather than the americano.

Straight: Bizarre, interesting, but falling down on complexity and depth 8/10
In Milk: Less than 6oz of milk yields an 8/10
Americano: Okay, but grasping at notes similar to the aeropress 7/ 10

This was very difficult to rate, especially given the fact this whole thing was an experiment, really. After some thought, I’d give this a respectable 84 points.

Total 100 point score of 84/100.

New Facebook Custom Fan Page!

20 Feb

Hey guys,

I’ve been working on the new facebook custom fan page, and I finally honed in on getting a good focus for this blog.

Go check it out, and ‘like’  us! Lot’s of exciting stuff coming down the pipe.

Cheers,

– Matt

Coffee Adventures Preview + Press Pot Technique

17 Feb
The Odd Couple

The Odd Couple

Jamie @ The Coffee Adventures down in Florida sent me one of her best-selling blends this week to play with on the espresso machine and as a press-pot. It will be arriving in two batches, the first one for testing, and the second for my final review.

Well, the first batch of “The Odd Couple” came in yesterday afternoon and I wanted to get a quick preview of it out. On top of this, I also wanted to get a short video out on press-pot technique, so this seemed like the perfect time.

This one is interesting, and she disclosed it to be an Ethiopian and Indian blended together – thus earning the name Odd Couple. Playing with this on the espresso machine was strange, but the results from the press-pot were pleasing.

Full details to follow.

Cheers,

– Matt

For the Love of Everything Coffee

14 Feb

Busy week this will be, but I do wish everyone a safe and Happy Valentines Day.

Coffee Folk Love

Coffee Folk Love

Cheers,

– Matt

Culinary Coffee: The Seasonal Espresso Blend

8 Feb

This is the first part of an extended series of inquires into how and why coffee can be culinary.
You will be able to track everything via its category Culinary Coffee.

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Cooking seasonally is important, and it has been for a very long time.  This is especially important in high end restaurants, who can change their menus anywhere from 2 to 4 times a year. On top of this, if you have ever read any sort of cookbook that goes beyond simple recipes, seasonality is also important.

I am not trying to suggest that everyone should be able to cook seasonally, however it is well documented that we are programmed to enjoy things seasonally. As a really simple example: a fresh citrusy salad in the summer; and conversely in the winter we drink porters and stout, as well as dining on the French classic potato leek soup.

Well, all that is excellent and widespread… BUT…
Why has it taken so long to translate seasonality to espresso?

Espresso is complex, we all know that. I just finished listening to the latest CoffeeGeek.com podcast where Mark interviewed James Hoffmann (who most of you internet folk know as “Jimseven“), and it’s got me thinking. Actually, I’m sure it has everyone thinking. In a nutshell, they summarized what [they felt] were the milestones of 2010. At the very end, they left seasonal espresso open for discussion.

Unconsciously, we all see the Christmas blends come and go (which may or may not do justice), but until recently the seasonal espresso hasn’t existed. However, it’s easy for anyone to predict this exploding in 2011.

Here at Coffee Folk, I have my eye on numerous espressos and roasters now, simply for the reason they offer seasonal blends. On top of this, they are highly recommended by others in the industry. I know for a fact I’ll be sampling both seasonal blend’s from Barefoot Coffee, as well as Alchemy from George Howell (and that’s just off the top of my head). I know I am very excited about the possibilities of this, but I’m also cautious about it’s dangers and misuse.

Just another way to take your coffee experience to another level?
Will this become a gimmick that lower end roasters use to boost sales?

Where do you stand on seasonal espresso blends, and where is it going for 2011?

Leave it in the comments.
Cheers,

– Matt

4 Feb

This week Jamie from The Coffee Adventures.com is sending me one of her blends for an in depth review.

However, for the next week we are polling which espresso to review next! Just click to vote:

Naked Double Espresso

Naked Double Espresso

If you want your coffee on the list, just fire me an email coffeefolk AT gmail.com.

Or if you want to see something on here, drop it in the comments.

Happy voting!

– Matt

Bullet Espresso by Reunion Island

3 Feb

This is the second time I’ve reviews this coffee. The first batch I received wasn’t as fresh as I had hoped, so Adam at Reunion Island Coffee sent me over 3 brand new fresh bags!
Excellent really.

Bullet Espresso in the Cup.

Bullet Espresso in the Cup.

Right off the top I have to say this is a pretty classic smelling/ tasting blend. I’m willing to bet it’s Brazil based with some accents.

Working with this espresso was moderately easy.
However, I found it peaked at about a 94°C temperature and with a pretty standard ~18gram dose.

Via the Reunion Island site the notes are, “this espresso offers a full body and smooth finish, with notes of chocolate and black currant.” I’d like to agree with this for the most part, however I did find a little extra in some cases. Let’s break it down:

Straight Shot
My notes were: aromatics of cinnamon and berry (raspberry/blackberry). Tasting chocolate, syrup/ toffee and slightly smoky. I also found like a cherry play in the cup rather than what they called blackberry. There was a pretty good sweetness, and a medium-high acidity.

In Milk
As a 6oz cappuccino, I found it to be nice and sweet with that acidity cutting through the milk really well. A lot more of the chocolate components were noticeable.

Americano
As an americano I found it highlighted some of the notes I wasn’t very fussy about. It works, but it’s nothing special.

Straight: Pretty good, 8/10
In Milk: Good, 8.5/10
Americano: Okay, 7/ 10

Total 100 point score of 85/100.

Bullet as a 6oz Cappuccino.

Bullet as a 6oz Cappuccino.

Final thoughts: This would really be a great shop blend for most of the milk drinks and the occasional straight shot. A local place “Coffee and Company” pulls this on a regular basis and I’ve had some pretty good shots from there.

I would [guess] this was designed to cut through milk with some small highlights (cherry/smokiness). Love it in milk, and enjoy it as a straight shot  every once in a while.

Good classic blend. I was a lot more impressed with Reunion Island’s newer Cannonball. However, this lands a respectable 85/100.

Cheers!

What is your favorite ‘classic blend’? And where is it pulled (shop and location)?

Have a good weekend,

– Matt