Archive | January, 2012

52 Bottles of Wine Project (2012)

13 Jan

My New Years Resolution this year:

“ Drink a bottle of wine a week, for a full year “

Wine is something I have always found intimidating. At the heart of my fear are two things: the huge selection and the wealth of information.

However, I want to keep developing my palate and expanding both my tongue and brain. My thoughts are that I should be able to carry knowledge from Coffee and Whiskey, however I need to learn to be able to communicate across different mediums (wine being the oldest and most universal).

My hopes are that I can encourage others to break into the intimidating wine market, as I too start with the basics in a new medium. I have begun reading over the past few weeks, and will be using this project to dig into the basics.

52 Bottles of Wine Project

52 Bottles of Wine Project

The Project

Follow the Project by clicking here!

The Idea: drink at least a bottle of wine per week, over the course of a year, totalling 52 bottles of wine (minimum).

The philosophy: wine can get very expensive. By spreading it out in this manner, it becomes a lot more approachable and attainable. The goal is to try and sample classic/ typical expressions of the major grape varieties. This sets a reference point for my brain and tongue as I begin to work into other wines, later in the year.

I have started a counterpart website called Wine Folk:

Feel free to participate with me, or even try buying the same wines and commenting in along the journey!

Happy 2012,

Fratello Coffee – Costa Rican “Miguel Rojas”

10 Jan
Costa Rican "Miguel Rojas"

Costa Rican "Miguel Rojas"

Near the end of 2011 I received two coffees from Fratello. These were new crops of coffee, and perhaps a hint at what the guys at Fratello will be up to in 2012. I’ve already posted a preview of the two coffees they sent us with some video. You should go and check that out if you haven’t already.

This review is for the first coffee I opened: Costa Rican “Miguel Rojas” (available on their site).


Cupping Breakdown

Brewed with 5.5grams of coffee, medium-fine grind, ~2.5 minute steep and 100 grams of water. What struck me about this coffee was its uniformity. It wasn’t over-bearing in any of its components and was well balanced. My notes were short and simple: cinnamon, spice, chocolate, and some cane sugar. I also noted faint berry. The acidity was juicy and the mouth-feel was nice and round.


Section 1: Filter/ Drip Results

Pour Over

Brewed with 20grams of coffee via a Clever Dripper device, with 350 grams of water.
This was a nice clean coffee. My notes were: aroma of vanilla, spice and sweetness. The coffee had a tart lemon/green apple acidity (crisp), and clove, citrus and a dry chocolate. Dry finish.

Clever pour over of Costa Rican "Miguel Rojas"

Clever pour over of Costa Rican "Miguel Rojas"

French Press

Brewed with 26grams of coffee via Frieling. I found the french press muddied some of the clean and crisp flavours possible in this coffee. The flavour profile was similar to the clever, but a little more muted.

Final Notes

The overall cup was well balanced, great acidity, with a good nose and mellow, but sweet, main body.
 Aroma  9.5 /10 
 Body  8 /10
 Sweetness    9 /10
 Acidity  9 /10
 Finish  8.5 /10
I’m including +1 cupping points (for its clean and crisp profile) pushing it to a 89 points.

Costa Rican "Miguel Rojas"

Costa Rican "Miguel Rojas"

Section 2: Espresso Results

This review was not intended for espresso critique. However, I had some coffee left over and explored its possibilities.

My notes were few. I was able to find a profile similar to my cupping notes, with some spice, chocolate and some caramel sweetness.

In Milk

The caramel notes were amplified in milk. I made a 2oz macchiato as well as a 6oz cappuccino, and both had a creamy butterscotch flavour profile.


I’m not including my espresso results in this score. It was included as a piece of mind, and for fun.
I’m instead only judging strictly the cupping/ clever/ french press results. Scoring…

Total 100 point score of 89/100.

Fratello Coffee – Preview of early 2012 Coffees

4 Jan

My main contact at Fratello is Russ Prefontaine or @FratelloCoffee2 on the twitter machine. From time to time, Russ will get in contact with to send out some coffees for feedback. It’s a pretty fantastic process and dialogue.

Once the package arrived, I opened everything up and took a photo. Inside were two coffees:

Colombia "Alvaro Losada" and Costa Rican "Miguel Rojas"

Costa Rican "Miguel Rojas" and Colombia "Alvaro Losada"

Included were two Direct Trade Micro lots. A Costa Rican “Miguel Rojas”, and Colombian “Alvaro Losada”. Both coffees will be getting separate and in-depth analysis, which will be posted over the next week.

Here is a quick video detailing the two coffees once I opened them and cupped them:

All for now!