Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Coffee Collective

visited: 21/06/08

I would like to make a very important addition to my previous “Copenhagen Espresso Run” blog post.

Since my last visit The Coffee Collective (Jægersborggade 10) have opened a new roastery/café in the suburbs. This espresso bar is an absolute asset and must be visited by everyone. Peter, Klaus, Casper and Linus do all the right things and they do them so damn well! They strive to achieve a lot of balance in their complex and well thought out espresso blend and nail the shots every time. During my Copenhagen stay their espresso was the best, hands down and experience was priceless.

This new sight has topped my Copenhagen Espresso Run chart.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wonderful Coffee Pics

I finally have some time to post all the pictures from Wonderful Coffee 08 … much to write about in upcoming weeks, so keep reporting back .

Wonderful Coffee Copenhagen 08 sets:

Set 1
Set 2
Set 3
Grand Barista Party

I haven't had a chance to look for other photos on the internet so if you know of other galleries or are willing to share yours feel welcome to post a comment with the attached link.

It was great meeting everyone, hope to see you all again soon ... enjoy the photos!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Amsterdam Espresso Run

visited: 16/06/08
I am back in Europe to continue my coffee journeys, so expect few more espresso runs. My first journey has brought me to Amsterdam, a beautiful city full of rich history and amazing architecture. There are tons of “Coffee Shops” here, but do not be mislead as they sell weed rather than coffee. Good coffee is hard to come by, but never the less, after doing my homework I have found few gems around the city.

My favourite espresso was at a very small and intimate espresso bar called Coffee Connection (Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 33) not far from the central station in a great location. It’s a one-man governed shop, so the social interaction feel with the barista is great. David, the man behind the machine is always keen to talk coffee and takes pride in what he does. The coffee is roasted locally in Amsterdam by a lady, that use to own the coffee shop prior to David. It’s a full city roast of Arabica coffee. David has a La Marzocco Linea that he takes good care of and cleans regularly. He grinds his coffee on demand every time. Espresso was very rich with no complexity due to its roast profile but never the less had a great amount of crema and a lingering chocolaty aftertaste. The good thing about this espresso bar is the consistency as only David handles the coffee machine and on both occasions my coffee was exactly the same.
The place itself is not very big, but they have a cosy little upstairs sitting area with a great view over a busy street. A pet cat also resides in the building keeping the mice out. You might bump into her upstairs, as the wooden bench seem to be her favourite resting place.

The Coffee Salon is an amazing espresso bar with an absolute eye candy of a machine facing out onto a street. The main focus of the whole place is that Kees van der Westen design mistral. As you can see on the picture it is a piston machine giving it a very manual modern look.

I was thoroughly disappointed with the coffee. They use falombini coffee beans from Italy, which are simply not fresh. A dose of nasty robusta was very distinct, giving the coffee a rough edge that I wasn’t very fond of.

They occupy a very large space and have a great feel inside with very alternative art around the place. They also attract a much younger crowd. This espresso bar has a very good potential to make outstanding coffee, but at the moment they are lacking in many departments. I recommend going there just to see that amazing coffee machine, it will blow your socks off! I really wanted to get my hands on it.

Brandmeester (Van Baerkestraat 13) is a very interesting espresso bar with rostery as well as a big showroom full of espresso machines and interesting coffee gadgets. A very nice open space with different coffees on offer for purchase. In the far courner of the shop you have a very clean probat roaster. I didn’t get to meet the roastmaster but from the look of the roaster they take good care of the roasting side of things.
The coffee itself wasn’t all that great, very overextracted and pale. The barista had no knowledge of how to pull a decent espresso shot. The cup was very bitter and burnt, I don’t think that their faema machine is tuned well.

There is a chain of coffee shops called the coffee company, it is not worth your time and I recommend avoiding them if possible. I think they are best described as Dutch answer to starbucks. They do carry beautiful Kees van der Westen machines so feel free to have a look at them through the window.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Amsterdam and definitely hope that the coffee scene will improve over next few years. I was amazed at how many Kees van der Westen machines there are in small coffee shops around the city. I had an opportunity to meet up with one of the great coffee historians and collectors Robert Vriesendorp. He has an amazing collection of vac pots and various coffee brewers. I recommend checking out his website. He roasts his own coffee and to be perfectly honest the best espresso in Amsterdam that I had was at his house, it truly was spectacular. Next time you are in Amsterdam drop him an email and he will update you on the current scene. Robert has great knowledge about coffee and is a very inspiring individual.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Smoking coffee chaff

As the coffee roasts and expands in the roaster, it emits a particulate matter which is discarded thorough the ventilation. Of cause I am talking about the coffee chaff , roasters often collect it into a waste bucket or simply let it float out of the window. It seems like a waste but perhaps it isn’t?

On the weekend I have tried smoking the chaff (YES, SMOKING). This cigarette was rolled up exactly the same as a homemade cigarette with a filter. I myself never smoke, so not exactly sure what profiles I should be looking for but it wasn’t unpleasant, very flavoursome. If you enjoy a fine cigar than you might find this interesting. I found that the smoke carried out a light coffee note as well as dried straw and grassy taste. I didn’t feel any side effects, but I only took a couple of puffs. You might get a little dizzy if you smoke a whole one but don’t quote me on this. I am not exactly sure about any other side effects so if you decide to try it, you may do so at your own risk.

I don’t hope to spark some freaky phase here, wouldn’t want roasters rolling “Dat fine Columbian shit …” during roasts!
Care to feedback or even give it a shot yourself?