Monday, August 31, 2009

Pour Over II

Still loving it - and have actual decent photos now!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pour Over

I’ve never been a huge fan of pour-over coffee, but then my sole experience to date has been the standard fare of ‘dripolater’ machines that slowly torture already stale ground coffee with a slow trickle of over or under-heated water to deliver a brackish, muddy, acidic brew.

I do have a small manual gold foil filter that came free with a pack of Harris coffee – but results from this have been mediocre at best.

I am today however a big, big fan of pour-over coffee.

At work we have a grinder and several plungers that are used throughout the day – our team is only five people, and yet we are nudging 750 grams a week of coffee consumption.

Last weekend, Crema roastery up in the hills was clearing stock and had on sale some Bodum pour-overs – the ‘Bodum Dripper’ . Kamran (who was up there for the day) rang me and asked if I would like one, and I’ve never been a hard sale on gadgets for coffee.

We’ve been using it all week and I have to say that these are a real gem. I was wary about the single origin Bunum Wo that I bought – in the plunger it is great but has a powerful kick, and I thought the pour-over might just boost the kick.

I should not have been concerned – Magic, pure bloody magic, a nice clean cup, with good body for the style and really allows the qualities of the bean to shine through.

I’ll post up some pictures of the whole kit - (the only ones available online have that aweful 'fake' opaque coffee they seem to love for photographing), but pour-overs these can be bought for a good price – and with a nice even medium coarse grind they provide a wonderful alternative for making office coffee – or for making coffee when you have guests who like something other than espresso.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I see the mark of Monkey!

No, not an indent in Sandy's skull left by an overzealous swing of Monkey's staff but rather the small imprints left on coffee beans by the incisors, canines and molars of the Rhesus Macaque as it chews its way through a kilo or two of premium Arabica.

Click on an image to enlarge:

Kamran mentioned in a comment that these beans will be available in retail packs later this week - I love this coffee and consider it to be far superior to Kopi Luwak which seems more valued for its rarity than its qualities.

I've now seen the very small pile of sacks of this coffee and having gotten my share (cue evil snicker) I can NOW recommend that others should attempt to do the same!

Fiori Coffee can be contacted via their website - oh and if you are intending to attend a tasting you better book fast - I've missed out on the first four already!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Roasting the Monkey

I roasted my first batch of Monkey Coffee today. It was 12 degrees and windy and it roasted fairly cleanly leaving me with a nice even looking roast. Here is an animated series of images I took using the Burst setting on our camera:

The ultimate 'Irish' coffee

It felt almost sinful adding a full measure of golden, smoky Lagavulin into the perfect ristretto, but I had vowed and declared that I was going to attempt an Irish coffee the likes of which I would rarely see again.

Lagavulin is a single malt whisky produced on Islay (pronounce aye-la) and is one of the finest of the whiskys I have tried.

I was introduced to single malts by Kamran of Fiori Coffee - clearly a bloke who appreciates the finer things in life, and a colleague of mine introduced me to Lagavulin in particular.

It is a rare pleasure that I allow myself and it is an amazing thing to sip - smoky peat, almost medicinal and totally absorbing.

My preferred way to drink it is just with a little water to soften the alcohol - not adding water can actually detract from the experience as the alcohol burns away the subtleties.

I had not a few 'ethical' concerns about adulterating fine coffee with whisky on one side and adulterating fine whisky with coffee on the other.

My concerns were totally unnecessary - the sheer might of this particular single malt means that nothing was lost in combination with the coffee and cream and many aspects were enhanced.

It was a sublime experience and I would highly recommend it - DO NOT TRY THIS WITH SOMETHING CHEAP.

There, I've said it - you just can't do this with cheap spirits. Buy something that you are happy to sip on its own and you will be in the right ballpark.

The coffee I used was a blend I roasted last week comprised of Columbian Supremo (organic), Ethiopian Yirgacheff and El Salvadorian Bella Vista estate beans - it was a well rounded espresso blend and did not dominate the drink I made but did support the smokiness of the whisky beautifully.

Image Source: Wikipedia - Lagavulin