company - education - coffee - tea - equipment

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Abid "clever" coffee dripper


Other than vacpot (aka syphon), hand pour is another very popular coffee preparation method in Asia. In fact, it is the preferred method for non-espresso brewing method in Japan.

I've been wanting to try out this method for quite some time as I was told it made a different cup profile than vacpot. However, I never follow thru as I am intimidated by the various methodology and tools it required. I was also told it is a very technique-dependant method and can be quite inconsistent from operator to operator.

I first notice this little coffee gadget from mojocoffee's website. I was intrigued by its simplicity and promised ease of use. It's basically a pour-over cone with a stopper valve - you get the cleanness of the drip cone with full extraction of a french press. Best of all, it is stupid simple to use, very consistent, and takes less than 2 min from brewing to clean-up.

I made a request with my brother who is currently vacationing in Taiwan, and couple weeks later I got the unit delivered to my door.

Upon opening, I was quite impressed with the packaging. The graphic design is very well done (no "AS SEEN ON TV" style packaging here). Coupled with the high quality plastic (medical grade imported from Japan), it really made the unit felt substantial.

The design of the unit is very simple. It is basically a drip cone with a tiny plunger at the bottom of the unit. The plunger is connected to a plastic disk/ring. When the dripper is placed on its legs, the plunger will sealed the drip hole due to the weight of the plastic disk. When placed on top of a cup, the rim will push the disk up, lifting the plunger, and allow coffee to pass thru. The concept is so simple yet it worked so well.


The brewing procedure are as followed:

1. Place paper filter in the cone. If desired, run some hot water thru to "wash" away paper taste.

2. Add coffee to the dripper. I use 32g per a full dripper brew (~ 12oz, ending w/ ~ 8oz of coffee).

3. Add hot water (198~202F, depends on the coffee) to the dripper. Make sure the grinds are well agitated. Stir if necessary.

4. Wait 1 min. Stir to break-up the crust.

5. Place the dripper on top of cup and let it drain. The drip time is roughly 60~90 seconds depending on the grind fineness.


That is it. Clean up involved tossing away the paper filter and rinse the dripper. You get a cup that is aromatic, full flavored, and clean with a total dwell time of roughly 2 min (+ 60-90seconds of drain time).

"Clever" coffee dripper is clever indeed.


- Ben C.

Pandora's Box

'You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. Remember -- all I am offering is the truth, nothing more.' - Morpheus, The Matrix

Ever wonder why not many ppl talk about green quality?

This question has been bugging me quite a lot lately. If you read any of the online forums, you will notice that so much focus was on the machines and barista techniques. The coffee itself is actually not often discussed, and those who do seem to love what they are tasting.

I really don't understand what is going on? Most of the coffee I sample these day pains me. With few exceptions, I found most don't live up to the fantastic description written on the bags/cupping notes. What are these ppl tasting? Is my palate so flawed that I could not pick up all the wonderful things that most are tasting? Why am I tasting so many defects?

I dunno.

Since April of this year, we have been roasting seriously and starting to pay attention to green quality (and everything that is wrong with it). Here are things that I've learned thus far:

- Roasting light reveals everything. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Green defects and age will shout at you loudly. Roast defects (mostly improper drying) will slap you in the face.

- Defects taste bad.

- Contrary to some ppl's belief, a well sorted defect-free green actually enhances complexity. The "definition" of the coffee increases as a result of clarity, and all flavor components are more focused and pronounced.

- Agey green sucks. It make the coffee taste like cheerio when roasted light, and taste like wood when roasted dark. Interestingly, that woody note tastes EXACTLY "like coffee". It's the generic flavor you find in extracts and gas station coffees.

- There is a direct correlation between how the green smells and the roasted coffee tastes. In fact, when roasted correctly, the green aroma components carry over to the roasted beans.

- Specialty grade coffee is not so special at all. Most are loaded with defects. Sit down and pick thru your beans. You will be surprised at how much crap is in there. The nastiest stuff I've seen so far are some beans from a "new crop" of Antigua that has fuzzy molds growing on it. It really made me sick to think I drank these before.

- Good quality greens do exit. Additional green sorting, vacuum packing, and air freighting are all options available - you just need to demand it and pay for it. The really good stuff is gobbled up by the Japanese and the Scandinavians.


Just like any food product, quality starts with raw ingredients. Everything you do afterwards is merely preserving and revealing the quality inside. There is nothing you can do to make a crappy green taste good - you can roast in such way to make it drinkable, but what's the point of shooting for the lowest common denominator?

So if green quality dictates the majority of what's in the cup, then how come not many are stressing over it? I think it's an accumulation of things that make it this way:

- Ppl don't really roast light - most of the "problems" are covered up this way.

- Ppl don't have the chance to taste defects - they end up associating it and accepting defect tastes as part of the coffee flavor.

- Ppl never truly sit down and get to know their beans. If they do, they are either oblivious to the problems or choose to ignore it.


Understanding green quality turns out to be one of the definitive turning points in my coffee experience. I truly did not know the kind of problem I would discover. Once your eyes are open, it's very scary and the light at the end of tunnel seemed so far away. There were so many issues and the lack of access often make me feel helpless. Suddenly, all these focus on equipments and barista techniques seemed meaningless - nothing really matters if I don't even have good ingredients to work with.

Will you choose the blue or the red pill? Are you prepared to face the demons from Pandora's box?


- Ben C.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fresh bread and fresh coffee

Assume you, like a lot of us, grew up on wonder bread. Thin sliced and completely devoid of unique character. Now take it a step further and say you were eating wonder bread your whole life having only a limited selection of other breads which were also mass produced factory baked loaves. White, wheat, and 'hamburger buns' were your entire selection in the local grocer. You would become quite accustomed to toasting those limp lifeless slices and slathering them with all kinds of toppings so it won't be so 'dry.'


One day you come across a little artisan bakery. The flour is milled locally, the ingredients are farm fresh, and you go in to order some bread on a whim. The selection is overwhelming. Olive breads, focaccia, names and descriptions you don't begin to understand. It's just bread right, you think to yourself, why is it so complicated? You settle on a nice looking loaf of olive bread, ahh but it's not sliced like your wonder bread, what to do? You think to yourself, how do you toast this thing, because you are supposed to toast breads, right? Now what do you do for that BLT with extra mayo you had planned to go on a dry piece of toast?


What would be a normal reaction to this new experience? Rejection? Curiosity? Confusion?


This is an analogy for what happens in coffee. People walk into one of the few higher end or simply good coffee shops selling fresh roasted higher grade coffees and possibly single origin coffees and may be overwhelmed. These people tend to initially push for what's familiar to them and reject the rest so having options that don't involve whip cream and syrups while being offered something different may not appeal... at first. Coffee is coffee to them and the real estate for their laptop is possibly their biggest priority at the moment but that could change if they take the time to pay attention to what's in their cup. It's difficult for anyone who is newly introduced to a different view of coffee. Coffee has a pyramid of quality that is forming and not all coffee is on the same level. It's not the branding and marketing alone that define the offerings like in the chain stores, it may be the coffee itself that is the difference. Sure, you may go into Dunkin Donuts and get a 'regular coffee' which ironically comes doused in cream and sugar. Though, if you ask for a regular in a high end shop, they will ask you what origin and won't put condiments in it for you. They may even get offended if you do! You could go into Starbucks and get your well toasted coffees which are well past being fresh. Much like fresh bread though, coffee doesn't need to be so toasty if it's good quality and still fresh.


From a barista's perspective, the irony is there will always be that customer who comes in and knows you care about coffee who says, 'I love coffee' but in the next breath says 'I can't have it without cream or sugar.' In some cases, that's like telling the bakery you love bread but you intend to cover that olive bread in mayo for a BLT. It doesn't make sense because the fact is there are coffees that are fit for cream and there are some that simply are not. It would be ludicrous to drink bitter or lower grade coffees without cream and sugar but it would also be just as ludicrous to drink an expensive high grade one with those condiments.


I would offer that most customers who frequent the large chains have neither had a fresh roasted coffee nor had an ideally roasted coffee before. Like wonder bread, it will always be the same, but maybe that's not a good thing for everyone.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Virtual cupping club

Mr. Haeger of texas coffee peeps coined this term 'virtual cupping groups.'

Take a few samples of different coffees, or even better different roast profiles, and then send them out to several friends to blind cup them. Since they won't know cup contents, it's like having a virtual cupping table where nobody can smirk or grimace to influence the rest. The charm is that you get honest unbiased feedback from several sources at once on what you may have thought was an amazing cup or a severely defective one.

Sure it's a fun idea, but I do miss comments like the other night when a cohort smelled a green coffee sample and alarmedly said 'This smells like guinea pig's bedroom!'

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hello, are you there quality?

From conversations on coffeed:
'I've been told that taste is the only morality. I've since disagreed. I love the taste of those cheap pecan spinwheels you can find nearly anywhere. The problem, is that the quality is extremely low. A whole lot of people love the taste of coffee and chocolate iced milkshakes. The problem, is that the quality just isn't there. A lot of people love dirty coffees. The problem, is that the highest possible quality just isn't there. Are we promoting "what you like", or are we promoting quality? If it's just about "what you like", then maybe Starbucks is onto something.' -Jason Haeger

A lot of times in coffee, I think people misunderstand our little site here at barismo. I remember Ben talking about how on one European forum a participant insisted our review of aeropress missed the 'obvious' fact that it was convenient and our preference for vac pot was like lugging around lab equipment. The truth is convenience is for someone else's site. We want the best of the best in terms of coffees and brew methods. Sure there's subjectivity in that but it also means we are willing to forgo convenience for a substantially better cup of brewed coffee.

I think that applies to all coffee because great coffee isn't easy or simple. I think the problem is that there are multitudes of people on forums and websites all professing that what they serve at home or in shop is the best of the best. Some may be right but a lot of others are simply getting the most out of what they have, not necessarily the best.

'Jason makes an important point. Most coffee drinkers in the world don't really understand coffee and have little to no experience with 'high quality'. They've never tasted it, don't know it's out there, and in most cases don't have any immediate access to it. One way to look at this whole issue is that it is our job as coffee professionals to take them by the hand and lead them to the well...(continued a must read!)' - Geoff Watts

The coffees that win awards and garner top honors for being the 'least coffee-like' are the coffees I find intriguing. Those are the coffees I want to promote and talk about. The processing requires skill and intensive labor to prepare an exceptional cup, something lesser coffees do not. That's why Sumatra and Harrars don't interest me.

Not to mis-inform people (particularly googlers!) by simply saying they suck, I truly just don't believe the quality is there. Maybe that means I will have a lot of headaches finding 'good' coffees but I'd rather not drink it unless it's going to be a great cup.

Same goes for tea in case you were wondering.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Atomic Cafe 14 School Street, Marblehead, MA

I have been to Atomic's old location a couple of times in the past and had sampled some of their roasts in the past. This morning, Ben and I decided to take a short trip around and drop in unannounced at both of their locations since it had been a while. Hong joined us and we set out after a quick drop into High Rise for a snack.

We arrived at the original location in Beverly on Cabot St. and decided to have lunch there. The focus of that location really is the sandwich menu and food service. We had some espresso and it was not really what we were looking for. We are picky about our shots though and that's well known. It was a milk blend so that's understandable as we are straight shot drinkers. The sandwiches were satisfying though and we quickly headed back out through Salem and into Marblehead to visit the new location.

The new location is tucked off next to a theatre and once inside, it immediately has a very comfortable atmosphere. The equipment is about as top of the line as you see in any north east cafe. Swift grinder, mazzer major, and an FB80?

I noticed the mazzer along side the swift and hoped we would get a shot of something besides a milk blend. Luckily, it was a roast of Daterra Reserve they served for straight shots. The barista took his time and pulled two or three shots to get it dialed in. He appeared to use an 18g dose, and was a bit enthusiastic in his rapping and tapping the portafilter. It didn't really hurt but the noise was shocking at first. We smiled but we were just happy to see someone level and tamp in a proper manner which is such a rarity in our area.

He served up a pair of singles to us and promptly apologized for the volume possibly being 'too short.' It was not too short. In fact, it seemed just right. It had all the tell tale signs of a great shot to us so we immediately dove in. It was great. Fantastic actually. In fact, it was the best shot I had been served of an all Brazil espresso in what seems like a very long time. You must understand how rare it is for me to go into a cafe the first time and be served something on the line with or better than most of the well known New York coffee shops, especially in what seems like a sandwich shop.

We promptly ordered a pair of doubles where I got a maybe 1.25-1.5oz shot that was thick and creamy bordering on intense peanut butter notes with only a hint of roast cocoa at the bottom of the cup. I would guess the machine temp was around 198F because the temp even with a warmed cup was not so hot to the tongue. It must be noted, it was not thin, it was thick having a desirable viscosity and complexity that was quite enjoyable.

Delicious.

The cup was very balanced and had such a smoothness to it, a smoothness I have missed in espresso recently. It was not ashy nor lemon as Brazils tend to get when the roast gets away.

I was content. I could drink that everyday and I honestly haven't said that about espresso lately. I passed it along to Simon who said Monday he will grab some to see if he can repeat what I was tasting. I think it's a good idea to sample it.

I don't know if many espresso drinkers will find their way out to Marblehead but it's worth the journey for those who profess an affection for the tiny beverage. Consider it a pilgrimage of sorts for a good shot. I don't guarantee your experience will be the same as ours but I do think it's worth a shot that whoever is on the machine may take the same care and that the roast may be just as good. I believe they pour latte art on milk drinks but make sure you confirm cup size when ordering to get what fits your tastes. The cup sizes are a bit larger as they are not an espresso bar so much as they are a traditional american coffee shop which luckily appears to also serve good espresso. I think a double machiatto in the demitasse requesting the Daterra or a single/double shot would be the way to go, maybe both!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Seasonal coffee and preserving quality.

Coffee is an agricultural product and due to the multitude of growing regions throughout the world, it has multiple harvest dates through the year. The question I ponder today: when is coffee 'in season?'

I glanced at a forum post by Geoff Watts of Intelligentsia where he briefly touched on the facts that coffees, especially high grade coffees can degrade quickly.

"...coffees that campaign on a platform of delicate floral or fruit notes and seductive aromatics usually have a much more limited time frame within which to impress. Those are the first things to go when Chronos comes knocking, and are sitting on the beach getting a suntan long before any hint of woodiness or paper shows up. Another thing to consider is the original quality level of the coffee. Like Jimmy says, the harder they come they harder they fall. A coffee that earns a 94 in May might be closer to 87 by December, whereas one that starts at 82 might only slide to 79 in the same time frame. It's like the supermodel/beauty queen syndrome--most of these models/actresses are in their teens and twenties. Forty is geriatric by those industry standards, whereas your average person can still be considered quite attractive and vital at that age." Geoff

I know some people will disagree with that. Still others will agree then point out coffee being a seasonal crop which must be served 'in season.' Then there are others who are pushing that we simply abandon jute bags and do much more to preserve great coffees that believe the lifespan of a great coffee is much shorter.

I count myself as the latter. A sample of green for our green storage project that was open has already faded and lost considerable color and aroma. My initial fear is that our home style vac setup and freezing method are only able to slow age rather than stop any significant amount of aging.

The argument that irritates me enough to write is simply the 'seasonality of coffee' argument. Coffee is produced around seasons but I wonder if it is ever really in season. Simply put, we often get the coffees months after harvest, when are we ever really drinking something that is in season? Maybe the 'in' season is 3-6 months after harvest, after the coffee has sat in jute bags on docks or in transport on ships or over land for several months before we cup it.

It takes a series of steps to notice age in a coffee. You first have to be exposed to 'fresher' coffees that are very close to harvest and cup them regularly. This largely depends on sampling coffees from a roaster who air shipped a coffee or vac sealed it at origin or simply carrying back some high grade green coffee from origin. You must then roast in a manner that you would notice the floral and fruit slipping away and turning into woody notes aka 'the generic stale coffee taste.' You would also then have to value that fruit and floral aroma as a key component of the cup to value it at the same time devaluing the woodiness of age. Many who value body over fruit and floral would simply never roast in such a manner as to notice the fruit. The wild cup lovers on the other hand are simply not working with coffees upon which it makes a big difference either way.

While I quote Geoff, I think he is one of the people who could use his influence to push for those changes in transport and bagging for many of the farms he works directly with as well as in the industry overall. The problem is, it comes down to a definition of quality. A balance of what is acceptable financially vs an ideal. Acknowledging a problem and actually doing something about it are two different things.

How do you really define quality in coffee?

As Simon mentions to us often, it's the total package when you talk about quality. As a North American industry, we always chest thump about quality but it comes down to the entire product from seed to cup and preserving that quality... It's not simply the barista skills, equipment mods, and 'artisan' roasting. As Edwin often points out, coffee is a product in which we strive to preserve value along the way. We cannot intrinsically add value, we can only preserve what was in the 'finished' product at the farm.

Preserve quality. It's an interesting thought.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Tell me how you really feel about espresso

Ben and I worked on shots of a Kenya AA yesterday. The first time in a long time that we actually got back into espresso. We have an espresso goal that a friend down south will be intrigued to see progress on as I promise we will make it there first!

It has been a particularly long time since we tried pulling a Kenya or anything exotic as a shot and I do miss pulling espresso. I love working the machine and miss it a lot because what I have been tasting lately has not been all too thrilling. Not necessarily bad, just rather boring. To be honest, I am really tired of working with Brasils right now and particularly fatigued with being asked to diagnose roast variances in them! I want to move past it but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate a good Brazil when I see it. It's just that I really want to get back to the days when we were pulling shots of interesting coffees and doing something unique. Yup, coffee shots and what not!

I have been into vac pots lately and it finally gave me an appreciation for brewed coffees other than espresso. Still, the truth is that there is nothing quite like the complexity, viscosity, aroma, and intense sweetness of a beautiful espresso.

So back to this Kenya pulled as espresso. It was clean candied fruit rather than what most would define as the more common sharp acidity you would expect. Some of this is owed to the particular roast style. Like the mysterious shots of Crescendo we are still chasing, it remains an interesting goal to pull a complex but not overpowering shot of a coffee like this. This was exciting and at one point, we were able to even subvert the fruit to get a very unique perfume from this coffee. Strangely pleasant but a bit unexpected in this Kenya. I would post notes but it defeats the purpose of writing today.

Very few people blend exciting coffees in their espresso. Most of the time it's coffees that are rather boring and quite focused on body, earth, and spice. A caramel cocoa espresso... Yawn. I have no problem with that being doused in milk!

It's hard to sit around and listen to people talk about letting the coffee speak for itself and decrying the value of straight shots and less milk when often the coffees used in the espresso are simply put, cheap. The shop may be paying a lot for these coffees but the cost of green coffees used is not quite expensive.

You might say that's being snobbish but I think it's snobbish when you want someone to drink your espresso straight simply because you believe in some hip standard for sizing drinks. If the espresso is good enough, people will naturally move towards smaller drinks and less milk. This much I have seen before. If the espresso is expensive, you sure cannot dump it into a large milk drink. It wouldn't really make sense, would it?

Dare I say it?

To us, third wave doesn't exist. It's largely irrelevant. Talk to me about good great coffees. That's all I want to focus on, a better cup. All the technical stuff and marketing jibe is grand but really it comes down to what you are drinking.

What are you drinking?

Friday, May 04, 2007

Roaster Profile: Simon Hsieh

Simon Hsieh is a coffee roaster, author, translator, and gourmet columnist in Taiwan. We took notice of Mr. Hsieh after Ben C. met him in recent travels. Ben brought his coffees back for us to sample and it left a lasting impression on us. We at Barismo decided an interview would offer us a chance to learn more about Mr. Hsieh and his visionary approach to coffee quality.


Tell me a little bit about yourself.


Hi, I'm Simon Hsieh, a Taiwanese coffee book writer and the Chinese version translator of Ken Davids' Home Coffee Roasting. I started as a home roaster in 1999. Due to my passion for a better cup of coffee, I decided to step deeper into the coffee industry in Taiwan.

Since then, I have been working on improving quality in the Taiwanese market. I truely hope that every cup served can have better quality rather than just commodity grade. To achieve this, I devoted myself to take part in many tasting & brewing events in places all over Taiwan, exemplifying the true tastes of good coffees.

What is your roasting philosophy?


My goal is the "true tastes in good coffees". I roast most of the good single origin coffees in a light to medium roast style to preserve as much varietal/origin characteristics as possible. I believe every good S.O. has something more exciting when they are less costumed with roast flavors; that is to say, they can express themselves well enough in the lighter stages of roasts. That's why they cost so much, isn't it?

Even though I personally prefer the light to medium roast style, it doesn't mean that I can't do well with the darker roasts. Whatever the roast style I do, I do it to achieve a balanced "sweet/fruity/complex" profile. But the most important thing is, I always want to optimize the aroma for every coffee.

Where did the concept of "zero-defect" coffee come from? And what do you seek to accomplish with it?


The "zero defect" concept just appeared to me when I got my first delivery of green coffees as a home roaster. I can still recall that package of green coffees which consisted of a Peru Norte, a Sumatra Gr.1, a Costa Rica La Minita, and a Kenya AA Auction Lot. When I opened the bags, I felt so happy to smell the fresh greens until the Sumatra was opened. I thought to myself 'ughhh.... I wonder how it would look by how it smelled.'

Then I looked further into the Sumatra greens and found so many disgusting moldy and black beans inside. I wondered, 'Am I gonna get sick if I drink the coffee made from those moldy greens?' It's horrible, at least to me, so I started my "sorting journey" with this Sumatra. That gave me a great shock after I rejected almost 50% of those eye-offenders in the Sumatra. What the hell had I drunk before I did this?! As I dug further into other bags, I also found some unbelievable percentage of defects in those green coffees. These were purchased from a famous US specialty green coffee retailer and all were so-called 'specialty grade' coffees. From that day on, I haven't believed the 0 defect/300 gram descriptions anymore. Whatever I get, I sort before I roast. At first it was just to make myself feel easier to drink a cup from clean greens; but soon I found that the cup was improved remarkably due to the sorting. This has driven me to the unremitting "sorting movement".

Since I was alone in this practice, I felt the need to address this injustice. I then decided to introduce the concept of "Zero Defect Coffees" to deliver a more direct message for people and my roasting business started (4-Arts Zero Defects Coffees).

You might be confused by the industry-wide sayings that you can get a better cup if you buy the "specialty grade coffees" and use the fancy equipment. Yes, better equipment is an important element for a good cup of coffee and specialty grade coffees are indeed better than the commodity grade ones. But, what does the word "specialty" really mean? Obviously the current definition for "specialty" isn't quite special enough for me.

IMHO, a good coffee can never be good enough if there is a great deal of defects still in it. Even a pricey Jamaican Blue Mtn. No.1 has up to a 30% rejection rate. If pricey coffees are so bad and you are willing to pay that much for it, why not get a cleaner one? If you really care about quality, then the defects in the coffee shouldn't be ignored. It should be of equal emphasis in determining the cup quality. For this reason, I choose premium greens to sort and sell the roasted products in hope to draw people's attention to the subject that I'm selling "defect free" coffee concept rather than just "specialty" coffee.

What are some of your favorite coffee in the past?

I especially love the "aroma bombs"--to be specific, the Kenya AA's, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Panama Hacienda La Esmeralda Gesha and Hawaiian Kona. If I need to take price into account, I would choose the Kenya AA's because I can get the most pleasure while spending the least.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your job now?

The biggest challenge for me is still the mainstream Taiwanese coffee drinkers' tastebuds. For most older generation coffee drinkers, they still regard coffee as a "bitter and smokey beverage" and cannot accept any acidity in the cup. Those older generation drinkers affect their children directly in their impressions of coffee. So we always need to face people with the "bitterness" issue first. It's painful but I know it's inevitable. If I want to convince more people to appreciate how good coffee can taste, I need to tell them early in their coffee experiences every time. There are no other ways to achieve this goal.

So, I just keep telling and showing people. People will realize after many experiences of comparing and contrasting different coffees. Some will come back eventually and tell me, "ohh...now I know how good coffees should taste like."

-Simon Hsieh

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The long overdue event post.

A special thanks to the roasters who provided coffees for our tasting event. The event was hectic but I think everyone enjoyed it. It was about as many as we could handle in that small space. A special thanks to Miguel Meza for working to overnight the coffees to us to get us the Kenya in time for the event. It was above and beyond what anyone could ask for. We have come to expect that kind of standup service from Miguel based on what we have seen in the past. The washed Sidamo was a good pick for vac pot and really worked well in that method. A hearty thanks to Steve Ford for expediting the coffees to our event and for providing the coffees to the Bellingham Jam which we ended up brewing in vacpot at that event. We ended up pushing the espresso on people at that event if not simply for our affection for Andrew and Co. but that it was a damn good roast too. A big thanks to John and Adam at Atomic Cafe for the CoE coffees they offered at the event. I will be looking forward to an event at their new Salem warehouse and a chance to cup some coffees with them. I hope they will keep us in the loop on that! Some of us will probably drop in unexpectedly at a later date. A big thanks to Bob Weeks of Redeye for making the trip in to visit and bringing the coffees for the event. I hope to drop in soon and visit the roasterie setup in the future to see how things are done in Framingham Hingham.

Also, a thank you to Simon for hosting the event and providing the Terroir Coffee on his dime. Since we were unable to get donated coffees for the event from them, Simon was generous enough to provide off the shelf on the spot. Simon was happy with the particpation of everyone who came and thoroughly enjoyed himself. Simon and I cupped all the coffees just before the event so we didn't miss out.

I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and I hope it will inspire some brave souls to organize a home user meetup or espresso throwdown. Maybe just a simple cupping or dare I even mention tea.

For those who missed it, there may not be another soon but we will let you know what we know. Maybe our buddy Andrew at North Hampton might be lured to host a small event even if only of house coffees or simply a geek together coffee deal. Ideas welcome, locations even more welcome.
Take care-