company - education - coffee

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tea Tasting Event Sun 8-1, 12pm to 2pm

August 1st will be a lineup tasting of our teas purchased directly from small farms in Taiwan. All teas will be presented as cold brew iced teas (Mizudashi) and the event will be a free sampling format.

Come in, ask questions about the farms, and taste our entire lineup!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

v60 and free pour

One of the key tenets of a quality per cup is repeatability. A big reason we teach our method is because it is highly repeatably with the correct tools and an attention to detail.

What we have found though is that having a few extra tools helps. For the Hario Buono kettles, a flow restrictor can be very useful in getting a steady and consistent pour volume over a fixed period of time. I often find myself cringing at the aggressive pours I see from some other industry people which begs the question, why are they even using a kettle if they are going to pour it in there like that?

On the other end of the spectrum is the new Lb-1 which should come out in the fall. We have been playing in shop with it's dynamic temperature adjustments but also, having the flow controls is an exceptional benefit. Being able to dial in the exact ounces per minute to get the flow rate we want for each brew method and then directing the water where we want it is a tool many would love to have. It makes for a very repeatable brew by guaranteeing the same volume of water always flows through as long as the timing is the same.

That's something lacking from a lot of manual methodologies like consistent volumes of water, not to even get into how few people are focusing on temperature control.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


GMP BAR Fork 2, originally uploaded by caravelacoffee.

Here's a photo of some coffees en route.

This year, we are going to have the first coffees added to our lineup from Colombia. We are anxiously looking forward to their arrival.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fulu Red Oolong!

New Peak Oolong
Photo from our visit to the farm in December.

We have new crop of Shin Fong's Fulu Red Oolong in shop. Brewing it as cold brew tea really brings out the aromatics and deep candy sweetness. This is amazing as an iced tea.

We recommend a 50g per 1 liter of cold water in a Mizudashi.

First steep in the refrigerator for 18 to 24 hours.

Each additional steep should be done to taste and color up to three more steeps before flavor loss occurs.

If you brew it hot, we have detailed specs on the bags for a 180mL tea pot.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Costa Rican Coffees!

orange flower
Hiker's view near Beneficio Don Mayo in Costa Rica.

Spent the early part of the day profiling some new Costa Rican coffees. To go with the El Llano, we have just received two lots of Monte Canet through Don Mayo. The two lots have varying characters so it should be a lot of fun to try both side by side. Once we have a week with them, you will see them on the shelves in store and then online early next week. The first lot of Mt. Canet is juicy and clean, nice tangerine citrus. Can't wait to get into the other lot ASAP. We will get our photos together and info on Silas' trip in Costa Rica soon and share them. We have one more special lot on the way from Costa Rica, more on that when it arrives.

Beneficio Don Mayo, Costa Rica

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Marbled drying patios

One of our more unique discoveries this year was at Finca Trinidad of (Fraijanes) Guatemala(which should clear customs soon to be available). This coffee was purchased last year to be the base of our Soma espresso. The farm owner, Armando Melgar went through the extra trouble (and costs!)to put marble tiles on the drying patios because he feels they heat better with the sun than concrete ones. Armando also insists on using push brooms to turn and move coffees instead of the traditional wooden paddles. Something that seems odd but works to not damage the parchment while coffees are on the patio.

Drying Patios
Photo from Finca Trinidad in late March of this year.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Hand Sorting Conveyor Belt

Conveyor belt hand sorting tables

Photo to chew on, a shot from Su Beneficio in Guatemala around March. Trying do a through sort on that thing kinda reminds us of the I Love Lucy.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Notes for July 4th

We've carried over a trend for labels where we make small redesigns to the style as new crops arrive. Last year, the labels were featuring country outlines where as this year we are moving to solid country outlines and changing how we display the brew information.

A first peek at the new labels comes with the El Llano microlot (soon to be followed by three more Costa Rica offerings). We will also be adding a lot of the information and photos we have collected about our farms to a large info sheet. We are a bit timid about overdoing the labels and losing the clean look though so they won't change much. The problem I find with our style of label and the transparency of it is that it gets imitated a lot nowadays. In September, we will have been open for 2 years. Not a lot of time but we have had the same wine inspired labels since the beginning. Listing blend contents and percentages for the espresso and giving as much pertinent info as we can about each single origin coffee (including the most rare item, how it was packaged in transport from origin). In part, it would be interesting to develop our own standard for seasonality relevant to the method of packaging for marketing purposes but our goals internally don't fit with that kind of approach.

The next few weeks should see the arrival of our Guatemalan offerings. Even with a bad year for output and many farms oversold, we were still able to get the two core farms we wanted to work with. Sadly two more will have to wait until next year. By the end of the month or early next month, we have two Kenyas arriving. We had some trouble arranging these coffees due to a bad year for output but we have found two very solid coffees, one of which is exclusive to us (coined by a friend as a pico- lot) and should be a star in the lineup for those who love fruit. The other problem because of the low production is that the costs are very high this year for Kenyan coffees. We struggled to find the best coffee we could that would match up to the inflated prices and we are lucky the work has paid off. More El Salvador is on the way and Ethiopian coffees are still to come.

We will reopen tomorrow, enjoy the holiday!