Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
One of the signature styles of brewing with barismo is using cloth filters. We discovered that depth filtration from cloth filters is better at brewing coffee without imparting 'paper taste' from paper filters and it doesn't have the sediment issues of metal filtration. Cloth requires immense care and time consuming cleaning but that didn't stop us from seeing its potential.
The 'woodneck' is the throw back method, with its hooped flannel filter, nick-named for the wooden handle on the neck of the carafe. It was the basis for the v60 design and is a free pour method involving no restriction of how it drains giving full control to the barista to craft the experience. The cloth needs constant maintenace and care to keep it clean during both storage and normal usage. This method produces shorter yields of rich but balanced and suprisingly nuanced cups of coffee.
We highlighted the woodneck brews this weekend on bar at dwelltime and we had a lot of folks come out to try this body forward brew. If you missed the event don't worry we you can always come by the coffeebar at barismo for the same experience. The final brewing device that we are featuring for this series is one of technical precision and it happens to use cloth filtration as well...
When you go back and look at methods that defined us, the Syphon was that method. While espresso was near and dear to us, our experimenting showed that you could make expressive drip coffee if you could harness the variables. Enter the Syphon, or balance brewer. Using it in a novel way, we discovered you could get a stable brewing temp and take advantage of full immersion properties in a way that is entirely unique. It meant being able to control everything in a very precise way. The variable controls we talked about, but were otherwise always chasing, became a reality with Syphon brewing.
The Syphon consists of a lower and upper chamber. When heating the lower chamber, steam builds forcing the water to syphon to the upper chamber. Once the temperature is stable, coffee can be brewed in the upper chamber. When brewing is complete, heat is removed thereby cooling the lower chamber which draws the coffee through the filter and back down.
For this method, we chose an aromatic and intense Panama and juicy Kenya to present. These are served as two 5oz servings per order, so bring a friends.
Monday, October 14, 2013
Years ago before barismo was roasting coffee, we were busy conducting varied experiments in brewing. One of the early variations in espresso that we liked was nick-named 'the coffee shot'. It wasn't quite the traditional approach. We were using some odd brew parameters where we were able to get exceptional results that simply couldn't be called espresso.
A 'coffee shot' is a single origin drip (not roasted for espresso)coffee pulled as a shot using a low temperature with a slightly higher yield in volume. The results are similar to what you'd expect from lever espresso machines but with the intensity of the particular coffee shining through.
To be served, it requires a dedicated grinder and five years ago it would have required an entire dedicated espresso machine! With new technology like the La Marzocco Strada that we have at dwelltime, we can operate individual group heads at different temperatures and different pressure profiles. That means three different coffees at three different temperatures and three different profiles. blog fresh flash back: Coffee Shots
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
As a part of barismo's Patio Grand Opening on Friday, we had a special presentation by Jon Orren, school teacher at Newton South High School. Jon has been involved with the Sustainable Agriculture Project at the high school for the past couple of years. The schools project is a three season educational garden that grows produce for use at the school and provides a tool for educating students about food systems, sustainability, and agriculture.
Over a year ago Jon approached us at barismo to see if he could get his hands on 'chaff', a by-product of coffee from the roasting process. He had done some research and found some interesting uses and benefits, particularly the ability of chaff to greatly improve soil composition and replenish nutrients. We started collecting our chaff and Jon began stopping by every few weeks to pick up a trash bin full of the stuff.
What is this stuff? Chaff is a thin dry skin that falls off the raw coffee bean during the roasting process. The un-roasted bean (also called "green coffee" because it has a greenish-blue color in the raw state) has a dense cellular structure. When heat is applied to the bean during the roasting process the cellular structure expands, loses moisture, and starts to develop sugars and complex compounds. The expansion of the bean causes the thin outermost layer to flake off of the bean inside of the drum. Fans pull air out of the hot rotating drum during the roasting process and the lightweight flakes of chaff are collected via cyclone into a large drum.
Using Chaff to Enrich Soil. When used correctly, Chaff can significantly replenish the soils nutrients, it does so in a way that even coffee grounds cannot (grounds can be very acidic and must be mixed correctly to maintain a proper Ph level). Having a way to replenish soil is especially important for a garden that is being used through three seasons. Jon's experience is that the the soil was richer with more organic life present and the crops came back with very healthy yields. In order to access all of the benefits that chaff has to offer, one must be aware of how to use the chaff correctly.
Working with Chaff. When chaff is wet it will clump together into a heavy dense mass that adheres to itself very easily. Wet chaff masses are very slow to breakdown and if they are left in that state they will prevent water from penetrating above or below causing bacteria or mold in some areas and dry soil in others. Jon brought in an example of a wet dried chaff clump that resembles a hard piece of paper mache. After some experimentation with mixing chaff with soil or mulch, they found that a 1-to-5 ratio (chaff to mixer) worked best. This mixture keeps the chaff from adhering to itself and turning into hard clumps, this allows the chaff to break down and begin to properly release the valuable nutrients back into the soil.
Putting your garden to bed. At the end of the growing season, when the soil is at its most depleted state, there is a technique that can be used to replenish the soil using chaff. A thick layer of dry chaff is evenly distributed on the surface of your garden bed and covered up with burlap. The dry chaff Must be covered with something like strips of jute (the burlap sacks that coffee comes packaged in) to keep it from being blown away in the wind. From the end of the fall through the winter the thick layer of chaff has enough time to decompose and you avoid the problematic clumps in your soil. In the spring your soil is fertile and ready to go for the next season!
At Newton South High School Jon has had so much success with the yields of produce that he has had to find creative ways to make use of the food they have grown. They have enough produce to provide faculty with a small CSA program, however there is still an abundance. Jon has been pickling much of the produce so it has a longer lifespan. Jon brought us a variety of pickles and kimchi to try out at the event. We also got some freshly picked produce to take home. Some of the more unique items were the West Indian Gherkin Cucumber (an egg shaped cucumber with peculiar spikes, from the Monticello seed bank), and a small grape sized cucumber called a Mexican Minature Watermelon.
We had a great turn out for the event thanks to everyone who showed up to hear Jon, and thank you Jon for sharing! We will list any links that Jon sends us for resources about using chaff in your home garden.
Friday, August 09, 2013
The Boston Globe recently did it's annual iced coffee article and gave the cold brew a review:
"Even if you take milk in your coffee, sample this coffee black at first. It has a natural sweetness and a toasty caramel finish, without a bitter taste. It is smooth, satisfying, and just right — the purest cold-brew drink we find." By Debra Samuels JULY 30, 2013 | GLOBE CORRESPONDENT
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Since moving the roasting operation and the coffee bar to 171 Mass ave in Arlington, we've made continual changes. With the patio coming up, we felt like the coffee bar needed something special to add a new element to the space. To accomplish this, we have installed a new section of bar in the back to house our music station. Taking some pallets and a nice piece of Honey Locust, we built out a small bar with a record player to give us a wider range of music. Next time you drop by, take a peek.
See you there! Register here.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
For those of you who had a chance to make it to the first two events of Origin Week, you had the rare opportunity to literally shake the hands that planted your coffee. This is the first step in a long chain of actors who work to bring you the coffee you enjoy each day.
On Wednesday we had a chance to hear from Luis Pedro from Bella Vista Mill. Luis operates a quality mill in Guatemala which give him the opportunity to interact with hundreds of small farmers from the local area. With his background in Agronomy and his interest in the specialty market, Luis has the ability to impart to other farmers the great opportunity that they have with the specialty coffee market when there is a focus on improving quality. Luis happens to manage one of the farms that barismo customers have really come to love, El Bosque. Luis was able to share with those who made it to the event the improvements in quality that have taken place over the last few years at El Bosque and some of the changes to come.
One of our attendees said she has been telling all of her friends that this is Coffee University week! Another attendee on Tuesday noted the linear line up of events as well. We started Origin Week with a farm owner (Gustavo), then moved on to a mill owner / farm manager (Luis), the next events feature exporters from Costa Rica and Colombia as well as an Importer. Finally on Friday we take on the big picture event: the intersection of specialty coffee and large markets with our guests from GeoCertify and the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange.
Don't miss your change to catch the rest of the highly educational and engaging Origin Week with barismo! Get your free tickets now: originweek.eventbrite.com
Sunday, April 07, 2013
When I first met Gustavo Alfaro I remember that he was very engaging and soon we had arranged a visit to his farm Hacienda Santa Rosa Alfaro. I spent a good amount of time walking the farm and hiking up to the highest lot where the Buena Esperanza grows at 1,900 meters elevation. I learned quickly that Gustavo was interested in making long term investments into the farm to improve coffee quality, quality of life for workers, and over all presentation of Hacienda Santa Rosa Alfaro. During that visit, I was able to meet the artist Rudy Cotton who was visiting the farm to find inspiration for the mural that he is commissioned to complete in one of the main buildings at HSA for Gustavo. Rudy and Gustavo met as students at the University of Guatemala and have stayed friends over the years. This collaboration is an example of the vision that Gustavo has for his farm. Other farmers ask him why he would spend any effort putting art on his farm, Gustavo wants to inspire pride into his workers and make a good impression on those who visit his farm. You will hear from Gustavo about this mural project and about this year's HSA coffees when you attend the first Origin Week event this Tuesday, April 9th, 6-8pm at Voltage Coffee & Art. Reserve your free ticket here.
Barismo has worked with Luis Pedro for about as long as we have been roasting. I had the opportunity to Visit Bella Vista Mill in Guatemala last year and see the shear amount of hard work that goes into the many farms and lots that Luis handles. Luis Pedro has been working tirelessly for years to impart to other producers in Guatemala that there is a market that puts a premium on quality grown, picked, and processed coffees. Luis now has an opportunity to connect a bit more with you the end customer to give you first hand information about these efforts. This is also a chance for so many of the baristas who work with coffees from Bella Vista to share their appreciation and give their feed back to Luis in this Direct Trade conversation. We like to explain Direct Trade as a transparent conversation about quality, it doesn't get any more transparent than this. Mark your calendars Wednesday April 10th, 5-7pm at Simon's Too. Reserve your free ticket here.
Saturday, April 06, 2013
Jackie, our bike delivery person is excited about the weather finally warming up, and kudos to her for doing an awesome job through the winter! The other reason Jackie has to be excited is the new hot pink paint job on the bike, this makes it easier for everyone out there on the road to spot the barismo bike as it makes it way around town. This week the bags that have a cute bike.barismo.com sticker on them were roasted and delivered in the same day via the Barismo Bike. As always, you will find the roast date written prominently on the front of the retail bag. Where exactly did those coffees end up? Well, you can follow the freshness here on twitter to find out: @BarismoBike
|The Coffee Trike in Dewey Sq.|
In other exciting bike and coffee news, I had a chance to connect with San from The Coffee Trike . He has a nice setup brewing coffee from local roasters. His main coffee is Alchemy from George Howell and this week for Origin Week he will be guesting barismo's Peña Blanca single origin Espresso. The Peña Blanca is from Hacienda Santa Rosa Alfaro and you can meet Gustavo Alfaro owner of the farm twice this week. Tuesday at Voltage or Sunday at Clover. San is set up right in Dewey Square in downtown Boston along side the other food trucks just in front of the Red Line South Station T-stop. You will find The Coffee Trike in Boston on the Greenway Monday through Friday. Follow the coffee trike on twitter for any service and location updates: @TheCoffeeTrike
And some other bicycle news to get you ready for the spring (finally). Around Cambridge and Somerville it looks like they are putting the big community bicycle racks back in place, time to put away your winter coats and tune up your bicycle! If you do not have your own bike or you happen to be in town visiting for the SCAA conference, don't worry, you can explore the town with a Hubway Bike. If you are not familiar with how this works, it is an easy point-to-point bicycle rental. The bicycles have begun to show up in their familiar spots around the Greater Boston area (Cambridge/Somerville included). You can check out their website for more info and complete map of where the bicycle docking stations are located. www.thehubway.com
Being such a big part of the Cambridge coffee community as a local roaster we know that sustainability is important to our customers. We also know that sustainability requires dedication at every step along the entire life cycle (no pun intended) of a product, coffee is no exception. At barismo, 90% of the coffees we sell are delivered to local cafes via bicycle. The final step in a process is just as crucial as the first step and every step in between. Origin Week shows customers the first step, local roasting and local bicycle delivery is about taking that same sense of responsibility all the way through to the last step.
If your neighborhood coffee shop serves quality local milk and fresh baked goods but fails to find a quality local roaster then maybe your community needs more quality micro roasters. We love serving an authentic product to our community, that is one of the biggest reasons we are sharing Origin Week with the people who enjoy these coffees 365 days a year. If you are visiting this week we welcome you and hope you have a chance to sample what the areas local coffee scene is all about. Whatever community you are apart of take a look around you and ask yourself how can your coffee scene be more authentic. The simple answer is to try harder, find a quality local roaster that you really enjoy, and maybe it means starting your own.
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
This is what local can do.
Friday, March 29, 2013
You know we are passionate, but these people are involved in much of what we do at varying levels. Meet farm owners, mill managers, quality operations that represent small farmers and organize relationships, and others. Origin week highlights the people we work with to bring you coffee. These events give you, our local customers, a chance to interact and hear their story.
Wihout further ado, here is an introduction to all of the amazing people who will be at the Origin Week events, take a look and then go reserve your free tickets for each event over here: originweek.eventbrite.com
|April 9th and April 14th|
Reserve your free ticket for these events at:
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Origin Week Full Event List
April 9-14, 2013 Free registration for all events at www.originweek.eventbrite.com
they grow it, we roast it, you love it. shake the hands that planted your coffee.
Barismo is a local coffee roaster who has dedicated years to sourcing the freshest quality coffee. We work tirelessly to foster transparent and sustainable Direct Trade relationships with the top growers, exporters, and importers in the world. This April, join us for Origin Week and seize the opportunity to shake the hands that planted your coffee.
Gustavo Alfaro of HSA at Voltage, Guatemalan Coffees
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (PDT)
Voltage Coffee & Art, 295 3rd St, Cambridge, MA 02142
Luis Pedro from Bella Vista Mill / El Bosque in Guatemala
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (PDT)
Simon's Too, 983 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
Francisco Mena of Exclusive Coffees in Costa Rica
Thursday, April 11, 2013 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM (PDT)
Dwelltime Coffeebar and Bakeshop, 364 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139
Badi Bradley and Aljandro Cadena Colombian Coffees
Thursday, April 11, 2013 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM (PDT)
Dwelltime Coffeebar and Bakeshop, 364 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139
Thursday, April 11, 2013 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (PDT)
Voltage Coffee & Art, 295 3rd St, Cambridge, MA 02142
Matt Hodges of GeoCertify and Anteneh Assefa of ECX Ethiopia
Friday, April 12, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (PDT)
Dwelltime Coffeebar and Bakeshop, 364 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139
Gustavo Alfaro of HSA at Clover HSQ Guatemalan Coffees
Sunday, April 14, 2013 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM (PDT)
Clover HSQ in Harvard Square, 7 Holyoke St, Cambridge, MA 02141
Featured guest : Gustavo Alfaro of Hacienda Santa Rosa
Thursday, March 21, 2013
|"Elite" Bourbon at El Bosque 2013|
First off, new plantings from the cherry of those 70-90 year old trees are coming to fruit soon. That means, the production will increase but it also means the preservation of these trees. They were referring to these in El Salvador as 'Elite' Bourbon so we are going to adopt that nomenclature in this post to distinguish it. It's defined by the much taller tree with more space between branches, the distinct angle of the branches, and that these are the older heirloom trees we associate with El Bosque and it's resulting flavor profile. The really old trees (70-90 years) always had issues of low yield and high rates of defects (higher attrition when sorting). Seeing younger plantings come to fruit soon should help out with that and hopefully retain the characters we like about the coffee.
|Villa Sarchi at Guatemala El Bosque|
What excites us is the new Villa Sarchi planted on the farm that's coming to fruit and maybe next year we can bring some in. The first harvest of it probably won't cup out well enough to be anything notable. Along with that, we have some Orange Bourbon (from El Salvador) and Yellow Bourbon (from the original Yellow Bourbon trees on Bosque) planted and a little mix of Ethiopian varieties that need more time to evaluate before planting more. The farm manager and also the owner of the mill that handles this and many other coffees will be in town soon to present more about the mighty progression of El Bosque.
Buena Esperanza is the other main farm we work with in Guatemala up in the mountains of Huehuetenango. This year, that farm is blowing up after placing well in the Cup of Excellence. Gustavo has been quite busy with all the for traffic of new coffee buyers trying to bend his ear, but the Esperanza has scored well and continues to build an international following. We see the coffee cupping well and expect things to move forward in our relationship. Since Gustavo will be in town shortly and many of you can meet him locally, we'll hold more of the details for him to personally pass them along.
More information to follow soon.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
What's been amazing to watch over the last few years is the attachment that people have as we bring back the producers who have excelled or that we have a strong relationship with. Last year, it was the El Bosque from Guatemala. We organized a pick of red and yellow bourbon, which we ran through very quickly after it arrived. There were many people looking for it on what seemed like a daily basis after it was gone. One dedicated person in particular called us every few weeks to get an update on when that coffee would be back in season... until it arrived. Next year will be our fourth year working with El Bosque and we get the attachment people have to that farm.
This year, the La Loma from Costa Rica seems to have converted quite a few people to become loyal fans. The next crop of La Loma will be our third year bringing this lot in and fourth working with the folks at Don Mayo. Our customers and cafes have had time to become attached to this particular lot and the quality produced at Don Mayo. The other day, our green buyer was covering in a pinch and helped close the coffee bar. Within minutes of each other, two customers came in and were both seeking out Loma and seemed pretty devastated at it's absence. The comments 'now what do I get, that was my favorite' and the more humorous advice 'tell Don Mayo they need to plant more coffee trees' were left with us. Both left with another good coffee but truth is, we get it. That's what makes a lot of this worth while.
The good thing is that the new coffees are just around the corner. Miralvalle is shipping early and looks great, the Loma is fantastic and always ships on time, and of course Bosque is a bit late with picking but won't be far behind. While these farms have become beloved in our lineup (among other well liked coffees), we are looking forward to bridging the gap and finally putting some faces and people in front of customers to go with the names of coffees they like. Stay tuned as we are planning to arrange something special soon as a way to make the conversation more complete.
Thursday, March 07, 2013
Good Food and Good CoffeeIt is not an uncommon experience to go out for a great meal at a restaurant only to end with a bitter shot of espresso or poor cup of drip coffee. The biggest challenge for restaurants is time. It takes time to make a pour over the way you might see it done at a place like dwelltime. On top of that, a dedicated cafe takes a considerable amount of time to train staff to make consistently great tasting coffee. There are too many arguments made for having a coffee experience that is not in line with the food. The question we have is why not accept the challenge and make better coffee?
Fortunately there are some great examples locally of establishments we partner with who are taking up the challenge and finding ways to offer coffee that is in line with the rest of their values: fresh product, quality, locally sourced. We hope you have a chance to try them all!
704 Mass Ave., Cambridge, MA @fourburgers
Puritan & Co.
1166 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA www.puritancambridge.com
253 Washington St, Somerville, MA @casabrestaurant
134 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA www.oleanarestaurant.com
Good Coffee and Good Food
364 Broadway, Cambridge, MA @dwelltimecoffee
Voltage Coffee & Art
295 Third St, Cambridge, MA @voltagecoffee
Saturday, February 09, 2013
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
"If coffee is truly to learn something from the wine model, it is that brand identity for farms (even in a blend) adds value for both the producers and their consumers."
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
|Follow this bike to good coffee|
Track it through bike.barismo.com where we are testing out using a foursquare script to locate where the freshest retail shows up. We are also updating our stops on twitter so that you can get yourself over there for some bags.
Relationship coffee delivered the same day it's roasted or the next morning is kind of a cool thing. Since fresh roast is such a key component to great coffee, we consider this a bit of a quality assurance project!
We're having fun with it and hope you can support this project by picking up a bag of coffee at one of our stops.