Mar 7, 2011

Latte Art Series: 3-stop tulip

After a record-breaking roasting week last week (over 1300 Lbs!) I am back to a semi regular work day here at the roastery. I'd love to write up a how-to or at least an intro to latte art; until then, I'll post some different latte art designs and how to achieve them.

Today I'm going big with a 3-stop tulip / heart design:

Roaster vs. Roaster

Stop-pour is quite literal: you stop pouring milk at a certain point, then resume, causing a break in your design. You'll notice 2 breaks in the design where there are more dominant hues of the crema between the 3 parts of the design. This pour is unique in that there was very little shake in the pour (which is usually done to create "leaves" for the tulip / rosetta design, as can be seen in the middle part of the design. The heart on top was created by simply pouring in one spot. To end the pour, a very thin stream of milk is pulled through the center of the design to create the final look.

Mar 1, 2011

Short Intermission


Very busy days lately, two new shipments of green coffee in and some huge orders going out. Looks like we're finally pulling out of the yearly slump. I'm compiling monthly statistics today so stay tuned for some very interesting logistical data!

Feb 22, 2011

Twelve Pound Tuesdsay!

Roasting everything in twelve pound batches today. Roasting twelve pounds at a time is more arduous than a typical batch, the curve compresses and is much more susceptible to heat variations. Luckily I roast like a boss and accept the challenge of such epic roasting.

Organic Costa Rica La Amistad
Organic Guatemala Huehuetenango
Organic Honduras Octotepque
Sumatra Harimau Tiger

I also dialed in a new espresso blend this morning and I must say it is approaching facemelting status. Since the crazy Sumatran weather is keeping all exports from getting here I've had to find substitutes for that part of the espresso blend. Typically Sumatra is the heavy-hitter, adding big body and dark chocolate notes to the blend. I substituted a microlot of washed Sulawesi to the blend and it has really taken it to the next level. I'd love to be able to continue this blend but unfortunately I already blew through all the Sulawesi.

Feb 21, 2011

Roastlog: Mon 21 Feb 2011

Nice, lazy weekend has passed and now I must get back into the swing of things. I'm thinking of a bigger article soon addressing the state of Sumatra coffees. Weather (namely) is causing a great deal of delay on shipments of Sumatra and it is VERY difficult to get a hold of right now. Luckily I ordered two bags of a conventional (non-organic) Sumatra... then only one bag showed up :( sad, sad panda.

Organic Mexico Altura
Organic Guatemala Huehuetenango (so much fun to pronounce)
Organic Costa Rica La Amistad
Organic Honduras Octotepque
Organic Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Michelle
Sumatra Harimau Tiger

Feb 18, 2011

Coffee in the Wild!

A little something different for Friday, some examples of bringing specialty coffee to the wilderness! These are from a camping trip last Summer. Coffee lovers will see a Buono being heated by gas flame and shirk away, but this is how things get done around here. Ever brew coffee at 11,000 ft?

Happy Friday everyone!

My pack in late Summer 2010, complete with V60 awesomeness. I would later learn it is a BAD IDEA to have a ceramic coffee maker attached to the outside of my pack via steel 'biner.

The natural fit of Buono on backpacking stove indicates they really were made for each other. Notice the nice patina on the outside of the Buono, it had already been used over a campfire the previous morning.

The essentials, left to right: Mosquito repellent (suckers were nasty!), Hario Skerton (top only) -- v60 filters and coffee below, Nissan thermos (best thermos on planet), Hario V60, granola, dog leash. Everything you need to go backpacking!

Feb 17, 2011

Roastlog: Thu Feb 17 2011

Slow on getting my roastlog published lately, I've had a ton of things to get done around here. Most notably, getting everything together to complete our Organic Certification. Being certified organic is great and all, but the amount of paperwork and systems required just to create a paper trail makes the effort very arduous.

Organic Honduras Octotepque
Organic Vienna Blend
Kenya Thika French Mission Bourbon

We also celebrated the last day (and birthday) of our General Manager for the last several years (long before my time here). We wish him the best in his future endeavors!

Lastly I'd like to call attention to my photoblog, which could be a lot more of an interesting read depending on the day (like today, its a great post, go read it).

Feb 14, 2011

Painting with Milk

Drinks I made today

I'ts all about presentation when you're serving up a delicious espresso libation. This starts with a clean cup, a perfectly extracted shot of espresso, silky steamed microfoamed milk, and a perfect pouring of the milk into the espresso. This is no easy task to master, these examples were taken a YEAR after I started training as a barsita.

Some argue the necessity for latte art. Yes, it is but an aesthetic addition to a beverage, but it also shows that the barista has had some training; and that separation between white foam and the brown crema of the espresso shows the correct amount of microfoam made it into the cup.