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  • s the first time I ve ever been to a place where the sea was frozen obviously has a lot to do with it The quality of the coffee served ranges from good to excellent regardless of the brewing methods involved All the baristas I saw at work had solid technique to back up the drink quality The UK on the other hand not so much The only decent barista pulled shot I had there came from an Aussie I did manage to get some other acceptable coffees but they were all push button from either superauto pod or capsule machines As I have said before these types of machines are steadily taking over portions of the traditional espresso market all throughout Europe What I haven t said before is that some of these espresso systems are actually starting to achieve acceptable results In particular the commercial version of the Nespresso system which uses foil pods rather than the expensive little metal capsules makes a drinkable espresso The foil pod seems to preserve the coffee far better than ordinary pod packaging Certainly I never detected any trace of stale coffee flavours from the Nespressos I tasted unlike coffees from other pod systems and superautos I would actually go so far as to recommend this system for office use It s clean quick and relatively foolproof The milk delivery system isn t as good producing a hot aerated froth rather than true microfoam but it s OK given the overall standard of the drink involved This month there won t be a special coffee since I haven t had time to do the necessary roasting and cupping involved I thought I d point you towards the new entrants on our list of coffees instead any of these would have rated a

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/may2011.html (2015-11-27)
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    want one please be quick Based on the Euro cost to get the machines here prices have actually gone up but luckily for us the strong Aust Dollar has evened things up The same thing has happened in the coffee world where the US Dollar green coffee price has continued its spectacular rise Most noticeable from my point of view is how crop failures and shortages are distorting traditional price relationships For many years the most expensive green coffee I regularly bought was the Nicaraguan Maragogype Around 3 years ago weather induced crop failures in Colombia led to shortages which made the Colombian Maragogype the most expensive Then hurricane affected Cuban coffee knocked the Colombian off the top spot not to mention the extra cost of Cuban Peaberry when the standard coffee wasn t available Now there is a severe shortage of Sumatran green coffee after heavy rains earlier this year damaged the coffee cherries on the trees This means that Sumatra Mandheling has just moved to the top of the price list although I won t be changing the roasted coffee price just yet It s a spectacular example of how shortages and substitutions are making procuring exceptional coffees ever more difficult and expensive Not all the news is bad though I ve had many customers asking when we see the Organic Timor Maubesse and the New Guinea Suavee AX again The Timor beans could be as much as 3 months off but with a bit of luck the New Guinea is only 4 to 5 weeks away The long lead times can be a real pain because you never really know how good a coffee you ve committed to is until it arrives Sometimes you do get lucky though as is the case with the June Special Ethiopian

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/june2011.html (2015-11-27)
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    anyone asks sorry but it can t be retrofitted to older machines The PL53 grinder has a much larger hopper 450 grams capacity which is more transparent but no other changes It s nice to see incremental upgrades to the machines although as with most things to do with Italian espresso the pace of change is glacially slow It s only taken 16 years to get rid of the froth aid thingies I ve put up a new How to repair article on the website specifically aimed at the Lelit machines and element replacement There are quite a few differences compared to the Imat and Nemox versions of these machines most of them related to Lelit s use of quick release hose connectors For this month s special coffee I decided a complete contrast to June s lemony acidy Yirgacheffe would be good which meant a sweet low acid type coffee Naturally enough my thoughts turned to Brazil and finding a superb example of a typical Brazilian coffee As usual I started cupping and lo and behold I happened on a microlot from Decio Bruxel Decio is the coffee grower and his farm is the Fazenda São João in the Cerrado region of Brazil If you type his name into Google his bio and independent assessments of his coffee are available online Basically he and his family moved their coffee plantation to the Cerrado area after the disastrous frosts in the 1990 s He is involved with Nucoffee a Brazilian sustainable agriculture organization which is also involved in improving conditions for farm workers The microlot thing means that there is only a teensy amount of this coffee produced a couple of dozen 60kg bags and it s a one off next years production will be a different lot So the

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/july2011.html (2015-11-27)
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    counsel everyone not just the gluten intolerant to avoid them The second was that coffee and grains are often processed on the same equipment Unless you re talking about the hand operated stone querns used in Ethiopia and Somalia to grind both coffee and grain this doesn t happen Coffee roasters and coffee grinders are simply not suitable for processing grains The final myth was that flour or starch is used as a kind of lubricant for coffee processing machinery as part of moving the beans both before and after roasting This turns out to be not only a No but a Hell No Coffee conveyancing equipment generally involves large volumes of air movement and finely divided flour particles suspended in air in the presence of open flames coffee roasters are a recipe for a Great Big Kaboom In general all coffee instant ground or beans is gluten free The exceptions may be instant coffee mixes and flavored coffee beans The mixes often have all sorts of nasty things on the ingredient list and the syrups and oils used to flavour beans may be thickened with starch products Just because coffee is gluten free doesn t mean it won t upset your gut There are all sorts of other things including caffeine chlorogenic acids and tannins which may affect some people s digestive systems Robusta based coffees most instant coffees and some espresso blends have more of all three so avoid them if you are in the sensitive category Swiss Water decaffeinated coffees seem to have the least effect probably because the process removes acids and tannins as well as caffeine During July I also did a heap of cupping with a view to current and future specials Among the coffees were 5 pre shipment microlot samples all from a

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/august2011.html (2015-11-27)
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  • ve brought forward a coffee I was actually saving up for Christmas Yemen Mokha Ismaili 56 00 kg This is certainly the last we ll see of this particular coffee for a long time The political turmoil in Yemen means that we are unable to confirm forward shipments for at least the next couple of years Not a coffee for the casual drinker it has a penetrating cocoa like aroma and complex earthy flavour with distinctive unsweetened cocoa coffee tastes There is little in the way of sweetness or acidity but swirling it in the mouth brings a continuous perception of differing flavours It probably makes one of the best most complex single origin espressos on earth One thing to be aware of is that Yemen is one of the very few coffees that improves with age after roasting often taking a week or more to reach its peak and then staying there for quite a while In more good news some of the coffees that disappeared from our list earlier this year are coming back First will be the New Guinea Suavee AX then the standard Café de Cuba We re still waiting on the Organic Timor but we should have it before December And now for a source of perennial complaints we give you Australia Post There are many good things to be said about our postal service They are relatively cheap they deliver everywhere in Australia and they damage or lose less than 1 of our parcels It s that 1 that gives us nightmares There are reasons we try to ship most of our machines by courier mostly far less damage and pilfering In the last couple of weeks we ve had several examples of both ordinary and express post parcels simply not being delivered and

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/september2011.html (2015-11-27)
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  • years ago they were appearing in McCafes and Starbucks Today they are present in ordinary bars restaurants hotels and sandwich shops By my admittedly rough count about one in every two venues offering espresso drinks was using either a Superauto or a pod machine By the time we got to the Host exhibition it came as no surprise that almost all of the new offerings from espresso machine manufacturers were Superauto or pod machines The quality of the espresso produced is less than stellar but people seem to accept it I had a brief chat with 2010 World Barista Champ Gwilym Davies which confirmed my observations that great espresso is no longer a major Italian goal The manufacturers know their markets and are obviously well on top of these trends The only other new technology I saw was PID temperature control of individual brew groups which really isn t that novel The other really interesting thing was the complete lack of new domestic machine offerings with the exception of Lelit It would appear that the major machine makers have ceded the domestic machine market to pods superautos and Chinese manufacturers for the forseeable future The Lelit exception was Finally a PID controlled brass boiler standard 58mm group machine which should be available soon It s what the Rancilio Silvia should have been 5 years ago but still isn t today Price and availabilty to come One interesting new small grinder I saw was offered by Casadio which is Cimbali Faema s second brand It looked very familiar and turned out to be a slightly blinged up Sunbeam EM0480 variant so there must already be a certain amount of commerce between the Italian companies and Chinese manufacturing facilities There will be a separate article about my HOST experiences in the next

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/november2011.html (2015-11-27)
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  • the day after it is received the time in between is spent roasting the necessary coffees The large increase in order volumes over the next 3 weeks means that it may take 2 or even 3 days after receipt to get an order away This year s Chrismas special coffee is the result of technological advances in a traditional coffee growing area Sumatran coffee has been processed by more or less the same rough and ready methods for the last 100 years or so Modern methods of processing coffee cherry are only now starting to be applied with mixed results as far as coffee flavour is concerned It appears that a lot of the low acid earthy tasting full bodied character typical of Sumatra Mandheling is the result of the way it s processed However it seems that by choosing the right sort of coffee varietal and processing it correctly you can retain the full body but get bonus flavours in the form of chocolate and spicy notes with a hint of lemon Sumatra Wahana Rasuna 44 00 kg A sweet malty aroma with chocolate and cinnamon spice and a rich creamy finish This is the sort of coffee which goes well with plum pudding and custard makes a rich Irish Coffee and is also perfect as an espresso to kickstart the old brain on the morning after Finally I ve had a chance to play around with the new Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine and I must say that it seems to do the things it is supposed to quite well especially when teamed with a good grinder After a look under the hood I do have reservations about its repairability and longevity but when I commented on this to the owner he said basically Never mind I expect

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/december2011.html (2015-11-27)
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  • coffee but more or less guaranteed that it would be no worse than good Coupled with a great marketing campaign featuring Juan Valdez and his donkey this firmly established Colombian coffee as the byword for excellence in the mind of the great American public And then along came the idea of Specialty Coffee with its obsessive attention to detail its cupping and tasting and scoring and ranking systems its emphasis on crop management and terroir and processing and freshness All of a sudden 100 Colombian was no longer a guarantee of the best in coffee In fact most generic Colombian coffees rated somewhere in the low to mid 80s against the 90s required for true specialty grade coffees There have always been exceptions to generic though The Colombian Maragogype that I ve been selling for over 25 years has been one of them a distinct varietal that only grows in certain conditions and can t be replaced by higher yielding or more disease resistant species which generally have inferior flavour Not always it seems There is a coffee varietal called Castillo which is fungus resistant high yielding and supposedly good enough to win the 2010 Colombia Cup Of Excellence auction with a record score of 94 5 This has generated much debate in the specialty coffee world most of it from people who have never actually tasted the coffees being debated When it comes to the roasting and cupping process for my monthly special coffees there is only one factor that determines the coffee I choose taste One coffee stood out in the selection process and it s this month s special Colombian La Union 44 00 kg The outstanding characteristics of this coffee are its fruity aroma and sweet acidity These are backed up by a rich coffee flavour

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/february2012.html (2015-11-27)
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