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Archive for January, 2009

Chili

I like to experiment during courses. It keeps the course exciting, especially for myself šŸ™‚

Steve from the Food Detectives (www.virtu-world.com, who we share the office in Worksop with, has developed a chili syrup that is once again, completely natural and ethically produced. I added this syrup to an espresso and topped it with steamed milk. We created like a chili caffe latte and I must say, it was really good.

We now have 42 different flavours available which are all natural and extremely low in calories. Flavours such as bubblegum, watermeloen, bakewell tart and pear drops.

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A year later

Got an email from Peter yesterday who joined a barista course in London last year. He has finally achieved to obtain a coffee shop, congratulations Peter!, and he decided to get in touch for the supply of the coffee. This is the kind of thing that we really like. A year is a long time and to be remembered a year later is fantastic.

Thank you Peter! We will make sure that you are making amazing coffees soon…

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Daterra coffee

Simon and I roasted some Brazillian Daterra yesterday. I have wanted to add this to our product list for a while now and we have finally made the descision to do it. Daterra coffee comes from Brazil and is from a farm which is focusing on producing the best coffee in the world.

We roasted 12 kg of the sweet collection and the roast went very, very well. It was a great roasting profile, exactly the way we liked it. The Absolute Sweet (this is how we call it) was arte15-aused today in a training course in our office. It is a sweet espresso and drinking it with milk is quite strange. It is very light yet still has lots of flavour. A very pleasant easy drinking with absolutely no hint of any bitterness. The kind of coffee that pleases a lot of people. I particularly like this coffee although I might play with it later on to see if we could blend for improvement.

If you would like to read more about the Daterra coffees then have a look at http://www.daterracoffee.com.br/

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Freecoffeeboys.com

A bit of free advice never hurts, right? We would like to make you aware of The Coffee Boys who are two guys from Northern Ireland who have a passion for success in the cafe industry.

They have launced a free information service at www.freecoffeeboys.com

Have a look at it and it might give you some good ideas.

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We are in Sweden for a couple of days and it is very interesting to see the difference in coffee at home. Filter coffee is such a normal way of drinking coffee.

We often ask people in the office if they would like a cup of filter coffee. Most people look surprised and don’t really understand why I would offer a filter coffee when there is an espresso coffee machine right in front of them. It seems that even though they like the filter coffee it is still seen as a lower grade coffee.

We like our filter and cafetiere coffees. It is actually my preferred way of drinking a black coffee. I must say that I really miss my espressos at the moment yet I am enjoying the Swedish filter coffees as well.

Give a filter coffee a try next time. You might really like it. Try some Ehtiopian Mocha as it works great as a filter.

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Up and down

What a great couple of days!

Barista training on Saturday with 3 really nice people who are starting coffee vans. Coffee vans are popular at the moment and it is good fun to teach people a bit of latte art for the van. The coffee vans are all about fast service, excellent customer service and great coffee. And of course you can do latte art in a take out cup šŸ™‚

After the course I drove up to Durham to have a look at an espresso machine that was blocked up. We got a phone call from a somewhat desperate and lovely lady who couldn’t get support for her espresso machine. Of course we came to the rescue šŸ™‚ After back-flushing and resetting the grinder we did a speedy barista course on a Saturday night. At least it was fun and it was a great feeling to help people like this. They are happy to have great coffee and a working machine and we are pleased as well to have a new customer. All good!

And now I am sitting here writingĀ behind the computer absolutely exhausted. JustĀ came back from a 5 hour drive after a fantastic install of a new Rancilio Epoca machine. KarenĀ is a lovely lady in Salisbury who is absolutely dedicated to get latte art right.Ā And I thinkĀ I have never seen anything like it. Coffee after coffee and believe it or not, she was doing fantastic latte art after just a couple of drinks.Ā One day training in Wimbledon with us and now she is doing hearts and rosetta’s like it’s nothing. Good job!Ā 
It feels good to work with people who want to serveĀ great coffee. It just makes the job so much more fun!Ā 

Of to bed as tomorrow is my birthday and yes, I am teaching another barista course in Worksop tomorrow. Good stuff!

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I often wonder whether Michael Schumacher would be interested in driving an automatic car. Probably not. And what if you would see him drive an automatic car… wouldn’t it take a lot of ‘magic’ away? For me it would.

And the same counts for coffee making. Pulling shots for example. Programming a button on the espresso machine to a certain amount of water and using this button shot after shot is not really interesting. Of course it is interesting to see how consistent the espresso is but there is no chemistry between the me and the espresso machine here.

I rather calibrate the coffee grinder, play with the dosage and extract the best espressosĀ I can by manually controlling the amount of water. By manually controlling the amount of water that I put through the coffee I have much more control over the flavour and, call me a control freak, I like that.

Should you apply this when you are working as a barista? I think you should.

It makes making coffee more fun and you will learn a lot from the manual way of coffee making. Plus there is a big plus for presentation. I believe that working as a barista is a form of art and you are an entertainer. The person you are making a coffee for should receive something special. I never just make a coffee, I always try to make the best coffee at the time.

If you have the time to take a little bit extra care then do it. Impress your customer a little extra, make it special and you will love the job so much more.

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