Kamis, 28 Februari 2013

Young, Wise, Undiscovered.

The theme of the TED conference this year is The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered. We're excited to be a part of this event for many reasons, but this theme resonates particularly well with our specialty coffee community. The youthful exuberance of the barista team here at TED is evident and exemplifies this aspect of the theme. The wisdom, knowledge and skill that this group brings to the coffee experience here is remarkable. Furthermore, although you could hardly say these folks are undiscovered within our industry, as many of them are well-known barista champions and active, engaged members of the Barista Guild, we recognize that specialty coffee itself is largely undiscovered. We're working to enhance the awareness of specialty coffee by providing a stellar coffee experience for each attendee that we serve here this week. This remarkable group of knowledgable coffee professionals has stepped up to volunteer their time, away from their jobs and daily lives, and we're humbled by the energy and effort this team of baristas has put forth this week.

Hario at TED

One of the challenges we give ourselves for TEDCoffee is to make 100% of the filter coffee brewed by hand. The purpose of this is threefold: we want to emphasize the nature of coffee as an artisan process (hand-picked, hand-roasted, hand-brewed), we love the theater of brewing on the front bar (and TED is all about theater), and - perhaps most importantly - we’re teaching people that brewing coffee is simple, and can easily be done in one’s kitchen with a minimum of inexpensive, well-designed equipment (and, you know, the D in TED stands for Design).

We’re grateful for Hario Japan’s support of their elegant, high-design equipment on the brew bar. And it’s not just the V60s on the front bar, it’s a complete Hario demonstration station at each bar (scales, brew stands, pouring kettles, filters), and it helps us underscore that beautiful union of great coffee, great baristas, and great tools. Thanks, Hario, for all you do for us.

Selasa, 26 Februari 2013

TEDCoffee and Global Customized Water

So, coffee is 90+ percent water. This in itself makes water important, but of course it gets more important than that. It has to be perfect water, equal to the perfection of the coffee it will eventually be used to extract. It has to be delicious water, equal to the deliciousness of the coffee flavor compounds it suspends and dissolves. And it has to be present and available to be sucked into a boiler of a coffee machine, where it is heated.

At coffee bars, like the ones we run at the TED conference, this means crafting the water to precise tolerances, balancing soluble materials in it to make it perfect for coffee, putting it into 5 gallon bottles, and literally carrying it to us. David Beeman of Global Customized Water does this for us, and it is a monumental and nearly invisible task. Every morning, David strips water down to its essence and builds it up again, and then hand carries it to the tent where we store it before bringing it to the bars. In other words, he’s literally lifted every ounce of water we use to brew with at least 3 times by the time it gets here. It’s a monumentally generous act, especially considering that although we call it a coffee service, it’s actually a coffee-flavored water service. The water is delicious, and it makes what we do possible. Thank you, David, for being our Aquarius.

Senin, 25 Februari 2013

Day One at TED

Day one of TED is winding down and we're looking forward to another exciting day of coffee service tomorrow. 

Our team of baristas traveled from near and far to be a part of this event, volunteering their time and talent to make this remarkable coffee service a reality. 

Follow along with the TED coffee experience at #TEDcoffee on Twitter or tweet us @baristaguild!

Baratza at TED

Coffee service is underway at TED and we're serving some amazing coffees this year! All of this has been made possible by the support of our generous partners. For the crucial task of grinding these coffees to perfection, we are thrilled to partner with Baratza for the TED event this year. They have kindly provided the Vario-W for use by our baristas at all of the coffee bars for the manual brewing service.

From Baratza's blog, "With an event of this size, the need for accuracy, repeatability and reliability on a busy bar is critical. Grinding by weight eliminates the need for the baristas to pre-weigh the coffee, but instead allows the hoppers to be filled with the featured coffees of the hour or day, set the grind size and then grind the dose required, on demand. This allows the baristas to focus their time on the attendees they are serving." 

We agree! Thanks so much to Baratza for generously supporting this effort.

La Marzocco at TED

Shots are flowing and milk is steaming at the coffee bars on this first day of the TED conference in Long Beach, CA thanks to the generosity of our partner La Marzocco, who provided espresso machines and Mazzer grinders, as well as Marco precision hot water delivery systems for TED this year.


La Marzocco has also made possible a do-it-yourself bar where attendees may work hands-on with the espresso machines and with one-on-one guidance from a Barista Guild representative to prepare an espresso beverage. 

“TED is such a unique experiential learning opportunity. In our past participation we’ve found that attendees are curious and hungry to learn more about coffee and the equipment used to prepare coffee. We look forward to providing that experience,” says Kent Bakke, CEO of La Marzocco International.

TED Coffees

We are excited to present these remarkable coffees to TED conference attendees here in Long Beach, CA this week! To follow along with the conversation or leave comments about your coffee experience at TED, visit hashtag #TEDcoffee on twitter.

The Coffees

Company: Deeper Roots Coffee
Roaster: Adam Shaw
Machine: US Roaster 18kilo
Farm: La Armonia Hermosa
Origin: Guatemala
Region: Santa Maria de Jesus
Variety: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai
Processing: washed, sun dried
Certifications: N/A
Source/Importer: Deeper Roots Coffee (self-imported)
Info: La Armonia Hermosa is a coffee development project we began 7 years ago with a small contingent of growers in a village called Santa Maria de Jesus, south of Antigua. The indigenous Mayan farmers are very small producers with 1-2 acres each. We have worked on quality improvements through processing training and better picking. We are currently building one of Guatemala's most eco-friendly wet mills in the village. We purchase this small lot of coffee directly and have been consistently impressed with the quality improvements over the years. Making 2012's crop some of the best yet.
Roast Profile: Roasted in an 18 Kilo roaster in medium size batches for the best temp control. The Guatemala is a light roasted coffee that's not roasted for more than 12 and 1/2 minutes. We put about a 2 minute post-crack development time on it to let the sugars develop enough but not over-roast. With the light roast and post-crack development time we get a bright acidity and developed buttery body with notes of raspberry and peach with some almond-like aromatics in the middle. The coffee finishes clean.

Company: Salt Spring Coffee Company
Roaster: Nelson Teskey
Machine: San Franciscan
Farm: Amaro
Origin: Ethiopia
Region: Sidamo
Variety: Heirloom Ethiopia Cultivar
Processing: Dry Processed
Certifications: Organic
Source/Importer: Volcafe
Info: Meet Asnakech Thomas, Ethiopia’s only female grower, miller and exporter. Full of blackberry and jasmine tea-like tasting notes, this extraordinary coffee is milled and exported by Asnakech Thomas, the sole owner of the Amaro mill and a 250-hectare coffee farm in the Sidamo province of Ethiopia. Incredibly, Asnakech is the only female miller and coffee exporter in the whole of Ethiopia, an inspiring feat in Ethiopia and throughout the coffee industry as a whole. Because Asnakech is the sole grower, miller and exporter of her Arabica coffees, she is able to maintain and harvest incredibly high quality coffees year after year. In fact, this coffee cups at over 90 points (on a 100-point scale), which is a rare and significant accomplishment for any coffee farmer. And although Asnakech’s coffee is certified organic, it is not labeled as certified fair trade. Reason being, Asnakech commands a higher than normal price for her coffees, much higher in fact that the price paid for the average fair trade certified coffee from the Sidamo province. Acquiring fair trade certification at this stage would needlessly cut into Asnakech’s income, resulting in fewer direct funds for her and her family. Freshly roasted and at the peak of its harvest season, we hope you enjoy this coffee as much as we do.
Roast Profile: It took lots of experimentation for our roasting team to find the sweet spot that brought out the complex and subtle notes of Amaro Gayo. Our final technique was to lower flame and be mindful not to scorch the beans - the beans were more delicate than we had expected so this took some work to get right. As it hit its turnaround point, we slowly increased the flame and kept a consistent time/ temperature rate. As we approached first crack, we backed the flame down in order to allow for more development time. The moment we smelled sweet berry in the trier we completed the roast.

Company: Blue Bottle Coffee Company
Roaster: Todd Weiler
Machine: 1965 Probat UG22
Farm: Multiple small-holders
Origin: Ethiopia
Region: Chalalacktu, Oromia
Variety: Heirloom
Processing: Wet processed
Certifications: N/A
Source/Importer: ninety plus
Info: The Ethiopia Kemgin W2 is a ninety plus coffee that we here at blue bottle have been drinking with reckless abandon ever since it entered our warehouse. Kemgin is a title for a specific taste profile as opposed to the name of a farm, washing station, or producer. This year the Kemgin was produced in Chalalacktu and Oromia but have come from Wellega, sidama, and Yirgacheffe in the past. The pronounced ginger and subtle orange are the driving notes in this coffee but you will also find in abundance plenty of lemon, green tea, and molasses.
Roast Profile: I approach our Ethiopia Kemgin pretty aggresively through the drying out stage. I like to have a fair amount of momentum going into first crack and I drastically reduce the flame and level out the curve attempting to stretch the crack. Nearing the end of the crack I boost my flame the last 10 degrees or so, essentially attempting a traditional S-curve. The overall goal here is to somewhat temper the acidity, while accenting the florals and developing a juicier mouth feel and sweetness.

Company: Metropolis Coffee Company
Roaster: Sean Capistrant
Machine: Probat UG-15
Farm: Guji Oromo
Origin: Ethiopia
Region: Guji Zone of Shakiso
Variety: Heirloom
Processing: Washed
Certifications: Organic
Source/Importer: Coffee Shrub
Info: We have nothing but great things to say about this coffee. Not only is it a pleasure to roast, but the overall versatility of this coffee has kept me excited. It had been a while since I had cupped a real 'head-turner', so to speak. What jumps out at you first is the complexity. It goes in some many directions all at once; like a David Axelrod piece (no, not the one with the mustache). Bright lemon flavor with floral overtones dissipating into a toffee finish. This coffee sings loud at so many roast levels. We are proud to serve this exceptional coffee. We are once again truly excited about Ethiopian coffees.
Roast Profile: The complexity of this coffee allows me to go in so many different directions. What I want to highlight is the sweet lemon and floral flavors. This coffee has a delicate tea-like body and crisp acidity at this roast level, as well. I wanted for this coffee to drink much like a lemonade.

Company: Madcap Coffee
Roaster: Ryan Knapp
Machine: Dietrich IR-12
Farm: San Sebastian
Origin: Colombia
Region: La Plata, Huila
Variety: Cattura and Bourbon
Processing: Washed
Certifications: N/A
Source/Importer: Virmax
Info: We have been buying San Sebastian for the past 5 harvests. What I love about this coffee is that it is an effort of really precise selection. All of this coffee comes from growers of OCCICAFE which contains a few hundred growers. To build this particular lot 100's of small lots are cupped and only about 30 are selected to build the desired profile of the San Sebastian each harvest. For the lots chosen to be put into this lot, the growers are paid a premium. Lots that are not selected for this blend of San Sebastian find a home in lower quality blends. What I love is the clarity, clean and sweet flavor that comes as a result of 30+ farmers who are growing, milling and drying their coffee separately - but at the same top-notch standard.
Roast Profile: The San Sebastian was roasted on an IR-12 Dietrich in 18 pound batches. We've found the 67% capacity batch size is where we can maximize sweetness in the roast. The total roast time for this coffee is about 12 minutes and spans 2 minutes and 20 seconds following the first crack. We slowly reduce heat from the drum throughout the roast approaching the first crack, and then slightly increasing the heat input in the final minute of the roast.

Company: Allegro Coffee
Roaster: Bob Goldman
Machine: 120K Probat
Farm: Mamuto
Origin: Kenya
Region: Kirinyaga
Variety: SL28 and SL34
Processing: Kenya processing, washed, dried on raised beds
Certifications: N/A
Source/Importer: Dormans/Olam Specialty
Info: Kenya Mamuto Estate, Kirinyaga District, AA and Peaberry micro lots, Direct Farm Purchase (not an auction lot) Bought via C. Dormans/Olam Specialty Imported. Elevation: 1500 meters, Farm size: 23 Acres total, 13 acres in coffee, Farm Owners: Walter and Muthoni Mathagu. I can't find my notes on the farm so I don't have much info. I know Walter and Mathoni made up the name Mamuto from combining their two names with the names of their children. Walter worked for the government as an agricultural office for 17 years where he learned his coffee farming skills and coffee knowledge. And Muthoni has always helped run the farm and did so for many years while Walter worked. They also have some dairy cows and mixed food crops on the portion of the farm not dedicated to coffee.
Roast Profile: Our Mamuto profile: roast charged at 370 degrees, brought rolling first crack at 375 degrees between 8-8:30 minutes, reduced flame and coasted up to 398 degrees, cut flame and let ramp up to 402 degrees and dropped. Total roast time 12 minutes. Goal was to find a balance between the acidity, body and aromatics of the Mamuto. Didn't want it to be too acid forward, but to still have some juicy black berry and grapefruit punch.

Company: Verve Coffee Roasters
Roaster: Ian Levine
Machine: Probat UG-15
Farm: Konga Cooperatives
Origin: Ethiopia
Region: Yirgacheffe
Variety: Heirloom
Processing: Washed
Certifications: Organic at Co-op level
Source/Importer: Café Imports
Info: For the last five years we have offered coffee from the Konga Coop. Yirgacheffe has always been one of our favorite regions from any producing nation, and we think that Konga produces the gem of the entire region. Colby Barr has been visiting Konga over the past three harvests and has been lucky enough to see a rise in the quality of the lots that he has chosen over all of those years. This year he cupped a vast array of samples while at Konga and fell in love with a few. He also found five other lots from around Yirgacheffe that he knew he wanted to have. The lots from Konga fell through the cracks and were swooped up by an importer. When he arrived back in Santa Cruz he went to work finding where is adored lots of Konga had gone. Café Imports had just received their shipment of coffees that they had brought in from Ethiopia including three farmer-specific lots as well as one sole Konga lot. We roasted the samples upon arrival, and Colby fell in love with two coffees. One was a farmer-specifc lot from a man named Birhanu Bali Jilo, and the other, which he knew had to be Konga by the taste, was in fact Konga. So, what seemed like a chance that Konga would end its run of years-in-a-row on our menu, turned out to be a deal at the 25th hour. We are grateful that coffee buying is a mix of determination, timing, relationship-building and ability to taste coffee, but also you just need some luck every now and then. That luck is why we are fortunate to offer Konga this year.
Roast Profile: Our Konga was roasted on a 15 kilo Probat. The approach was pretty simple; high ramp throughout with two short interludes of less heat. We put all of our burners on to near capacity starting after the turn and allow for 6 minutes of uninterrupted heat development, at 8 minutes we lessen the half burner and 11 minutes we lessen the full burner and allow the roast to reach 403 bean bed temperature.

Company: Irving Farms Roasting Company
Roaster: Clyde Miller
Machine: Diedrich CR-60
Farm: Coopac
Origin: Rwanda
Region: Lake Kivu
Variety: Bourbon
Processing: Washed
Certifications: Organic, Fair Trade
Source/Importer: Royal NY
Info: Founded in 2001, Coopac is a collective of coffee farmers around Lake Kivu, in the Nya-myumba region of Rwanda. The coop was organized to provide technical assistance and improved marketability for the producers of coffee in this region. Since 2001 the coop has grown from 100 members to a little over 2000 members. This year marks their first lot of Organic Certified coffee, and we’re excited to have the first ever Organic coffee from Rwanda. The farmer members of this coop usually have only about a quarter hectare of land each, and because of their small size the technical assistance and coop structure are vital to their farms. Coopac has multiple washing stations to ensure that ripe cherry gets processed quickly after picking, and employs modern mechanical de-pulpers, and fermentation tanks. This equipment helps the coop produce quality coffee and protect the environment. Their techniques have won them a reputation for great coffees, including multiple “cup of excellence” winning coffees. This coffee was produced in their tradition, and has the unique hallmarks of washed bourbon from Rwanda.
Roast Profile: The roaster used for Rwanda is a Deidrich CR-60, going into this I wanted to get as much potential from this coffee I could. The profile was quick from start to just about 1st crack at 15-19 deg. per minute. In that time frame the quality of color was very even through out, and at 8:11/ 347deg. the roast was generating a sweet cinnamon aroma. 1st was a 10 min at 382 deg at that time the ratio was 10-15 deg per min it was still a quick roast with under 2 min from 1st to finish with a sweet plum/raisin just before drop.

Company: Blue Bottle Coffee
Roaster: Todd Weiler
Machine: 1965 Probat UG22
Farm: Cenfrocafe
Origin: Peru
Region: Cajamarca
Variety: Typica, Bourbon, Pache, Caturra, and Catimor
Processing: Washed and Swiss Water Decaffeinating process
Certifications: Fair Trade, Organic
Source/Importer: Zephyr Green Coffee
Info: You’ve made the shift. Choosing the health benefits of free-range and organic, eating in-season, and paying closer attention to what goes in your body. And, what doesn’t. So it makes sense that reducing caffeine is a part of your healthy lifestyle. But many people are surprised to learn that to decaffeinate coffee, most processes use chemical solvents to remove the caffeine. The Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company is the only company in the world that uses water from the coast mountains of British Columbia and the proprietary Swiss Water® Process to decaffeinate coffee. 0% methylene chloride. 0% ethyl acetate and 99.9% caffeine free. Be sure you know what you’re drinking.
Roast Profile: I tried to approach the SWP decaf peru with a bit of caution. I have found Swiss Water's to be pretty volatile in the roaster, almost like a natural. Too much aggression always seems to produce more surface oils and a carbon in the cup. I like to drop at a higher charge temp with lower flame, then I gradually raise flame to full strength about 2-3 minutes before first crack I begin to gradually decrease my flame finishing with little to no flame. It produces a pretty standard roasting curve. after cupping it today I realized why SWP chose this coffee to rep, its a super sweet cup with chocolate and tart cherry juice notes. candied lemon peel and nice spice finish.

Sabtu, 23 Februari 2013

North East Regional Barista Competition and Brewers Cup Winners

Samuel Lewontin of Everyman Espresso, New York, NY 609 points
North East Regional Barista Competition Winner

2nd Brian Gelletly of Ultimo Coffee, Philadelphia, PA  581 points
3rd Jordan Barber of Intelligentsia Coffee, New York, NY 561.5
4th  Anne Cooper of Dallis Bros. Coffee, New York, NY  553.5 points
5th Mike Morgenstern of Joe Coffee, New York, NY 537 points
6th Tamara Vigil of Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, New York, NY 529 points

Jordan Barber of Intelligentsia Coffee, New York, NY
North East Reginal Brewers Cup Winner

2nd Erin McCarthy of
Counter Culture Coffee, New York, NY
3rd Josip Drazenovich of Dallis Bros. Coffee, Queens NY
4th Tamara Vigil 0f Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, New York, NY
5th Amanda Whitt of Everyman Espresso, New York, NY
6th Andrew Blumhagen of Sweetleaf, New York, NY 

You can read a Sprudge.com recap of Sam Lewontin's win via the link:

Don't forget you can get all your live updates from our Digital Media Sponsor @SprudgeLive and chat with other digital viewers through the official SCAA Livestream Channel!

Photos by Sprudge.com