Einträge zum Thema tmc

Sonntag, 19. April 2009

Gwilym Davies of UK and Colin Harmon of Ireland in the WBC '09 finals

This is giving me goosebumps, seriously. Sorry for being silent so long, new home, more study and less coffee are the causes - that will go on for quite a while, too. But seeing both Gwylim and Colin (also both members of TMC) in the finales in Atlanta makes me go all crazy and reenergizes the littel coffee freak in me. Congratulations!

Freitag, 11. Juli 2008

Panama Esmeralda Special

On TMC and the Kaffee-Netz I expressed that I'd love to taste some of the Panama Hacienda Esmeralda Special Batch 5 (see the auction result). You can guess my puzzled face when I opened a parcel from Austria that was eagerly awaited: my latest shipment from Walter that not only contained my order, but also this little gem:

Panama Hacienda Esmeralda Special Batch 5 sample

Yes, Walter really sent me one of his last samples of the Batch 5! I can't wait to get my hands on a sample roaster and finally try it out. Thank you so much Walter, you made my day (and probably the days of the next weeks also. And after that the next months, until I can actually order that coffee from you, when you'll make my days again!)! Oh and by the way, your 'special blend' tastes damn fine (I'll get back to that once I had a few more shots of it)!

I'm stunned. This is just awesome!

Mittwoch, 21. November 2007

Yemen Matari

A few days ago I had a small surprise in the post - Walter kindly sent me some of his Yemen Matari Mokka - both roasted and unroasted. Thank you Walter, this is so kind and I still can't believe it.

Before my machine was up to temperature I couldn't wait and aeropress'd a cup of it: don't do that at home kids, this coffee is purely for your espresso machine. Really.

The bag is nearly finished now and I fear I can't replicate these intense nice tastes when I roast it on my own: It makes a very thick syrupy espresso, dense body and a very intensive mouthfeel. Tastes of (don't laugh) toasted wood in syrup-shape, with a nice acidity lingering on the tongue. And it's sweetness reminds me of liquorice - a little weird and very surprising taste experience. Thick, dense, sweet and full of body. It works best for me dosing low, grinding fine and doing a ristretto-type extraction. I can't say much about the aroma (catched a cold and can't really smell, I'm glad that I still can taste).

This coffee is just plain different from everything I've had before and seeing the greens, I see why Steve (and Walter probably too) have problems sourcing a good Yemen - they look a bit ugly and chaffy and not really consistent. But the taste is overwhelming and this Yemen really is fantastic.

Samstag, 17. November 2007

A Clover in the news

Wow. Just found this via Baristamagazine's Pasteboard: The Economist writes about the Clover. They seem to be impressed. Would that mean that the Clover is becoming mainstream? Oh dear I'd hope so! I'd really love to have one in the neighbourhood. Given that the coffee that's fed into it is up to equally high standards, though.

Montag, 12. November 2007

Two Months and Grinders

The last post was two months ago, and a blog without posts and without comments seems a bit boring. Anyway, what am I up to currently?

Edit: Comments work again, and spamprevention should now keep away most spammers.

Mahlkönig Original Favorite

Well, I stopped working as a barista. The last two years have been really interesting and full of ups and downs and I came around quite a bit (I really miss meeting the people even more than I miss travelling) - but I couldn't really get university on the one and being a barista on the other hand to work together well, so I had to make this decision sooner or later (People who know me know that I absolutly hate to admit this: I need to earn money more efficiently. So back to computers and networks for now). But this has lead to some interesting side effects: since I no longer have access to the two-group Reneka at work, I really had to start working with my old LaCimbali Junior at home. And it is an old, picky beast. During the last few weeks however, with the help of the naked portafilter and Bruce's LaCimbali grinder, my shots got better and better. I learnt dosing from the doser with the typical thwack-thwack-thwack, and I now can dose quite repeatedly the same amount of grounds without a timer or scale and without waste. I learnt distributing the grounds so as my machine doesn't spit the coffee out anymore, and I learnt getting shots from blends I haven't mastered before and I'm quite proud of that ;) I'm not saying my techniques were rubbish before (they weren't, I went through a hard school during the last years), but new, commercial and well-looked-after equipment is just so much more forgiving than old, not-quite-looked-after, semi-commercial machines. I learnt being a home-barista, and I'm loving it. Only if it weren't so damn expensive! And at the same time, I'm confident that my dull-machin-mastering-skills will be of use in a professional environment, too.

Mahlkönig Brasilia

At the end of the week, I expect a delivery of 7kg of Walter's finest (as green) and I really look forward to it - promises to be much fun in roasting, cupping and generally enjoying mighty fine coffee. Maybe even a competition coffee? Who knows!

Oh, and as you see, I got completly mad on the grinder front last month (but don't ask about my bank account, please).

Mittwoch, 12. September 2007

All you need in a drawer

This is basically the most important drawer I have in my kitchen ...

Actually, this post is just an excuse to announce that I have removed all comments on this blog because of massive spam abuse ... but nevertheless the picture speaks for itself :)

Freitag, 3. August 2007

James' Performance at the WBC

And just to spread it even wider: James' final performance in this years World Barista Championship!

He just seemed to be - well - really enjoying it. Well done, again!

Donnerstag, 2. August 2007

James Hoffmann is World Barista Champion!

He made it!

More at Zachary and Katies!

Dienstag, 31. Juli 2007


They're crazy!

Have a look at ZacharyZachary. They're videoblogging the whole event and try to put up every single competitor. I didn't see all but my personal highlight of today is the Swedish national champion, I really like his extraordinary style of pulling shots! Watch out tomorrow morning (in Tokyo local time, whenever that will be here) for James Hoffmann aka Jimseven, he'll be competing first in the morning representing the UK. Last year, he placed fifth in Bern, and I wish him all the best for place three, two or even one this year! And at 3pm Tokyo time, watch the german Barista Champion Matthias Linke to his presentation ... let's see how he'll make it!

Montag, 30. Juli 2007

World Barista Championship '07

Tomorrow, the world barista championship starts off in Tokyo. I'm feeling dizzy and totally puzzled just by reading and watching ZacharyZachary.com, Jim's blog and others. It's thousands of kilometers away but I wish I could be there!

Rock on James and show them how to make a cup of real good coffee :) I'm really looking forward to see the results and the presentations of the competitors.

Mittwoch, 25. April 2007

About coffee freshness

Again there was some discussion about coffee freshness on TMC, and I thought I'd share my two pence.

Under normal circumstances, I wholeheartedly agree that coffee gets incredibly stale, unpleasant and unbearable within two to three weeks after roasting. This is also the mantra that get's repeated by the people "in-the-know" over and over. Taste fresh coffee and know that you had black, bitter and hot water all your life before! Freshness is the key in having a good cup of coffee (or espresso).

But (there has to be a "but"!) this two to three week period applies to coffee beans that are exposed to air during that time (I'm sure there are other factors to it, but I don't know them).

If the coffee is left alone for two or three months in a sealed, air-tight bag with a one-way valve (ie without a steady supply of fresh air to breathe), you open the bag and make a coffee right away - I doubt that you would taste a big difference compared to coffee from a bag that was just a few days old. Been there, done that and hell was I surprised :)

After opening that bag, ie letting the air get to the coffee, it still goes wreck within a week or two (of course. It even seems to me that it goes stale faster than "real" fresh coffee goes). But in my experience coffee can be kept quite fresh for a while! Some say six months, I don't know - but I know that even two to three months old coffee can taste really good. If it was stored appropriatly that is. And if it was good anyway and all the other factors were ok, too.

Update: Steve and Cakey appearently disagree. I change camps every now and then, but I do give much about Steve's judgment when it comes to everything coffee. My own experience as stated above tought me that coffee can still be quite fresh after a while, but it could as well have been the low expectations I had when opening the old bags ;). I guess I just need more time to think about this "problem" and evaluate ...

Sonntag, 15. April 2007

Oh shameless plug

Have a look here!

Sonntag, 29. Oktober 2006

What a weekend

Oh my. During my shift yesterday, one of our two machines broke down. On a saturday midday during rushhour. Not funny. All of a sudden my shift extended itself by about 2 hours - so I was in the shop from 8am to around 7pm.

I then went to a friend to borrow her car for the night. While driving home, It's dynamo broke down, too. Not funny.

Next day, the car was working again. Drove 60km to bring my fiancee home. Drove back. After 20km, the front-right wheel went bang. Not funny. Well, however, the funny thing was that that very wheel already was the spare wheel. Really not funny ...

I think I need some sleep. Maybe I just shouldn't touch any mechanical thing in the next days. How good that computers are mainly non-mechanical ... argh.

Freitag, 13. Oktober 2006

Dublin writeups

James Hoffman and Stephen Morrisey already made writeups of the SCAE Coffee Team Challenge in Dublin. I'll be doing one too in the next weeks, but first I need to get all my pictures sorted which will take a while ... in the meanwhile, just read Jim's writeup and Stephen's. How nice that I'm on so many pictures on Jims blog! I think most people agree that the cupping competition was the most fun, and the filter brewing workshop the most educational. See you in Cologne next year!

Samstag, 7. Oktober 2006

Dublin ahead

I still can't believe I'm going to Dublin. In less than a day, the European Team Coffee Championship will take place at the Royal Dublin Society's. And I'm part of the german team ... wow. I look especially forward to buy Steve and Gary a guinness! The lectures and workshops promise to be very interesting, and I really fear the blind latte art contest. Can't stop being nerveous!

Samstag, 9. September 2006

French Press Update

So, about my recent tips for using the french press, I propagated a one-minute brewing time and a quite fine grind. Steve suggests in an article on his coffeearticles.co.uk website a 4-minute brewing time. Who's right? Who knows better? I mean, come on, Steve's the man, he just has to know. Or not?

Well, as with everything about coffee, it just comes down to taste. And experimenting. I recently roasted a batch of ethiopian Limu and brazil Bourbon, both delivered from Joey. The descriptions of the Limu I read suggested it's got slightly less body then the ethiopian Yrgacheffe I know quite good now, but more fruitness. I struggled hard to get that in the cup with my method - and tried Steves, a 3 and a half minute brewing time. But that gave me a quite bitter brew with none of the deepness in the cup that I like. Well, it came together then: bitter? hell, overextracted it is. Reasons? Too long brew time, too fine grind.

Tried again, 2 and a half minute, a slight coarser grind. Just sipping the last drops of it, they're cold by now, and just full of fruit. It was actually so enjoyable that I hate myself for not having roasted some more in the last days! Arg, have to wait now for a new roast to gas out a little.

So, lessons learnt today: everything is relative. For each and every new bean, and roast, experiment with the variables. 4 minute brewing time, but too bitter? Try a coarser grind and/or shorter brewing time. 1 minute brewing time and too harsh? Try a longer brewing time. And what not. The result in the cup is what matters!

Samstag, 2. September 2006

Let the fun begin!

So, with all these little nifty things in place, and the PID finally arrived - let the fun begin! I took the machine apart earlier, and really hope I won't ever see a 30°C difference in the boiler temperature again. If this turns out well, I really have the hope that I successfully fought upgradeitus for quite a while.

Montag, 31. Juli 2006

Drinking Coffee too fast

I drink my coffee way too fast. Just recognized (again) how lovely a slightly cooled down cup of Yrgacheffe can taste. Left it alone for a few minutes, came back, and all the heavyness was gone, left in the cup was this slight sweet fruitiness, light but lovely body and generally nice taste. ~100g of greens left now ... need to place an order soon.

Samstag, 29. Juli 2006

Out of Yrgacheffe

Exactly two months ago I wrote this:

"I'm so glad that I've got nearly 4 kilos left of it! Trying it out as an espresso should also be fun. Finally, I'm a full blown home roaster! Yay!"

I've got half a kilo left now and am still not sick of it. I love this coffee and I love roasting, even though it's quite difficult to get right at times. I need more greens ...

Montag, 29. Mai 2006

French Press tips

There seem to be many different opinions on how to brew coffee in a french press. As a reference, see the Howto on Coffeegeek, which I find great, albeit my opinion now differs from what Mark recommends. So, here's how I brew lately. Prerequisites:

Put around 2 measuring spoons of ground coffee into the french press, and immediatly pour the hot water over it. Begin to count the seconds or stop the time as the water reaches the coffee! Right after adding the water, put the press together. After around 45 seconds, push the press down a bit and pull it up again, so that the grinds float around. After around 1 minute, push it down. Serve immediatly. And that's it.

I was using the pour-water-then-stir-wait-3-minutes-press-down method before, and found it to be quite good. But at the stand of the London School of Coffee in Bern I was shown this method, and the result blew me away. The taste of the coffee gets more pronounced, you get a bit less body, a bit less coffee-oomph, but way more of the bean qualities in the cup: If you tasted "this bean is a bit fruity" before, you'll now taste more of "hmmm, that's fruity. Maybe peach?" in it. I absolutely love this!

Of course, this is not a scientific method, and the results will vary from each try to another (you can't really control the water temperature, only guess, and you'll not always count the seconds, and you'll not always use the same amount of coffee, and coffee taste and behaviour changes as it gets older and and and and), but for me, this guideline paid out pretty well.

Montag, 29. Mai 2006

New Yirgacheffe Crop

In Bern, I collected 4 kilos of green Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (2006 crop), which Steve thankfully brought there for me. Also, I collected a new roaster, which is pretty much the same as this one, only without evil stinking coating on it so that it is actually possible to roast coffee within. And man, it's great and makes fun. And it's considerably easier, because cranking is a lot less exhausting as stirring like mad.

So, these two goods combined, I roasted a batch of Yirgacheffe yesterday (as Steve suggests, just into second crack, took about 15 minutes) and tasted it a few minutes ago, in the frech press. And wow, it's easily the pretty best coffee I ever had in my little french press so far! The first sip was what I expected it to be: a pretty good ethiopian YIrgacheffe. But as the coffee cooled down, the taste got more and more complex, fruity, with more oomph every minute. I love this coffee!

I'm so glad that I've got nearly 4 kilos left of it! Trying it out as an espresso should also be fun. Finally, I'm a full blown home roaster! Yay!

Samstag, 20. Mai 2006

The Berne Show

I'm currently sitting at a PC within the backpackers were I stay, and trying to just handle what happened the last few days.

Arrived at the World of Coffee yesterday, at around 10am, just a few minutes before Eric Wolf (german Champion) had his heat. And a few things made the experience a bit crazy:

Did you hear about the Clover? I did. While listening to the portafilter.net podcasts, while reading some blogs of some american coffee addicts. The first thing happened when we arrived was that I saw a machine that I somehow recognized. At the very moment I asked myself what it actually was, a thought crossed my head: Oh my God. It's the Clover. It's the $9000 single cup brewing Clover I heard so many professionals raving about. And it was just standing in front of my eyes. I really didn't believe it at first.

The next thing, when we entered the competition room was like a stab in the face to me: a shiney brand new La Marzocco GS3 sitting there, waiting to be taking home from me ... oh, I seem to be dreaming. It's just a price for the master himself, the next World Barista Champion.

Then there was this voice that I recognized, but couldn't associate a face with. No wonder, well, it was Nick Cho from the portafilter.net podcast fame. I never saw him or met him personally, but just heard im on the 'net.


I haven't even talked about the competing champions from all around the world. Eric, who did a pretty great show, and took 8 seconds overtime because the judges forgot to tell him. Klaus from Denmark, who did a performance that made me shivering. It was astounding. He was so calm, so passionate, so professional. And with every word he said, every move he made, you knew that he just lives coffee and damn knows what he's actually talking about.

It was great to see Steve, Jim, James, Gary, Joey and Marcy from toomuchcoffee.com - getting faces to the nicknames, talking in the real world, having a beer and much fun in general. I wished the Mocca Club was not that far away (Vienna ... hhhmm), and I wished that Stafford was just around the corner. I sure would be a regular at the Mocca Club and also watching over Steve's shoulder while he roasts, and trying to catch up with cupping and things.

And Bern. I fell in love with this city the moment we arrived. It's just plain beautiful. I like the style here, the people are pretty nice. Yesterday, I've been to two random restaurants, and I got pretty darn good food at both (ok, ok, ok, admitted, it was expensive. But Good! Man!). Do that in germany and chances are high that you get some pretty average to bad food.

I like the architecture here. And the feeling and look when driving over the Kornhausbruecke into the city is just divine.

All in all, it's really a great and inspiring experience being here. The best thing is: there's still one day to go. Tomorrow are the World Barista Championship finals, to which Jim is attending. Unfortunatly, Eric didn't make it. From the people I saw, he definitly should have been there, but I just saw a few. Ah, and tomorrow I can sip one more coffee made by the clover - the bolivian number one Cup of Excellence maybe? Ah, it's fun. And there's so much more to say, but I'll stop raving now. Back to Germany tomorrow, and we'll sure be having fun at the Leineweber market in Bielefeld in the Store!

Update: I added some links to give you some background infos on what I'm actually talking about :)

Donnerstag, 18. Mai 2006

Going to bern

I'm just starting packing up things for the Bern Show. And still can't believe that I'm really going to get there to see the World Barista Championship, meet some fellow TMC'ers and all that stuff. Amazing! Really amazing.

Mittwoch, 10. Mai 2006

I'm lovin' it!

Just finished roasting a batch of Ethiopian Harrar Longberry in a big cooking pot. A bit more uneven than I wanted it to be, but as Steve suggests, I took it into second crack and watched out for the oils. Total roasting time was 23 minutes. Tasting notes to follow on the weekend! And as I'm awaiting guests for friday, I have to go on for another batch of the Kenya Peaberry blend.

Update: Hmm, after drinking a bit of this I think that it's a little bit on the light side. Or maybe it just has such a high acidicy that it's not thaaat drinkable as a single origin ... who nows? Next time I'll try to lower the roast time a bit by rising the heat, and taking it a little bit darker. Fun thing!

Another update: hm. The cup is now cooled down ... like hand-warm ... and there's no acidity left? Strange!

The last update: Above tasting notes are for the Kenyan Rukira, not for the Harrar, in case anyone wonders. D'oh, need more caffeeine today.

Dienstag, 9. Mai 2006

Bye bye, my beloved MDF

I think I can never again use my small Gaggia MDF grinder and enjoy it like I did before. Really.

When I first got the big commercial grinder, I was astounded what a difference the quality of the grind made in the actual cup of espresso. It was the same day-and-night difference feeling that I got from changing the burrs in my MDF.

Since then, I used the big grinder for Espresso and the MDF for french press/Vacpot coffee. Yesterday night I tried the big one for french press, too, and the result was amazing! I never before got such a clarity and so few grounds in the cup at home. The taste was much more pronounced than what I usually get, not very different from what I expected, just sooo much more distinct, quality-wise.

I love these totally mind-boggling experiences, when you have a stupid idea, do it at 10pm knowing that you won't be able to sleep for a while but are just too curious, and this surprise after the first sip. Went to bed with a smile yesterday ;)

In other news, I recently began to roast in a big cooking pot. With the high borders, the risk of beans flying around in the kitchen is dramatically reduced. And when stirring like a total idiot for twenty minutes, the roast even gets pretty even! On the picture is the rest of what I roasted on Sunday.

Mittwoch, 19. April 2006

St. Helena Coffee

I'm just drinking a cup of coffee from St. Helena, a small island in the south atlantic. When I was in Hamburg last week, I bought 125g of this excellent coffee, which was roasted just the morning I bought it. The first cup of it on the next morning was great, although not very ... pronounced. The beans (and the grind!) are smelling like, how should I say ... beaf stock. A very intense spicy, meaty smell. I felt lucky when I didn't taste that flavour in the cup. But now, 6 days after the coffee was roasted, it is even more dominant - and comes through pretty tasty in the cup, and I'm really happy about it. The coffee is very bright, which makes it seem light, and yet it has a very spicy and earthy aftertaste. Steve says somehwere there is also grapefruit, but I can't identify that. He describes the St. Helena peaberry, though, and I don't think that these are peaberries I have here, so that could be part of the reason. One of the more interesting things is that the more the coffee cools down, the sweeter and at the same time sourer (more acidity?) the taste gets.

Wow, this is a great coffee.

(ps: no, I don't intend to go to bed early this night)

Dienstag, 18. April 2006

Show me yours, I'll show you mine

This is not really remarkable, but nevertheless, one my first successfull attempts at pouring a decent figure into the cappuccino. It at least doesn't look like an atomic bomb anymore.

I need way more practise!

Freitag, 14. April 2006

Kopi Luwak

I got the chance yesterday to taste an indonesian Kopi Luwak. An experience I totally enjoyed! We were visiting Hamburg and Burg's Kaffeemuseum, where they got a new bag of Kopi Luwak waiting on the port, but also had some left on stock. So, after seeing a nice tv report about the "origins" of this coffee, it got served in a small french press, together with two glasses of water and a tasting spoon.

I must say it smelled like a lot of chocolate, but I didn't find chocolate in the cup afterwards. It was a very mild coffee, and did strange things to the palate. The taste was very nice, though, but it left a very long lasting aftertaste in the whole mouth. I'm very sad that I can't remember the exact taste. I need more palate training!

On the roasting department, the new roaster I brought from Hamburg is heavy iron, but is a pity to clean. So, I did a short pan-roast, with the cheap blend that Mr. Burg did for me (for roast-testing purposes). It tastes like cheap coffee which was unevenly roasted, which is not really a surprise. But at least it's not charcoil!

Montag, 10. April 2006

Espresso and tamper

I love Monsooned Malabar.

Samstag, 8. April 2006

Seen on a coffee forum

"We soon open a Cafe-Bar in ABigCity and need a qualified barista showing us how to prepare specialty coffee beaverages".

Had a good laugh. I think I'll visit them when they opened, just to see if they found a qualified barista.

Mittwoch, 5. April 2006


Meine Liebste hat im Angebot den Tazpresso bekommen. Wie sich 1,99€/250g und Fairtrade kombinieren lassen, weiss ich zwar nicht. Aber ich bin gespannt auf den Geschmack (große Erwartungen hab ich allerdings nicht). Mein erster Eindruck vom inhalieren dessen, was aus dem Ventil herauskam, war "Äthiopien" - keine Ahnung, warum. Der Gedanke war einfach da.

Vorerst muss der Espresso allerdings ein wenig lagern, weil ich noch ein wenig Monsooned Malabar zuende verköstigen muss - dieser Espresso ist göttlich!

Achja, zum Thema Fairtrade und Kaffee noch ein interessanter Artikel (auf Englisch): Fair trade who?.

Nachtrag: Hm, hm. 250 Gramm Espresso sind ganz schön wenig. Vor allem, wenn er so gut ist und ich an einem Abend davon 3 oder 4 doppelte trinke ....

Nachnachtrag: der Nachtrag bezog sich natürlich auf den Monsooned Malabar, nicht auf den Tazpresso. Der ätzt einem ja fast die Kehle weg.

Freitag, 31. März 2006

Bodum Pavina & Espresso

While I'm at it - I love my Bodum Pavina Espresso-cups. Got them as a christmas-gift, but my Gaggia only works again since a few weeks. With the new rubber gasket and the new burrs in the grinder, the espresso just looks and tastes looooovely!

Mittwoch, 29. März 2006

Hello TMC

So, this is my first real post to my new blog. I'll see if I manage to import the entries from the old blog, but this will take a while, though. This blog will be more specialized on coffee, less on personal things - so expect ramblings about beans, machines and other barista stuff here!

Jeschke actually made a very beautiful logo for this site a few months ago, but I just now happen to have a camera to get a picture.

This blog is built with Django, which you obviously can see on the right, and is a work in progress. The code of it can be checked out with subversion or browsed online at einfachkaffee.de/svn/einfachkaffee.de/site/.

Dienstag, 28. März 2006

roasting fun

I had a few greens left from my roasting fun around last christmas, so I just roasted them in the gas oven. Albeit something went horribly wrong: I thought it would be a good idea to put an oven-sized oven pan at the bottom of the oven, so that the heat would be evenly distributed. But that killed the overall temperature, and the roast took very, very long.

I fear the worst from tasting the beans tomorrow!

Update: No, I didn't taste the beans. They smelled like ... you don't want to know that. What a waste.

Made with Django.
Creative Commons License