Coffee Video Friday: Magical Crema

Please be warned, it was watching this that led me to upgrading my coffee equipment a few years back. I wanted Crema that looked like this.

A question of crema from James Hoffmann on Vimeo.

Crema is important, but not the be all and end all of coffee making. It is quite bitter. Try scooping some off the top of your next shot, but it also contributes so much to a well rounded cup.

Enlightenment Drinking: The geo-historio-political-economic significance of coffee

Coffee. It makes the world go around. Not literally, but probably metaphorically. Some interesting tidbits in these videos.

The video above claims that the Enlightenment was fuelled by caffeine. Don’t believe it? But wait, there’s more…

Coffee Video Friday: Plunger, or French Press with James Hoffman

Everybody has a plunger somewhere. Mine has a big crack down the side. I don’t use it. Plunger coffee is underrated because most people just follow the instructions on the box. You can have it so much better though, simply by following these instructions from former world barista champion James Hoffman.

Videocast #2 – French Press Technique from James Hoffmann on Vimeo.

The big take home tip, if you don’t want to watch the video, is to first have a ratio you like (coffee to water) and second to scoop the sludge off the top of the coffee before you plunge.

James Hoffman pretty much follows the procedure put together by another former World Barista Champion, Tim Wendelboe.

Coffee Bean Review: Costa Rica De Licho from Cup

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Cup in West End. But when we were perusing their wares during our recent Coffee Crawl I decided to splash out on some single origin beans to review. And I settled on a One Third Kilo bag of Costa Rica De Licho beans. And I’m glad I did. Wow.

These beans were ok at first. In fact, for the first couple of cups I would have called them average. But then, something magical happened. 10 days post roast these beans just went nuts. Or fruits. Apricot I reckon. Sweet, with a lingering apricoty flavour. It transformed. Somehow. The coffee I had at home, in my dining room, on Tuesday this week, was just incredible.

I got a little bit sciency, and towards the end of the bag I was pulling incredibly slow shots, and weighing the result. I do very much love a slow poured shot.

This De Licho bean is something special. It’s “honey processed” – and if you’re like me you have no idea what that means. But I’m now educated and here to help. It appears that by cutting down on water use in processing the coffee it’s more environmentally friendly. The beans are dried with the fruit’s flesh on on raised beds. The flesh becomes sticky, and the sugars concentrate – the guy in this video suggests it’s like a candy-bar of coffee parchment. Here’s some info from coffee traders, Mercanta, who confirm the apricots I tasted were real.

Finca Los Lajones – Honey Coffee Processing from Jarda Tucek on Vimeo.

I loved this coffee so much I bought a few kilos from MinistryGrounds to roast myself.

Coffee Videos of the Week: Up close with the Syphon

I’ve been trying to make syphon coffee daily in order to perfect my technique. It’s such a cool way to make coffee. I feel like I should be wearing a lab coat every time I fire up my little butane burner thing.

This video captures a little bit of the romance of syphon coffee. Glorying in the details.

The Syphon Project from Jacob Forrest on Vimeo.

Here’s another one – this is by the same people who made the Cup Coffee promo video.


A Beginner’s Guide to the Aeropress

I use the Aeropress for coffee at work – and when I’m travelling. It’s a terrific invention and you should get one.

Here’s a nice users guide from Has Bean (PDF) (which is one of my favourite coffee blogs and you should read it).

And a video too. Which is brilliant:

Animal patterns in my soup… or coffee

Latte art separates the men from the boys. Even if it does have a pretty girly name. These animal videos are pretty impressive.

There are about a billion latte art videos on YouTube. Here are a couple with an animal theme:

Creative design from the South

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