Current coffees at the plan cafe June 2011

Exciting times at the moment with various wonderful, fresh,  new season coffees and blends from the roastery appearing at the cafe!

Last week I was serving this year’s crop from Finca La Fany, El Salvador, as our espresso for a day – and it’s really memorable this time around!

With Completo either side of this, the La Fany was such a contrast, and a completely different shape in terms of flavour, even though both coffees share a few basic flavour generalisations. The La Fany struck me as more ‘linear’ or less-dimensional, but still, delicious in a very different way. The combination of crisp, dark chocolate-coated berries and nuts, with deeper chocolate and caramels in the background reminded me of previous years when this coffee excited me …rather than last year, perhaps. The washed, fruity acidity sang sweetly through milk too. Once dialled-in, small differences in the brew ratios/extraction moved it between the brighter fruit, and the softer caramel notes, although I was surprised to settle on only dosing a little more than for Completo, and aiming for a brew ratio of around 57%, with particular attention on not tightening the grind too far. It kept me on my toes much more, as a single estate (I think anything would, compared to Completo’s stability), but well worth it, when it all aligned. There will be another day of this soon!

Then back on Completo the next day, and as a small, just warm double capp – Wow …like the most wonderfully rich, satisfying, complex hot chocolate!

Recent weeks have found me happier than ever with shot success rates generally, but repeatability and consistency remains the bugbear, the challenge, and the Quest (I know I’m not alone [hat tip to Jimseven, for instance]. If this has never concerned or challenged you, your coffee might not be as good as you think!). I don’t think it’s fair on the coffee, the craft, or yourself to expect every shot to be a Godshot, or even to have that amazing balance, sweetness and ideal representation of the coffee that is conveyed by a generally Great shot. But nevertheless, I think we owe it to the coffee, the craft, the customers, and ourselves, to aspire to achieve this as often as possible, and with increasingly regularity as we move forward. There are (a few) people out there who claim high % rates of repeatability (some even sincerely and with integrity!) – and that is the bar to aim for.

Last week I sampled a brand NEW seasonal blend from JGC too, and I’m really excited about this!!!! Blind, the aroma and taste reminded me of some of the great washed Latin/Central-Ethiopian blends that I’ve loved, and I knew straight away this might be particularly the sort of espresso I especially enjoy! Much more clean, delicate acidity than Completo (not that Completo is dirty – it’s not! It’s been awesome, and I’m sad to be down to my last 2 bags …but that’s the beauty of great coffee) – a juicy, fruity acidity (whilst not overly citrusy), paired with clean, creamy chocolate. I wondered if La Fany might be in this somewhere (and I can see where I got that), but it isn’t. I instantly ordered a lot more, it’s here now, and it’ll be on at the cafe soon, in due course! This blend has now been revealed as JGC’s latest seasonal blend: ‘New Summer Espresso‘! This is fully washed Guatemalan, Sidamo, and Indian coffees.

One component of this espresso blend is a coffee I’ve become increasingly excited about as a filter profile over the last couple of weeks. I’ve brewed this as various filter methods at home, and it just gets better! …This will also appear soon for cafetières!

(Mostly) Enthusiastic rant over! 🙂

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