Archive for January, 2013

11th January 2013

January 11, 2013

Happy New Year!

Well, the Coffee-Santa has been exceptionally generous this year, delivering me a cloth Hario Woodneck 480ml (long desired), a small Sowden SoftBrew (desired a lot recently), God in a Cup (fascinating, and great to revel in a decent coffee-book, rather than just pouring over the Net or my own notes, for a change), and Peter’s Aricha Tchembe natural process Yirgacheffe (!!), thankyou!

The Tchembe was a joy over the festive period through Chemexes and the Woodneck, along with some delicious Kangocho peaberry too.

I have yet to try the SoftBrew, as I ran out of coffee slightly towards the end, and wanted to save this for better dialling, but I am bringing some of the fantastic Idido natural process Yirgacheffe (from similar channels to the Tchembe) home to meet it on Sunday. I think it could be a match made in heaven..! There is a specific combination of features unique to the Sowden that make me incredibly excited about its potential. There is not the theatre or tactile involvement that can come with the pouring techniques for brewers like the Woodneck, etc, but the SoftBrew is just so elegantly simple, and well conceived, and exciting in a rather different way.

The Woodneck threw me to begin with, kind of as expected. It too is different to anything else, and also uniquely exciting compared to other devices for its own reasons. I switched a few things around though, and had a very enjoyable brew with the last of the Tchembe that ignited the spark I was waiting for, and made me think *Ah! Now that’s what I was hoping I might see from this brewer!*. And still only early days.

This could be really interesting; I’m meeting with a food technologist tomorrow, called in by our dairy, to discuss Those now predictable annual issues encountered with our local, organic, non-homogenised milk around this season every year (and I know it’s not just us!). Hoping to demonstrate the issues, maybe get a few answers, hear about and delve a little deeper into the chemistry, try all the samples he will be bringing for analysis, and who knows, maybe work towards some solutions…

New ‘Brew Methods at Home’ page on the blog, btw. Seemed about time.

Gloria, our espresso machine, still awaits our engineers to return yet again for deeper investigation into the psychological issues deep within her brain. I think are trying to establish the best way to diagnose and treat… General functionality tickety-boo enough though, after many recent tweaks, and, different, now.

mums

Back visiting Mum’s in the New Year, she treated me to a couple of wonderful pourovers of the Finca Providencia Huehue Guat I had sent her. Brill, Mum.

Also, I’m looking ahead to an off the beaten track cycling holiday into the highlands of Sri Lanka in March, and am hoping to zero-in on some coffee farms to visit! It’d be great to see the plants in the flesh (for the first time since Costa Rica, other than on my windowsill!), taste some of the cherries, and see some of the processing, even if it’s not top grade stuff. This is a tricky one though, as, despite the potentially suitable geography, Sri Lanka is mostly all about tea, for one reason and another, and finding coffee is less easy (to say the least). Although tea has countless parallels with coffee, and will be very interesting to look at as well, it has, for me (naturally), slightly less of the allure…