9th June 2013

The laser particle sizing analysis results are back for my samples of coffee grounds (see previous posts), and they make for fascinating reading! I’m currently digesting the information; pulling and playing with key segments of the data (there are about 50 data points of size/% between 0.02-2000um for each of the 13 samples), replotting graphs in different ways, and generally trying to interpret the meaning of the findings overall, and make them translate into practical usefulness. Potentially, we might also look at having some of the samples rerun, or remodelled, or even test for new things with new samples. 

Samples analysed by a Mastersizer 2000 using the general purpose analysis mode.

Many of the results concur closely with expectations, and suspicions, arrived at through more simple, manual methods – simply adding a greater level of detail and transparency to what’s actually happening. Whereas some of the results are confusing, and some are wildly surprising …and might surprise many people, I think.

At the cafe, Naturelle is currently my predominant selection for the espresso even more so than usual (although as ever, I will of course be putting other coffees on in-between here and there as well!) – but the blend is going through almost constant change right now, so it remains continually fresh and exciting, and so, even more than usual, this blend in some ways far from just one static offering. Almost each new batch from the roastery recently has had new components, or new flavour possibilities, on offer, and often some more significant redialling from the get-go has been required …as well as the usual constant tweeks to keep it happy! But as ever, the variations within the best shots are loosely based around balanced combinations of clean, juicy, light, sweet/candied citrus and stone fruits, delicate florals, melon, brown sugars, chocolates …and more! 

We are currently still offering Rwandan Koakaka, and Colombian Santa Barbara, and now also new crop classic Kenyan Kirimahiga AA – as cafetieres, or as beans for home.

So far I admit I have not got around to watching anything of the 2013 WBC – apart from Mat Perger’s set, after a customer sent me a Tweet regarding his use of nutation (as this is something they know I have utilised for some time now). This made fascinating viewing. It was great to see someone challenging so many conventions; pulling shots into frozen cups to rapidly chill shots down to body temp, brewing lungos with a filter roast for signature drinks, and grinding for all espresso with a unimodal filter grinder no less!!! All this made me quite excited, and optimistic. In the end, the nutation was actually probably the least noteworthy part, for me! Sure, elements of many of these points that he highlighted, although unconventional, are not new, and actually reflect ideas that people have been talking about and using for some time (for instance, I almost routinely prefer to pull shots for myself into room temperature cups, and then rest them even further before tasting, and then also taste through to cold. And even more so with filter. And I know I am not alone). But still, as there are many things with speciality coffee that are held as almost absolute, and which are backed-up by countless references on the top forums and blogs, it’s always refreshing see people questioning the way we are ‘meant’ to do things (rest time is another good one), and suitably inspiring to see these points taken to the highest level, on stage. The only trouble is, each time you remove any of the few supposed ‘certainties’ from processes that are already subject to a vast range of interrelated, complex, constantly moving variables, they get even more complicated …but also more interesting!




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