The Electric Coffee Bean Experience

The search for kickass coffee

Archive for the category “Ethiopia”

Great filter coffee from Dark Fluid roasters

So at the moment, I’m concentrating on the Hario V60 for home coffee making. And it’s still good!

Happy espresso

Currently I’m throwing Dark Fluid coffee beans through it as quickly as possible – from an ingestion point of view.

I met Lawrence Sinclair from Dark Fluid last weekend at the soft launch of The Dish and Spoon cafe in Dulwich. It’s a really good suburban cafe with ample seating and  plenty of room for prams. Lawrence was putting the coffee machine through it’s paces and helping cafe owner Shona Chambers get some of her procedures into place. He was also drawing shots of his beans through the machine.

For caffeinistas who enjoy exploring London for good coffee, head to Brockley Market on Saturdays where Dark Fluid have a coffee cart.

The Dark Fluid espresso beans have a sweet and sour tussle going on – no discernible bitterness there at all. So I bought a couple of packs of the Dark Fluid beans to test at home. Lawrence recommended the Columbian Juan Setelo for a general purpose bean and hinted at the Ethiopian Yirgachefe Kochere beans as something a little different.

So I bought both – as you do.

For those not familiar with Yirgachefe, it’s a region in southern Ethiopia while Kochere is a sub-region on the border of Yirgachefe and Southern Oromia

Here are the Yirgachefe.

Coffee beans from Dark Fluid roasters

Ethiopian Kochere

24g of Yirgachefe beans

24g of coffee

The bloom wasn’t particularly big on these beans – unlike the Colombians

Initial bloom of coffee beans

Ethiopian bloom

24grams of beans and 400mls of water later and I had the following.

Pot of coffee

400ml of Ethiopian Yirgachefe coffee

And the taste?

Very clean. There was no oiliness to the mouth-feel at all. As the coffee cooled, it developed in acidity, displaying a lemon-water flavour. (I’m still getting to grips with the term floral to describe the aroma of typical African coffees.) I’ve been through four pots of Dark Fluid’s Yirgachefe now and my one regret is that I didn’t buy more.

It may not be everyone’s cup of… um… tea. You won’t find bitter-sweet chocolatey notes here. It tastes more like a palate cleanser – a great summer coffee, to my mind.


The tea that blew me away

So this past week was barista training – and I passed.

Bearing in mind that I’ve only spent two hours pulling shots before the course, coming away with a solid pass with merit was very satisfying.

Apart from a basic grounding in espresso and similar, the class also introduced me to an extraordinary notion; tea is good.

Now, I like tea – always have. But Ben Townsend, tutor at the London School of Coffee, prepared leaf tea – not from a supermarket and not chopped up in minuscule slivers – for tasting and quite frankly it changed how I’ve always thought of tea – a nice, ho-hum drink, comforting but without the x factor of good coffee.  The Oolong particularly converted me into a tea lover.

Saturday was spent (apart from purchasing dry and natural-pulped processed coffee beans) in the pursuit of some Oolong.

Postcard Teas, close to Bond and Oxford Streets, is a haven. The teas and preparation utensils are elegant and beautiful.

Now I’m the proud owner of 50g of Yimu Oolong from Taiwan. Sweet and floral, it’s a winner any time of the day.

Coffee fans, don’t despair, I’m still all about the bean. Let’s just say that I’ve expanded my taste buds.

And on taste buds, I brought home some Ethiopian coffee beans from Monmouth and cupped them this morning. (See – back to the coffee.)

The Kochere: wow, a challenging brew. There’s a savoury, umami aspect going on in these beans – not far removed from a good green tea. As it cools, the expected coffee profile takes shape but for the first few minutes drinkers would be forgiven for questioning which plant species the brew came from – but that’s part of why we love coffee – no two cups are the same, let alone harvests.

The Kochere was the coffee that had been proffered as pulped natural – and although the tasting notes explain that Ethiopian coffee can be difficult in tracing a particular bean’s origins it does illustrate how much a bean’s tasting profile depends on how it’s been processed.

Apparently there’s not much left of the Kochere at Monmouth – so if you’d like to try it, hurry down to Borough Market before it’s all gone.

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