Must pay more attention

If you phone up Has Bean some time and get the answer phone you’ll forgive me for not answering, but this is what happens when I do. This is the El Salvador San Roberto, the winning coffee from last years Cup of Excellence. Yes a tears were in my eye’s and yes I gave myself a big kick. Things move this quickly in coffee.

Interesting Reading

With the holidays I’ve done “A LOT” of reading on the net which has been great fun. I came across a piece at talking about an experiment, which put the Bourbon variety of the coffee plant against Caturra (a close family member). Caturra has more branches so it is much more productive. However, most people find Bourbon is better in the cup, so the question was asked why?They got coffee from Caturra and Bourbon plants from a single farm, picked on the same day, processed the same way, roasted the same way. When cupped they found that the Bourbon coffee was better. They repeated the experiment. This time, they removed some of the Caturra’s flowers so it produced the same amount of coffee as the Bourbon. This time, there was no difference in the cup from the two varietals.

Sounds easy doesn’t it, less quantity more quality, but this means less money for the farmer. Its tricky when for years and years people have told the farmer its to do with soil and altitudes and now we turn round and say and while your at it produce a little less and lower your yeild.

A Great piece of work that really improved my coffee understanding, thought it would be nice to share.

How to Brew Coffee – Has Bean’s 10 Commandments

A new article added to the website today “How to Brew Coffee Has Bean’s 10 Commandments” Really meant as a bit of fun, but you will get the idea. Click here to go to the articleThe long weekend has meant I’ve had time to dig some of this stuff out, and I hope to publish some more soon.

Its also given me a great chance to fall in love with filter coffee again. I’ve been mainly drinking the Nicaraguan coop 22nd de septembre which is truly special. I also had the last of the sample from Colombia auction gone a few days ago, and that got me very exited about it. Its amazing but at home I rarely drink espresso, but at the roastery its all I tend to drink.

There is some interesting stuff been going on in the forums toomuchcoffeeand coffeegeek,and the guys portafilter podcast entertained over the break. If you don’t know Nick and Jay (party on Nick, party on Jay) do a radio style podcast thing, where they sit around and talk mostly coffee (and sometimes go wildly off topic). But that doesnt matter very cool, and there recent shows are all about the SCAA conference in Charlotte. Being too far to go and too expensive it was good to hear all the stuff that was happening. Also the coffeegeek podcast is available too and aimed at the newbie in coffee (I’m sure Mark Prince won’t mind me saying that). There have been some cool ones recently though where he talks to Susie from the cup of excellence, great work, by all these guys.

I have been tossing around the idea of doing a European based podcast type thing, but I’m worried that 1 no one would listen, 2. it would be rubbish, and 3 I’d run out of time to do it. But I haven’t ruled it out, if anyone is interested in helping or doing something with it let me know.

Colombia Cup of Excellence

Yesterday was the 3rd Colombian cup of Excellence auction. It was from the competition I went out to judge a few weeks ago. There we some very special coffee’s and we are very pleased to have secured the lions share of lot 20, grown by Bertha Cardozo de Ordoñez on the Paramito plantation.This is a rich coffee, that great fruit tones of blood orange and sweetness to match. I’m sitting here drinking the last of the sample I had thinking I cant wait to get my hands on it.

It was a competitive auction where we had hoped to have two lots, but unfortunately for us (and great news for the farmer) the price went to high for the others in my buying group. After all the hype over the Brazil auction number 1 reaching nearly , it was good to see that even though the winner only went for .05 (which is a huge amount of money) there was more money spread around the farmers. I hope Alistair (a member of the trade in Canada) doesn’t mind me using this but in the top 20 lots:

brazil totalled 6648 in 480 bags.
colombia totalled 9495 in 365 bags.

Which is great news for coffee. In the next six weeks there will be four, yes that’s right four auctions, and as always we will be trying to secure the best lots from these competitions, it’s a busy time. Also with Bern coming up (Bern this year is the host city for the annual Specialty Coffee Association of Europe conference), and the UK Barista Champion James Hoffman competing in the world Barista championships, we have much work ahead preparing for the trips auctions and James competition blend. The following week from this we will be doing our first ever trade exhibition. We will be in London’s Olympia for Caffe Culture, trying to spread the word of specialty coffee to the trade, so if you or any one you know is going along, pop on and see us, on stand A9.

So Roll on June, but I guess we will fill that up with something else