I guess I’ve missed my self-imposed target of writing a post (or blogging) at least once a week to keep this blog as fresh as possible but, it’s been quite a bit hectic at work. Anyway, back to work on coffee.
I’m DRINKING….. Organic Bolivian beans, recently bought from my current favourite place to buy fresh coffee, Alt Wien, off the Naschmarkt in central Vienna (Austria). It’s quite aromatic and once extracted is lightish in colour compared to what I’m used to for espresso. Although it smells sweetish, it has a light sour taste that kind of hits you after a few sips.
Nevertheless, I find that it compliments milk based drinks well, provided of course that the milk has been properly frothed to bring out the sweetish milk elements and not the burn your mouth bubbly stuff we still suffer from in most cafes. I recently served this coffee to some friends that came over for dinner and although one thought it strong after dinner, the other was very complimentary with a puzzled expression, wondering how he would be able to drink coffee again in a cafe in Vienna after the double espresso I served him. Well I guess it was worth spending hundreds of Euros then if I get that kind of compliment. I also tested the coffee using the French Press method, which was nice for the afternoon – pleasant and light, which held its taste in my new Bodum Columbia pot for a few hours. As you should know me by now, I love variety in food and drink, so my weekly trips to Alt Wien naturally involve me buying more than one type of coffee. I think I’m going to have to change that routine to twice a week but with a larger purchase of coffee, perhaps 500g bags, because I’ve recently noticed that I am finishing 250g all by myself in under one week.
Anyway I digress, Alt Wien have recently introduced a new Malawian Arabica, with a very African name, Malawian Mzuzu. I just finished my Bolivian coffee last night and was able to try the Malawian this morning as a cappuccino, so my thoughts should be fresh. I find this coffee good for holding its taste with milk based drinks. It has a bit of a bold taste that holds its own so to speak and can be characterised with a chocolate tone and an intense taste.
So, as you can see above, I prefer it with milk as a cappuccino or as an espresso macchiato. In using the French Press method, it is quite bold and good as a digestive after a heavy lunch or to boost you up in the morning.
However, I’ve saved the best for last. I must admit and perhaps I will loose credibility for this, but I’ve never been impressed with Kenyan coffee. That was until about a few weeks ago when Reinhold of Espresso Solutions (see blog on La Marzocco GB5) returned from the WBC in Copenhagen and gave me a 200g bag of freshly roasted Kenyan AA beans, roasted by none other than the famous American coffee roasters and cafe, Stumptown (see http://stumptowncoffee.com/) – they started in Portland, Oregon and are now famous amongst coffee connoisseurs. Investigating their website, I see that this Kenyan AA is properly called Kenya Gatina Peaberry. OK ! Time for some coffee facts – a typical Kenyan peaberry is a type of coffee that unusually has one beans inside the cherry fruit as opposed to the normal two. OK ! Back to the coffee – the first thing I noticed was the “Wow” factor in the aroma – even my 6 year old son was like “that smells really nice Daddy..” You can imagine – I just couldn’t wait to try it out and I was not disappointed – If I was to give an award of best coffee that I have prepared this year, it would be for this – I drank this coffee almost one month ago and I can still remember the feeling, that’s how good it was. Anyway, it had a fruity and smooth mouthfeel and was wonderful as an espresso. You’ve got to have two cups, because one is not enough…
I also loved the colour – it just seemed “just right”. Needless to say I was sad when it was finished. If I could order from Stumptown, I would, but naturally they only ship in the US, so all those lucky American reading this blog who have not heard of Stumptown, check their website out and spoil yourself by ordering some coffee from them (I’m adding them to my blogroll) They are not paying me to do this, but when you come across some good stuff, it’s good to share the knowledge.