Charlene De Buysere Wins 2012 WAC

04.20

After a long day of back-to back AeroPress competitions here in Portland, a new World AeroPress Champion has been crowned—Charlene De Buysere from Belgium. Charlene’s triumph continues Belgium’s reign after last year’s win by Jeff Verellen.

All of the participants competed with the same washed Ethiopian Sidamo from Heart Coffee Roasters and following a passionate effort by the final two ladies, Charlene’s was decided to be the best. After receiving her trophy, Charlene thanked Alan Adler for inventing such a wonderful coffee machine and told him how excited she was about winning a ticket to the Nordic Barista Cup.

The runner up was Ingri Margrethe Johnsen from Norway who came in second place—followed by Emil Ericsson from Sweden, who came in third.

Congratulations to all the finalists and thanks to the organizers, judges and sponsors who made this the biggest and best WAC yet. Next year we’ll need bleachers as well.

posted by on 04.20.2012, under Misc.

DCILY is Heading to Colombia

04.18

Just over 6 months ago, I wrote about a website called the Colombian Coffee Hub that launched a new space for coffee lovers to share and learn about coffee, specifically about coffee in Colombia. They began by following Tim Wendelboe on a journey to origin as he learned about different processing methods and varieties being grown in Colombia.

When the Hub launched they announced the opportunity for active Hubbers to win a trip to Colombia for a chance to experience origin and share their journey. I’m more than honored to have won the first trip and stoked to share my journey with Hubbers & DCILY readers. I’ll be learning about the process from plant to seaport and meeting some of the growers and researchers continually working to produce better coffee.

There will be videos of my trip posted along the way on CCH, just sign up to follow along—as well as more opportunities to win a trip of your own. See you on the Hub.

Colombian Coffee Hub

posted by on 04.18.2012, under Misc., Videos

The Steampunk: A Curious Coffee Contrapulation

04.05

The upcoming SCAA Event will bring about many things—great parties, good friends, a new US Barista Champion and a first hands-on look at some of the industries newest products. Topping my list of must-see/touch/try is the Alpha Dominche Steampunk.

What looks like the futuristic love child of a Linea 2 and Bunn Trifecta, is a customizable, PID controlled brewing system that functions like a modern day syphon. With four separate chambers, you’re able to create different profiles and brew four coffees at once.

With just a few quick taps on the touch screen, the barista customizes the STEAMPUNK brewing process to optimize the flavor of each beverage. The anticipation then begins. The customer is treated to a dazzling theatrical presentation as the STEAMPUNK’s gleaming glass crucibles fill with swirling steam. The barista then places the ground coffee on the piston and plunges it into the crucible. The grinds whirl and dance as they’re agitated and aerated by the millions of tiny bubbles. At the barista’s command, the liquid coffee is pulled by vacuum through a specially designed ultrafine photo-milled metal filter, and the dark brown elixir streams gracefully into the awaiting cup.

The Steampunk allows a barista t0 adjust the temperature, time, volume and agitation of each brew before manually plunging the coffee grounds into the chamber. The company claims that The Steampunk will offer enhanced flavor extraction that surpasses currently existing brew methods—if so, I look forward to tasting the results.

If you’ll be at SCAA, find The Steampunk at Booth 10085 or visit Alpha Dominche.

posted by on 04.05.2012, under Design, Products

London’s ST.ALi becomes Workshop Coffee Co.

04.04

ST.ALi, one of the newer additions to the London coffee scene, is going through a bit of a change. They announced yesterday that they are parting ways with their sibling in Australia to blaze their own trail in London. I’m excited to have worked with Tim to help create the new face of Workshop Coffee Co., who will continue adding great value to specialty coffee in London at both their Clerkenwell and Marylebone locations.

Yesterday, the following announcement was shared on the ST.ALi website:

Friends, there are some changes a-foot.

In April 2011, we opened our Clerkenwell cafe under the same banner as some friends in Australia. Following shortly after, we opened our Marylebone coffeebar under the same arrangement.

The response from local customers and visitors alike has been wonderful, overwhelming and humbling, due in no small part to our fantastic team, and the guests we take care of everyday.

However, due largely to the constraints of an arrangement stretched across 10,000 miles, the time has come to blaze the trail on our own. On April 16th, the London operations of ‘ST. ALi’ and ‘Sensory Lab’ will undergo a name change, becoming Workshop Coffee Co.

So, aside from the name, what changes? Well, nothing else changes. The same friendly staff and the same dedicated owners continuing to develop, refine and improve what we do. The same great food, and the same delicious coffee.

We look forward to seeing you soon,

- Tim

I’ve visited both locations in the past year and wrote about one of them last August. Both shops are a must visit when coffee touring though London, and Clerkenwell is great for a meal as well. All my best to the team at Workshop as they begin writing their new story.

Stay tuned for more details and updates in the future from @WorkshopCoffee

 

posted by on 04.04.2012, under Design, Recommended Roasters

Coming Soon: Wilfa Svart Manuell

04.02

Last year at the Nordic Barista Cup, a prototype of the Wilfa Svart Manuell was first unveiled and put in the hands of attendees. I posted what little I knew back then, but have since had the opportunity to try one out myself.

The all-in-one kettle and pour over device, which was developed with the help of Tim Wendelboe, has moved beyond the prototype stage and will be officially released in three weeks—on the 25th of April. The US market may see them in 2013, but until then there shouldn’t be trouble finding people to use them here in coffee loving Scandinavia.

While I don’t consider myself the primary market for this, there are some things I really love about it, particularly the cohesiveness of all the parts. Everything fits nicely on the base which can be picked up and moved easily around the kitchen. It includes everything you need to get started brewing pour over coffee, except a grinder—making it great for those who are brew-curious, or just want a hassle free coffee set-up for their parent’s home or their Nordic cabin in the woods.

The cone uses standard Melitta filters and has complete flow control through the ring at the bottom. Which allows you to completely close it off for full immersion or fine tune the extraction time—adding a new variable other than grind size. The filter also sits in a removable cup that rests in the cone, making it easy to dispose of the used grounds.

The cone is held stationary above the caraffe, which is great for stability, but lacks the ability to place a scale underneath it. In an attempt to keep things easy and approachable, it makes it less desirable to someone like myself who feels blind when brewing coffee without a scale—but that may be a personal problem.

The kettle has a 1.2-liter capacity and heats up quick. It has variable temperature settings, making it great for brewing teas and the “keep warm” function will allow you to maintain the water temperature while rinsing filters. It doesn’t have the pour control of a thin-spout, but it’s better than most standard kettles I’ve used.

The most exciting thing about this product is the effort given to manual brewing at home by a large home appliance company like Wilfa. Instead of just creating their own version of a V60, they’ve thought about the whole coffee making process and what may deter someone from brewing manually. In a home appliance market flooded with k-cup machines, it’s nice to see manual brewing given this kind of attention.

The production models don’t look like they’ve changed much from the prototype I used, other than the color (which is now a more elegant looking black) and some of the graphic details. I look forward to comparing the production model when I have the chance.

You can watch Tim Wendelboe demo the Svart Manuell in the video below!

Wilfa

posted by on 04.02.2012, under Design, Products, Videos

Nordic Barista Cup 2012 Speakers

04.01

Announcing the official speaker list for the 2012 Nordic Barista Cup.

There are several coffee events taking place this summer—but the NBC in August is the one I’m most excited about. Aside from the best Nordic baristas under one roof in CPH, everyone on this list above will be dropping knowledge on those in attendance. I toured the venue last week in Copenhagen and it’s going to be a certifiably fantastic event.

Experience the sparkling coffees of Kenya, explore processing experiments to improve quality at origin, unearth the agronomy of Kenyan coffee, get insight into the media’s coverage of coffee, get critical in your perspective of good service, find out the parallels of terroir and blending in wine and coffee, improve your understanding of extraction when grinding and brewing, discover what it means to run the world’s best restaurant and encounter the Nordic’s finest baristas in an invigorating new competition format…

Read more about the speakers and register for the event at Norbic Barista Cup

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posted by on 04.01.2012, under Misc.