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!
This fantastic mini-documentary from Olympia Coffee and Vortex Productions captures beautiful imagery from three countries of origin, including Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala while discussing topics that range from coffee sourcing, transparency, and the importance of building relationships with producers.
The 8-minute long film should compliment your next coffee break perfectly.
[scooped by Sprudge]
If you haven’t been following the in-depth coverage of the US Barista Champion circuit over on Sprudge—you should be. But if you’re new to this whole thing, take a look at Hybrid Media’s coverage of the Big Central regional (focusing on MadCap baristas).
This is the best video I’ve seen of a barista competition so far. It does a great job capturing the highlights with a nice energetic flair—and is there anything better than a high definition smile from Ryan Knapp (back-to-back North Central Champion)?
Earlier this week I wrote about the “Roaster Collection” bags, inspired by coffee roasters, but the “coffee roaster pant” is a true collaboration with one. Blue Highway, founded by two Swedish brothers who are both denim craftsmen and historians, teamed up with Stockholm-based specialty roasters Johan & Nyström to develop the perfect work pant for long days and hard wear at the roastery.
Beginning the project, Blue Highway visited the roastery to size up the employees who would be wearing them and learn about the work done around the roastery to better design for their intended environment. The project was born out of a mutual love of craft and quality in each respective field. Blue Highway drinks coffee while making jeans and J&N wear jeans while roasting coffee—it was divine providence that they work together.
Johan & Nyström has a number of 15 employees working at the roastery, and the idea of allowing them to work in custom made denim pant inspired by the old times came up when we got in contact with them because we had the idea of carrying good coffee at Unionville, for those interested in having a talk and sitting down for a cup. So we thought it would be a great idea to build a bridge between the quality thinking between their enthusiasm behind coffee, and our for the love of good denim. So me and my brother of Blue Highway sat down with the mission to create a pair of work pants suitable to wear during the everyday work preformed by a coffee roaster. –Blue Highway
The resulting product is a classic 1940′s inspired work pant that’s meant to hold up to long days manning a Probat, lifting burlap, and packing and unpacking coffee.
About the design features; the main object was to create a pair of work jeans that’s suitable to wear for long days and hard wear. So we decided to use a thick 14oz redline right hand twill with a deep indigo color. A fabric that’s durable and which will wear out nicely with time, and also its of the same type used in work clothes in USA around the middle of the last century.
The fit is a high rise with a wider leg, a true 40s style, much like early dungarees. We constructed the pants using one type of copper coloured thread and at some places we decided to use triple needle seams for more durability. Although this is not made using a triple needle chainstitch machine, we did it using our one needle lockstitch. It sure took some time but we felt very pleased with the result. The back pocket design is made inspired by an old French workwear design from the 40s, wear the side of the backpocket is fastened in the sideseem. This allows the wearer to have easy access to the backpocket, even if you are carrying tools seated down. One of the detail was to turn the yoke seam downwards instead of upwards which is the more common, this will allow your hand to slip down more easy in the backpockets, without a edge that could be annoying. –Blue Highway
Although Swedes didn’t invent jeans (they did invent the zipper), their passion for quality denim is unrivaled. Sweden is home to many leading jean companies, including Acne, Nudie, Cheap Monday and Denim Demon—so it’s fitting that Sweden’s leading coffee companies are making friends with some of them. For about 3000SEK ($440) you can have your own custom pair of Blue Highway’s made at their shop Unionville in Stockholm—or stop in and enjoy a coffee while getting an old pair patched up.
Read more about the collaboration on Unionville.
Maaemo is a restaurant in Oslo, Norway that’s been open little more than a year, and today is celebrating its addition to the Michelin guide with not one, but two stars. The restaurant celebrates local, organic and seasonal ingredients through a collaboration between chef Esben Holmboe Bang and sommelier Pontus Dahlstrøm.
Though I haven’t eaten here myself, several friends have to much praise. The reason I’m writing about their success in food is that they take their coffee just as seriously, which is far too rare among world class restaurants. From early on, they’ve been working with Tim Wendelboe to develop a coffee program that supports their Nordic menu while maintaining the quality of fine specialty coffee.
Early this year they approached me to see if they could improve their coffee service even more in their restaurant. Since the focus of Maaemo is Nordic food they were dreaming of serving traditional steeped coffee in their restaurant, just like they make coffee when hiking in the forest, etc, but did not know how to implement this technique in the restaurant.
After a brief meeting and some demonstration they came up with what I think is the most exciting coffee service I have experienced in a very long time. It is not very often you come across such a well thought out coffee concept and it is even more enjoyable that it is in a restaurant. -Tim Wendelboe
As specialty coffee continues to elevate the quality of whats available, it makes sense that the experience moves solely from cafés and coffee bars to the post-meal menu of the world’s best restaurants. All to often, a 9-course menu with every detail considered is followed by undrinkable coffee—it’s a terrible shame. With restaurants like Maaemo and Eleven Madison Park elevating coffee to the same level as their other menu items, we may soon be able to indulge in that after-dinner coffee more often.
Congratulations to Maaemo. I hope to experience you soon.
John Giannakos, a barista from Vancouver who joined the Coffee Common team at TED, took time between working on bar to shoot this incredible video of Coffee Common moments throughout the week. It captures so much with so little. It’s a lovely vignette of both the professionalism and fun that takes place at Coffee Common. This was another inspiring week spent with incredible people who also happen to make spectacular coffee.
Thanks to everyone for being a part of this and making it so damn awesome.
I don’t brew espresso at home, and I’m not in the market to begin doing so anytime soon. However, once the ZP Machines start shipping, there will probably be a lot of people making espresso for their first time—or in need of a refresher course.
For anyone looking to improve their espresso technique, the guys at MadCap Coffee and Hybrid Media Co. have teamed up again to produce a follow up to their popular V60 tutorial. So grab your favorite tamper and take some notes from Sensei Knapp.
Tonight is the Grand Opening Party for three fellows in LA who couldn’t stay out of the news if they tried. Handsome Coffee will be opening to the public very soon and they’ve released this stunning video that shows all the work that’s gone into building out their flagship coffee bar and roastery. Good luck to Handsome as they open their doors to the world and I look forward to walking through them in a couple weeks.
More photos on Cool Hunting
This incredible mini-documentary tells the heartwarming story of Professor Yoshi Masuda and his effort to bring coffee and community to the tsunami and earthquake stricken areas of east Japan. Yoshi wanted to help his country by offering what he knows and loves—coffee. He felt the best way he could help was to bring a sense of normalcy to those recovering from the devastation with the fragrance and aroma of coffee.
Armed with a Chemex, hand grinder, portable stove and his record player, Yoshi set out in a bright orange VW bus to open “Hope Café” wherever he found people in need of a spiritual and physical boost. Along the way, Yoshi also donates coffee starter kits to help establish community coffee shops after he’s left. Inspiring and humbling. Take eight minutes and watch this—you won’t regret it.
When you consider that human sound is also a wave and it could have impact as strong as tsunami that change a life of people. As you say something and that really changes people—the way how they live, the way how they regard their life as it is. Our human voice is, I would say, stronger than tsunami. –Yoshi Masuda
Directed, filmed and edited by Mackenzie Sheppard
In the last year, there’s been an increase of well-produced coffee videos making their rounds on the internet, most of them from the US. However, in the 2011 edition of koffievidmania, I somehow missed this gem—created more than a year and a half ago for Brisbane, Australia based Cup Coffee. This beautiful short film has all the right elements for success—the hypnotic tone of The Album Leaf sets the mood for backlit shots of a Slayer in action and slow motion latte art. What more do you need?
With almost 15,000 views on Vimeo, this could very well be the blueprint for high-end coffee films. If you know of anything pre-dating this, send it my way!
Filmed by Paul Nevison of PSN Creative