Sunday, February 23, 2014

Under Construction

I'll be working on the layout of the blog a bit to make it easier to read and track down some of the coffee stuff on it.

So if you're visiting, which I doubt, there'll be some changes around here.

Nicola Coffee Rossio

Here is a surprising coffee.

I found this during my big coffee spree last week with the intention to use it for Turkish and Vietnamese coffees.

I have finally gotten around to giving it a real try.

After a little research,I discovered that it is a roast from a cafe in Lisbon, Portugal. I found something surprising.

I dug around on the Internet just be sure, and read the bit of English that I missed before on the packaging.

This is a coffee made entirely of Robusta. High quality Robusta, but still Robusta, and mostly from Africa.

To some people in the coffee world, the lowest quality Arabica is better than the highest quality Robusta. I have come across quite a few people disagree with that, including the people at Nespresso and the wonderful people at Sweet Marias.

In order to write and say something intelligent about the coffee, I decided to forgo all tricky methods and get right down to basics: a French Press. I discovered this interesting fact after I started cupping and tasting.

We've got a dark, slightly sour coffee, with seemingly high caffeine, and a hint of spiciness. Its different from my usual fair, and I like it.

Frankly, I think it needs a touch of sugar to really taper off the bitter, but its fine in a Press.

This form of extraction really gets down to the essence off the coffee without removing anything or altering it.

For reviewing purposes, I drew a shot of espresso with knowing more about the coffee. It is a better espresso. When properly tamped, it creates a nice, thick crema. Still a bit bitter, with something earthy in the smell. It still draws an intriguing shot. It lingers on the tongue.

You can find it on Amazon, or like I did in Home Goods.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Oddly Enough, a New Happy Place

However, I still slow down whenever I see a Crown Victoria cruising near me.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mixing the Turkish in Spain.

For Valentine's Day, I was given a few assorted coffee toys by the wonderful Dellessa for Valentine's Day. Among a Phin and a nice, heavy tamper, she gave me a couple Ibriks.

Turkish coffee is one of the things I've wanted to try out for a long time. It holds an allure, a certain decadence that cannot really be achieved by many coffee styles in the west. Espresso is fast. Drip coffee styles is everyday joe. Even as technically cool as something like the Aeropress or French Presses are, they still don't quite contain the centuries of tradition that is Turkish Coffee.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find reasonably priced cardamon (at least, at an experimentation price point.) I first used a surprising Highlands coffee by 8 O'Clock, all spice, vanilla, and sugar.  Dellessa enjoy it, I enjoyed it.

However, I wasn't quite satisfied. I also had this wonderful coffee that pulls a nice shot from Spain. Again, I stumbled onto it, and was drawn to the unique profile of the canister. It is from UgaboCoffees and seems to be part of a celebrity designed line. Which is fine. the truth is in the coffee.

This coffee is intensely chocolatey with a heavy cocoa base. As advertised, there is a bit of nuttiness. Once ground superfine, it made a natural accompaniment for Turkish style coffee. It matches up with the sugar nicely. The intensity and bitterness melt away into something like European style cocoa without the milkiness. 

It is a bit like sipping coffee in the Alhambra.

I have not done much else with this coffee because I am that enamored with the Turkish style right now. 

If you find this, buy it. 

I think I am enjoying the Turkish style so much, I might begin a collection of Ibriks. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Coffee and Beer in Wynwood and Brazil.

One of the things perfect espresso shots are compared to is a perfectly drawn pint of Guinness. It is used as an analogy for what perfect crema an separation should look like. People often compare coffee to wine in its complexity, but I think a more apt flavor comparison is beer.

Primarily, beer, like many coffees, is an exercise in enjoying bitterness. There's still acidity, creaminess, nutty flavors, even the occasional bursts of sweetness that pop into the flavor profiles than that, but ultimately, there's the bitterness.

Good crema can be savored like good beer head, just not quite so slowly. There's also a million ways of preparation and varieties. Well, maybe not a million preparation methods for beer. But there are certainly a hell of lot of beers.

There are also many levels of coffees, much like beers. You've got your Folgers/Maxwell House and Budweiser equivalents. You have your micro-brews and small time roasters. You even got a good comparison between Starbucks and Sam Adams.

(I'll let that sink in rather than elaborate.)

Beer even has a home brewing movement that is as vibrant and as easy to get into as home coffee. You really can't say this about wine. There is a much higher entry point to wine production.

Therefore, naturally, one of the greatest things in this world is the happy marriage of coffee and beer. I've had my share of coffee stouts, stouts with coffee added for flavoring in the product process. This seems to be a growing thing in the Indiana beer industry. Hell, my favorite ever came from a little brewery in Brazil, Indiana called "Bee Creek." Sadly, now gone.

Lately, I have been introduced to a beer from my home town I'd love to try. It is a coffee IPA. Yes, and India Pale Ale with coffee in it. I considered the idea to be completely madness, but the reviews coming in from friends is that its pretty good.

Next time you're in Miami, make the trip to Wynwood to the Wynwood Brewing Company.

One of these years, I'll try my hand at beer brewing.

Friday, February 14, 2014


I've got a few new coffees in my cupboard. I might have went a little overboard. I haven't gotten anymore green beans, but I will in time.

For now, I've got some coffees to review.

A Donegal Fairy

Here's a quickie recording for my darling Dellessa for Valentine's Day.

9 Years together! I should have some thoughts on that, but I really don't. I like spending time with her, so nine years of it isn't so bad.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Shot.

This isn't the god shot, or even the great possible shot. However, I am proud of how this one came out. There's a bit of crema. The coffee is my own. The grind and tamp was right. Seemingly, it isn't over extracted.

There's a slight tartness to it, and the crema didn't hold up very long. There's still a bit of nuttiness and creaminess to the shot as a whole as it rolls over the tongue.

But its mine. All Mine.

Back To Roasting...Again.

Not the best of picture of me. However, this is the lengths I am willing to go for the best morning cup I can manage. I just look sweaty there.

Luckily, you can store dried, green coffee bean for up to a year in a cool, dark place. I still have a bit leftover from the last buy with Sweet Maria's and I needed to use it up.

Now that time is permitting, and I no longer have a cold, I broke out the mask. I could still smell the roasting coffee, and it was easier to get into the roasting a bit more. However, it did filter the fumes that were giving me days worth of problems.

I changed the amount to about a third of a cup each time, and used the end of a bamboo spoon to occasional stir.

I wanted to roast dark, but in the end, I wound up making a roast similar to the ones I have done in the past.

This was also the first time I was able to use the espresso machine for a roast, properly. For espresso, this lighter roast took about 72 hours for the flavors to settle down. Yesterday was fine, but today was perfect. The first day or so, the coffee was just too gassy and acidic. I've also made an Aeropressed Americano with it. It came out nicely. (I will have more general commentary on the Aeropress Americano soon.)

I also broke out the French Press, which I hadn't used in a while. With fresh roasted coffee in it, it is about what I remember.

And it is good.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

On Gin

Over on Art of Manliness, they published an article on Gin that I've been waiting my whole drinking life on.

I have always been a bit curious on this most adult of adult drinks, but I just have never gotten around to asking about it. Also, no one I know seems to drink gin with any seriousness aside from an ill-advised martini when they want to look sophisticated. The simple descriptions for the major brands is a handy way to get things started.

I will be going back to this, I think. I just wish I could run to the liquor store right now.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Generally, its not something I go in for on blogs. Hypocritically, I tend to use adblock software on the vast majority browsers I use. However, not too long ago, I set up Google Adsense for this blog. I've got them set to be an unobtrusive as possible, and not to advertise using your browsing history.

I'd rather the advertising sell you things germane to my blog rather than something to looked up on Amazon on a lark. I just like a certain cohesion.

I signed up for almost a month ago, and I never received word from Google that it went live. Alas, help toss me some spare change for coffee and click on an ad from time to time!

I will also continue to unblock more and more pages I like.

I just really hate ads based on my browsing history, or you know... porn being advertised at inappropriate times.