Cupping COE’s, and espresso in Vancouver.

A quick post.

Spent Sunday afternoon in Mark’s place cupping the top five Colombian COE’s from the spring harvest. It was pretty interesting as apparently the #1 scored first as it was considered a perfect representation of what a Colombian should taste like.

I had been under the impression, that as we expose ourselves to all the different collaborations of growing factors from farms across the globe, we are learning that nothing is absolute and that each country is capable of producing coffee’s unlike anything in their region, or even country. So how can Colombia, have a favour profile?

That said, I have cupped far too few coffee’s in my short time in the industry, and so I can only presume that cuppers by trade must encouter many similar coffee’s from the same country. Yet, how long is it now since Colombia stopped blending all their countries greens together? 2 years? I am sketchy on the details here, but its interesting that for a country that only recently allowed their farmers to sell directly to buyers, it can already be labelled with certain characteristics in flavour profiles,..

I’d appreciate clarity on this, especially if I’m working off false information.

Briefly, I’ve now had a chance to taste shots in Artigiano, JJ Beans, Continental , The Elysian Room and Casa del Princhay; all fine espresso serving establishments in Vancouver. However,…I’ve spent so much time in Ireland trying to recreate the espresso flavour profiles I read about online and although successful now and again, I would have appeciated knowing that nearly all of these Pacific North West Cafe’s were using triple baskets, and were pulling straight into one demitasse with naked pfs. Silly me on the other hand was struggling with double baskets, and splitting the shots. (essenially 8g espresso)

So am I behind the game? Should I be encouraging cafes back home to saw all their spouts off, and pull 1oz triple ristrettos? Fecked if I know. But its taking time for me to adjust to the higher dosage here and so I’ll hold off from giving my top 5 espresso in Vancouver just yet.

This post is not really short, and I’m sorry that I siad it was. But I’m not scrolling up just to delete it for you sorry bunch.

Latte art is easy in 16oz ceramic cups.

I am yet to try it in 20oz take away cups, but lets pray that I never have to. If Brad trys to introduce it,..I’ll walk….actually I’ll run. …………..well, no, I never run, but I’ll trot, yes, I’ll trot right out the bloody door!

silly post I know, but its late.


7 thoughts on “Cupping COE’s, and espresso in Vancouver.

  1. Triple baskets are a friggin’ crutch. And an even bigger one if they’re pulling anything less than 1.5oz. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    IMO, anyone who can’t pull a decent (true) double in a double basket should just go home. That said, many of the triple pullers u see in town can actually pull decent doubles from a double. But it’s easier to pull it from the triple. Hence the crutch.

    You want hardcore? Duplicate what I saw in Italy – make your single basket pull identical to half of your double basket pull ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. But most Italian espresso is merely passable and nothing anyone around these parts would be particularly proud of.

    Weirdly all the Italian baristas I know are obsessed with the single basket, almost prefering to use it over the double.

    Too right about the latte art – post some pics soon though!

    I want to come and drink coffee!

  3. In regards to CoE.. I think it has been said by one of the founders of CoE that all these fabulous coffees existed before, they have just been thrown in with all the rest for so long.
    It’s amazing when you think about it. If this is just the early stages, where will it be in 10 years?

  4. yes a triple basket’s a crutch, but cut the crap about “true” doubles. a double is what you want it too be as long as it tastes good, anyone can pull a 1.5oz+ double, but personally i prefer the flavour of a slower, shorter more lucious pull. Don’t preach set rules for volumes and techniques, flavour is what’s important.

    as for 20oz cups, gross. I refuse to serve anything larger than 12oz, my boss is right behind me on it and any customer who wants a big fat bowl of milky crap can go to hell

  5. Phil, I’ve seen first hand situations where a roaster / barista team swore up and down their blend was crafted to work best at a certain set of parameters (ie, triple basket, specific temp, specific machine, pulling maybe 40mls); only to have another barista coming along (helps that he was of championship calibre) and go “let’s see how this pulls as a 60ml double from a double basket”… and BEAT the taste profile on the claimed “best” for that shot.

    Another situation, close to home. I was pulling 20g doubles (60ml) in La Marzocco’s lab with Barnett’s coffee. Nick was pulling 18g doubles, slightly less volume. We thought our shots were good. It’s what Andrew’s blend was, more or less, designed for. The Piero Bambi steps up and adjusts grind, doses 15g max, and pulls two 25ml doubles and beats us on taste.

    Every day I explore espresso, every day I realise that we cheat and connive our way to great shots. Many times I see examples of master baristas who can extract something tasting just as good from a 14, 16, 18g dose into 50-60ml of liquid that others need 18, 21, 24g doses to extract into 30-40ml of liquid to even approach the taste balance of the more traditional shot.

    So I’ll continue to preach this, cuz dude, I’ve seen it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. fair enough, i’m not sure if perhaps we’ve merely mis-understood each other.
    All i’m trying to say is don’t get stuck with a set ideal, never rule out that something different might be better…

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