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Kilimajaro’s
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 03:41 PM - 11 months, 1 week ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Kilimajaro’s
We are delighted to once again offer these three processes of one coffee from Aida Batlle’s farm, Kilimanjaro. All three process are the same Kenia and Bourbon mix of varietals. This year an outbreak of rust affected more than half of Kilimanjaro’s crop, which means that production is down, so unfortunately we were only able to secure a small lot of this coffee. We believe that coffee pricing should be sustainable, and the loss of coffee meant that this year the price for the coffee produced was significantly more. Year after year, Aida has produced great coffee and we want to see that continue. First we have the Washed process, which we feel is really defined by the crisp lime, tangerine and honeydew melon notes. Balancing this fruit is more fruit! It has a refreshing cranberry acidity that leads to a nicely rounded cup. Grab a bag here! Next up is the Pulped Natural which has a ripe sweet pineapple acidity, with notes of pistachio nuts and juicy mandarins. It has a pleasant delicate sweetness and a silky mouthfeel. Pick some up here! Finally is the Natural, which is a delicious mix of strawberries and cream with sweet milk chocolate – everything we expect a tasty natural to be. It has a creamy, custard-like mouthfeel and a surprising, delicate, raspberry acidity. Available here! As always with the Kilimanjaros we are able to get some cascara also. This is so very delicious, with notes of cranberries, red currants and tobacco followed with a sweet rich toffee. Also available here!

Brewing Class with Ben Kaminsky
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 01:28 PM - 12 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Brewing Class with Ben Kaminsky
On Wednesday July 7th we’re delighted to be hosting Ben Kaminsky’s brewing class here at the Roastery. Ben has given this class around the world, and has rightly received both great feedback and great results. We’re excited he’s giving it here in London and we strongly encourage those with an eye to improve quality, and to move coffee forward, to attend. Brewing Class Ticket – £130 (Price includes VAT) More info: Ben Kaminsky will be presenting some of his research on coffee and espresso brewing, grinding, and roasting, that are sure to answer some long standing questions and likely raise many more (e.g. Is espresso brewing inherently flawed? What actually constitutes an espresso roast?). He will be focusing heavily on techniques surrounding the EK43 grinder, including how to produce a “coffee shot”, a new way for brewing filter coffee that he thinks will likely replace the industry’s best and fastest brewers to date. This course covers practical ways to improve quality while decreasing costs, as well as new possibilities for coffee and espresso service. Half the course will be spent in practical tasting of the theory covered in the lecture. Ben recommends you understand the basic elements of extraction, including practical use of an extract mojo if you want to get the most out of the class, though beginners are also welcomed. Ben Kaminsky is the 2009, 2010, and 2011 United States Cup Tasters Champion and former director of quality control, espresso and innovation at Ritual Coffee Roasters in San Francisco. Since leaving Ritual eight months ago, he has been consulting full time on equipment design, training, roasting and sourcing. He also coached Matt Perger using many of the techniques covered in this class to a second place finish at this year’s World Barista Championships.

Las Flores Varietal pack
Friday, July 26, 2013 - 04:02 PM - 1 year ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Las Flores Varietal pack
Ever wondered whether varietal makes a difference? Well here’s your chance to decide for yourself. We have both the Pacas and Catuai varietals from the Las Flores Farm in the La Paz region of Honduras. The Pacas has an outstanding mouthfeel that reminds us of treacle. It also has a lovely red apple acidity with notes of cherries, grapes and a hint of peach in the finish. The Catuai we found to be light but complete, there’s a lovely combination of acacia honey and nougat that is reminiscent of sweet halva. It has a delicate pear acidity and a combination of blackberries, brazil nuts and dried fruit. Grab yourself a pack here!

Griffin mugs!
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 02:37 PM - 1 year ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Griffin mugs!
Need a nice mug to drink your tasty brewed coffee from? Well here it is! The two-tone cambridge style mug with black griffin print and black interior is a great vessel wether using a V60, Aeropress or even a Clever Dripper. Mug has a 250ml capacity is dishwasher proof and does all the things other mugs do! Grab yourself one here.

ndaroini aa
Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - 08:00 AM - 1 year ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
ndaroini aa
An exciting new single origin espresso for the sunny days! We have here a treat from Kenya and its not for the unadventurous! Upfront you’ll get a super sweet pink grapefruit flavour, with an incredibly juicy body. It has tonnes of lemon and lime on the nose and a candied citrus sweetness. Last year we picked up one of the Ndaroini AB lots, this year we opted for the AA. As so many of our favourite Nyeri factories, this one is also situated just outside of Karatina town. Near 700 growers deliver their cherry here, and the picking gets sorted, weighed and pulped within 12 hours of coming off the trees. Great care is taken not to damage the parchment covering the coffee or the coffee itself, and the drying is slow and carefully monitored in order to prevent fermentation or mold growth as it dries. Once it has reached its proper level of humidity, the coffee might be stored in conditioning bins on site at the factory for equilibration, before being freighted to the dry mill for sampling and grading. Grab yourself a bag here

Cafe Manager required
Friday, June 28, 2013 - 03:37 PM - 1 year, 1 month ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Square Mile Coffee Roasters are collaborating with The Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, to open a cafe there this Autumn. We’re looking for someone to manage the cafe, and to lead the team there. We’re looking for someone to start around the 9th of August, with the cafe opening a month later. Obviously we’re looking for someone with knowledge and interest in coffee. However, we intend to have a very heavy focus on service and are looking for someone passionate about great service. We don’t mean this as a throwaway line, we really mean great service. Unusually, wonderfully, freakishly good service. We’re looking for someone who relishes the challenge of meeting exceptional standards in coffee and the coffee experience, who strives to make great coffee approachable. Please send a short CV and covering letter to info@squaremilecoffee.com Due to the volume of applications we shall only be responding to those who progress to the interview stage.

La Bolsa, Guatemala
Monday, June 24, 2013 - 12:15 PM - 1 year, 1 month ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
After a long wait, we’re happy and proud to finally present to you this pleasing and satisfying coffee, sugar syrup sweet with notes of vanilla, fudge and pear. It has a soft, creamy, almost custard like mouthfeel, with a delicate red berry juiciness. One of Anette’s favourite coffee growing regions in the world is Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Just outside the small town of Santo Domingo about 7 kilometer from the Mexican border (you can actually see the tree-less line that is the border as you drive to the farm), Finca La Bolsa is a farm that we have known for year, and finally been able to visit and buy a big lot of coffee from. You can purchase this coffee via the webshop , and read more about Anette’s visit there in her previous post !

HONDURAS LAS FLORES PACAS
Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 10:09 AM - 1 year, 1 month ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
HONDURAS LAS FLORES PACAS
With summer just on our doorstep we have for you a Pacas selection from the Las Flores farm, in the La Paz region of Honduras. This single varietal coffee is a great example of Pacas, and is full of notes of cherries and grapes, with some subtle peach in the finish. A lovely full mouthfeel that reminds us all of treacle and a crisp red apple freshness makes this a delicious coffee, hopefully to enjoy in the sunshine! You can get some here.

The Kenyas are here!
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 04:04 PM - 1 year, 2 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
They are here, and are making their presence felt immediately with an exciting and delicious start to the Kenyan season! First up we have the Kiawamaruru Peaberry, which as it was last year is tasting amazing. Very crisp and refreshing the light and elegantly textured peaberry reminds us of orange sherbert with some floral overtones, a whole lot of caramel sweetness and a super juicy mouthfeel. Get yourself a bag here. Following up is the newcomer Ndimaini AA which has made quite the entrance. It has an amazing syrupy texture balanced out with a vibrant acidity. We found lots of blackcurrants, blackberries and cocoa notes leaving a lovely sweet aftertaste for some time. Grab some here.

Costa Rica, Cup of Excellence
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 03:19 PM - 1 year, 2 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Costa Rica, Cup of Excellence
Day one Day one was calibration day, We started with a introduction to Cup of Excellence from Jon Thompson our head judge, which was quickly followed by a solutions calibration- there were 9 solutions on the table and we had to pick which was which from: Ordinary Acids Ordinary acids with sweetness Body Rough Mouthfeel Smooth Mouthfeel Astrigent Complex acids with sweetness Complex acid Sweetness This was fun, until I hit the bowl that was body- it was like drinking a bowl of spit- it looked like water but was thick and had ‘body’ it was all kinds of gross (I got most of them right except I got the acids mixed up) After this we cupped two tables, The first was 3 bowls, they were designed to fall within 3 main scoring categories – high 70’s- low 80s, mid 80’s and high 80’s -early 90‘s, this was so we could get a idea of what to expect of a coffee within a score range, I think this was incredibly helpful to get a idea of what to expect within those ranges. The final table was a table of 6 bowls for the final calibration cupping, it was apparent that we where going to find more than one type of processing on the tables in the next couple of days, which made for interesting discussions, during our post cupping discussions one of the national cuppers told us more about honey process - in Costa Rica they have what they refer to as the honey process which is basically just a variation on pulped natural (or semi washed) but with varying degrees of mucilage left on- The percentage of mucilage is set by calibrating the pulpers to allow the correct amount of mucilage to be removed. White = 25% mucilage Yellow = 50% Mucilage Red = 100% no ferment Black = 100% and is allowed to ferment a ‘touch’ Both Red and Black is dried on african beds at about 24-28º at lower altitude Gold = 100% no ferment, on african beds but at higher altitude at 17º so the drying time is longer. (disclaimer- over the next couple of days I noticed a little bit of disagreement about the honey process, some people think its rubbish, some think that it depends completely on the ripeness of the coffee and you could never set out to do a particular process without knowing the coffee first and some love it!) After calibration we went to Micros plantas, they are a tissue culture lab for ornamental plants that they sell mainly to the US and Holland market- they export 10 million plants a year. They are working with Exclusive coffees at reproducing rust resistant varietals using tissue culture – they do this by ‘cloning’ approved plants, they start by cutting a section of the leaf and placing in a firm media (which is the nutrition source) Leaf in firm media Once cells start growing they place it into a liquid media to encourage growth of the embryos, When they start growing they are placed it into a firm media where the embryos start to multiply and grow further before they sprout and are placed in the nursery. Cells in liquid media The whole process takes a 1year and after this is it can be planted straight into the farm as its root structure is much stronger than standard plants, the success rate of these is 95% as opposed to seeds which have a 20% fail rate. The pro’s to this process is consistency, low price, resistance and success rate, plants cultivated in this way can reproduce in the traditional but way it is recommended that they don’t as you don’t know where the pollen is coming from and thus weakening the genetics- Micro Plantas hope that in 3-4 years they will build a program called ‘relationship coffee’ which will be the micro lots with specific cultivars for specific buyers that will remain consistent across years. Micro Plantas also certify plants so if they die the will be replaced free of charge assuming that specific procedures have been followed once planted on the farm, they are also continuing to research rust resistance so that more work can be done for future cultivars. I think that this idea certainly has some pros and cons but is very interesting and it will be interesting to see where it goes. Next we took a quick trip to Exclusive coffees dry mill, Exclusive coffees started with 15 micro mills and now have up to 80, their dedicated team of cuppers cups up to 4500 Costa Rican samples a year- if any one knows Costa rica coffees its got to be theses guys, one of the cuppers there Wayner (who is also on the CoE jury) has done a really interesting study with 5105 samples about altitude vs Varietal, I think with a couple years more data this will be fascinating and I hope he can publish it some where for us all to read when he has reached a conclusion. Ladies hand sorting at Exclusive Milled coffee being weighed into bags ready for dispatch. Samples library Cupping table Day Two Day two is the first day of competition, there are only 31 coffees passed by the national jury so its a easy couple of days- round one is spread over 4 tables and 2 days – the first day throws up some surprises, especially are far as processing goes, I’ve come to expect only washed coffees to be on the tables but there are certainly a couple of honey process in there, as a jury we seem to be MOSTLY in agreement- of course there are a couple of outliners as you come to expect. The taste descriptors (my favorite part) where fairly subdued for this competition- I love hearing what people from all over the world come up with for these! In the afternoon we went to to Sonora estate, which is where Finca Cacao came from that we used in last years Red Brick and was also used by Jordi in the Spanish barista champ last year in Vienna. The farm is 100 years old although the family have not owned it for this long, they produce approx 700 bags a year and during peak season have 70-80 farmers who live in the houses provided, the coffee trees where pulled down and sugar was grown – hence why they have a sugar mill on site, They found some bourbon trees that managed to escape being ripped out and they cultivated some more plants from- they still have these original 100 year out bourbons growing on the estate (although not producing coffee) You can read more about Sonora Estate can be read in Anettes blog Nursery at Sonora Estate Diego Guardia showing us a baby Geisha. Coffee waiting to be milled at Sonora Estate Drying patios at Sonora Estate- coffee is pumped to the patios by the blue pipe at the far end. Old unused sugar mill at Sonora Estate On day 3 after cupping we went to Cafe de Altura, which is a mill situated in San Ramon, Cafe Altura is HUGE, they predominately do more commodity quality coffee but in the last couple of years have started trying to improve their systems so they are able to do more Micro lots. They produce 60,000 bags a year and work with 800 producers, they are one of the largest mills in the country. Although the mill has been there for 100 years a couple of years ago it went bankrupt, this is when Don Luis rallied some producers together and they went to the bank got a mortage and brought the mill so they would have somewhere to keep processing their coffee, there are 534 share holders of the mill and they managed to pay off the whole mortage in 8 crops- the terms of being a share holder is that you have to deliver 1800 fanega’s (a fanega is approx. 55 liters of cherry) During peak season Cafe de Altura can produce 3000 bags a day, coming from any of their 38 receiving stations that are spread out around the area, 35% of their production comes from the Tarrazu region. Cafe de Altura is also where the Cup of Excellence coffees have been stored during competiton and after competition they will be dry milled (if needed) and packed ready to go out to the highest bidders at auction. Francisco explaining how the cherry gets delivered. one of a couple of huge depulpers. Depulper for Microlots. Destoner. Mechanical driers Density sorters Bagging machine. Coffee dried and in parchment ready to be milled. Cup of Excellence coffees under lock and key waiting to be milled (if needed) and then they will be vacuum packed and sent out to the winning bidders in the auction. Cup of Excellence coffee with security tags to ensure the coffee is the correct one. Top ten coffees being cupped. Without these people the competition would not run! WINNER! The auction will happen on 19th of June, I can’t wait to see were the coffees go!

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