December 2014 Newsletter
Holiday closing dates will be as follows:
LAST ROAST will be on Wednesday 17th DECEMBER 2014.
LAST SHIPPING DAY & CLOSE will be Friday 19th DECEMBER 2014.
REOPEN on Tuesday 6th JANUARY 2015.
As per our usual practice, customers are reminded that we will be
running our stocks of roasted coffee down to zero, and late orders
may be filled by whatever coffees are available, not what you
actually ordered. This means that we cannot guarantee the contents
of orders after Wednesday 17th.
Our Holiday Special coffee heralds the return of an old favourite in
new, more intense, richer clothes.
PNG Tungei Peaberry
That's right, New Guinea Peaberry is finally back! Grown in the
Tungei district of the Waghi Valley in PNG, this coffee offers a
sweet honey and nut front palate with a rich creamy body and
absolutely smooth finish.
I've had a few communications from customers in the last couple of
months commenting on my tasting notes and asking about my tasting
methods, so here goes:
FIRST TASTE is generally at what we call a "cupping roast" AKA
"Nordic Roast", where the beans are just barely roasted enough to
get through a grinder. This is traditional cupping, x amount of just
off the boil water poured directly onto y grams of medium ground
coffee. We sniff the ground coffee, the coffee that's just had hot
water poured on it, the coffee as we remove the crust of grounds on
the surface, and finally the brew itself.
Only after that do we dip a spoon into the coffee, slurp, swish and
spit. Now for me, this stage of tasting is the least exciting bit of
the process. The very light roast certainly shows up any faults, but
it only reveals some of the potential. Still, if a coffee passes
this stage I'll generally set about doing 2 or 3 test roasts.
SECOND TASTE involves cupping the different roasts against each
other, then deciding on which best brings out the qualities of the
bean. We use this to decide on a roasting profile, then do a final
THIRD TASTE is quite specific, and unique to Coffee for
Connoisseurs. I brew the final test roast in my Cona Model A syphon
and have the coffee for breakfast. Depending on how it comes up in
the syphon I may then try it as a double espresso. We then roast
10kg at a time in a Probat commercial roaster, give it a final
cupping to ensure it matches the desired profile, and I sit down and
work out my tasting notes.
Now as some of my customers have noted I try to keep the
descriptions simple. Whenever I read something like "traces of
elderflower and tea rose in the aroma, with notes of pink guava and
lychee in the front palate" my mind just about blanks out. My nose
and taste buds simply aren't that specific. "A floral aroma with
sweet fruit" is more my style.
Finally, the coming year will be our 30th year in the specialty
coffee business. We are grateful for the continued support of our
customers and suppliers, and wish everyone a safe and happy holiday
season and a prosperous New Year!
Until next year