Friday, December 28, 2012

Review of Kopi Luwak preroasted



As I graduated my education, my colleagues gave me some presents. One of them was 70 gr. of the coffee kopi luwak.

A little background knowledge for those who don’t know the coffee in this link.
I thought of this, as a perfect opportunity to make a review of my experiences.
This is a very hyped and discussed coffee, cashing in at about 600$ per kilo. With that in mind, my expectations was high.

I found myself skeptical from the beginning. As the picture shows, the
beans are packaged in an air tight plastic bag. In my perspective, this is not a sign of quality.

I would like a one-way valve.

The person who bought the coffee was told that they were roasted less than a week ago. I have a really hard time believing that. There were no aromas as I opened the bag, none what so ever.
I decided to make a shot of espresso first. Dialing in the grinder with only 70 gr. of beans can be quite a challenge. I went for a brewratio of 55%. I managed to make a decent shot in my first attempt. 20 gr. of dry coffee, giving me 37 gr. of extracted coffee in 28 seconds. 

The aromas were still rather weak. When I sipped the cup, a very powerful fresh, and fruity flavor fills my mouth. At first I thought it was going to be a taste of acid. But the flavor staid, just at the positive side. In my perspective of course. As the notes of fruit came further back in my mouth, it became a penetrating nutty flavor, with hints of caramel. After finishing the cup, the notes staid in my mouth for a long time. I made a total of three shots espresso. All with the same outcome. Good, but no way near a value of the price.
I gave the last beans a go in my french press. 

Just enough for one cup


 This way of brewing suits the coffee much better. The earthy and nutty notes at the beginning, followed by caramel notes at the end. Everything working together in a way ,that seems more natural than in the espresso machine. 

At our household, 70 gr. of beans produces little more than 1 liters of coffee. I think it’s quite expensive, 55-60$ per liter coffee. The price just don’t match the quality and experience.       

I think this is a good coffee. It tastes good, works well and is easy to handle.  I have defiantly tried better and much cheaper. Because of that, I wouldn’t buy it myself.  

After reading an article about the coffee, I might have found the answer to my lack of enthusiasm.  Andrew Hetzel from Coffee Business Strategies, reports of comprehensive fraud with this particular coffee. Big brands, big money and big hype equal a lot of scammers. Unfortunately. It’s estimated that 5000% of the kopi luwak sold worldwide is fake. That’s a massive number. I am tempted to think I am the proud owner of 100 gr. fake kopi luwak coffe. Expensive coffee looks just like the cheap stuff, that is why no one knows if their being scammed buying kopi luwak.   
The organic perspective, with nature and animal in harmonic symbiosis seems to be deseving as well. If you are to trust Andrew Hetzel, the civet-like animal Paradoxurus are being held in small cages at large areas, while force-feed with coffee beans. Not the coffee fairytale the sellers tell and show its consumers. I haven’t looked further in to this accusation and don’t know if there is any kind of evidence. I sure hope it’s not so.  
The article in Danish 

Best regards and a Happy Newyear 

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Monday, December 24, 2012

New guy on the blog

I am the new member of Coffee Channel. I have been invited to contribute with some of the posts on the blog. Hopefully I can fulfill the expectations.
I have recently graduated as Ambulance assistant. Unfortunately, there are not any jobs currently. Therefore my future is a little uncertain. But, worst case, I will have a lot of time posting on this blog.
I am 25 years old, living with my girlfriend and our common son at 16 months.
I have always been very fond of coffee. At first it was a need, in the early hours when I was a sheet metal worker. But in time I discovered the joy of fresh, grounded coffee of different kinds in my frenchpress.
One day at a gas station, I bought a cappuccino in a plastic mug. At that time, in my point of view, that was by far the best cup of coffee I had ever consumed. Already at that point, my enthusiasm and passion for espresso had begun. I just didn’t know it yet.
With some help from Google, I learned that cappuccino contains 1/3 espresso, 1/3 hot(steamed) milk and 1/3 milk foam (not the way I do it now) Again with the help of Google I found out, the espresso were made under pressure. But my god, those machines were expensive.
With that in mind I bought a mokkapot. The seller promised at the website, that it could make very good espresso. It couldn’t. Strong coffee (mokka) yes, but that’s it. To froth my milk, I bought an automatic heater andfrother from bodum. As you can properly guess at this point, the outcomes were bad. I then bought a very cheap espresso machine, very bad investment. After hours of reading on numerous coffee forums, I came to the conclusion, as many others properly, that there are no loopholes. When you want to make espresso, you have to spend some money.
I bought a 2nd hand Rancilio Silvia, and ignored all advises on buying a good grinder first. A few weeks later I had to come up with some money to buy a grinder, because grinded coffee from the coffeehouse just wasn’t good enough. I have the understanding, that many people coming in to the world of coffee, has the same experience as me. I will contribute to this blog, from the ground and up, all the basics, hoping to make the hard beginning foreseeable for the novice. I have only done espresso for about two years, and still have a lot to learn.
At this point I have the Silvia, and the Ascaso i-1 alu. I do believe I can produce very fair espresso and cappuccinos, which is still my favorite, with these two machines. But I am still at a low budget. Therefore I always try to get the most, of least. Not saying that I compromise with quality, but I search for the cheap stuff, that will do as close to thehigh-end expensive stuff as possible.
I have made several improvements and mods for my Silvia (and more to come), which I will post on the blog. Silvia is a very popular machine, and I hope that many readers will find my how to´s useful.
I could go on and on about my love and passion for coffee. Hopefully this will be reflected in my posts to the blog.
Best regards And a Merry Chistmas


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