Saturday, February 20, 2010

Danish Cuptasting Championships 2010

Congratulations Mads Høgsted !

He won the final with 8 out of 8 correct cups. Mads works at Copenhagen Roaster/ Estate Coffee and is a hell of guy. We respect him so much and we wish him all the luck in London for the World Championships.

See you there Mads !

Friday, February 12, 2010

2 Year Anniversary

On the 13th of February we're celebrating that it's now 2 years since we opened our Coffee Shop & Roastery.

We can't believe it's already been two years since we dug into the basement on Jægersborggade with the Probat and La Marzocco and started making coffee for the good people on Nørrebro - and eventually all over the country.Thanks to everyone who's been part of the journey so far!

We'd like to invite all our customers and friends to come by for some great coffees and beer and help us celebrate! We'll have one keg of a very special coffee beer on tap, featuring our very own Kiawamururu from Kenya.

Saturday Feb 13th from 20:00 - midnight at
The Coffee Collective Risteri & Kaffebar
Jægersborggade 10
2200 København N

You can also see the event on Facebook and add it to your calendar.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Esmeralda Roast Tuesday 16th February

We are now roasting the Esmeralda Special only on a limited basis to keep it fresh. 
Next roast will be Tuesday February 16th.

You can pre-order it on the webshop here.

Please note that the coffee will ship same day as roasted and not before. To make sure you get yours on time, we need to have your order by 9 o'clock the same morning. If you order any additional coffees we'll wait with sending it all together to save you of the postal costs.

La Esmeralda Special
Boquete, Panama
Direct Trade

A sweet and clean cup. Fresh with a elegant aromas af abricot, bergamot, heather honey and jasmine. 

At Hacienda La Esmeralda the Petersons grow a small lot of the Arabica variety Geisha. The Geisha originates from Ethiopia and is characterised by an astonishing fruity and floral aroma. The coffee is selectively hand picked and then mechanically demucilaged, washed and then dried with sun or a combination of sun a machine drying.
For the past couple of years the Esmeralda Special has only been sold on an auction held by the Petersons, where roasters from all over the world are bidding against each other. We are very happy that we got a lot and are able to present this coffee for the first time in Denmark. We have roasted this coffee quite light with a bit more heat towards the end, so the freshness and the natural aromas are brought out the most.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Nyeri, Kenya, 4th of February 2010

....First of all sorry for the lack of more pictures. We have taken tons but the internet is way too slow to upload right now. We promise we will post them as soon as possible....

We have now visited all the wetmills of the Societies of Tekangu, Gikanda and Mugaga. Yesterday we cupped most of their samples sent in to the drymill. So today it was very exciting to visit the places that produced the coffees tested yesterday.

All these wetmills have a very high quality and offers that clear aroma of Nyeri that we are looking for. Some are exceptionally distinct with something very rarely seen. We will wait a bit to reveal which ones exactly we are going to buy, but they are all of such level that me and Casper just sat and stared at each other when trying them again on aeropress last night. The crop is significantly smaller this year in most of Kenya because of draught. This will lead to higher prices for us to pay. We will gladly pay that higher price since the quality of the best beans is still just as high as last year.

Ernest (at picture to the right from last blogpost) at the Central Kenyan Coffee mill was with us when we cupped the samples yesterday and gave us some really good input on the samples. He proved what a Pro-cupper he is when he suggested a coffee-break (!) between two of his endless cupping sessions. This man tries thousands of coffees for a living and still seems to appreciate to lean back with his cup of drip just as much even if just came from the cupping table. Impressing.

There were a lot of questions arising when visiting the wetmills- we have learned so much. One could imagine that you would get blasé visiting so many wetmills in such a short timespan. The process is very similar at all wetmills and it is more the attention to details that make the difference, which it is hard to see sometimes. But you actually get more interested the more you learn.

We had a very animated discussion with one of the farmers today. He went straight to the core and said that the many of the accessories needed for his farming are very expensive and always produced in the countries we come from. So we basically got an appeal to lower the prices on for example pesticides. Unfortunately we had to tell him that we don’t have much saying when it comes to set these prices, but it’s definitely something worth to think of.

We know chemicals used in coffee production don’t sound good. But in Kenya there is no way around it. We have written about it before but it’s worth mentioning again. Here they have at least 2 diseases affecting coffee trees that you can’t ignore of you want to have any trees left for the next season.

And with the farmers words ringing in the head, one can easily understand that he wont spray his trees with anything but the bare minimum even if the prices on pesticides would go down to the half.

As you might have understood, the work with this years harvest is over for the farmers and wetmills. Now is the time to do all the things that where were set-aside during the hectic period. Repairing and overseeing equipment like drybeds and de-pulpers. For the farmers it is time to think about pruning.

Tomorrow early morning we head back for Nairobi to see settle some last things about the handling of the green beans. And then we fly home to the snowstorms.

It has been an incredible visit here in Nyeri and we will for sure come back. The dedication of these people is amazing and you can really feel that they care for what they produce. Not talking of how dependent they are on every crop to survive. And they are very aware of the fact that anything that can improve the quality and quantity of the next harvest is essential for them to get better prices.

One thing that surprised us was how often it was the farmers that brought up Direct Trade as their vision of the future. Almost before we even had introduced ourselves they started talking about all the benefits of this trade model versus the others.

We could always see the benefits for us and had seen how it could be of mutual interest at other places where we buy our coffee. But that the farmers here themselves at all the wetmills we visited were so focused and already had such a clear strategy about Direct Trade- this was a revelation to us.

So this makes it really easy for us to leave this time- we know we will be back.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nyeri, Kenya, 3rd of February 2010

The big day! Been cupping the samples and what a thrill... Now we have just tested the samples on the Aeropress here at the hotel....hmm..
...more about this tomorrow..

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Nyeri, Kenya, 2nd of February 2010

The Coffee Collective is now on the spot to look at the results from this years harvest in Kenya. We have been looking forward to this trip ever since last year when Peter Dupont was here. This is the time of the year when the farmers send their samples in to the drymills to be tested, classified and then sold to buyers from around the world. The nomenclature from the different stages in harvest and postharvest is different in different countries. And the exportprocess also varies. You can read more about how the Kenyan coffeeindustry is organized, how they grow and process in Peters report from last year.

Yesterday we drove up the highway early in morning from Nairobi heading for Nyeri. It's a nice drive since this is coffeeland practically all the way to Mt Kenya. The area we are very found of is on the southwestern highplateau next to this impressive mountain.

Arriving at the drymill we already knew that there were farmers waiting to meet us. The drymill is where the coffeebeans are having their last processing before beeing ready to ship. We had no time to linger and went to off meet the farmers at the Tekangu society. After a short meeting at their office it was time to to have a look at the wetmill of Karaguto. A Society in Kenya is a gathering of wetmills and a wetmill is a gathering of many farms. Wetmills in Kenya are called factories, bur we will use the term wetmill here to keep this little report simple. The farms are quite small, so it is necessary for them to organize themselves to get access to all the facilities necessary to produce coffee of high and consistent quality. Peter from the drymill provided excellent help and was essential when explaining everything from the seed to the drymill.

It becomes very obviuos to any visitor that the work at the wetmill, society and finally drymill, is essential to what we as roasters receive. After Karaguto we went to see the wetmills of Nguruguru and finally Tegu.

This morning we had another busy day from the morning. We had to split to be able to do all the things we had planned. Casper stayed at the drymill to testroast some samples and I (Linus) went to see some more farms and wetmills at the Gikanda Society. I met with the chairman of the Society to discuss if there was any coffees that might be of interest to us and the future plans of both The Coffee Collective and the farmers of Gikanda. This is always rewarding- we are both working in the same field but at the same time we have very different conditions. For us it is extremely interesting to discuss how we both can improve and eventually find new ideas. I finally went around to see the wetmills of Gichathaini, Kangocho and Ndaroini. After many questions, discussions and approximately 1 million pictures it was time to return to the drymill. I was driving around together with Jeremaia who is doing an outstanding work in helping the farmers and communicating their needs to others.

I went to meet Casper at the drymill where he was just about to finish sampleroasting. It was very interesting to hear his first impressions from some of the places I had just visited. Erenest from the drymill had provided very much help to Casper and facilitated for us to roast to a degree thar we don´t know how to thank him. Tomorrow we are going to cup samples we roasted today and it´s going to to be a thrill!