Tuesday, June 29, 2010

TCC at Roskilde Festival

At this years Roskilde Festival - the largest music festival in Northern Europe - visitors will be able to have a delicious cup of TCC coffee. Together with our good friends at Manfred's, who will serve amazing and nutritious food, we'll be opening a coffee shop from Thursday when the music starts till Sunday when it stops.

You can find us at Manfreds in the Nordic area Hal B, booth number 09-09.

The menu will be simple; espresso, cappuccino, caffe latte, iced latte and americano at very reasonable prices too. We've got a great crew of experienced baristas behind the 2-group La Marzocco and Robur E grinder, so the quality should live up to our usual expectations.

Manfred's will be serving their infamous Coarse Pea Soup with cold-pressed rape seed oil, their thick Koldskål (look it up if you're from another country), fresh strawberries from Rokkedyssegård as well as some hearty sandwiches, buns and oat meal. Everything you need to come back to life after the concerts.

See you at Roskilde!

Monday, June 28, 2010

WBC 2010 London

Another World Barista Championship is over.

First of all: Congratulations to Mike Phillips, the new World Barista Champion. We're really happy to see Mike claim the title as he's a wonderful ambassador for specialty coffee and all around a good guy.

The whole WBC and Caffe Culture show was most of all a great opportunity to catch up with old coffee friends and meet new. By now it's like a family reunion every time, and sort of sad when it's all over. We just wish there was more time to talk with everyone. We had great talks with so many people, Mike Phillips, James Hoffmann, Anette Moldvaer, Stephen Morrisey, Tim Wendelboe, Tim Varney, Tim Styles (all those Tims...), Geoff Watts, Doug Zell, Peter Giuliano, Liz Clayton, everyone from La Marzocco and on and on. I really shouldn't have started listing any names, cuz I could go on for hours and I'm sure to be forgetting too many.

Linus & Geoff Watts

We're also really thrilled to have been selected by La Marzocco to get one of the first two prototypes of the brand new La Marzocco espresso machine named Strada. Kent Bakke offically presented the Strada and that The Coffee Collective will have a machine for field testing very soon. You can check out more about the Strada on the LM blog. And we'll blog much more once the machine is here.

The brand new La Marzocco Strada MP

Pressure Gauge on top of each group

For us, at the Collective, it was also exciting to go as a whole group. Besides the four owners, Casper, Linus, Peter and Klaus, we had two of our baristas join us, AnneStine and Mathias. Besides that we had four girlfriends/wives and two children, plus our "intern" Jordan Barber. So we should really thank our two remaining baristas, Sara and Sofia, for running the coffee shop while we were away. They streamed the whole WBC live in the coffee shop too, so they really were there with us in spirit.


Our Espresso blend was also to be found at the WBC Espresso Bar. We brought 20 kilos to be served during day 1, and our friend Jordan Barber volunteered for the task of pulling shots and serving cappuccinos for the visitors.

TCC & Jordan Barber

Outside the Olympia exhibition center, where the whole event took place, we visited some of London's good coffee spots. Square Mile roastery, Penny University, Kaffeine, Prufrock @ Present, Taste of Bitter Love, Fernandez & Wells, Milk Bar and of course Flat White. It was really interesting to taste the different coffees and even the same espresso in different locations. Overall we were quite impressed with how much the level has improved and we had some really great coffees. London, for it's size, still has a lot of opportunity for growth in great coffee places and we're sure it will evolve immensely in the coming years.

So now we're back home feeling really inspired and eager to see everyone again.
Thanks to everyone for making it a really fantastic week!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hacienda La Esmeralda Special 2010

As if the two new Kenyan coffees weren't enough we are now also ready to present this year's lot of the famous La Esmeralda Special 2010.

Wednesday June 16th from 16:00 - 17:00 there will be an open public cupping, where you can taste this spectacular coffee.

So what makes the Esmeralda Special so special?
Well, first off it's the variety Geisha, that was imported from Ethiopia into Panama in the middle of the last century. This variety apparently took really well to the Panamanian micro-climate around the town of Boquete and the Peterson family have done a great job in cultivating it. The coffee is selectively hand picked and then mechanically demucilaged, washed and then dried with sun or a combination of sun a machine drying. All the Esmeralda Special lots on auction were (of course) vacuum packed.

The Esmeralda Special have been awarded many times and it's the first farm I know of to have an internet auction for their own coffee. We like how the usual Buyer/Seller power has shifted in this regard. Since the farm started entering the Best of Panama competition (Panama's equivalent to Cup of Excellence) they have achieved the highest ever price for a coffee paid to the farm. This year the winning lot from BoP reached an astounding $ 170,20 pr pound! (Compare that to the Fair Trade minimum price of about $ 1,26 pr pound and you get an idea about how high this price is).

Esmeralda Special have won:
· 1st Place “Best of Panama” (2010, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004)
· 1st Place Specialty Coffee Association of America Roasters Guild Cupping Pavilion (2007, 2006, 2005)
· 1st Place Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality (2008, 2007, 2006, 2004)
· And actually many more competitions - we just can't be bothered to list more now...

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Harvest from Kenya on the streets

Thanks to everybody who turned up to try our 2 new coffees from Kenya. Many turned up to just have a sip and the ones who could get seats saw a small presention where we talked about these 2 wetmills and why and how we choose to put some extra effort to get these specific coffees.

We have now put some of the pictures from Gatina and Kieni on Flickr.

Good questions from everybody- we love to discuss why a coffee have a specific taste.

A nice harvest indeed.

Monday, June 7, 2010

New Coffees from Kenya!

On Wednesday June 9th at 16:00 o'clock we're proud to present two new Kenyan coffees!

The coffees are from two different Wet Mills - or factories as they like to call it in Kenya - both in the Nyeri region: Kieni and Gatina

Casper and Linus spent a week in Kenya in February visiting different mills and societies just as the harvest had been completed, but before any of these coffees were snatched up by others.

You can read about their trip here and here.

So join us on Wednesday at 16:00 when the two new coffees will hit the shelves and we'll be offering free samples brewed on French Press. Linus and Casper will show pictures and tell about their trip and how we source and buy coffees.

At 17:00 we'll be doing an open cupping session of these new coffees where we hope you will join in.

We'll be back with more info about these coffees and new labels for them in due time.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On the current situation in Guatamala

The harvest is finished in Guatamala and we have visited and selected this years lots from Finca Vista Hermosa. While we are waiting for the coffee to be all ready for export, nature is demonstrating its power in Guatamala.

After an erupting volcano and a tropical depression, the president has declared the country in a state of "national calamity".

Edwin Martinez of Finca Vista Hermosa has made a post about the situation here.

Edwin finishes his post with the statement that if "you’re wondering how you can help. You can visit, sometime when the airport is not shut down, and drink good coffee. Tourism and coffee are the #1 and #2 sources of revenue for Guatemala.."

We can promise that we will follow up on his proposal!