Coffee Lover. Surfer. Poker Player.
Hello aficionados, amateurs and general enthusiasts of coffee! I consider myself amongst the latter category. On Tuesday the 4th September I was lucky enough to attend the second module of Coffee Culture Classes hosted by InFood Coffee Society, the brainchild of the owner, Jane.
The module was on manual brewing methods and this naturally went hand in hand with the type of grinds and blends best suited to each method.
From the most fine (Turkish, basically a fine powder) to espresso, filter, plunger and lastly the largest granules being percolator and 'moerkoffie'.
Next on the programme were demonstrations of the most popular brewing methods. They're listed below, with a just a little of the useful info we were given on each.
As the name implies, this is an Afrikaans favourite and it’s said that the farmers (boers) like their teaspoons to be able to stand upright in it. Coffee mud!
Takes 1 1/4 hours to brew in a muslin cloth bag. The grind is very coarse so as not to seep through the cloth.
Probably the most widely used method, it can get you a wonderful cup if you do it right.
The trick with the plunger is to get the correct grind and then remember not to pour boiling water over it, as it burns the coffee. Let it soak for at least 3 minutes or to your taste.
For something different try a shot glass with condensed milk in the bottom and a shot or two of coffee poured over-aka an Italian bon-bon. For a Spanish bon-bon use espresso over condensed milk.
A sweet and delicious variation!
Great for travelling or at the office
It's very simple: pour water over ground beans and let it filter slowly through into your cup.
This is the ancient Turkish method. It was quite complicated but to me the best tasting of the night.
Bring the ultra finely ground pasty coffee with sugar pre added to the boil three times. Spoon out the crema equally,pour the remaining coffee into the cups (to avoid drinking mud avoid agitating the brew once on the bubble). Top off with a Turkish Delight, mmmhmmm.
Italian Espresso style coffee,these pots are traditionally aluminium but newer models tend to be stainless steel.
The pot is placed directly on the stove-top and the steam from the boiling water in the bottom compartment pushes through the finely ground coffee, to the top compartment, creating a moka espresso.
A relatively new contraption, that pushes out a smooth brew.
Similar to espresso but uses a syringe type of force to push the hot water(not boiling)through the filter. This is the fastest method of brewing, taking 30 seconds in total.
To conclude our module we touched on important factors that affect brewing and you can look out for to make your home coffee experience better. For example, water that is over chlorinated, beans that aren't fresh, dirty equipment and the coffee to water ratio.
It blew my mind to see the variety of brewing methods and blends available that ensure that each and every one of us coffee lovers can satisfy his or her personal taste.
24th Aug 2012
Day 2. Round 1. Inspiration comes standard.
Samantha Moodley, no stranger to the competition, got things off to a cracking start with an elegant and exciting performance. Rory Rosenberg of Bean Green Coffee Roastery weaved a story of his Burundian bean that had the judges entranced. Chris Rootman of VDP Distributors treated the judges with a smooth performance . Lindo Bhengu of Hilton Hotel kept his cool under pressure as he experienced some trouble with his grind.
Samantha, Rory, Chris
Phumelele Nzama, oozed confidence and enthusiasm that had us all convinced this couldn’t be her first time. Dayle Visser (with a strong homeground crowd cheering him on) was classy and sincere, his passion for coffee obvious. The day was rounded out by two knock-out performances from Ayanda and Khanyisa, both of The Elangeni Hotel and both having placed in the Top 6 last year, hoping to repeat that result again this year.
Phumelele, Lindo, Dayle
There was an excruciating wait to hear the announcement of the Top 6, all of whom have booked their places through to the Nationals in Johannesburg at the end of September.
And then it was time. KZN’s Top 6 Baristas are (in no particular order):
They are competing today again to determine the order. Who will win and be crowned the KZN Champ, follow @iainevans on Twitter for updates!
23rd Aug 2012
Day 1. Round 1. Things are heating up.
As the espresso machines were turned on and the judges and competitors trickled into the Factory Cafe this morning, the anticipation was palpable. The KZN Barista Champs had landed. Soon International Hotel school students were being directed every which way, setting up the competition stations. The sound guy stood on the side of Magwaza Maphalala Street eagerly awaiting the mics for the baristas. The cafe was pumping out coffees at a rate of knots for their normal trade plus all the coffee industry addicts waiting for the games to get under way.
First up was the lovely Jamie Braun of Mokador Coffees. She played the floor like a pro even though she was first up and it was her first time competing. Azhar Kahn of Continental Bakery and Deli delivered his signature professional performance. Clint Singh of Nino’s, also a first-timer, was passionate and slick serving up an all-african blend.
Jamie, Azhar and Clint
Craig Sampson of Ciro and Lavazza charmed his way through a set that included a very impressive set of Italian glassware in a 007-esque briefcase. Bruce Manning challenged conventional rule of thumb by playing around with some heavily roasted and oily beans in a very interesting display. Hassan Kahn has a wealth of experience and it shone through in his delivery.
Craig, Bruce and Hassan
Ishaad Naicker delivered a lavender and saffron infused signature drink called "The roadtrip" which had the judges entranced and finally Liesl Gibson from the Hilton Hotel, also a first-time competitor flowed gracefully through her set with time to spare.
Ishaad and Liesl
The first day’s competitors certainly set a high standard for the remaining baristas to follow. It all starts again at 9.30am at The Factory Cafe. Here is the line-up:
Samantha Moodley - Woolworths
Rory Rosenberg – Bean Green Coffee Roastery
Chris Rootman – VDP Distributors
Lindo Bhengu – Hilton Hotel
Phumele Nzama – Nino’s
Dayle Visser – Colombo
And 2 competitors from The Elangeni Hotel
22nd Aug 2012
This week the KZN Regional Barista Championship will take place at Colombo Tea and Coffee.
What exactly does that mean?
The competition showcases individual barista’s skill, knowledge and flair. Each competitor has 15 minutes. In that quarter of an hour, they need to make 4 espressos, 4 cappuccinos and 4 signature beverages (a coffee cocktail if you will, no alcohol allowed) on a beautiful Simonelli (pictured below). Their every move is being watched by 7 judges, 4 sensory, 2 technical and the Head Judge. No pressure.
The goal is to achieve the best possible drink in each category, meeting the high World Barista Championship standards. At the same time you have entertain and explain. You can pick your own music, you can use any exotic flavours (one year there was a curried beverage in Durbs-surprisingly tasty!), but the main thing here is your knowledge of the coffee beans. Did the barista use the bean to the best of it’s ability? That knowledge only comes from experience and to see the top guys in action is truly inspirational!
The baristas will need to draw inspiration from their coffee surroundings to produce a performance worthy of taking them through to the Nationals in September and then hopefully, Down Under. Yes, the 2013 World Barista Championships will held in Melbourne, Australia, a world leader in coffee culture, with a specialty coffee shop and micro-roastery on every corner, watch the Star Wars (I kid you not) promo here.
If you are a barista in Melbourne, you are a god.
Support your local barista!
Come down to The Factory Cafe, sip on a delicious coffee and watch the baristas in action.
Thursday 23rd: Round 1
Friday 24th: Completion of Round One.
Saturday 25th: Finals (Top 6)
All words and images by Deon Lategan.
JBay. Quantity surveyor. Supers local. Coffee enthusiast.
This was the first of three coffee appreciation modules, and it got right down to the nitty gritty of one of the main reasons we love coffee: the taste. To be honest, going in, I had visions of us slowly sipping back expertly brewed cappuccinos all night and giving each other little nods of approval, coupled with semi pompous banter. I was way off.
Our experts Deidre and Claire, from Sumatran Premium Coffee, threw us straight into some tasting, but not with coffee, with warm water flavours. We tasted everything from dark chocolate to raw potatoes to garlic to lime, it ended up being a good warm-up for the tastebuds.
After some really informative information on what effects the taste of coffee, we finally got to taste some. In the form of cupping, we compared an Ethiopian Sidamo with a Guatemalan single origin. We could not only pick up on various differences between the two, but were amazed by the changes in flavours as the same brews sat. We also learned a useful excuse for slurping - you're actually supposed to slurp the coffee to get the best overall flavour – so slurp away.
Next up, our noses were put through their paces with some aroma comparisons. We fared very well, and I for one was feeling rather upbeat going into the final challenge: a simple "odd cup out" test. Not so simple. I realised I still had l a while to go to becoming an expert.
This very informative evening finished off with a bit of Q&A and some of Infood's delicious Lasagne and Salads.
Although I have by no means been transformed into the coffee guru I was optimistically hoping to become, I still learned so much. Now with each cup of coffee, I'll be searching for those various flavours and aromas instead of the current "this is nice", and in that way I'm appreciating my coffee experiences more.
The next leg of the coffee instruction course is on the 4th of September and focuses on different brewing methods. If you would like to attend, check out InFood's really cool website (http//infood.co.za/coffee/) to book your spot.
Something interesting happening with coffee at your local?