Jamie Smith, this guy’s a legend. A few months ago I had the pleasure of making a feature on Jamie’s blog “Celeste Coffee” through a little Q&A. This was the second time I had been featured on someone else’s blog and I’m always glad to share my views, opinions, and experiences with like-minded coffee enthusiasts. I find that whenever I have to answer questions about myself I am able to see my growth through reflection and it gives me a better understanding of the direction I am heading. Directing more time on the things I’m passionate about and less time thinking about what I’d like to do eventually do.
"Charlie!!! This feature is about coffee mate and you haven’t said a word about what this Fresh Drop is!" Mate, I’m building a story, patience Iago!!! This Fresh drop is a pure gem of a coffee, sent to me all the way from Vancouver, Canada by Jamie Smith. After my feature on his blog, we decided to discreetly send each other coffee, but we needed each other’s addresses so it turned out it wasn’t that discreet after all hahaha! I sent him some delicious Padre goodness and he sent me back this ridiculous Kenyan coffee by Lüna Coffee Roasters.
The name of the coffee - Melon Hibiscus – Kamoini AB, a central region coffee from Nyeri in Kenya. Just saying it makes my mouth salivate! Now, you know that feeling of consuming a juicy, I mean juicy piece of fruit that bursts with sticky sweetness, tangos on your palate and runs from the side of your lips down to your chin trying to escape. You use the back of your hand to wipe your chin and now your hands are sticky. Ahhh memories of watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, oranges, pineapples, peaches, and so many more fruits gave me this adventure, but I’m sure most of you have experienced this joy before too. The folks at Lüna are describing this coffee being – “delicate with kiwi-like acidity and flavours of cantaloupe and watermelon”. I’ve been brewing this delicious drop through Chemex and its boasting the same killer flavours but... I don’t want to give anything away so please, keep reading.
Sow, when I got this bag of coffee I left it in my office locker at work for three weeks. Why? Recently, or more so over the last year, I found I had been struggling to dial in recipes for Kenyan coffees. My problem is I’m the kid that licks the spoon before the cake’s done, way too eager and I can’t wait to dig in! It would just take me forever to find that sweet spot with Kenyan coffees and I couldn’t understand why, then one day at work I decided to make a brew, turned the kettle on, got all the gear ready and decided what coffee to drink. Having a wide range of multiple filter coffee options (working at a coffee roastery) from Padre and other Melbourne coffee roasters, I decided to let my nose pilot the way.
The second bag of coffee I opened was a Kenyan Peaberry, and the fragrance bottled up inside this bag was blueberry jam on blueberry jam on top of blueberry jam! So much JAMMM! I learned slowly over the year that with most Kenyan coffees roasted around the light to a medium light roast degree, they need to be aged. This Peaberry bag of coffee had been opened but hardly brewed and was a month and a half from its roast date and guess what, when I brewed this coffee I got just what I smelled, blueberry jam! Knowing what I know now, I didn’t want to rush this Lüna Kenyan, and I had complete faith that my brother Jamie was passing on an epic drop.
We eat with our eyes and this bag was looking like blue and peach candy floss skies. All of the coffee at Lüna have beautiful packaging, eye-catching and really stunning! I knew I was going back home to Auckland for a week and said to my best mate Ben Naley, “Mate, we’ve got to find an epic brew spot along the beach for this coffee” He replied with “Bro, don’t worry about it, I’ve got a place in mind”. Thursday 17th of January I woke up at 4am in the morning as the location Ben had in mind was an hour away, he picked me up and away we went. We got to the beach just before the break of dawn and walked half an hour to get to the spot. It wasn’t on the beach but rather on top of an old military bunker overlooking the beach. The rest is pretty self-explanatory as you can tell from the pictures. We had an epic time brewing as the sun came up and after weeks of waiting, I finally got to taste this amazing drop! Wow, just wow! Mouth-watering flavors, a hint of juicy citrus fruit and that watermelon hibiscus had my pallet dancing like Drake on the Hotline Bling music video. The flavor was like a real-life mic drop, with nothing left to be said, finishing with - "Charlie, I just blew your mind, and now... I’m done!"
Melon Hibiscus Recipe
6 Cup Chemex (that really only serves 2 people)
Dose - 32g Yield - 500g Time – 5:00 min Ratio - 1:15.6 Temp - 96 degrees Grind - 25 clicks on the Comandante Bloom - 65g, 35 seconds
Place the Chemex paper filter with the thicker side (3 layers) on the spout side of the brewer. Rinse the paper filter with hot water. This will rinse the filter from any papery taste and heat the server at the same time! (I like to use a lot of water as the Chemex filter papers are a lot thicker) Discard the water from the server and tare your scale to zero. Add the ground coffee to your Chemex giving it a gentle shake to level the grounds and tare once again. You're ready to rock and roll!
Start your timer, pour 65 grams of water onto your bed of coffee, ensuring all the dry grounds are completely saturated. You can achieve this by either spinning the saturated grounds in a circular motion or using a bamboo paddle to achieve the same effect. Be careful to not over agitate, remember we only want to saturate the dry coffee. This part of the brew is called the "Bloom" and it prepares your coffee for the rest of the brewing process.
In a circular motion pour 135 grams of water slowly, concentrating your pour near the edges of the pool but not on the filter.
At this point, your halfway through your brew. In the same manner, continue to pour a further 150 grams of water into your pool of coffee.
Pour the remaining 150 grams of water into the brew.
Pick the Chemex up safely (be careful as it gets hot!) and gently tap on the bench. This allows the final stages of brewing to flow smoothly and results usually in a flatbed.
Once the brew reduces down to a drip, remove and discard the filter. Dig in and appreciate that juicy melon!
If you find your time is noticeably slower it's a good indication that your grind size is too fine. If you brew time is really fast, it's a good indication your grind size is too coarse and it means you need to adjust your grind size finer to find the suitable size for this recipe.
Swirl it, smell it, pour it, enjoy it! 👌🏽
For more on this Fresh drop check out LÜNA COFFEE! ✌🏽