April 2017, I had my first introduction to the sweet taste of Cartel Coffee Roasters through Melbourne based coffee subscription company - Three Thousand Thieves. It was a delicious Colombian drop, Luz Mary Espinoza by Sweet Latitude, possessing a rich cup with flavours of toffee, chocolate, apple and a lingering berry acidity. To be honest, all I remember about this coffee was that it tasted like mud cake, that thick, dense, rich chocolate mud cake with raspberries embedded strategically like a black forest chocolate bar, each bite offering a little more berry! I was really stoked brewing this coffee through Aeropress. The vibrant reddish brown colour of the brew reminded me of Japanese Maple leaves about to change brown. FYI Japanese Maple Trees are probably my favourite trees! The experience was real, the smell was good, it tasted great, and it looked stunning in the carafe as it dripped down from the Aeropress.
Recently I popped into Cartel's brew bar in Geelong and had an amazing time. Tyler the barista was buzzing with excitement, or it could have been an overload of caffeine, either way, I was getting excited cause he was getting excited! A barista can make or break your experience at a cafe and it's safe to say, this guy's customer service and care was top notch. Lucky for me their Bkon coffee brewer was down and Tyler being the legend he is, decided he would manual brew my filter coffee through v60. My first brew was okay, the flavour was a little weak as it had run too fast and didn't get the chance to steal some more of that good flavour on the way down to the server. There were hints of soft floral, peach and tropical flavours just peaking out from behind the curtain, and without saying anything, Tyler put the kettle on and started to prepare another brew. With a finer grind size, the second brew was spot on as those soft flavours became more assertive and present in the cup, making this Ethiopian brew and experience one to remember! Thanks, Tyler!
So each month the new coffee Three Thousand Thieves showcases usually arrive after the first week of the month. Depending on how much coffee I've got on hand I will usually hold off for another week before cracking into the new bag. Unfortunately, I got sick with a really bad cold that knocked me out for a whole week but before I lost my sense of smell and taste I managed to brew this delicious coffee once! My sensory memory of this experience had me rapping to the smell of berries in my grinder. I absolutely love being able to smell distinct flavours coming from my Comandante grinder, punching me in the face with instant excitement. Every time I smelt the dry grounds it seemed like I discovered another interpretation of the flavour. From a medley of berries to a bag of Starburst Snakes, the confectionary sugary essence was present and even though my palate was on its way out the door, I knew what I was tasting was only the beginning of something better!
On the 25th of February, my palate slowly made it's way back to me from a distant land, far beyond where everything just tasted bland. Honestly, I couldn't wait to get back to this Cartel drop. Brewing this coffee, the experience, MAN, oh WOW! Childhood flavours like Strawberry Fizzers, Cherry Fizz Pop suckers - with the lively sherbert in the middle (it's an activity eating one), sweet Starburst Snakes, that soft candy! WTF is going on, the fruit and candy flavours were insane! The last brew I made at work had to be the best, I used the EK43 to grind the coffee and smelling the fragrance took me straight to Neapolitan Ice cream! Haters - "Charlie, get real man, you just said ice cream, are you sure your tastebuds made it all the way back functional?" My reply - "Believe it!". It was no surprise when drinking the coffee I was getting the same Neapolitan Ice cream flavours in my cup! You know that feeling of finishing a semi-large portion of ice cream, licking your lips and feeling so happy and satisfied all you can do is grin, that was me drinking this coffee, smiling away like I was filming a teeth whitening commercial for Colgate. Below you will find the recipe that helped capture these flavours into a cup! This naturally processed Colombian, Ronald Pinto from Cartel Coffee blew me away. Stellar job from start to finish, thanks guys!
COLOMBIA RONALD PINTO
2 Cup V60 Serving - Equals one large serving for Charlie
Dose - 24g
Yield - 400g
Time - 3:30 min
Ratio - 1:16.6
Temp - 96 degrees
Grind - 25 clicks on the Comandante
Bloom - 50g, 35 seconds
Fold the V60 paper filter along the seam line to make placing it into you pour over easier, we want it sitting snug along the sides.
Place the pour over on top of your server and rinse the paper filter with hot water. This will rinse the filter from any papery taste and heat the server at the same time!
Discard the water from the server and tare your scale off to zero.
Add the ground coffee to your v60 giving it a gentle shake to level the grounds and tare once again. You're ready to make magic!
Start your timer, pour 50 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 the remaining 150 grams of water slowly until you reach the one minute mark, concentrating your pour in the middle of your v60.
In a circular motion pour a further 100 grams of water. I aim to pour this last action within the next thirty seconds.
Pour the last 100 grams of water to reach your total 400 gram yield.
Once the brew reduces down to a drip, remove and discard the filter. Grab a spoon and dig into that creamy Neapolitan Ice cream!
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. Enjoy!
For more on this Fresh drop check out CARTEL COFFEE ROASTERS ✌🏽