It’s been a crazy whirlwind thinking about the time between now and the last blog on After Good Coffee in San Jose, Costa Rica. Making the shift from being a time-optimist to a time-realist only took a good few years of smacking a clock against my head. I was slow to realise I was constantlybiting off way more than I could chew. It’s safe to say that now, at 28 years old, I'm well aware that there are only 24 hours in each day. So I had to make a smart but difficult decision to step away from SOW for a little while, in anticipation for a future goal.
Rewind to July last year, and preparation for the Brewers Cup was taking high priority. It was the first time I would be competing and I took every step involved super seriously. I managed to get a ticket to the Western Region of the Brewers Cup, held in Perth in November 2019. The competition was a massive learning curve, and all my months of preparation converged into a 10 minute long performance. Unfortunately, I stumbled in my speech midway through the brew and this ultimately affected the extraction of the coffee. Nothing could have prepared me for that moment! I stopped, gathered myself and continued to finish my performance strongly. I didn’t get through to the next round, but the positive feedback from my judges only increased the burning hunger inside me to compete again and make it further next time.
Life post Brewers Cup was all about coming down from the high. I took a month to unwind, focused on other interests and slowly eased back into brewing. I've learnt the value of taking a break, and how forcefully the passion returns afterwards. I’m finally ready to jump back in and I’m super excited for 2020!
This Fresh Drop feature dates further back to when I first met Gabrel. We live in a fantastic city with such a vibrant coffee scene. It attracts people from all around the world. Whether to live, work or explore - Melbourne's coffee scene caters to all. With so many cafes, roasteries and industry events, opportunities to meet like-minded coffee enthusiasts or professionals are there waiting to be found. And through a mutual friend, at a coffee event, I met Gabrel.
Over the past two years running into each other at coffee events, following each other's experiences through social media and sharing common goals – and then significantly sharing the journey of competing in the Brewers Cup. Recently, Gabrel started roasting and sharing his love and passion for coffee through NEWAV Coffee. Where passion produces quality, that results in an awesome experience from roaster to the brewer. I'm inspired by Gabrel’s new venture and excited to watch it develop and grow. I truly believe it's the moments in which we take a brave step into the unknown that have the potential to bear the sweetest rewards.
Now, time to talk coffee...
Finca El Provenir hails from the rich coffee-growing region of Huila in Colombia. Produced and cared for by a community of people lead by Juan Jimenez, this washed Pink Bourbon smacked me in the nose similar to that clock I mentioned before! On pulling the zip tag open the smell of fresh cherry and dark berries got me hooked and grinding the coffee only intensified the fragrance. The aroma gave a sense of warmth to the flavour notes. Think macerated berries, the sugar melting, the heat bubbling into a liquid sugary berry juice - slowly transforming into something damn special! Now for some flavour! Upfront: a delicate hit of grapefruit, with sweet cherry and a burst of violet plums to follow. On the finish, clean white tea and an aftertaste of white peach. The stonefruit characteristics in this coffee are evident, clean and genuinely moreish. One cup is simply not enough!
I have a great personal nostalgia for plums. Whenever we spent Christmas at my Ouma's place, we got spoilt rotten! A way of making extra pocket money was picking fruit and selling it to anyone walking past – usually on their way to or from work. My Ouma's backyard had a plethora of fruit trees - apples, apricots, plums etc. The plums were the honey pot, and there was a couple of varieties: one a lively golden-green and the other a plump vivid red! They bore the most fruit of any tree in the yard, which meant my brother, cousins, and I could raid the trees and make a small fortune – selling each plum for 10c. Quite frequently, a lot of the goods would end up in our mouths and as we literally tasted the fruits of our labour, the sting of regret would hit as we realised each plum sampled was 10c of profit lost. We would scream "10c plums!" and people would buy bags and bags of them. At the end of each shift at the pop-up fruit stand, Ouma would double the profit, which we would split it equally amongst us. Of course we would immediately spend it on arcade games and sweets at our family’s milk bar down the road. Whenever I taste plums in baking or coffee, I'm always blissfully taken back to climbing those huge plum trees in my youth. Who's that monkey in the tree!
KALITA RECIPE - COLOMBIA FINCA EL PROVENIR
Plums. Sweet, juicy plums - full of nostalgia. Also, notes of Grapefruit, Violet, Sweet Cherry, White Tea, Dark Plum.
1 Cup Kalita Serving. A brew so easy-drinking you'll be putting the kettle on for another before you know it!
Dose - 15g
Yield - 250g
Time - 2:15 min
Ratio - 1:16.6
Temp - 92 degrees
Grind - 28 clicks on the Comandante
Bloom - 45g, 45 seconds
Pop the Kalita paper filter inside of the filter cone. We want it sitting snug along the sides, which is pretty easy to achieve with these filters.
Place the pour-over on top of your server and rinse the paper filter with hot water. This will rinse any papery taste from the filter and heat the server at the same time!
Discard the water from the server and tare your scale.
Add the ground coffee to your Kalita, giving it a gentle shake to level the grounds and tare once again. You're ready to make magic!
Start your timer, pour 45 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 not to over agitate - remember we only want to saturate the dry coffee. This part of the process is called the "bloom" and it prepares your coffee for the rest of the brewing process.
In a slow and circular motion, pour 105 grams of water slowly until you reach the one-minute mark, concentrating your pour in the middle of your brew.
In a slow circular motion pour another 100 grams of water until you reach 250 grams.
Once the brew reduces down to a drip, remove and discard the filter. Swirl it around and smell the warm brown sugar and plum notes!
If you find your time is noticeably slower, it's a good indication that your grind size is too fine. Conversely, if your brew time is too fast, it's a good indication your grind size is too coarse. Adjust your grind size as required to match the recommended brew time. Enjoy!
For more on this Fresh drop check out NEWAV COFFEE ROASTERS! ✌🏽