A change of season brings forth a spark in the air, as spring carries with it growth, warmth and sun-drenched days. It feels like Melbourne has been revived after a tidal wave of Covid through winter. Around me there's energy, there's laughter there's dancing, as positivity flows throughout our community, slowly making our way back to a somewhat familiar way of living and working. It's incredibly special to think about how this parallels the ethos of Spring, and with summer around the corner, I'm super excited to share some of the hard work we've been doing behind the scenes as Sow Coffee Project grows in people, mission and - ultimately - culture.
Sow is all about community, and what better way to embody that than by lifting our friends up and supporting the unique dreams we all bear for our coffee community. Bredda is the brainchild of my good friend Fran Lee and Jerome, who are committed to pursuing their dreams. To say I’m happy for them is a complete understatement. It takes determination, passion, resilience, commitment and a complexity of additional values to make something beautiful to share with the rest of the world. Perhaps most importantly it takes courage to share a message with the world that you’re deeply passionate about. Confidence is powerful, and something I fully respect. Fran and Jerome are driven by their friendship, and Bredda is cemented in community, with a foundation built upon education and an ethos of approachability.
Many of the values Fran speaks about resonate with me; core to Sow Coffee Project is that sharing experience is powerful and we’re aiming to create a space that is welcoming, and where everyone can be heard. I'm ecstatic to have Fran contribute to this feature and who better to introduce you to Bredda Coffee than this incredible human herself!
Fran Lee - Bredda Coffee
Our Philosophy is to showcase producers we love, showcasing their high-quality, delicious coffees and share it with everyone. We try our best at making exceptional coffee approachable and fun. That's why we have such a smiley brand persona and fun colours, as well as include QR codes with brew guides on each bag.
During the lockdown period, Jerome and I used our spare time to challenge ourselves, and this is how Bredda evolved. We met through industry events back in 2019, and both always wanted to achieve something that we can call our own, and the COVID-19 pandemic pushed us to see what we could achieve. We saw the potential in e-commerce and home brewing on the rise and thought it would be a perfect time.
'Bredda' is commonly used in the Caribbean as a term you call your brother, close friend or family member. This name is what we hope to achieve, strong friendships at every level of our coffee journey. From the producer to the home brewer and those that help us at every step of the way. Without our breddas, Bredda Coffee wouldn't be possible, shoutout to Freddie, Craig and Andrea from Criteria Coffee!
Nicolás Ocampo Maya - Finca La Julia, Colombia
Now that the introductions to Bredda are done, time for something juicy!
This is one stunning coffee, and trust me when I say, this has been one of my favourite coffees of 2020 - it's a knock-out! As the first taste of Bredda Coffee, the team have come out swinging with this amazing drop. Usually, it starts when you open the bag of coffee, but today it starts with a playlist. I follow a QR code on a beautiful thankyou card Fran gave me; it takes me to Bredda Tunes Vol 1 on Spotify. I hit play and then open the bag of coffee. A parachute of flavours meet my nose - Strawberry Fizzers and Whittakers Chocolate Milk. “Wow!” is all I can say. Grinding this coffee unlocks a secondary layer of fragrance and it heightens my already keen senses. A rainbow of red scents ping, encapsulating a strawberry nostalgia. Reddish fruits are my favourite, and I just know I’m in for a treat!
Introducing hot water to a bed of dry coffee grounds always extends the reach of the aromas sailing in the air; it builds an atmosphere around me. Just as I think things can't get any better Montell Jordan comes on the stereo - This Is How We Do It!! There is nothing better than some good tunes with a little boogie here and a two-step there to add to the brewing experience!
Each time I've brewed this coffee, I've been able to extract all those beautiful flavours easily, with each experience revealing more in the cup. Pouring that red juice into a cup brings a smile to my face every time, and upon each first sip I’m taken back to my childhood as I immediately taste Strawberry Fizz Pop suckers: sweet candy covering a core of fizzy sherbet powder which gradually leaks out from the centre of the lollipop. It's an experience I can only compare to the ebb and flow of waves gently crashing on the shore then returning to sea; the fizz arrives with a punch then dissipates on your palate in this same rhythmic pattern. As the cup cools, I taste milk chocolate and the gooey centre of warm marshmallows, followed by faint violets to finish the cup on a soft, floral note.
The last thing to mention about this brew is the clear funk in the cup - it's definitely there, and it most likely comes from the processing of this Castillo coffee varietal. With a 44-hour aerobic fermentation attributing a funky lactic acidity that reminds me of strawberry yoghurt, balanced among the other flavours. Balance is what impresses me the most with this coffee; it’s so hard to achieve with so many strong flavours present.
Hats off to Bredda for doing such an excellent job in sourcing and then roasting this coffee to its full potential. I have complete admiration for this second generation of amazing coffee growers at Finca La Julia. To the entire team, led by siblings Niko and Karo: this coffee is beautiful, thank you!
BREDDA COFFEE NICOLÁS OCAMPO MAYA RECIPE
Strawberries 12 ways, soft marshmallow, violets and Sow much more...
1 Cup Pour-Over Serving - or, in this case, a large cup of the good stuff!
Dose - 16.5g
Yield - 300g
Time - 2:50 min
Ratio - 1:18.18
Temp - 98 degrees
Grind - 30 clicks on a Comandante
Bloom - 30g, 50 seconds
Fold-down the inside seam of the filter paper with your fingers, then place the filter paper inside of the filter cone. You want it sitting snug along the sides, which is pretty easy to achieve with these filters.
Place the pourover on top of your server and rinse the paper filter with hot water. I usually hold one side down, from the inside, to keep it in place. Once you start rinsing the filter, it should stick towards the sides. This will clean any papery taste from the filter and heat the server at the same time!
Discard the water from the server, then place it on top of your scale and tare it.
Add the ground coffee to your pourover, giving it a gentle shake to level the grounds. Sit it on top of the server and tare the scale again. Now let's rock and roll!
Start your timer, then pour 30 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 slow and circular motions, pour 70g of water slowly until you reach the one-minute mark, concentrating your pour on the middle of the coffee bed.
In a slow circular motion pour another 100g of water until you reach a total weight of 200g.
Pour another 100g of water the same way, until you reach 300g in total.
Once the flow reduces to a drip, remove and discard the filter and slurry. Swirl your coffee around in the carafe and smell the warm, strawberry rainbow!
If you find your extraction time is noticeably long it's a good indication that your grind size is too fine. If your extraction time is really fast, it's a good indication your grind size is too coarse. Make these adjustments with your next brew.
Swirl it, smell it, pour it, enjoy it! 👌🏽
Bredda have let me share their sick Spotify Playlist to enjoy with your next brew, simply hit the play button below and you’re winning!
It's been awesome having Bredda on Sow Coffee Project. If you'd like to discover more about Bredda Coffee, click here or to learn more about the incredible team at Finca La Julia, click here.