Monthly Archives: November 2008

Barista Jam


Couple of weeks ago, we had a Barista Jam at Irving’s place. He is the proud owner of a new Rancilio Silvia and Compak Doserless grinder.

Also there were Weechuan, Joseph and myself. I shall let the photos speak for themselves.

silvia compak

silvia-and-compak

I am so envious my friend. Rancilio Silvia is one of the all time best home espresso machine. It beats my Gaggia Baby D without a blink. Though Silvia is more expensive (around RM2600 if you have the right connections), it is truly a worthwhile investment. Here are 3 top reasons why Silvia is better than any Gaggia’s home machine:-
1. Silvia with Brass Boiler vs Gaggia with Aluminium Bioler
2. Silvia’s boiler is 12oz vs Gaggia’s boiler is 3.5oz
3. Silvia’s powerful steam vs Gaggia’s pathetic steam

Okay. Those are the 3 photos I took with my pathetic digital camera. What you see after this are the excellent photos taken by Joseph, a professional photographer with a REAL camera 😀

bj-leveling bj1-tamping1
Levelinga nd tamping. Crucial steps to perform correctly in preparing espresso.

bj1 bj1-ending
Look at the crema of freshly roasted coffee.

bj1-weechuan
Wee Chuan holding up a shot of espresso.

bj-milk
Wee Chuan distributing velvety microfoamed milk.

bj-latteart bj-latteart1
Did I mentioned that Wee Chuan is a Latte Artist?

bj-latteart2
Too good to drink? Given a choice, would you want these or $bucks?

bj-aeropress1 bj-aeropress2
Really affordable way to enjoyed freshly roasted coffee.

bj-aeropress The Aeropress Way

bj-team
All coffee lovers here (and a cute coffee lover in training?) and Joseph is behind the lens.

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Great Espresso beans


For great espresso, Australia is one of the MUST GO place. But alas, i have yet to visit the land of espresso Down Under 🙂

Fortunately, 2 friends just ame back from Australia and got me some lovely espresso blend.

brazil-blue pm-blend
From Fivesenses: Brazil Blue blend and the PM blend (now known as Harvest blend).

Brazil Blue Blend:
Consists of beans from Papua New Guinea, Brazil and India. Fivesenses cupping notes follow:-
Greeted by a good depth and a slightly syrupy aroma, this blend urges you to taste further. With a heavy body and a medium-light mouthfeel, its glorious mild sweetness rolls on the tongue, leaving the soft flavours of golden syrup and a gentle sweetness. Think warm toast slathered with golden syrup on a winter’s day, inhale its almond sweetness and savour the dry nuttiness of the finish. With a well-rounded aftertaste, this is a blend to enjoy.

PM Blend aka Harvest Blend:
Consists of beans from Papua New Guinea, Colombia and Costa Rica. Fivesenses cupping notes follow:-
On imbibing a cup of the delicious Harvest, you’re greeted by wonderful aromas of dried fruit and citrus, accompanied by tantalizing hints of timber. Drenched in honey and caramel, this blend is a sensory feast. These flavours are followed by a welcoming bright citrus acidity, which mellows out to a truly pleasant sweetness. Harvest has a delicate, smooth mouthfeel and body, allowing for a great cup, however it’s served. It’s quite bright through espresso with an almost marmalade flavour, and a long lasting, rich aftertaste. The initially sweet caramels fade into a dry nutty mouthfeel.

Five Senses Coffee quality is top notch. Their Epic Espresso Blend is one of the best I have ever tasted. Both the Brazil and PM are also very good. As I am still learning at the learning stage in how to properly describe taste profile, I left you with their own cupping notes instead.

Overall, most of these high quality beans are roasted to medium dark. They are very different from our local kopitiam style (or charcoal style).

To me, they are bright, fruity and sweet. They are intense, aromatic and flavourful as espresso. I enjoy them even more in Americano style. Adding 3 parts water to 1 part espresso, mellowed out the intensity and I am able to separate out the flavour even more, where the sweetness and fruitiness became more pronouced.

obama-blend campos-superior
From Campos Coffee: The Obama Blend and Superior.

Obama Blend:
Consists of beans from Kenya, Brazil and Indonesia. Their cupping notes suggest:-
For those looking for change. Great depth of character, strong, and eloquent. This very appealing blend unites coffees from Africa and the Americas to produce a cup which has gotten us excited. Formidable middle palate flavours, syrupy with an uplifting finish. Excellent drink for going forward.

Superior Blend:
Their cupping notes suggest:-
Our flagship blend and winner of the 2006 Equal ® Golden Bean Award. A True Specialty Coffee Blend. Dominant caramel intonations with fruit highlights of apricots and blueberries. Rich and creamy body. Fantastic dimension.

With all the craze over the US New President Elect, many roaster celebrated the new era with their Obama’s blend. And this Obama blend is very decent. Flavourful and uplifting. As I mentioned above, most of these quality beans are not very dark roasted. Hence, generally they are more acidic and bright. I like them a lot in espresspo and americano. But they are not that great for cappuccino. They don’t seems to cut through the milk enough for my preference. I will do a post later on my favourite cappuccino blend.

Here are some shots on the Obama Blend:

obama-shots
Left side is the americano in 3 parts water and 1 part ristretto. On the right is a single ristretto.

obama-capp
Two cappuccinos made with Obama Blend. The milk is nicely frothed. Smooth and sweet but the coffee is not cutting through. Taste like coffee-flavoured milk 😀