Category Archives: Costa Rica

A Yellow cup of Coffee


Aeropressing a cup of Costa Rica

Recipe:
12g of Coffee
92 degree celsius of water
200g water
7 stirs (agitation)
105 seconds steeping time
20 seconds press down.

Lovely fragrance.
Slight bitterness, slight sweetness, teeny bit of flora and fruitiness.

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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 😀

Aeropressing the Costa Rica


Many people may no realised that espressos are usually made from a specific blend. In a blend is a mixture of two or more different origin of coffee beans. James Hoffman, the World Barista Champion of 2007 used a single origin of beans for his espresso and won. That is rare.

But if you want to enjoy or experience the many different taste of coffee, getting specific single origin is the way to go. Since the espresso brewing methods rarely able to bring out all the complexity of single origins, we will have to explore other brewing methods like drip, french press, moka pot and others.

My most prefered brewing methods for single origins is definitely using the Aeropress.

I recent got some very good quality of Costa Rica from highlanders. Freshly roasted.


Getting ready. On the left is the Aeropress, 2 glasses, costa rica in a vacuvin coffee saver and pitcher for hot water.


Close-up shot of some costa rica beans. I used about 20g of coffee to make 5oz of liquid. Freshly grind the coffee and pour into a cup or glass. That funnel you see above is part of the accessories from Aeropress.


Pour in about 6oz of hot water. Use water just off the boil.. about 92 to 94 celsius. Stir well and let it steep about 30 seconds. (Notice the bloom, the brown coloured foam… sign of fresh roasted coffee)


While the coffee is steeping, get the Aeropress ready. After screwing in the cap with the filter, rest it on a cup or glass. Pour all the coffee into the Aeropress.


Steadily, insert the pump-like devise and slowly press down. Press all the way down.


Tadaaaa… a lovely cup of Costa Rica coffee, the Aeropress way. Aromatic, with bright fruity taste of citrus.

With the Aeropress, you can truly experience coffee in a new way. There are many variants you can tweak.

1. For stronger coffee, just use more coffee powder to the ratio of water.

2. Increase the steeping time to 1 min or 2 min if you want more caffeine or you want a more bitter taste. Decrease the steeping time for brighter taste.

3. Or make a stronger extraction into a larger pitcher, add extra hot water to make coffee for 2 or 4 person.

Cleaning up is a breeze. The entire process including cleaning up take only 5 min or less.

The Aeropress is the invention of genius. It doesn’t looks as cool as a stainless steel moka pot or a classy french press. But it is durable, convenient and brings out excellent the potential of any single origin coffee.

Now, it is available for RM150. When I bought mine 3 years back, it cost me RM250++.
(Note: 16th November 2008 – The Aeropress now cost RM 185.00 due to high taxes by our government. The RM150 does not include tax. My mistake.)

Deliver anywhere in Peninsula Malaysia for extra RM10.