Category Archives: Dankoff

My story of the espresso machine and grinder – Part 2


I got my espresso machine about 1 year ago.

Instead of getting the grinder first, I got my espresso machine first. The reason I wanted to get an espresso machine is of course so that I can make espressos and espresso based drinks. Cappuccino, latte, mocha, afogato and etc are all espresso based. And I can assure you that you cannot make espresso without an espresso machine.

The cost of the espresso machine + grinder = RM 2000 + RM 2000. And I cannot afford RM 4000 at that time. But if I got myself the RM300+ grinder, I cannot really make espresso. (Actually the RM300+ grinder can make espresso, but it is notoriously difficult and messy. I’ve borrowed one from a friend and it frustrate the hell out of me). But what I really wanted to make espresso and cappuccino. Can you see my problem.

Alas, I got my espresso machine first from Etc-concept. Then I get my fresh coffee from my friend Danny at Dankoff. I will have the coffee grounded there and put it is Lock&Lock air-tight container. I normally spend RM16 for a week of coffee.

Here are the facts:-

1. Whatever they tell you about the air-tightness of Lock&Lock, they will not prevent the coffee from deterioration (but they work great for storing fruits, snacks etc).

2. Forget about drinking espresso unless you have the coffee freshly grounded and use immediately.

So, for the entire time, I only drink milk based drinks like cappuccino and I learn how to make microfoam, the stuff that makes all the difference in a cup of cappuccino.

Finally, it is time to move to the next level. I got my M5 grinder. It is one heck of a grinder. It cost me RM2000++ but it should last for 10 years. With the M5, it can grind for any brewing methods, from press to drip and it is excellent for espresso.

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Now, my grinder is actually of a more superior quality than my espresso machine. While my espresso machine is an excellent home machine, the M5 is a commercial grade grinder. I got myself some very nice and fresh roasted beans from Dankoff, grind them with my excellent M5 and make excellent coffee with my Gaggia Baby D.

Next step, I can now offer barista service for small parties.

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Great drinks for home parties


My friend Marcus had a housewarming party last Saturday. Invited me to serve coffee for all his guest. So, off I went with my little Gaggia Baby espresso machine and all the tools.

Earlier in the day I went to Dankoff to get my supplies of Coffee beans. Also got a bottle Macadamia Nut Syrup and 500g of Bellagio Chocolate Powder.

I think I made about 50 drinks in 3 hours. Drinks included:-
1. Traditional Cappuccino.
2. Cappuccino with Macadamia Nut Syrup.
3. Cappuccino with Bailey Irish Cream (definitely one of the crowd favourite)
4. Hot Chocolate.
5. Velvety microfoamed fresh milk.

Traditional Cappuccino

FHM2007 = Best Coffee Experience


I attended the Food and Hotel Exhibition at the KL Convention Centre last week.
Did not manage to get much photos. I was too engrossed with all the Coffee Specialist Exhibitors.

All the major coffee suppliers and distributors were there like Bon Cafe, Coffex, Dankoff, ETC Concept, Simplex Maju and some smaller players too. Most of them brought in the “heavy artillery”, meaning… high quality fresh roasted coffee and good barista.

In Malaysia (if you don’t already know), great coffee virtually don’t exist because of the lack of high quality fresh roasted coffee and good barista.

I have never had so many nice coffee in my life, apart from making them myself.

Unfortunately, some exhibitors came less than prepare. Or maybe they don’t expect the competition to be so fierce. I actually tried a few espresso from some “pathetic” companies offering horrible, under-extracted watery espresso. There’s a company promoting their “Elephant Beans”. Yes, the beans are BIG and tasted equally horrible.

Ok, on with the good stuff.

My first espresso, from Boncafe. Their baristas came from Singapore. What do you know? Not bad. But when I asked him how fresh is the beans, he gave me a puzzled look and fiddled with some pack coffee from the back. The pack says 3 months old. Actually the beans were quite fresh (I assume), because those on display in the front all shown to be about 2 weeks from roasting date.
Boncafe at FHM2007
BonCafe. They brought in their best for the show. Don’t expect fresh roasted coffee if you are trying to buy in a supermarket.

Next stop. Coffex.
Brought their barista from Australia. Again, I asked the barista about the freshness of his coffee. Again, not sure. Went fiddled with the coffee bag and told me in a very accented Australian English, 8 days. Had an espresso. Hey, even better than Boncafe. More pronounced and more complex. Tasted fine. I only wish that whenever I come across any food outlet that serves Coffex Coffee in the future will taste as good.

ETC for Home Machine.
Like I always mentioned, you want great coffee, do it yourselves. Here are the beautiful girls selling beautiful home machines.
Jade

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Jade and Tracy

And here are the hardwares.
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Gaggia Espresso Machines. The only brand worth your time currently that is available in the market that is accessible to consumers. Forget about those machine you often seen in Isetan, Metrojaya or Harvey Norman types of retailer. Those are toys in comparison.

I hope more suppliers will bring in other serious home espresso machines like Rancilio Silvia. Some supplier does offer to import specifically for you but the cost is really high. For now, if you are looking for home machines, ETC Concept is the place to go. They are located at the Curve.

Now.. my favourite:-

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DanKoff Coffee Specialist

Their beans are roasted in Singapore. Their associates from Highlander Coffee brought over some high quality fresh roasted blend. Only 2 days from roasting. Makes excellent espresso and just as good for cappuccinos.

The espresso is the best I’ve tried. Smooth, pleasant acidity, detected some fruitiness, good body and a nice aftertaste.

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Here is Boyd, the barista pulling a shot.

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Here you see Jeffrey(left) and Phil(Center) from Highlander Coffee. These guys are passionate about coffee.

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Here is Danny of DanKoff chating with some customer.

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Thanks to Highlander Coffee (Phil, Cedric and Jeffrey) for bringing me some excellent fresh roasted coffee.

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If you want to store coffee properly, put it in a vacuumed container and pump the air out. Then keep them in a cool, dark and dry place. You can store them for a week, at most 2. roasted coffee beans by they nature, continues to deteriorate. You cannot really stop that process. Regardless of how they are packed, you don’t call them fresh after 2 weeks.

HOME
Can’t wait to test them myself.

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Tasted just as good. Well nothing can compare to high quality fresh roasted beans.
My poor attempt of a latte art on my cappuccino. Not very presentable but still tasted fine.

Can’t wait for the exhibition in 2 years time.

P.S: Need contact, reference and recommendations? Drop me a line or two.