1. new coffee
Kenya Ruiruiru. If you see it on a menu. Buy.It.Now. It came across my cupping table this fall, and without a doubt is the best Kenya I had this year, perhaps, yes most definitely, the best coffee no matter the origin. Filled with black currant, brambles, lime, dark chocolate and a lovely lingering dark chocolate and sweet bramble lemonade-like finish. And it has a creamy full body too.
This podcast from BBC Radio 4 Food Programme had me lost in thought for at least a week. Showcasing the book "Bitter: A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes" by Jennifer McLagan, the podcast talks about the taste bitter; how it is needed to create balance in great flavour and dining; and how it is disappearing from our (Western) kitchen.
It also brought back memories of articles I had read in the recent past. Namely Sprudge's "Bad Coffee: Why Do People Love it", where Lizzie Derksen tries to find an answer to why people like bad -bitter- coffee:
The light roasts so beloved by the new generation of artisan roasters not only result in higher caffeine content, but higher acidity levels as well, which perhaps do not always produce a reviving, solacing effect. Our filmmaker friend Dylan muses, “I think there’s an element, too, where bad coffee goes well with comfort food; it’s just something hot and bitter, a flavor combination thing.”
Plus, also the news article I read on Daily Coffee News on a Denver company developing a method to reduce the natural bitters in coffee with a mushroom-based fermentation technology.
Where are we going with bitter in coffee? Personally, I'm not a fan of a dark and bitter roast. But don't we really enjoy a good bitter -a great tannin bitter; a lovely dry black currant finish; a dark cacao note- in a great coffee? This might turn into a longer blog post in the future.
3. new book
Probably the most anticipated book in coffeeland this year. The "Water for Coffee" book by three time UK barista champion and three time international finalist Maxwell Colonna Dashwood and 'Science guy' Christopher H. Hendon.
Warning: it is really sciency, explaining the periodic table, nuclear fusion and more. For someone who dropped Chemistry at the first chance she got (and regretting that now) it is a challenge. But it's a good one.
4. new gadget
I bought a weather station from Ambient Weather. It's big, it shows everything in a glance and it comes in different colours.
It gives me a quick overview of the humidity and baro pressure, on which I can adjust my sample roasting when necessary. It is extremely helpful, not only for the roasting, but also to see when I need to but some bowls of water out to get some moisture in the air. Especially now Winter is coming and the heating is flaring up.
That were my Autumn favourites. Tell me yours! Follow this blog, or the facebook, google+ or other outlets to stay up to date on the Winter fav's.