I grew up with all sorts of fruit trees and vegetables in my families front and back garden, I guess my family was the cultivating type. I also remember the homemade products were abundant around the home. I have many memories of things in jars curing, pickling, jams and mum’s cumquat brandy. One I distinctly remember was in a jar on the back porch, covered, filled with an amber liquid, with an ugly looking foreign matter on top. I quite early connected it with my mother mixing some sugar and black tea and placing it there. This ugly foreign matter turned out to be the magic that turned all that sugar into a sweet, vinegary and carbonated drink. It was a kombucha scoby. I don’t think I ever loved the drink back then but mum would give it to us as a kids as we never had soda in the home. When all the kids were full-time in school (5,7 & 9 years old) mum went back to work. I think this beautiful assortment of homemade things started coming to an end. I never really thought much about komubucha or homemade/cured things till my 20’s when living in the United States. Bottled Fermented drinks were fastly becoming a huge trend there, and it some what brought up nostalgia and sparked my interest that something mum was brewing in our home years ago was now just trending in all these chic, eco stores. A drink so ancient and simple could be so beneficial and delicious! From that time on I started experimenting with fermenting products myself, and tried a wide variety of products fermented by craftsman.
In my early days of coffee in Australia, I had an amazing ‘local’ (a regular customer) coffee drinker that was studying nutrition in a Sydney University. As a gift, she gave me my first kombucha scoby and some kefir grains. It wasn’t long before we were swapping recipes and sharing with each other our successful brews. My love for these brews and the quality of the drinks themselves just got better. Because of the live bacteria in the fermenting, I always have at least two things fermenting in my home at one time, to keep the bacteria strong and healthy. This amount fermenting allowed for a lot of practice, experiments and trail and error.
When we think specialty coffee, we think quality. This is good thing, but many things come at a cost when trying to chase the highest boundaries. To achieve quality, you shouldn’t have to waste products. But, when exploring quality, you can end up with some less then desirable results. This waste may be seen as a necessity to grow in specialty, however I think it is something that should be managed. Waste should have a second journey. A chance for it to be re-used.
The nature of a fermentation is to transform. Placing an ingredient into an environment that will change its identity and giving that ingredient a new purpose. I have always wanted to marry my two loves of coffee and fermenting. Although I had tested a lot of fermentations, nothing had push my capacity to ferment more than a couple litres to share amongst friends. The opportunity to really test my skills and theory was to come. Bocca’s Amsterdam Coffee Festival team wanted to share coffee’s possibilities, I saw no better platform then this to share the possibilities of coffee uses with the public and spark energy into some coffee geeks. Amsterdam Coffee Festival was the vessel upon which I wanted to show that old coffee can be transformed into a drink thats quality is not defined by the coffee itself, but by managing how coffee met with a fermenting environment. The result, we hoped, was a quality fermented drink. We were happy to open up the first bottles of coffee kefir to hear one of our staff saying, “WOW, I could sell that”. It was a success!
Every project like this needs a bigger purpose than just to create. When looking at this project I know I wanted to go into it with the mindset of solving a problem, not creating new ones. For this reason I decided to use old coffee brews and old test roasts from our roastery. The way that the coffee ferments dramatically changes coffees inherent flavour and quality. I therefor felt no need to use the highest quality brews, but wanted to give older coffee a chance to taste good again. I firmly believe that the coffee I fermented tasted better after it had fermented. The fermentation made this drink to be of higher quality, adding value. It was no longer coffee, but it was now delicious!
Aeropress Brew Guide
Chemex Brew Guide
“Decaf? Dat is toch geen echte koffie?!” Zeker wel. En wat voor een. Onze decaf komt van de Suke Quto farm in Sidamo, Ethiopië. Wij werken al een aantal jaar met deze koffieplantage, waardoor we samen met eigenaar Tesfaye nieuwe dingen kunnen proberen. Zo hadden we dit jaar voor het eerst een pulped natural verwerkte koffie van deze plantage. Dit is een zeer ongewone verwerkingsmethode voor Ethiopië. Nu hebben we ook een deel van de bessen laten decafeïneren, via het Swiss Water Process.
Dit proces gaat als volgt: de groene koffiebonen worden in kleine hoeveelheden voorgespoeld in water, waarna er groen koffie extract aan wordt toegevoegd. Cafeïne laat van nature los in water, waardoor het uit de bonen spoelt en wordt opgenomen in het groene koffie extract. Wanneer het groene koffie extract verzadigd is met cafeïne, wordt deze door een koolstoffilter gespoeld, waardoor de cafeïne weer los laat van het extract en deze hergebruikt kan worden. Dit proces duurt zo’n 10 uur. Uiteindelijk zijn de bonen dan 99,9% procent cafeïnevrij. Het voordeel van deze methode is dat de bonen hun eigen smaken en aroma’s behouden, zonder de metalige smaak die vaak in gedecafeïneerde koffies te herkennen is. Met recht lekkere koffie dus.