Earlier this month, Tampa had a MAJOR art showdown at the Tampa Etsy Craft Party – and Jitterz Cafe was there with some MAJOR dance, ahem, coffee moves! We featured a live coffee roasting demonstration, showcased coffees from Africa (specifically the Ethiopia Harrar and Ethiopia WP Jimma), and shared endless techniques and fun behind preparation and consumption. Here are the highlights from the show! Photo Credit: Sarah Fisher
Here are more pictures!
Our newest catchphrase? “Oh My Delicious Lord!” So we’ve talked about everything from coffee slapping us in the face to coffee making us salivate and even cry. But this one, Oh LAWD, this one is gonna make you SLAP YO MAMA, catch the Holy Ghost, repent, then repeat. Nothing short of an insane adrenaline rush, this electrifying wild fruit beauty is layered with velvety chocolate and butter cream almond. It has a highly concentrated very berry flavor masked with mouth-watering layers of milk chocolate. Roasted at City, City+, and Full City, we took this coffee all over the map with us and tasted the hell out of it. Our online store, Jitterz Café, offers this coffee at all three roast levels listed here – tailored specifically for your taste preference! Snag it for some holy ghost rolling fun! *Photo Credit: Gevon Knox, GServo Photography*
Such an appropriate introduction to this coffee. It features bright characteristics over different types of preparation: a candy-like fruitiness, orange and tangerine, strawberry blanketed in mouth-watering layers of chocolate.
Grind & Prep: Coarse, French Press | Coarse, Pour-over
Dry Aroma: Nutty, Maple Syrup, Cardamom
Wet Aroma: Tussin, Syrupy Pancakes, Nutty Butty Bar
Mouthfeel: Smooth & Velvety
Full City Roast
Skip over to Full City and you get a much more mature cup featuring different herb and fruit elements: basil, lime, tangerine, pomegranate, warm buttery popcorn, gala apples, and milk chocolate almond. At this level we have a beautiful smooth velvet chocolate finish. Upfront, it has chocolate on the cusp and a hint of blueberry softness. As it cools we get to experience some strawberry layered with butter cream and cream cheese frosting. There is such a peaceful ambiance to the Full City roast. The Full City roast would likely pair well with a full-bodied Madura cigar that has a hint of woody spice elements.
Grind & Prep: Med/Coarse, French Press | Semi-Fine, Pour-over | Fine, Vietnamese Phin Filter
Dry Aroma: Nutty, Maple Syrup, Cardamom
Wet Aroma: Pancakes, Canoli, Baked Bread
Mouthfeel: Smooth & Velvety
City+ Roast, Ooooh-weeee, that Damn City+ Roast!
City+ roast proves to be an electrifying experience in both the French Press and the Vietnamese Phin Filter. This roast and preparation is the ultimate performance level for this coffee. City+ roast introduces an intense intimacy of boastful wild fruit, tangerine, raspberry, toffee nut, macadamia nut and finishes like a sexy chocolate fruit bomb. At this roast and grind, it would perform as amazing single origin espresso (SO, meaning from one coffee region, not a blend). The texture, acidity, brightness and the subtle chocolate nuances combined with its boastful fruit and herb complexities takes the experience to a whole other level.
Grind & Prep: Coarse, French Press
Grind & Prep: Fine, Vietnamese Phin Filter, 10-min Steep, 2.5 Tbsp tightly packed, Slowly Releasing the Screw-Down Filter
Wet Aroma: Caramel, Chocolate, Fudge
Mouthfeel: Fruit-like texture, a bit dryer, gorgeous acidity
Absolutely nothing – Harrar owns the stage, and totally deserves it! We wouldn’t want to rob it of its ultimate performance, i.e., no unnecessary distractions. But if you must…a handful of nuts (almond, pecans or walnuts), raisins, freshly-baked, warm buttery bread or mango.
A few weeks ago, we did a review on BaristaOnDutY’s Light Roast Vietnamese R16, which featured woodsy, tobacco and molasses scents highlighted by Asian spice, soft caramel, sweet raisin, and plum. The cup profile announced licorice, smoked wood, and some dark fruit – I know, I’m salivating! After a few days of rest, this coffee boldly expresses dark plum, berries, caramel, and honey – but this time around we paired it with a suggested lighter cigar – La Gloria Cubana Churchill 7×50 NT that lasted us for a little over an hour. Dive into Raging Brews: The Smokehouse.
I recently attended a local art gallery opening. They had the usual hodge-podge of food: a few dips here and there, some healthy stuff to quiet the health freaks, and of course, COFFEE. I watched as everyone hovered around the coffee bar, one guy nervously spilling it all over the counter top. I approached the bar, poured a little coffee for myself, and waited for it to cool down. When I finally got the chance to drink some, the only thought in my mind was that it tasted like brewed cardboard water. Everyone else was seemingly enjoying it, constantly revisiting the coffee bar for a warm up.
I pretended to sip on so as not to “be rude,” and as my eyes wandered the room, I caught a glimpse of a woman in a gold party dress that was over-adorned with sequins and glitter – way too much for her petite frame. At that moment, I thought to myself: “Is this what coffee has become? Over-adorned with a mess of ‘stuff’ we think looks good, but actually tarnishes the beauty of what’s underneath?”
This brought me to a question, which has been toiled over for years: What constitutes good coffee? Is it good for only satisfying our morning jolt? Or is it only good for awakening us to break us from the afternoon’s robotic work patterns?
We yearn for good food, to be cultured, artistic, entertained, and to be “in the know…” But has our taste for good coffee fallen by the wayside? Why do we even drink it? To socialize with friends? To talk about how many espresso shots we had stuffed into one drink (that ended up giving us the JITTERZ for the next two days straight)?
Or is it only good by a coffee connoisseur’s suggestive dialogue? Terminology and recommendations forced upon us, and we – like human nature – rebel and do exactly what we want anyway, too afraid to try something new.
Coffee doesn’t have to be crammed with unnatural flavor for it to be enjoyed; and it doesn’t have to be sans milk and sugar or “under-brewed” either. But shouldn’t it have its own character and elegant flavor, not something we’ve forced it to be? Example – Ethiopia: Naturally sweet coffee, it can have honeyed tastes, chocolate undertones, and may even be loaded with berries. Sometimes I take it black, sometimes with a little sugar. Example – Café au lait: historically prepared with steamed milk, mostly tastes like toasted nuts, the coffee most likely from Brazil or Nicaragua, somewhere conducive of a great espresso blend.
We are feel good people and some brands of coffee know how to tap into that human element. SBUX… As people, we have always demanded better coffee, but without knowing the true element of “better coffee,” it was defined for us and excited us enough to buy fancy machines and syrups, host parties, collect art, all in good efforts to make it good just like SBUX taught us. Coffee can still induce good friendships, family, conversations, fun… The cup itself can truly be a lively experience that complements our relationships, conversations and friends, but it doesn’t have to be completely empty or over-adorned with postiche beauty.
And while Starbucks isn’t exactly the devil, we as consumers have managed to demand a beautifully wrapped package. Some “uber cool” coffee shops have answered the call and have assessed our aesthetic needs by dazzling us with tasty syrups and whipped cream. We’ve allowed ourselves to become drawn to the package without appreciating the beauty of the cup underneath all the wrapping…
BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL…
So I’ve been reviewing some Vietnamese coffees from BaristaOnDutY.com, and I was excited to see that there was a surprise coffee for me to review – no label or anything. So I’ve decided instead of testing it and telling you about it, we should find out the surprise together. c(_) Cheers! *Clank*
I am going to play with this in the roaster and give you a full review soon!
Suggested Preparation: Wait & See!
The Vietnamese Caphe is such an incredible coffee, it’s ridiculous. Its atypical shape, aroma, and taste qualities made me keep by nose deep into the beans for the majority of the tasting. Provided by BaristaOnDutY.com (@BaristaOnDutY), this coffee’s dry whole bean aroma was a collaboration of several scents: onions, spice, tobacco, leather, smoked wood chips, grassy. Its ground dry aroma is where we experienced more of the sweeter scents like caramel and soft floral accents. The wet aroma (immersing in water) – Oh My God – intense tobacco & molasses was very apparent. We also got hints of sweet raisin, plum and more of that caramel – but also a smoked wood.
So we finally get to taste: winey, licorice, tobacco & cigar accents, would be great for espresso, a very clean finish. About halfway through, all of the dry and wet aromas along with the upfront tastes blend together very well and are quite pleasurable!
The Beans: The beans were actually quite small in comparison to the average bean. Interestingly enough, the texture of the beans were both smooth and rigid and had a color variation of both dark and light. These unique traits give it character and an unconventional beauty.
Pairs Well With: A light cigar, A rich chocolate dessert
What to look for soon: best preparation methods (espresso, drip, French Press, phin filter)
Home roasting can be fun, and you can experience the joy of fresh roasted coffee every day! I will teach you the equipment you can use, information about various coffee regions, and yes…that aficionado terminology.
When roasting, it is very important to have the proper equipment, store the coffee immediately, and let it rest to experience its best characteristics! In about 5 to 15 minutes, you will be done with a full bag of coffee – enjoy! Great coffee moments start at home!
Green Coffee/Green Beans: The green or yellow colored coffee seed of the harvested fruit. The appearance of coffee prior to roasting.
Dry Processed: The unwashed or natural coffee, the original method of processing coffee. Fruit is picked from the tree, hand sorted for ripe, unripe, and defective beans, then laid to dry in the sun or on raised screens. Dry processed coffees generally have more body, less acidity, and more rustic flavors. Refer to my other post about the fruit of the tree.
First Crack: At this stage, coffee becomes acceptable to drink. Occurs between 390 and 410 degrees F. Has a very loud cracking or popping sound. Rapid expansion of the coffee seed, water and CO2 fracture leading to the liberation of moisture from the coffee in the form of steam. Roast levels: City & City+
Second Crack: Faster, more shallow cracking. Occurs around 440 to 450 degrees F. Cellular matrix of bean begins to break down resulting in the emergence of oils to the surface of the bean. Roast Levels: Full City (on the verge of 2nd crack), Full City+, Vienna/Light French (and no, French Roast is NOT a flavor!)
Degassing: Also known as resting. Immediately after roast, coffee emits CO2 in large amounts and prevents water infusion or good extraction (ie, it hurts your brew, and it just won’t taste as good). Letting it rest for about 12 to 24 hours allows you to experience coffee’s best qualities and characteristics at its prime.
Helpful Links & Roasting Tools