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Coffee 103: Blends and Roast Temperatures

Ever wonder what the difference between a French Roast and Full City Roast? What sort of strange magic happens in the roast chamber? This course will cover the science and the flavor of coffee roasting. We will taste a single coffee at five different temperatures.

We are now accepting enrollment for Sunday, May 24 at 9:00 AM.

Check out our all of our classes at:

http://zekescoffee.net/coffeetastings.html

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Coffee 102: Tasting, Regions and Varietals

Coffee, like wine, has a flavor that is inextricably linked to the land where it is grown. By tasting four different coffees, you will learn to distinguish the basic flavors associated with each of the major growing regions. Be prepared to taste coffee and talk about what it does to your mouth.

We are now accepting enrollment for Sunday, May 10th 2015 at 9:00 AM.

Check out our all of our classes at:

http://zekescoffee.net/coffeetastings.html

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Coffee 101: Introduction to Coffee

What’s in your cup? Find out in Coffee 101. From its humble origins in the Ethiopian highlands to your cup, coffee has come a long way. Learn where it grows, how it is processed, and what happens when it is roasted. This course also includes a tasting of four very different coffee samples.

We are now accepting enrollment for Sunday, April 26th 2015 at 9:00 AM.

Check out our all of our classes at:

http://zekescoffee.net/coffeetastings.html

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Coffeee 100: Brewing Coffee the Zeke’s Way

Can’t get your coffee taste right at home? Do you want to experiment with new techniques but don’t know where to start? How important is fresh ground coffee? These questions and more will be answered in Coffee 100: Brewing Coffee the Zeke’s Way. This course provides everything the novice coffee aficionado needs to make the perfect cup of coffee every time. Remember, there’s the right way, the wrong way, and the Zeke’s Coffee way.

Each student will get a free coffee brewer after attending this class to help further your education at home.

Enrollment is full for this class. Stay tuned for another offering this spring.

We are now accepting enrollment for Sunday, April 12th 2015 at 9:00 AM.

Check out our all of our classes at:

http://zekescoffee.net/coffeetastings.html

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Flight of Fancy

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Flight of Fancy

An Exotic Coffee Tasting

Zeke’s Coffee presents Flight of Fancy, a journey of the mouth through some of the most luxurious flavours from around the world.

We are most excited to try two different Geisha coffees. Geisha is a strain of low yield coffee brought to Central America from Ethiopia in the 1950s to combat Leaf Rust. The name is a misspelling of Gesha, the region in Ethiopia where this strain originates. Due to low yield, the varietal was not intentionally planted for years. In the early 2000s, farmers in Panama noticed that certain sections of their farms with odd looking trees produced exceptional coffee, radically different from their other coffee. The Geisha varietal has since been discovered in a number of Central American farms, and is slowly making its way onto South American Plantations. The Geisha is said to somewhat resemble Ethiopian coffee, especially coffee from Yirgacheffe, but have a different, exceptional flavor when grown in the Americas.

Colombian Granja La Esperanza Geisha

Granja La Esperanza uses techniques learned from winemaking to manage their coffee plantations. They use weather stations in conjunction with regular cupping to determine the ideal harvest time. They fought Colombia’s prohibition on growing coffee varietals that are not state sponsored in order to plant Geisha. Their rigorous application and determination has paid off. The Specialty Coffee Association of America awarded them three of the top ten spots in their 2012 Coffee of the Year competition.

Panama Esmeralda Geisha

The farm oft credited with discovering Geisha coffee is the Hacienda La Esmeralda. They have a deep commitment to the health of their land and their employees. They provide a school and medical care for their migrant employees. They have pensions and college funds for their full time employees. They do not prune coffee trees while birds are migrating. They produce almost all of their fertilizer by raising cattle. They also have some of the most sought after coffees in the world. For more information on Hacienda La Esmeralda, check out http://haciendaesmeralda.com/

Jamaican Blue Mountain Clydesdale Estate

Conditions in the Jamaican Blue Mountains are ideal for coffee. The Jamaican government applies strict standards to maintain the well deserved international reputation of Blue Mountain Coffee. The Clydesdale region is the first place coffee was grown in Jamaica. We medium roast it bringing out notes of milk chocolate. It is remarkably smooth, well balanced, and has a clean finish.

Hawaiian Kona Greenwell Estate

Hawaiian Kona Greenwell Estate has been a coffee farm since 1850. Still owned and run by the Greenwell family, it is known for producing some of the finest coffee in the world. Due to it’s relative geographic isolation, Hawaii produces coffee with a distinct subtle nutty flavor. Medium roasted, our Kona has a solid body, reminiscent of a coffee from Indonesia, without the earthy flavor.

$10 for four 6oz cups of coffee.
Flights departing every hour, on the hour, Sunday, January 12th from 8:00AM to 1:00PM.
Visit www.zekescoffee.net for tickets.

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Brewing Magic in a Hotel Room Part I. No, you can’t make anything good with this stuff.

The intrepid coffee dweeb has a recurring challenge. On the road it can be tough to find something drinkable. And the most brutal time is the 6AM alarm when the only joe in sight is that dreadful packet of year-old pre-ground robusta next to the tiny auto drip machine. shiver…

Earlier this year I found myself far inland in something of a coffee desert. I neglected to check a bag and I didn’t think to stash the Aeropress in my carryon. My travelling companion and I got to the hotel and I saw the brewer and the coffee and my heart just sank. What am I gonna do?

The first morning I just brewed the stuff normally, hoping I could maybe get enough caffeine into me to make it to some place with a better cup. No soap: One sip and it went down the sink. Then I had a thought:  Some folks say cold-brewed crap coffee tastes ok. I can take this coffee pod and soak it for a day and see how it turns out. So.

Bad Coffee in a Desperation Move.
Bad Coffee in a Desperation Move.

I took another coffee pod and put it in a cup. I put about an inch and a half of water in there and prodded the pod a couple times. Then I put it in a drawer so the sanitation intruders wouldn’t toss it during the day.

Next morning it was go time. I didn’t have high hopes as this was definitely a turd polishing kind of game. I removed the pod and squoze it to get as much coffee concentrate as possible into the cup.

Then I used the in-room brewer to heat up and dilute the concentrate. I sent the hot water right into the coldbrew.

Here goes something.
Here goes something.

It looked dark and strong, which was encouraging. It smelled not great.

I don't want to die. Not right now, anyway. Eventually, sure.
I don’t want to die. Not right now, anyway. Eventually, sure. That’s normal.

I tasted it.

NO.

No no no. Gross.

Was it better than the hot-brewed coffee of yesterday? Sort of. We could say it was less horrid. Some of the higher-end rancid flavors weren’t there, but they were not replaced by anything more delicious, and there was no underlying mellow goodness that was laid bare by their absence.

So, put the Aeropress on your packing checklist folks. Next post will detail Aeropress Success in a hotel room.

Thanks for reading- see you around!

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New Coffee is On the Shelf! Flores Bajawa Ngura

Flores Bajawa Ngura

What’s in a name? This coffee’s name makes me think of three different continents for goshsakes.

Grown under the shade of Bamboo trees, this coffee is processed by a co-op near the city of Bajawa on the Indonesian island of Flores.


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There it is!

We medium roast this coffee, bringing out a deep flavor reminiscent of caramel and molasses.

Buy it at our coffee shop, the Farmers Markets or online at zekescoffee.net!

Heck yes!

 

 

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Brewing Magic at Home Part VII: Not Your Grandmother’s Toddy

Toddy coffee is not the most popular of brewing methods. Its adherents, although relatively few, are enthusiastic and dedicated. Toddy coffee is much lower in acid than coffee brewed with hot water- it’s perfect for people with sensitive stomachs or robots who corrode easily. Toddy is also a very well respected method for preparing iced coffee.

Toddy coffee is a radical departure from the beaten path of drip-brewed, boiled and heated joe. It tastes different too.

Toddy coffee is cold-brewed for a long time- typical brew time is 18 to 24 hours.

For the standard Toddy brewer you use about 12oz of coffee and about 7 cups of water. Use coarsely ground coffee and combine it in your toddy gradually- start with about a cup of water, add half the coffee, then slowly pour 3 cups of water in there.

Pretend you’re doing pourover coffee and try to saturate the grounds thoroughly. Add the rest of your coffee and then the rest of your water. You can push the coffee down a bit with the back of a spoon or a glossy paperback book cover to make sure it’s all getting wet. Don’t stir the stuff, you may dislodge or clog up your filter, which would be bad. Since it’s going to be sitting around for a while, it’s not a bad idea to cover the top of your toddy.

Ok, now it’s time to wait.

OK! It’s tomorrow! pull the plug on the bottom of the toddy and let it drip. The draining process is also slow so don’t think you’re just going to have a cup of coffee right now. Let it go a few hours- it’s not going to get cold.

The jar you get with this brewer comes with an airtight lid. You store your coffee concentrate in the fridge and it’ll be usable for well over a week.

Now you dump the grounds and rinse the filter. It’ll come out squeaky clean!

The product you’ll end up with is thick and really really strong. You’ll try it straight once and run out of the room screaming. Once you knock it down with some hot water, though, it’s a very rewarding cup, with an exciting head of persistent foam!

Ok guys, get to drinkin. I’ll see you around shortly- thanks for reading!

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Brewing Magic at Home Part VI: The Chemex- For the Semi-Evil Scientist

Awright everybody, it’s been a minute but it’s time you knew: The Chemex coffee brewer is a classic way to make drip coffee.

It looks like an Erlenmeyer Flask out of a chemistry lab, with a dash of cowboy around the neck. There’s something awesome about a coffee brewer made of glass, wood and leather. Fortunately it also makes exceptional coffee. Featured in this post is the ineffable Jared Sweeney, enthusiastic Chemex enthusiast. He was so very kind and brought his Chemex to the roastery and demonstrated its use and care for the Zeke’s Crew.

The major functional difference between the Chemex and other drip coffee makers is the filter. Chemex provides a variety of proprietary filters that employ some fun origami techniques to make the magic happen. Filters can be circles, squares or the ever-mysterious half-moon. For the unadventurous or those missing lots of fingers, the filters are also available pre-folded.

These filters are thick and multi-layered. The resulting brew is smooth and without a hint of bitterness. There will be no sediment or oil slick on the top of your coffee, either. That’s a plus for those who want a very clean taste in the cup, and a detriment for those who like an oily, sludgy cup ala French Pressed coffee.

The brew cycle is nearly indistinguishable from other drip coffee methods: Add and wet filter, add coffee grounds, add a small amount of hot water to get the grounds to bloom:

Stir the grounds to ensure even wetting of the stuff, and then pour the rest of your brew water SLOWLY through the bed of grounds. Unlike traditional cone filters, the Chemex sends all the brewed coffee through a single point at the business end of the filter.

NOTE: the finer your coffee is ground the longer this is going to take. While Chemex is not the quickest of brew methods, the results are absolutely worth waiting for.

For our test batch we used more coffee than was necessary, ground a bit finer than necessary. Other brew methods may have yielded an overextracted, bitter disaster. The Chemex gave us smooth and clean coffee, concentrated as it may have been. We kind of just stood around looking at each other saying, “Wow.” Well done, Mr. Sweeney.

The Chemex Brewer may be for you if:

  • You are a quasi-evil or merely mad scientist, or are considering the evil sciences
  • You enjoy drip-style coffee and want to go somewhere new
  • You like exceptionally clean-tasting coffee
  • You like to take your time making coffee and savor the process

Keep looking if:

  • You like oil or silt in your coffee
  • You like to press a button to initiate brewing coffee
  • You don’t have six or seven minutes to devote to making a cup or two.

That’s all for now; see you around. Thanks for reading!