Reason to Be Excited – Baltzersen’s Roast & Coffee Research

Head barista Ben Loebell pulls a shape for the slo-mo camera

It’s busy days in the Baltzersen’s Roast & Coffee Research – the beans keep coming, the grinder keeps running and our hands have never been busier, with Ben’s eye-popping slo-mo latte art, a competition coming up and would you believe it; we’re out of Passion Fruit’s Granitos de Ortiz already! Fortunately we’re returning to our Scandi roots and getting some delights from the Swedish Drop Coffee Roasters; some fruity and zesty goodness from Ethiopa as well as another Costa Rican delight.

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Head barista Ben Loebell and Paul went to Manchester last weekend, for Cup North’s Northern Coffee Party (1-2. Nov.): a two-day showcase of the best the coffee industry has to offer. Ben worked a brief shift at La Marzocco’s stand – they make incredible, custom espresso machines, and offered baristas from cafés around the north to try their hand at these fine pieces of machinery. Ben employed North Star Micro Roaster’s Czar Street Seasonal Espresso roast for the job. We’ll surely receive a full report shortly.

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We’ve also ordered in some brewing equipment from Kalita, a brief video diary will be following shortly. Suffice to say the shiny stainless steel drippers and glass servers are reason to be excited.

In the meantime, we have a full report from Paul and Rob on Dark Woods Coffee‘s cupping at La Bottega Milanese just around the corner, as well as a quick tasting report of their prized Colombia Finca El Tormento roast:coffee

These beans have been roasted for espresso and the drinks that follow, however it remains a single origin roast, so we were curious to see how it might perform in a pour-over and Aeropress comparison. But first things first.

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Served a single espresso, the roast hit us with a strong acidic lemon, while retaining a round and creamy flavour sensation. It certainly does the job for the 7AM wake-up call. Moving on to espresso-based drinks; the addition of milk really increases the coffee’s overall performance – sweetness with traces of toffee rise up, while retaining the lemon afternote and just enough acid to keep one’s tongue perky.

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We put the Colombian in our V60 pour-over, and the results were phenomenal: a bright coffee returns with lemon and sweetness of sugar cane, while that creamy quality from the espresso lingers, adding a fantastic texture. For an espresso roast, this serves damn well in a filter. Sent through the Aeropress there was an abundance of sugar sweetness, which can be an enticing quality. However this roast does better as a V60, we think – without the heavy body left behind by the Aeropress, the V60’s filtration leaves a cleaner, brighter brew.

At the end of the day, this roast shines with milk as an espresso. Undoubtebly a first-rate, paradigm single origin roast for espresso – thank you, Dark Woods Coffee.

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Reports from Dark Woods Coffee’s cupping at La Bottega Milanese and North Cup’s Northern Coffee Party in Manchester are on their way. In the meantime, check out North Star’s decaf delight, Paul’s take on London’s independent coffee scene, Falcon Specialty Coffee’s Rwanda Cup of Excellence, or Rob’s search for the best coffee the south-western coast of Norway has to offer.

Or come and try some coffee with us!

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