Archive for the ‘Coffee Roasting’ Category

16
Jan
2007

Fiori Coffee

fiori-triptych_small

So I said I was going to spill the beans (ha… ha) on Fiori coffee, the latest addition to the gourmet coffee scene in our fair city (Perth that is), so here it is.

Kamran and Louise Nowduschani are the team behind Fiori, having moved over from Sydney a year or so ago after selling their previous roasting venture, they have quickly propelled themselves up to being one of Perth’s best local roasters in terms of quality and consistency, as far as I’m concerned at least.

Kamran is from the old school of coffee roasting, meaning he’s not comfortable letting the machinery do all the work for him. His roasting methods are a work of timing, temperature, and that elusive element that is a feel for the personality of each roast. As much as you’d like to think that roasting is a process of exact measures and maintaining absolute consistency, it’s also a case that no two roasts are exactly the same, not even two roasts of the same bean, so being able to understand how each roast is progressing and coax it towards the desired result is a great skill to have.

Fiori currently have one main blend of coffee, it’s put together with a number of different beans that all serve a different purpose. There are beans used for body, others for acidity, other for floral highlights or spicy qualities, but all coming together to create a blend that is interesting and punchy as an espresso, but still cuts through in milk nicely. It’s also Kamran’s skill as a blender and cupper that ensure this flavour profile remains consistent from year to year, regardless of availability of the beans.

Beans

The coffee is of course, all arabica, not a robusta in sight, although simply saying arabica doesn’t mean much. There are plenty of places using
cheap and average arabica beans that would most correctly be identified as “commodity” coffee. These are beans that are bought from the large markets in Brazil and other countries, and are basically bags of coffee sourced from all over the place and graded pretty low. These are the kind of beans you’ll find most often in major brand label coffee that fill supermarket shelves around the country. Fiori (and any quality roaster for that matter) where possible use estate grown, single origin beans. What this means is that each bag of coffee that arrives at the roastery comes either directly from the estate or through a distributor with a specific bean inside. So instead of the bag saying “Brazilian”, it will say something like PNG Bunum Wo Peaberry, indicating the country, region, and screening of the bean.

If that all sounded like drivel, then don’t get too caught up in it, just get the point that quality comes from knowing your beans and being able to use that knowledge to manipulate the flavour profile of your blend to highlight the best qualities of your beans. Something that you soon realise is a big deal to Kamran after speaking to him for more than a minute. He is meticulous when it comes to tasting and everytime I’ve dropped in to see him he’s been buzzing from drinking so much espresso, definitely a good sign for anyone seriously concerned with producing great coffee.

So after a rapid introduction to Perth last year, I’m looking forward to more good things from Fiori this year, Kamran has recently upgraded his funky French Samiac to a much larger Deidrich, which gives him the capacity to roast a lot more coffee to supply what I envision will be a lot of new cafes in the near future.

Fiori are currently supplying a number of cafes around the city, namely Tiger Tiger in the CBD, Boucla in Subiaco, The Blue Duck in Cottesloe, and a bunch of others I have yet to try but will no doubt get around to soon. Stop by one of those places sometime soon and give it a try, or buy some beans yourself if you’re more of a DIY kinda person.

So whilst we in the Perth coffee scene are far from being spoilt for choice, the future is definitely looking brighter with people like Kamran and Louise coming into the market, who actually care about their product and are open and honest in their approach to raising standards. Which is something I really respect.

Fiori coffee beans

Fiori Coffee
9 Douglas St, West Perth
T: (08) 9328 4988
www.fioricoffee.com

06
Dec
2006

Coffee for Unity

meanwhile in Italy...

A great shot of coffee I pulled at home recently on my trusty Rancilio Silvia, after grinding on my Rancilio Rocky. The blend was half Brazilian Reserve Daterra, as roasted by 5 Senses, and half Nicaraguan as roasted by Fiori. A tasty blend to unite two of the premier coffee roasters operating in Perth at the moment, and a good excuse to apply some overly stylised editing. I’m calling the blend “Sensori” for now… which I’m sure will get me into some kind of legal trouble, but seeing as I’m not selling it I think I might be ok.

More coffee posts on their way. Drink up.

25
Jul
2006

Catching Up on Coffee

Yes, I know… I’ve been neglecting this blog terribly. So here are a few posts to keep the faithful going. A little old school latte art action, intermingled with some fancy new photography courtesy of the new camera.

brown on black

First off, some new arrivals to my roasting efforts. A bag of Ethiopian Harrar, and a bag of Colombian Valle del Cauca Supremo (which is the photo above).

The harrar is sweet fruity bean, along the lines of the Yirgacheffe, but without as much of the winey aftertaste. The Valle del Cauca is a big full bodied coffee, and they accidently made a very tasty little espresso blend for me.

Liquidity Ethiopian Harrar

Other things to note of late is that my latte art still sucks the big one, although the photos look infinitely prettier.

Latte Art x 2 Back at it

I need to get my Silvia serviced again because I’ve gone and completely stripped the top of the screw that holds the shower screen in. It seems that its made of a pretty soft metal that expands a lot when it gets hot, and so even though I don’t screw it in tight at all, it’s near impossible to get loose after a while. Hence my mauling it with all manner of stubby screwdrivers and swear words. I will be warily treading back to the coffee machine shop I went to last time, to see if they can get the screw out, and give me a new one, without rorting me out of my life savings.

Watch this space for exciting coffee related photo’s soon.

18
Jun
2006

On the roasting trail again

my ritual

Well having officially run out of all the beans I’ve been given, it’s back to roasting my own coffee for the time being.
I seem to waver on and off between roasting my own and buying beans from others. I find my own technique doesn’t produce the results as well as the beans I buy from local roasters (well mainly 5 Senses). This could be due to the fact that I’m using an IMEX CR-100. A tiny popcorn popper style roaster that has neither the thermal stability nor the capacity to roast coffee the way it needs to be. If you’re not a purist though, it does a reasonable job, and I am officially the hardest person to please with my own efforts.

The upside to it though, is that I have full control over how my coffee turns out, and can take all the credit when I make someone a delicious espresso or latte on my silvia (espresso machine) :)

So here’s a quick video I pulled together of me roasting some coffee at home. It’s not particularly exciting, but some of you who have never seen what green coffee looks like before may find it interesting.

The coffee blend I used was:

Indian Tiger Mountain A – 60%
PNG Sirehini – 30%
Costa Rican Tarrazu – 10 %

Sorry for the crappy audio/blair witch cameratography/random merengue tracks playing in the background.

You wouldn’t believe how much I laughed when I put those titles and credits on the video. Apologies to anyone who has multimedia skills… Making dodgy videos is just too easy these days.

Home Coffee Roasting

09
Mar
2006

Roasting on hold…

Well it’s sad times here in roasting HQ. My IMEX CR-100 (otherwise known as the cheapo Korean wunderkind coffee roaster) has officially kicked the bucket.

I have no idea what I did to it, but as soon as I plug it into a power point and hit go, it shorts my entire appliances circuit in my house, causing much unhappiness to the rest of my non power surge circuit breaker tripping appliances, just sitting there minding their own business.

So in a very sad moment for me I was forced to buy some pre-roasted beans today… of dubious freshness as well, seeing as I can’t be sure if the roast date is the 2nd or the 7th of March.

I may move on to try some pan roasting, but from what I can gather at a glance it’s a lot of effort to try and get any sort of evenness in roast colour and consistency.

If anyone has any bright ideas then feel free to let me know… I’ve got about 20kg of beans just sitting there waiting for me to roast them up…and nothing to do it with…

IMEX CR-100 Coffee Roaster. (high tech mod)

R.I.P little roaster… You served me well…

Actually what am I saying… It lasted less than six months and carked it… piece of crap…

09
Feb
2006

Green Bean Scene

This is my current list of green coffee beans… just in case anyone cares :)

* Indonesian Bukit Marrante Kalosi Toraja
* Indian Plantation A (Tiger Mountain)
* Costa Rica Tarrazu SHB (Fancy)
* Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
* Yemen Moka Ismali

On order:
* Sumatran Mandheling Grade 1
* Paupa New Guinea Sihereni AX
* Indian Monsoon Robusta (just to see what all the fuss is about with Robusta)

For me, roasting coffee is basically another level of understanding in the whole experience. I’m not sure what inspired me to get into it in the first place. To be honest, I’m not addicted to coffee. I can go for days without having one, and I’m sure I’d be fine if I never drank another cup of it in my life. But once I do get into something, I find it hard to stay on the fringe, without delving deeper and working out how things work for myself. My inner geek is never completely satisfied with just accepting what someone else tells me is true without investigating it myself.

That’s not to say I’m about to go planting coffee bushes in my backyard (although i would be able cut all the middle men out of the picture :)), but It’s definitely been a great learning experience so far.

Lately i’ve been struggling to roast the Yemen Moka Ismali… It’s such a tricky little bean… very uneven looking in the bag, lots of chaff, and difficult to tell when its at the right level. I’ve been stopping just into the second crack so far and it’s been coming out ok… but not exactly to the level that it’s reputation deserves.

To date my favourite blend is called ‘Easy Tiger’. It’s a smooth, but punchy espresso blend made of predominantly Indian Tiger Mountain, with some Yirgacheffe to add some sweetness, and a nice chocolately highlight bean to round things off :)

My new shipment of beans should arrive next week, so i’ll be posting more reports when I’ve had a chance to give them a try.

06
Dec
2005

Indian Tiger Mountain

Yes another coffee roasting post.

Indian Tiger Mountain

I’ve been having another go at roasting my own beans, and have now moved onto a new variety called “Indian Tiger Mountain”.
I’ve also worked out how to make my little home coffee roasting machine work properly. So this last roast turned out really well. I hit the first crack at around 6 minutes, and the second crack at about 9-10 minutes. I’d never heard the cracks so clearly before, as my machine gets pretty noisey in full flight. For non coffee roasting type people (possibly everyone), coffee beans roast in a similar way to popcorn. Basically they have lot of gases and oils inside the green bean, which when heated up cause the bean to pop (crack). A roasted bean will crack twice during the roast cycle, and when it cracks for the second time you’re pretty close to being done (for a dark espresso roast). If you go much past second crack you get a whole lot of charcoal and a nasty mess in your laundry (or preferred roasting spot).

My problem before was that i wasn’t getting enough heat into my system, and the roast was taking a long long time (around 20 minutes plus) and the beans weren’t cracking like they should. So i made a little modification to my machine, by sealing half of the air vent with aluminium foil to cycle the heat back into the machine. I also added more beans so that it spins slower… in theory making sure more heat hits the beans on each cycle… This proved pretty successful, so unless i was just completely lucky i seem to have worked it out.

IMEX CR-100 Coffee Roaster. (high tech mod)

The resulting espresso was great. Thick dark crema laden cups of espresso that was smooth and a little fruity on a the palate. Without the harsh bitter aftertaste a lot of blends/single origins seem to create. I’ll definitely be roasting some more soon.