Wow Coffee

So we have yet to post anything about Minneapolis, which I mean to do, I swear, but first I wanted to mention the two incredible events I attended this week in New York.

Wednesday night, Cafe Grumpy hosted a presentation by Andrew Barnett of Ecco Caffe and Luis Norberto Pascoal of Daterra, the coffee plantation in Brazil that supplies Ecco with their espresso. They spoke about their coffees and attempted to explain how Daterra makes some of the best coffee in the world.

Luis, Owner of Daterra, speaks

As I understand it, Daterra has segmented their farm into hundreds of small plots and they keep the coffees from each plot separate to both maintain the genetic line of each tree, and to help sort out the absolute best coffees. (For more information, Sweet Maria’s has a good explanation here.)

This process is what helped them to create what was, for me, the best coffee of the evening. The Opus 1 Exotic, which is being released by Ecco Caffe, is a naturally low-caffeinated coffee, containing just 0.8% caffeine, about 30% less than an average arabica-variety coffee (robusta actually has more caffeine than arabica).

In addition to the Opus, the fine folks at Grumpy pulled shots of the Daterra Reserve and made Ecco’s new Magnum (which, in looking at the website, does not seem to be available) on the Clover and in a Chemex. All three coffees were beautiful, and I have some at home that I can’t wait to try.

Amber, Ramin, and Katie

If that wasn’t enough, Thursday night brought even more exceptional coffee. Daniel Humphries held a cupping at Bodum’s new 11th Ave headquarters, and showed up with not only 11 of the best coffees from this year’s Ethiopia Limited auction, which is Ethiopia’s version of the Cup of Excellence, but with Daniel Mulu, one of the best coffee cuppers in Ethiopia (which puts him in good standing to be best in the world). We tried 6 washed, 1 semi-washed, and 4 naturally processed coffees.

Anne and Daniel Mulu

Everything we tried was wonderful, and finding a favorite is next to impossible, but the stand-outs for me were three (in no particular order, not even the one I give, necessarily): in the natural category, the Biloya (which came in third with a score of 90.5) was exceptional, and if this is the year of the Biloya, then we’re looking at Biloya 2.0 for next year. The Koke (which scored an 85.7 and placed 17th overall) was subtle and smooth, which is unexpected in a naturally-processed coffee. Anne described it as a morning coffee, while the Biloya is for the afternoon. The third was a washed from Aleta Wondo (which came in second overall with a 91.3). I told Daniel that it tastes like happiness, and I still stand by that assertion.

IMG_3298.JPG Destruction!
you set ’em up, and knock ’em down!

After the cupping, Anne, Mary (from Jack’s coffee and under-appreciated NYCS cupper), Andrew Barnett, Daniel Humphries, Daniel Mulu, and I went for some truly righteous bar-b-que at Rub on 23rd St. We stuffed ourselves and stayed out way too late, but it was a lot of fun.

These two events were so wonderful, I am honored to be able to attend them, and I’m thankful to everyone who put them on.


~ by neoney on May 9, 2008.

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