Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Indestructible Coffee...

Many of you probably know of my affinity for Trader Joe's. Sure, they have their problems just like any other company, but I've always found their products to be first rate. While they don't carry fair trade coffees exclusively, they do have a decent selection; one of my favorites being the medium dark roast Ethiopian. Not only is it among the world's best coffee, it's fair trade, shade grown, organic, and helps to stimulate their economy which is currently in shambles. In fact, many Ethiopian coffee farmers are destroying their coffee fields in favor of khat, a narcotic that commands a much higher price than coffee. You can check out OxFam for more information, and be sure to stop by Trans Fair for tips on being a responsible consumer.

As of last year, Starbuck's now recognizes Ethiopia's right to patent their coffees as it has done in Canada, Japan, and the European Union. Apparently it took more than 96,000 supporters to convince Starbuck's to stop exploiting Ethiopia and help the coffee farmers earn a living wage.

But this isn't about Ethiopian beans. I'm writing about beans grown more than 4,000 miles southwest of Ethiopia on an Island known as Sumatra. I decided to give these a try last time I was at TJ's - a few months ago. I recently opened the nitrogen sealed can to find them in relatively good condition albeit not as shiny as I would like (true coffee connoisseurs advocate brewing coffee within 48 hours of roasting). Anyway, I dialed in my grind and pulled several shots; all were fantastic. It seems that, no matter how sloppy my technique, the shots are very smooth with little to no bitterness. Even if my tamp is uneven or too light, the water temperature a bit too cool, or the dose irregular; the shots are phenomenal. This coffee is virtually indestructible!

100% Arabica Beans, NOT Rubber Flavored Robusta from Viet Nam.

Ahhhh.... Pulling a Shot.

Smooth and Rich Double Shot.

Latte Art is Not My Thing.

No comments: