måndag 28 juli 2008

No more Mr Magic...

A short one today. 30 degrees celsius in Stockholm today. Nice day for a triple-shot in a big glass of ice... ;) The post will be a bit mushed up as I can't think straight in the heat, but I'll hope you get my point. Make a comment otherwise and I'll try to answer it in a less messy mode... End of disclaimer...

The farmers (including choice of milling process) are the only ones creating stuff in our industry. Their work can bring out great green coffee and by being educated and progressive they can make it greater. The later guys in the process can only ruin it. Their (or our actually) game is to ruin as little as possible of the stuff we get from the farmers.

The roaster is sometimes a knowledgable guy, actually having more than a clue about the maillard reaction and how to control heat to get the perfect roast profile. The work of a great roaster is never anything but destructive though. If he gets shit into the roaster, no cool trick can ever change it. A roaster at his best brings out the best of what already in the bean. He's decision in the process is what he decide not to bring out tastewise through temperature profiling as well as choice of cooling technique and degassing.

The barista is sometimes (a bit too seldom though) a knowledgable chap understanding the thing with his/hers HX or dual saturated boiler machine and how to set up the machine through boiler- and pump-pressure, flushing and using the temprature rises and decays to get the most out of the roasted coffee he is using. A destructive process too, a decent barista can bring out lots of different flavour profiles from one coffee, but they're all there from the beginning.

So to get the greatest, most interesting coffee the one we have to turn to is the farmer. Help the farmers by first stepping down from the "mister magic" roaster- or barista-role and get our costumers and guests to learn about their work. We are not working magic, we are focused as hell to be able not to ruin their legacy. It is time to get the focus over to them and make sure there will be a way in the end for them to survive when their countries is going from developing to industrial. Otherwise there will be no one farming coffee as there's not enough money to survive on it. Just look at the often qouted as "over-priced" La Hazienda Esmeralda total income from their top notch coffees. Most of us reading this is either running coffee bars or working in one making those kind of cash. And this very estate is one of the few getting decent money for their coffee.

The thing we need to do is to learn more and more about the farming, visit the farmers, and teach our guests what we have learned on our journeys - to make them see why they in the end will need to pay 50 cents more for their spro or cap - to make sure to in the long run be able to get the best coffee there is. And we need to use that extra 50 cents to pay the farmers a bit more. Make sure that they see a future in their craft!

The following posts will probably be about a few ideas of how we can change our industry in specific ways to get the guests and costumers more aware and caring about what's in the cup. (I'll try to get them up ASAP, but the heat is just twisting my head around...)

4 kommentarer:

Roberto Bergami sa...

you should have gotten comments on this article labo.
good read and of course i do agree that we're most dependant on the farmer.
and that they disserve more money. if you see the esmeralda lot. can you believe that the 'best' farm in the world doesn't make more money that a regular Starbucks!!! Or do i see this wrong?

Triple shot on the rocks. Yummy. ;-)

Nicolás sa...

yes, this is a good post. It makes me remember about the commodty fetichism theory.

Dan Stenqvist sa...

Ser fram emot fler inlägg! Några på g?

Dan Stenqvist sa...

Ser fram emot fler inlägg! Några på g?