Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pokka Demitasse

Well this was a nice can of coffee all in all not quite a classic demitasse though. Pokka has formulated a smooth, low acid caned coffee with a pronounced unbitter flavour. All in all I would recommend this hot canned coffee for consumption on a cold winter afternoon if you find yourself waiting for someone in Shibuya. Tommorow I'll be test driving UCC's Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee in a can. Can't wait to report.

- A roving communique from my iPhone

Location:3丁目,Shibuya Ward,Japan

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Japanese Coffee Culture

Just some thoughts on Japan in general and the coffee culture here in particular. If Japan can be summed up in one behavioral phrase it may well be "attention to detail." The culture is highly stylized and formal - that may be an understatement. As such there seems to be little room for half-hearted execution in any endeavor.

Coffee is ubiquitous here and the quality is astoundingly high. Yes of course there are Starbucks coffeeshops here and there. Mind you I swear that this year I've spotted more than last year. However they are far outnumbered by indigimous coffee chains which in turn are outnumbered by indie shops.

I'll sign off with a brief annecdote from Verde Coffee. The owner wa approached by dozens of clients to sell his cotton coffee filters. Apparently after years of coaxing he broke down and started selling these nifty filters complete with personal instruction on how to use them. When he learned that some customered were not croutinely leaning the filters - he stopped selling the filters abruptly. That is the best illustration of Japanse coffee culture I can offer. That tenacity and attention to detail is why you'll have a hard time getting a bad cup of coffe in Japan.

- A roving communique from my iPhone
Location:Tokyo, Japan

UCC Black

Another canned coffee entry. Today it is UCC Black. On an aside drinking these coffees is a nice break from all of the high end single origin coffees we cup for Dauphin Kaffee and the various Jamaica Blue Mountain coffees.

UCC Black is remarkably light and refreshing. This is a perfect afternoon coffee hot or cold.

- A roving communique from my iPhone

Location:3丁目,Shibuya Ward,Japan

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Suntory Boss Golden can

A great way to enjoy coffee on the go. Japanese beverage giant Suntory (producers of everything from tea to whiskey) have a great market presence for coffee. As an interesting side note American actor Tommy Lee Jones is the spokesperson for Suntory's line of Boss coffees. This particular canned coffee is best served cold.

- A roving communique from my iPhone

Location:3丁目,Shibuya Ward,Japan

An alternative to instant - Mon Cafe

I'm 100% spoiled because of my proffession. Even on the rare occasion of running out of coffee , fresh Dauphin Kaffee coffees are never more than 24 hours away. Mind you when I travel I love sampling coffee in all of it's dizzying varieties. Case in point 'Mon Cafe' a clever drip brewing system complete with a unique coffee blend available at any Tokyo convenience store. You simply heat fresh water in the kettle, unfold the brewer over your cup of choice, pour then enjoy coffee that is head and shoulders above instant coffee... in an instant.

- A roving communique from my iPhone

Location:3丁目,Shibuya Ward,Japan

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tokyo 2010 Coffee

Today I visited a remarkable old school Tokyo coffee shop called Coffee Verde. What makes it old school? Well first off, Verde coffee is not a chain. Second there's no espresso. Third the brewing equipment consisits of a cotton filter, water kettle and a single vario grinder. Finally they roast their coffees on site throughout the day. Yes you read correctly throught the day. By the time I was enjoying my cup of Tanzania they had already roasted ten batches.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:3丁目,Shibuya Ward,Japan

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Communiqué #5: All about Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee

Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is widely revered as the world’s best coffee. Any attempts at verifying this statement in empirical terms is impossible as coffee like any other luxury relies on subjective human tastes. What is empirically valid however is that through the very long history of exclusive Arabica Typica coffees, Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffees have always held the highest echelons of price and renown. English Author Ian Fleming blessed his hero James bond with impeccable tastes for all the finest things in life. Mr. Bond declared outright in the novel Live and Let Die, “Blue Mountain Coffee, the most delicious in the world…” Mr. Bond’s sentiment is one shared world wide and for decades among the fortunate.

Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Arrives Courtesy of France

The secret behind Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee’s exceptional qualities is a matter of breeding. More specifically it is matter of lineage and breeding. All Jamaican Coffees are descendants of a single fragile Arabica Typica plant brought to the island 1723 by order of King Louis XV of France. According to legend, the original plant (one of three) bound for Martinique or Hispaniola landed in Jamaica through a series of fateful events. These events all point to Governor of Jamaica Sir Nicolas Lawes as the individual who delivered this first coffee plant to Jamaica. In his capacity as Governor he tried 'Calico' Jack Rackham the pirate in 1720. The first cultivation began at the foothills of St. Andrew and quickly crept its way deep into the fertile Blue Mountains. While most of the coffee produced in Jamaica through the 18th century was traded throughout the world, it wasn’t until coffee plantations were established in the Blue Mountain range that things take a turn for the extraordinary.

High Altitude Origins of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee

The three great secrets to virtually all of the world’s great coffees a combination of altitude, volcanic soil and austere care for the beans. The Jamaican Blue Mountains are a majestic range of mountains forming the virtual backbone of Jamaica rising over 7,000 feet above sea level. The densely wooded north slopes are maintained as forest reserves. This region is the center of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee cultivation. Annual rainfall is a mere 200 inches and average temperature hovers near 5 °C, due to a dense cloud cover. These environmental factors slow down the maturation rate of the of the coffee fruit to about 10 months from bloom to harvest, as compared to five or six elsewhere. This produces a larger more complex bean, with a concentration flavor.

Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee’s Volcanic Roots

The Jamaica Blue Mountains are like all mountains in the Caribbean the above water peaks of ancient extinct Volcanoes. Through centuries of soil production, the nutrients deposited on the surface of these volcanoes are essentially a botanical super food. Centuries of biomass accumulation formed through the decomposition of various plant species has produced a top soil of exceptional quality. This fact is true all across the near equatorial Arabica producing countries. In Jamaica, the heirloom quality of these 18th century Arabica plants, combine with the environment to produce a truly unusual coffee but that is no guarantee of a fine cup.

Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee’s Quality is no accident

The final portion of the equation is a combination of botanical husbandry and meticulous processing of the beans from pulping to roast to your cup. In 1953 the Jamaica government passes the first of many laws establishing the boundaries of exceptional quality. ItLink was first decreed that only coffees grown within a specific Blue Mountain region could be called Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. The Jamaican Coffee Industry board also initiated strict regulation of all Blue Mountain coffees. The regulations inform processors of acceptable levels of moisture content, bean size and other indicators of quality. Each and every shipment of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is cupped and evaluated by the coffee industry board through rigorous cupping and only if the coffee meets their rigid standards is the shipment allowed to depart from Jamaica.

DAUPHIN KAFFEE is the apex of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee

Dauphin Kaffee begins our process of selecting your next cup of coffee though meticulous evaluation of the every specialty lot that arrives at market. Through these initial cuppings we identify the very best farms proving the apex of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffees. Finalists for purchase are then delivered to each of our seven member Cupping board for blind evaluation of each lot. Our board members are cupping with one goal in mind, “identify the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee that is exceptionally full-bodied, flavorful, and aromatic.” The board’s reviews are tallied for a finalist lot. Samples of that coffee is delivered to our roast master with a request to prepare a test batch roasted to our secret roast profile for evaluation by the three founding partners. Again the coffee is cupped but not in the traditional sense. This Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is simply brewed in a French press, tasted then discussed by our partners. Once agreement is reached the purchase of the lot is secured and the sourcing process starts anew in ten months.

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is world renowned for delivering a very well balanced cup, with medium acidity, excellent body and a smooth chocolate finish. Well balanced, full-bodied with subtle acidity is the age old description that every coffee aspires to reach. So as you have read, though Blue Mountain Coffee is Arabica Typica, it is anything but typical.

Warm Regards,
Jerry Delince
Managing partner

Jamaica Blue Mountain Traders, LLC.
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