I will be converting this blog to the new blogger version this weekend. The changes may temporarily cause some bad formatting, lack of comments etc. 1/05/2007 09:57:00 AM
Monday, December 11, 2006
December espresso trek I went on an espresso trek last saturday with my friend Audun. We visited five bars in downtown Oslo and had a single espresso in each. Why? well, it's something fun to do together and actually a bit educational since we decided to judge them according to acidity, balance etc. Well, maybe more interesting for me than for Audun since he cups coffee at work all the time.
Note: - these were random samples, so the shots served do not necessarily represent the average quality of shots served at each place - we sampled shots during the most busy part of the day, so maybe the shots suffered a bit as a consequence.
Ristretto (!) shot. Crema breaks up even before we've gotten the chance to drink it, but looks good until then (some flecking). The taste is a bit too acidic and the aftertaste is long but not that pleasant.
Overall verdict: 3 out of 6
United Bakeries Fruitiness: 2 Acidity: 4 Sweetness: 2 Taste balance: 3 Aftertaste: 4 Price: 20 kroner (served in paper espresso cup)
(using beans from Den gyldne bønne)
Very nice new bakery / coffee bar / sandwhich shop on the Karl Johan main street. Shot made by former norwegian champ Gunnhild Seljenes. Nice crema with flecking. Great to talk to Gunnhild again.
Too hot (Audun: "looks like a volcano erupting"), too large volume with clearly visible "white eye". Reminds us of mocca pot coffee in consistency and mouthfeel. Not a good way to end the trek :)
Overall winner: Mocca!!
12/11/2006 07:33:00 PM
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Christmas three made out of Rancilio Silvia machines. 12/03/2006 04:22:00 PM
Saturday, December 02, 2006
December is here and life is quite ok. Loving my new job with its endless stream of interaction design puzzles, and the nice people who work there. Coffeewise I am brewing the occasional espresso at home and stopping by Java espressobar a couple of times a week. The stuff they serve there is always top notch. I had a lovely cappa the other day, and while looking around I noticed that they're selling the price winning "Hacienda la Esmarelda, Geisha" for 348 kr / 250g (!), as well as offering a clover cup for 48 kr. 6,5 norwegian kroner is about 1 us dollar. So it is quite an expensive coffee. Can't but wonder who buys it, but I have the utmost respect for the work they do to offer us these great coffees. The Esmeralda is not the only great coffee they have on the menu. I tried a Kenya "Leana" last week which had a wonderful aroma of blue berries. Will definitely try the Esmeralda from the Clover next time.
Coffee at work is horrible :), and I am not saying it because I am a coffee enthusiast. It just plain is and people are pissed off. The machine we have is "Bolero XL" and it is a disaster in every respect. Thank god we have a Moccamaster drip maker next to it.
Besides coffee I am really into artisan bread these days. I love the texture, aroma and flavour of the type of bread they make at "Åpent bakeri" (sourdough french style). It is strange how a loaf bread of bread can really make my day. 12/02/2006 08:17:00 PM
If you haven't already done so : go and read the fantastic coverage of the nordic barista cup written by Sarah Allen & Kenneth R Olson. Sadly I missed out on the event this year because of personal reasons, but I will definitely try to go next year in Gothenburg! 10/14/2006 12:44:00 PM
Thursday, October 12, 2006
As mentioned in my last post, I spent my summer holiday in Italy this year. My travel companion was fellow coffee nut and good friend Audun Sørbotten. We decided to split the holiday in two: first a visit to beautiful Firenze (for the museums and galleries, gelato(!) and coffee) and then off to Sardegna to relax at the beach and explore the island.
This worked out really well. It was really nice to turn down the pace after 2-3 days of strolling in museums in Firenze. All in all one of the best vacations I've had. Travelling with Audun really adds to the enjoyment since he's a very positive character that really knows to appreciate life.
Audun enjoying a shot on the ferry to Sardegna :). I have to admit that it didn't taste that good, but who cares when the sun is shining and you're on your way to visit a beautiful place? Good times.
Beautiful Ponte Vecchio in Firenze. I highly recommend visiting Firenze if you haven't already done so!
Renting scooters and exploring the island. Very fun! The sense of freedoom and adventure was massive. This was easily the most fun I've had in a long, long time. Especially cool that we were able to rent 100cc scooters with a regular EU driving license. This made it possible to keep up with the general traffic. Still, we had some close encounters with impatient italian car drivers, but it all went well.
Designated place for the morning cappa in Cagliari. Illy espresso and ok milk steaming there. The best cappas we got however was in Firenze at "Gilli" (Piazza della Republica). The milk was perfectly textured and sweeet.
Coffee in the morning is great in Italy, but the breakfast they eat is ..eh..not that healthy. It's mostly stuff made of sugar, starch and regular flour. 10/12/2006 10:32:00 PM
Friday, October 06, 2006
This week I started working for the Norwegian Health Services Research Centre as an interaction designer. They're situated close to Java espresso bar (Robert Thoresen's first bar) so I can stop by to and from work (woohoo!). I've just had a really tasty cappuccino there and a chat with Kaveh Ataei. He was on the (winning) norwegian NBC team and seemed to have had a really nice time. Congrats to them and I hope they have a great time in El Salvador.
I was in Italy this summer and I've been planning to write a bit about it and post some pictures. Will try to do it this weekend.
Take care. 10/06/2006 09:33:00 AM
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Smart Club søker brennerimester! Smart Club skal åpne kaffebrenneri i sitt nye varehus på Slependen i oktober. I den anledning søkes en brennerimester som skal ha ansvaret for drift av brenneriet.
Oppstarten styres av London School of Coffee med tidligere Norgesmester i Baristakunst Eirik Sand Johnsen som prosjektleder. Målet er å ha opplært en brennerimester som kan drive brenneriet videre etter om lag to måneder. Smart Club er allerede kjent for å være et av landets beste ferskvareforretninger, og ønsker å drive et kaffebrenneri som leverer høy kvalitet, med sporbare råvarer. Brenneriet skal ligge i butikken slik at publikum kan se prosessen hele veien fra striesekken til koppen.
Relevant erfaring er ønsket. Det søkes en serviceinnstilt, utadvendt og effektiv person. Lidenskap for kaffe, smaksopplevelser, mat og drikke er nødvendig. For spørsmål, kontakt Eirik Sand Johnsen på tlf 93 01 01 88 eller email@example.com
Les stillingsutlysning på disse sidene: http://finn.no/finn/job/object?finnkode=8063787&sid=11as-Y_QDU708350&pos=5&tot=89 https://www.aetat.no/sbl/as/stillingssok/stillingsannonse.do?id=1166905 8/31/2006 11:18:00 AM
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Congrats to Klaus Thomsen from Denmark who is this year's WBC champ! More results can be found on portafilter.net. 5/21/2006 05:56:00 PM
Some weeks ago I saw my first example of bookcrossing at Stockfleths Lille Grensen. Basically it is a movement of book lovers who leave books for people. The goal is make people disover the joy of reading. Cool stuff. Here's a norwegian article about the phenomenon. 4/12/2006 12:41:00 AM
Recently I was invited by Gunnhild Seljenes (norwegian barista champ 2005) to come and check out the new restaurant/cafe she is working in, called Café Cartagena. I was more than happy to do that since Gunnhild is a really nice person and an excellent barista. Audun wanted to check the place out too, so together we headed out to Lysaker for some espresso.
The cafe is situated by the waterfront, close to some large office buildings. Seems to be a great place to start a business considering the large amount of potential customers that would want lunch and morning coffee.
Gunnhild and the owner Caroline Schreiner showed us around the very airy and stilish interior of the place. We got a nice shot of SH espresso brewed by Gunnhild. (They're using a Rancilio classe 8 and Mazzer grinder for those who are interested to know). Gunnhild is the head barista and is training the staff also. Got to be good.
Audun and Gunnhild
Seems to me to be a really nice place to go on say sundays to have a coffee and a bite with friends. I think it is also worth pointing out that this probably is one of the few places in Oslo where you can have really nice restaurant meal and a coffee that matches it at the end.
If you want to check it out, then I believe the easiest way to get there is by train (covered nicely by a regular sporveiene travel card / ticket).
I visited my friend Audun Sørbotten today to have dinner and check out his new Pavoni lever machine. I got to brew my own shot with it, and that was quite interesting. Since it's not powered by a spring, the brewing process is very hands on to say the least. Fun! and we got some great espresso out of it.
I'm real happy with the lens that I used to take those pictures, a Sigma 28mm f1.8 EX DG (which translates to 45mm on a 1.6 crop camera like my 300D). I was actullay going to sell it. Had an ad for it in a forum and everything, but then I realized how sharp it is and how it is nearly a macro lens if need be, so I closed the ad. Since it is an f1.8 lens, it also allows available light pictures that just isn't possible with for instance the lens that comes with the Rebel, the 18-55 f3.5-5.6. Well, enough of the photogeek-talk :).
Take care all. 3/30/2006 10:18:00 PM
Saturday, February 18, 2006
The norwegian barista championship was held last week. Here are the results:
1. Halvard Amble 2. Jonas Lippestad Johansen 3. Einar Kleppe Holthe 4. Jim Ø. Pedersen 5. Katrine Amdal 6. Karen Aanerud
Luigi Lupi, Audun and me. Luigi is great! He made us a superb cappuccino and we had a nice talk. I was suprised to find him at the venue. Apparently a norwegian roaster, Kjeldsberg, had hired him to promote them and the Musetti coffee which they distribute in Norway.
Audun stopped by today to sample an espresso blend we've both gotten from Skien kaffebrenneri to sample for free (thanks! please send more). It is very nice, balanced, citrusy - a blend that I would gladly drink as my everyday espresso. Roasted just into second crack. Some oil showing, but not much. According to Skien Kaffebrenneri it is 100% arabica and only contains beans from Brazil.
We also sampled some Kilimanjaro espresso that Audun brought. It was roasted during the NBC (during the educational track?). We made a couple of nice cappas with that one. Mmmmm..
It was really nice seeing Audun again and be able to talk way too much about coffee without the other party getting dizzy, hehe. 10/05/2005 08:40:00 PM
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
I had a great time last weekend at the Nordic Barista Cup here in Oslo. It was even better than attending the national or world championships. Why? Well, because there were so many activities for both the competitors and for the attendees, and everybody seemed to have more fun. I especially remember seeing the national teams laughing, cheering and enjoying themselves in several events. You don't see that often in normal championships. People are a lot more tense and focused then. I am not saying that is a bad thing, only that I am glad we have an event like the NBC too were it is more relaxed and playful.
The NBC is above all a great way to meet other people interested in coffee, and we got to mingle a lot during the event. The social program was great and during the three days I got to talk to lots of nice people from around the world sharing the same interest. There is such a great vibe and people are so open and willing to share knowledge and experiences. This is what I personally enjoy the most about barista championships, and I guess why I like hanging out with people involved with specialty coffee. I always feel very welcome as an enthusiast.
Day 1 I met my good friend (and fellow coffee nut) Audun at Nationaltheatret and took the subway to Ryen. Our destination was the Solberg&Hansen building which is only a five minute walk from the station. The first thing that hits you when you walk up the stairs to the main facility at S&H is a fresh smell of green coffee. Our expectations rose even higher. This was going to be a great day!
After registering and getting our gear we soon met Andreas, Trygve, Tim, Tone and many more. It was so nice to see them again and they made us feel very welcome. Tone and Tim were pretty busy already with coordinating the event. The first competition task had already been given and we could see the national teams working in the background. Being pretty thirsty for some coffee, we proceeded up the stairs and towards the Faema they have there.
We made some coffee for ourselves. A queue materialized almost immediately and I swiftly moved away so I wouldn't be stuck there making shots. I was more interested in meeting people. A lot of familiar faces were to be seen, like Ron Cook from La Marzocco, John Sanders from Hines, Stephen Vick from Stumptown etc. I also saw various people from coffee bars here in Oslo and from other cities in Norway. After chatting and eating lunch we got to see some presentations, the most interesting being the one by Aida Batlle from Kilimanjaro Estate in El Salvador.
She spoke about her involvement with the Cup of Excellence program, about coffee in El Salvador, and about her fruitful business relationship with Solberg&Hansen. They bought her winning COE 2003 coffee for the record high price of $14.06. An attendee asked if she still submits coffee to the COE events. She replied that she doesn't. By winning in 2003 she got the recognition and PR that she needed to reach the buyers. COE is a great marketing tool in this respect. Coffee farms that normally are hidden behind exporters are made visible and people can deal directly with the farms. To win the COE is no easy feat. Aida's coffee was cupped twice nationally and twice by an international team of cuppers. I've had the chance to drink that coffee both as drip and espresso and it is great.
Presentations were also given by DaVinci and Mahlkoenig, but I didn't find them very interesting. They were too product centered. The presentation by COSIC about coffee and health was pretty interesting, but I am not completely convinced that their results are not affected by them being funded by the coffee industry. Little time was spent on talking about any negative effects of coffee. I was especially puzzled by the statement that coffee is not addictive. I think most people clearly feel some negative effects when suddenly ending their coffee consumption. Personally I get headaches.
After the presentations we all met in downtown Oslo to go on a guided tour by tram. They had actually rented a tram for the sole purpose of taking us around the city and afterwards to the destination of the evening: the Ekeberg restaurant. Champagne was served and people were having a really nice time. It was pretty weird to be partying on the tram that I most of the time use to and from work.
We arrived at the Ekeberg restaurant, a beatiful place with a great view over Oslo. Wine and delicious food was served and we got to know which team was the overall winner of the first day: the danes. Afterwards we did some speed dating were everbody had to switch person after talking for three minutes. We did this for a half hour. A great idea. I have to admit that I didn't switch as often as three minutes :).
I'll write about day two later. 9/28/2005 09:21:00 PM
Thursday, September 01, 2005
I finally got around to borrowing a digital thermometer with probe the other day. By drilling a small hole in a standard rancilio double filter, I am now able to do some measurements on my Euro2000 (E-61). The first realization was that I need to flush even longer than I believed. With a completely warmed up machine I need to flush 25-30 secs to get the temperature down to 90-91 celsius (boiler set to 0.95-1.15 bar). That's where I find the Ottolina Classica coffee to taste best. By increasing the temperature I get more contrasty flavor notes, but I don't think that improves it in the straight espresso - no sugar added - role. I am pretty happy to have found the correct flush amount, and to be enjoying classica espresso that is up to par with what I get when I visit the Temperato (norwegian rancilio distributor) shop here in Oslo. Alexander von der Lippe, one of the owners, is a really good barista. I've always loved the stuff he has served me.
Another realization has been that I have been a bit sloppy with the cleaning of machine and grinder lately. This was pointed out by Alexander when we drank a mediocre shot in his shop, and he told me that it was due to a pf that needed cleaning. The flavor was similar to what I had been getting at home, a sort of medicinal aftertaste that can be a result of specific beans, but in this case cleaning. After he cleaned the pf, the subsequent shots tasted great. A thorough cleaning of my own gear, and increased flushing, has made me a happy barista. Just got be careful not to drink too many doubles too fast !
It is also cool to see that the standard rancilio 14g double filter is capable of producing great shots. 9/01/2005 09:44:00 AM