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April 2015 Newsletter

One of the most frequent questions I'm asked is "What's your
favourite coffee?" As with many other beverages, it depends. Time of
day, season of year, brewing process, with or without food and
general mood at the time can all have an influence. However, the
other day a friend asked the question in a different way. We'd been
discussing what we'd need to survive on a desert island, along the
lines of the BBC program "Desert Island Discs".

We had a lot of fun with the things we could do without, like so-
called reality TV programs, mobile phones and cars. Then we got into
things like record albums (my three were "The Kick Inside" by Kate
Bush, "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd and "Beethoven's 9th
Symphony conducted by Herbert von Karajan", movies, specified as one
drama, one comedy or musical and one action film (mine were
"Casablanca", "Funny Face" and "Star Wars Ep.IV" and finally the big

"If you could only choose 3 coffees, which ones would they be?"

My third place coffee was the Haiti Grand Cru de Beaumont, for
everyday drinking pleasure. Intensely sweet and complex, brilliant
chocolaty finish, yet mild, low in acid and caffeine so it could be
savoured at any time of day. That is, of course, depending on
whether it's still available. The Haitian coffee industry is
gradually getting back on its feet after the 2010 earthquake, but
the only coffees I've seen recently have been from various
charitable agencies, and somewhat lacking in quality.
Endemic official corruption is also delaying the rebuilding of
washing mills, roads and other necessary coffee infrastructure.

For my middle coffee, I fancied something with a bit of upfront
acid, a bunch of ripe fruit flavours, a decent body and a long cocoa
aftertaste, in other words something Ethiopian. The coffee would be
dry processed, and probably either the Guji Sidamo or the Aricha
Yirgacheffe. High quality, fruit forward Ethiopian coffees are
becoming more common, which is just as well. The competition for
these coffees, both locally and from overseas, is ferocious. Price
is determined by auction at origin and these days only goes up, as
more Specialty Coffee roasters recognise the quality.

My final selection was for a start the day coffee. One that pries
open the eyelids, sharpens the reflexes and sends me out the door
feeling optimistic. At least until I hit the beginning of the local
traffic chaos, dicing with death with B-Double trucks and white
courier vans. Wide eyes and sharp reflexes then become a necessity
rather than a luxury. My all-time favourite coffee (and I suspect
yours as well) is this month's special as well, since it's that time
of year. It's from the Montez de Paz plantation.

Costa Rica Tarrazu Miel

There's a reason this coffee is a perennial favourite. It has an
intensity of pure coffee flavour with a huge body and zero
bitterness unmatched by any other bean. This is another "Rojo" honey
processed coffee. There may be some more this year from the "fly
crop" in October, but I can't guarantee it.

In fact, it's the coffee I'll be taking with me while I'm away for
the next couple of weeks. I should be back before the end of April,
hopefully just after Anzac Day. If you need to get in touch with me
for any reason, please send an email, I'll be checking every day.

Until next month


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