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December 2012 Newsletter

Holiday closing dates will be as follows:

LAST ROAST will be on TUESDAY 18th DECEMBER 2012.



As always, customers are reminded that we will be running our
stocks of roasted coffee down to zero, and late orders may be
filled by whatever coffees are available, and not what you
actually ordered.

Our November special sold out in record time. I'll try to get
some more, but it will be next year before we see it. Not
surprisingly, another purveyor of the highest quality coffees
managed to grab some too. See Tom Owen's (Sweetmarias) cupping
notes here,
. Despite the geographical separation our cupping notes are
quite similar.

The Christmas Special is the result of calling in a few favours
with some other friends in the industry, and basically pinching
their stock. It's the all-time favorite

Costa Rica Tarrazu Miel

And it's just as well it's a short sales month because the
quantity is very limited.

Speaking of limited, we sold out of the Lelit PL Plus machines in
a rush at the end of November. The next shipment is on its way,
and should be here mid to late January. The PL Plus has been
performing very well to date, with excellent feedback from proud
owners. We've only had one problem so far, a minor leak at the
join between the pump and the hose fitting, caused by the Italian
insistence on using liquid thread sealants instead of teflon
tape. We used to have exactly the same problem with the Rancilio
Silvia, and fixing it was just as easy.

My final thoughts for this year are addressed to the many emails
I get asking about ways to improve espresso machine performance.
My answers are almost always the same, to the point where I have
them down to a cut and paste routine.

First is cleanliness. You can't get clean shots from a dirty
machine. Regular cleaning of the group, showerscreen, filter
baskets and portafilter is a necessity, as is backflushing to
clean the brew path.

Second is the grinder. A decent quality espresso grinder is an
absolute necessity for decent quality espresso. If a grinder is
too much trouble, you may be better off with one of the many
capsule machines flooding the market since the Nespresso patent
expired. Just be aware that the price of the coffees involved
works out at well over $100.00/kilo, for not real flash beans!

Otherwise, to improve your espresso performance regardless of the
espresso machine you have, buy the best espresso grinder you can
afford. I often relate the story of seeing World Champion Barista
Paul Bassett pulling stunning shots from a $200.00 Sunbeam
machine ... with a $3000.00 Ditting grinder lurking in the
background. No one in the large crowd was asking any questions
about the grinder, though!

Have a happy and safe holiday season!!

Until Next Year