First, the great Rancilio Portafilter recall is almost
complete. I've been swapping over portafilters with faulty chrome
for the last 3 weeks. If you bought a Silvia from me in the last 8
months and you are having portafilter chrome problems, and you
haven't let me know or received a new portafilter, now is the time
to get in touch.
Second, it's getting increasingly difficult to send this
newsletter out via email using my "normal" ISP facilities. The
introduction of various spam reduction measures by the ISPs means
that ANY email sent to a few thousand addresses is automatically
suspect and will tend to be blocked. I am currently contemplating
discontinuing the EMAIL newsletter in favour of the ONLINE version
(all the newsletters go up on the website at the same time as the
emails are sent) at http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletterpage.html . Please let
me know what is best for you.
The SCAA Conference in Long Beach California was the most "full
on" conference I've been to so far. I was totally exhausted by the
time it finished, as much from the intense concentration as from the
jetlag. There is no doubt that it was worth it though, with a whole
lot of immediately applicable stuff available.
On the "education" front I attended a hands on roasting intensive
concentrating on profile roasting, the speeding up or slowing down
of the process during roasting in order to optimise various flavour
components in the cup. The techniques involved are immediately
applicable to what I do right now, although it will take significant
upgrades to the electronics of the machines to get the full
On the new products side, there were 2 outstanding debuts from my
point of view. One was the Behmor Roaster, a development of the
Ronco Rotisserie ovens designed to roast up to 500g at a time. There
is no doubt it can roast quite well, and due to a catalytic
converter there is little smoke during roasting. What it doesn't do
very well is cool the beans AFTER roasting. There is a workaround
for this but I suspect a good deal more development is still to be
done. It still won the SCAA "Best New Product" award.
The other new product that wowed me was the Ditting shop grinder.
I currently use Ditting grinders because of their high precision and
superb durability. The new grinder retains this but is also
incredibly easy to disassemble and clean, and even easier to change
burrs on. Unlike every other grinder I know of, the burr plates are
not screwed on, they are held in place with rare-earth magnets. I
would love to see this "trickle down" into the consumer market, but
suspect it will take a few years.
There were heaps of other surprises, including coffees from the
Dominican Republic, Thailand and Nepal, and built in "under bench"
commercial espresso machines. Pity there weren't two of me so I
could cover it all!
trophies for the 2007 US Barista Competition, won by Heather
Perry. These were designed and built by Reg Barber, the
Long Beach Convention Centre. The place is absolutely HUGE,
but it was pretty well filled by SCAA members.|
Behmor Roaster, demonstrated by its inventor Joe Behm.
Everything but the cooling is good.
Ditting shop grinder, with easy disassembly and cleaning and
magnetically attached burrs.|
from Nemox, a "commercial" setup with grinder, espresso
machine and milk steamer. As with several other "small
commercial" machines on display, it has a brew boiler and
only really different espresso machine on display, the
"Jetsteam." All the works are underbench, except for the
heated groups, steam and waste tray.|
hands on Roasting Tent. I was on the Deidrich IR3 at front
cultural appreciation in action at the Hawaiian Coffees
This month's special is the "New Crop"
Yemen seems to vary from crop to crop even more than other
coffees. This one has a fuller body and is so chocolaty it's almost
cocoa, but is a bit less fruity than the previous lot. It's still a
stunning cup, though, with the typical Yemen "wildness" at the