The Great Coffee Overload at ACF 2015

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Friday started extra early for me. I had set my alarm clock for 7.30 the night before, but had beat the annoying jingle to the morning.

A familiar feeling crept up on me. It felt like I was 9 again and my dad was about to take me to an amusement park. With that same childish giddiness I rushed to catch my train. No thrill rides and sugar rushes for me, but a weekend of caffeine and awesome inspirational people awaited! I simply couldn’t wait until I passed the doors of the Amsterdam Coffee Festival 2015 and after two long… very looooong hours I finally did.
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Like last year, the ACF was hosted at the NDSM-dock in Amsterdam. It was such an awesome location for a festival like this.

Walking in, one of the first things that stood out was the La Marzocco stand. The public was greeted by three covered machines. Eagle-eyed coffee fanatics already knew this was about the unveiling of the new La Marzocco Linea Mini. A shiny new machine, yet inspired by a true classic, for the very enthusiastic home baristas among us

On to the festival itself. Fortunately it was my second time ’round. I learned the hard way I had to pace my coffee intake. So, naturally, I ran to the first stand I wanted to visit for an espresso.
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The remainder of the day I spent running around, tasting awesome coffee at the hands of White Label, Single Estate, Stooker Roasting Co. and Berlin’s Five Elephant.
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I also got to listen to an enticing talk by Jeffrey Young, as he laid out a full coffee market report. A presentation about today’s coffee scene. He talked about how he has been saying “branded chains are on the rise” for years now, and how that still holds true. Next to that, he also mentioned the blossoming artisan coffee culture. He even went as far as calling Amsterdam one of the most exciting coffee places of Europe. He also explained how we’re starting to see a lot of specialty coffee pop up in combination with other ventures (coffee and ‘vintage’ anyone? ;))
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What I took away from Friday is how unbelievably passionate and sharing the people at the ACF were.

Fortunately for me this was day one of two I got to run around a caffeinated fool in Amsterdam!
In the next part I’ll discuss my runnings about on the Sunday… And what finally decided to take home with me from the ACF 😉

See you at the next shot!

Something’s brewing

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So, two years ago I started this blog. I didn’t really know which direction I wanted to go in, so one day I just decided to start off. Unfortunately, I found out it took a lot more time than I anticipated. And so it turned awfully quiet around here.

However, I never stopped being around coffee. I volunteered for SCAE at the Dutch Latte Art Championship in Amsterdam, for instance. It was fascinating meeting all these professionals and seeing the contestants at work. I got to meet a lot of new and very interesting people!

Enter the Amsterdam Coffee Festival. As you can read, I got the opportunity to blog for them. It made me fall in love with writing all over again. Moreover, it made me connect with more coffee lovers and bloggers alike!

Finally I know which direction I want to go in and boy, it’s exciting! With the Amsterdam Coffee Festival right around the corner, I’ve got some awesome ideas lined up, working with equally awesome people.

I won’t tell you exactly what you can expect, but you can expect a lot of stories. No reviews, rankings or ratings, but I’ll be sitting down with different people to talk coffee, whether they be professionals, amateurs, or complete strangers to specialty coffee. Basically it’s an excuse to meet people and drink coffee 😉 I mostly want people to tell their story and bridge the gap between the connoisseur and the average Joe.

Well, that’s the major update for me for now. Thank you for reading and you’ll hear/read from me soon!

Much love and coffee,

Tahn.

Coffee is the coolest drink this summer!

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May is upon us. That means the Amsterdam Coffee Festival is fast-approaching.  I can’t describe how excited I am!

Now, the Netherlands has seen its first rays of promising sun in April. I’ve already spotted the first shorts, flip flops and ice creams in the street. I’m sure a lot of people are familiar with the standard iced lattes and coffees. But for those of you who aren’t, I have a few suggestions if you need to cool down this summer.

Cold brew coffee by Mike Cooper (Jamie Oliver’s Drinks Tube)

One of UK’s most popular chefs Jamie Oliver took to Youtube a couple of years ago and set up Drinks Tube. In this video resident barista Mike Cooper explains what cold brew coffee is and how you can make it yourself. Do try this at home, I’d say!

Espresso Affogato (by Noom Sarawuth)

More dessert, than drink, an affogato is sure to cool you down especially when you have a sweet tooth. It’s as simple as pouring a shot of espresso over good quality vanilla ice cream, but look at that oozing goodness in a glass!

Espresso tonic (by For Better Coffee)

For the adventurous spirits among us, there is the espresso tonic. It’s basically what it says on the tin. An espresso topped off with tonic water. I tried this in Amsterdam for the first time and what a revelation it was. The typical bitterness of the tonic is somewhat softened and complimented by the coffee. As a result, you end up with an oddly refreshing beverage for those sweltering days.

Hopefully I’ll see you in Amsterdam. Have a great festival everybody! See you at the next shot.

Much love,

Tahn

The incredible journey of coffee

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I can’t believe another month’s gone by and it’s time share some exciting  coffee videos again!

For most of us, the only thing we get to see when we order a coffee, is the final product. A nice fresh brew sitting on the table top in front of us, to be enjoyed, relished, analysed or simply just consumed. We all know that the contents of that very cup has an origin, but where does it start?

This month, I’ve tried to find videos that take you further back, over the counter, to the roaster and onto the farm.

Disclaimer: as always, none of the videos are actually owned by me. Give the creators a like, to show and share the coffee love!

Specialty Coffee: The Pursuit of Deliciousness (by Thrash Lab)

A great video that depicts the arts of roasting and cupping. Two of many processes key to serving the best quality coffee to the customer. What I particularly love about the video, is the amount of passion shown by these professionals.

Tim Wendelboe: Developing  Green Coffee Quality (by Nordic Barista)

 I set out to find a video about the people who actually import green coffee. Having founded his own company Nordic  Approach, the ever inspiring Tim Wendelboe ranks among the best. He talks about his perspective on developing green coffee quality. At 51 minutes, it’s quite a lengthy talk, but definitely worthwhile!

SPREAD Rwanda Specialty Coffee: Brewing Fresh Oppurtunity (by GLP Films)

Coffee; a global language

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Coffee’s ability to unite people from different cultures, can be described as nothing short of uncanny. The Amsterdam Coffee Festival is able to welcome people from all over the world, simply because coffee is global language. But, as with any language, variation defines a nation. Each country has its own history with coffee . This month I’ve chosen videos that highlight the coffee cultures on three different continents.
Disclaimer: As per usual, I do not own any of the videos. Give the creators a like, to show your support and shared love for the good stuff!
Specialty coffee: Paris awakening (by Puxan BC)

Paris is a city which is riddled with cafés and its people are widely known for their love for artisanal products. Therefore, it came as a surprise to me that specialty coffee is just now finding its feet in the French capital. Watch as one of the biggest coffee consuming nations awakens.

Coffee in Melbourne (by Visit Melbourne)

On the other side of the world we find a completely different story. Together with their neighbouring kiwis (with which I mean the people from New Zealand, not the… fruit…), Ozzies can be considered frontrunners. Just don’t ask either party who created the Flat White first… Take a look and see what they’re up to in beautiful Melbourne.
The History of Coffee Culture in America Smithsonian (by BU Today)

Before creating one of the Ventiest largest franchises, coffee in America started humble, post-war. I like this video, because it also briefly touches on the science behind our daily ritual.
As I said, from the outback to the home of the brave to the land of the setting sun, we all speak coffee. So please allow me to conclude with a very wise, universal saying:

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Cool coffee on the web feat. Amsterdam Coffee Festival 2015

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This year our Dutch capital will host the second edition of its Coffee Festival, aptly named the Amsterdam Coffee Festival 2015. The festival will take place on 15 – 17 May. To gear up for the ACF, I will be scouring the internet the next couple of months, for the coolest, most fun and/or most inspiring coffee videos it has to offer.

Important disclaimer: Again, no infringement intended. It’s all about the spreading of coffee love.

This month ‘inspiring’ was the word I used to gather my first collection of videos. I found 3 (rather known) professionals with an awesome perspective on coffee.

First up is Katsu Tanaka of Bear Pond Espresso, Tokyo. One could say Tanaka-san is somewhat an ‘enfant terrible’, but what a master of his craft he is. (Side note: a trainer brand is mentioned here, but just listen to what Katsu has to say 😉 ).

Bear Pond Expresso (by K-Swiss Asia):

Now, who doesn’t love a great TED Talk from time to time. I always love watching these on a quiet Sunday morning, enjoying my first brew of the day. In this video kiwi Nick Clark (2013 Barista Champion New Zealand) talks about what specialty coffee is.

Nick Clark’s TED Talk “What is specialty coffee?”:

And last, but certainly not least, is the ‘there-really-aren’t-enough-positive-adjectives’ Gwilym Davies. European Coffee Trip sat down with this passionate innovator to talk about his journey. The interview is a whopping 45 minutes, but check the description for useful timestamps.

Gwilym Davies interviewed by European Coffee Trip:

Hopefully you’re getting those pre-festival jitters with me after these videos! Thanks for reading (and watching) and I’ll see you at the next shot!