Brewing over brunch

beach-hut

Beach Hut Brunch – Saturday 12th October 2013

Arriving at The Beach Hut on a bright Autumn Saturday morning I enjoy soaking up the laid back vibe and the amazing view across Watergate Bay. It’s the penultimate day of my honeymoon and my new husband and I are excited about the prospect of a special slap up brunch designed by executive chef Neil Haydock – with scrummy specials including French Toast and Crab Benedict. We’re also here for a coffee lesson from local roasters Origin Coffee, who’ll be letting us in on some secrets of better home brewing.

Origin have been supplying Watergate Bay Hotel for over ten years, and today expert barista trainer Dave Jones has brought two coffees along to brew using two very different methods. One diner describes it fondly as a chemistry lesson over breakfast.

The flavours in speciality coffee are a bit like the flavours in fine wine; except the brewing process is different, it’s not a fait accompli by the time you buy. Because you brew the coffee, you have a say in how your drink turns out and have a huge impact on the final coffee flavour according to your preference.

We’re shown the green beans, both coffees as roasted and a darker roast bean. Origin roasts its coffee lightly to retain as many of the complex flavours as possible and avoid losing these beneath darker, or even burnt flavours.

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First up was the Santa Elena; a very special coffee that, after Origin’s Head Roaster Phil Gevaux had selected it on his trip to El Salvador earlier this year, was then awarded 6th place in the country’s Cup of Excellence – the premier competition recognising the very best coffees around the world.

Dave brewed the Santa Elena in a cafetiere with a 3-4 minute brew time, the coffee sample was dark and chocolatey and we were told the bold, sediment-heavy look was typical of a cafetiere brew.

I had never noticed the muddiness of coffee brewed in a cafetiere before, but the next method showed us a clear difference between the two brews as Dave introduced us to the beautiful lines of the Chemex (it’s in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, don’t you know).

The paper filter in the Chemex, and its baby sister the V60 filter cone produces a far cleaner, clearer coffee and this time it’s the turn of the Finca El Faldon, newly arrived at the Origin Roastery from Columbia as a new season winter coffee.

Finca El Faldon is harvest throughout the year from a fly crop between the two main crops. Origin will be roasting it as a single origin espresso and filter coffee and it will be the espresso supplied to Watergate Bay. Brewed in a Chemex this coffee sample was clean, crisp and clear with dominant fruit flavours, particularly blackcurrant.

Tips for a better home brew

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- Buy a hand grinder and grind your beans just before you brew – this will ensure the flavours are at their freshest.
- Don’t store your coffee in a fridge – the moisture will leach out the flavours.
- Watch Origin’s videos at http://vimeo.com/origincoffee for more details on water and coffee ratios.
- Try different brewing methods and then change one thing each time until you discover your favourite method.
- Different flavours emerge at different temperatures – so try to resist the urge to gulp down your drink in one go.

Guest post by Suzie Cunliffe

Check out the other autumn events The Beach Hut will be hosting in the coming months.

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