torstai 25. helmikuuta 2010

Something to dream about.

I first started dreaming of my own café while in NZ. Wandering around the city of Auckland, visiting all those interesting and exciting cafés, chatting with the owners and drinking wonderful coffee gave me already a clear vision of my own café. Last summer, on our InterRail –trip, I wrote down my thoughts, ideas and visions of my dream café. The list ended up being four Moleskine-pages long…

Here’s a little bit revised concoction of my thoughts. It ended up being fairly long, though.

There would be…

-3- or 4-gruppo Slayer espresso machine

Slayer espresso machine with Mazzer Grinder. My daydream.

-Mazzer / Anfim / similar grinders, grinding on-demand.

-“Slow Coffee” - French Press by order, dripper (Hario V60) station – maybe a siphon also.

20,000$ Japanese siphon brewer at Blue Bottle Café in San Fransisco, CA

-Fresh roasted coffee. Various single estate coffees and own blends for both espresso and milk based drinks. The coffees would be changing by the season and harvesting times.

-Consistency. Every shot of espresso has to be great, an experience for the drinker. Every employee should be able to produce amazing coffee, so constant training and aim for better would be the norm. “Think that every shot you make is your competition shot in WBC going for the judges.”

-Workshops. Coffee expertise shouldn’t be any kind of secret, it should be shared. The more you give, the more you get.

-Seasonal products – we would not be serving asparagus imported from Peru in the middle of the winter.

-Outstanding chocolate such as Amadei or Chjoko-pralinés.

-A coffee menu (as in Tim Wendelboe’s and in Third Floor Espresso) – no coffee would be served outside daily changing menu.

Coffee menu at Third Floor Espresso, Dublin, Ireland

-A large communal table as well as a few smaller ones.

Who could resist eating around the same table with these two little princess? Dida's, Auckland.

Delicious, vibrant and healthy salad from Sydney.

-Fresh, tasty, organic and diverse selection of foods and pastry, changing weekly or so.

Something I would serve in my own café, too. At Dizengoff, Auckland (check the review in previous post). Note the Phoenix Honey Cola in the back, a damn good drink.

-Organic, fresh and not-so-sweet lemonades, e.g. Laitila from Finland or Phoenix from NZ or Bionade from Germany, to name a few.

Phoenix-lemonade from NZ. The perfect compliment for hot summer's day.

-Nice, smart and clean toilets with individual towels (as in Michelin restaurants – a small luxury).

-Design furniture, tableware, lighting (Louis Poulsen’s lamps) etc.

-Ergonomic and comfortable tables and seats. Wooden tables and chairs made in Italy alongside leather sofas.

-Small selection of fine alcohols, for example a few great beers in tap and NZ wines by glass.

Wine list at Bill's, Sydney. Notice the leather sofa and elegant wooden tables.

-Selection of foreign magazines, including Vanity Fair, the Economist, Monocle and Wallpaper.

-Passionate staff, both about coffee and food.

-Nice and funny details, such as this Buzz Lightyear table queue "number"

The place would be…

-Mixture of bright, vibrant and energetic colors with some shady and lighter colors to balance.

-Comfortable and cosy while still being trendy.

-There would be lots of light, at the evenings some cosy and soft lightning.

-Open also on Sundays. Here in Helsinki there is no place open on Sundays I could go and have a coffee (that I could enjoy).

-Different materials used in the decoration and design.

I do acknowledge that this café is quite hypothetical and that the budget would have to be enormous, but hey, it’s just on the dream level! Maybe someday there would be a place like this..

keskiviikko 17. helmikuuta 2010

Kaffa Roastery and other stuff.

I know this may sound like advertising because I work there, but you should definitely visit Kaffa's espresso bar in Punavuori if you haven't yet. I guess it's one of a kind, the only roastery/espresso bar in Finland. Great place to try new coffees and brewing methods or buy some coffee stuff for home brewing. Pretty much the freshest coffee you can get in Helsinki.

Check out the workshop we held at the roastery a few weeks ago. There's even a picture of me there. Looks like I've drunk a little bit too much coffee.

Square Mile's La Linda a few days ago. I haven't had time to taste it proprely yet, but I'll post something about it here later. Aida Batlles Grand Cru should arrive this week, I'm really looking forward to get to taste it.

I have a few longer (and more meaningful) posts coming up. I'm moving this blog to other site and I'm really excited about that. So, keep tuned and follow my more frequent updates on Twitter, either kahvimies or Gaffe.

torstai 4. helmikuuta 2010

New Zealand Coffee Memoir

Last night I browsed through my old photos and I found some mean coffee pictures from my NZ time that I hadn't posted here yet. I thought I'll put here a few reviews also, so if your heading Down Under you'd better check out these places! They pretty much all use fresh coffee from small roasteries.
(Disclaimer: I just began my learning of coffee while there so I wouldn't know how these cafes would satisfy my coffee buds nowadays. At least they are worth a try, I think!)

256 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

If you want to have your Saturday brunch here (the common practice in Auckland), you'd better be there early. Their Jewish inspired menu was pretty good ( 2 years ago at least) and coffee wasn't bad either. They've got 3-gruppo Linea there.

Reslau 39 Elliot Street, Auckland Central

This used to be my favourite café and hanging
spot in Auckland. Run by two brother, James
and Tom, and their mother who does all the
eadible stuff, this small-but-cosy café was chosen as the best café in Auckland. I used to admire their 2-gruppo Linea, but I noticed that their lattes-in-a-glass were slightly more bitter than in other place. Dunno how their coffee would taste now, but it was great back then.

Axis Coffee Company 91 St Georges Bay Road Auckland

Definitely one of the best cafés in Auckland. Such a shame that I only went there twice or so, their latte was superb and the atmosphere is nice and cosy. Check out that latte art!

They've got a 3-gruppo La Marzocco FB-80, as you can see.

Sierra Coffee
Various location, but eg. 18 Victoria Road, Devonport, Auckland

Check those prices! 1 NZD is about 0,50€...

Despite being a franchising cafe chain, Sierra used to be my local favourite cafe. Nice, fresh food and superb coffee. They've got a 4-gruppo FB-80 at Devonport and coffee from the chains own roastery.