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Aeropress Picture

Posted in 1 on April 9, 2010 by Chris Dodson

I just thought it was a cool picture.

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Couple New Shops in DC

Posted in 1 on April 9, 2010 by Chris Dodson

I haven’t really spent a lot of time in front of my computer in the last couple of days. I did however, make an awesome trip to D.C. with a couple friends!

We started off with a trip to Northside Social in Arlington. We wanted to enjoy the weather, so we parked a little ways away. As we were walking, I was staring at my iPhone, finding out which way to go to get there. Despite all of the 15 Tweets I saw from people raving about Northside Social, nobody mentioned it was in Murky’s old building! I would’ve walked right past it, had it not been for the new red paint job. I must say, whoever opened Northside Social, clearly had a look in mind. Everything was very clean, and bright in the main room. The counter tops were all nice chunks of raw(ish) wood, and the upstairs was absolutely beautiful! We were fortunate enough to score some capps from a trainee there, who did an absolute BEAUTIFUL job. I am however, a little sick of seeing Counter Culture everywhere. It’s no dis against CCC – there’s a reason so many shops use their coffee.. Though, my wish for something different was granted when we ended up at Filter, in Dupont Circle.. They’re serving coffee from Caffe Pronto, which is a roaster in Annapolis Maryland. They wouldn’t tell me what was in the espresso blend, but it was epic – I didn’t know a espresso could be so syrupy! It Pronto product was extremely thick, very berry-forward, and smooth as can be. I am very happy for all of Dupont Circle!

Oh, and we also went on the obligatory trip to 2Amy’s Pizza. =) Duh.

Mazzers at Northside Social

Front counter @ Northside

Bar upstairs @ Northside

No more capps @ Northside

Pretty self-explanatory

Pizza Margherita

La Marzocco FB/80 at Filter in Dupont

Bar setup at Fiter

….

Peregrine, of course.

Pitango Gelato!

Tasting Fer Duh Weeen!

Posted in 1 on March 31, 2010 by Chris Dodson

You know at the end of tv shows when the producers write in “No animals were harmed in the making of this film.”? Well, just to be clear from the BEGINNING, I agree that all brew methods have something special about them. Even if I am biased toward one brew method, trust that I have curiosity for all of them =).         Except for the French Press…

I was deemed the “brew master” for a brew-fest at my friend, Fillipo’s a little while back. While it was certainly an honor to be put in charge, I was also anxious to keep everything organized (Imagine 6 coffee addicts in one room with 72 oz. of beans.) There’s a lot of added pressure when you’re using someone else’s kitchen to make coffee!
I feel like there’s such a thing as “home field advantage” when making coffee. I was nearly out of my element at my friend’s house (even though I’ve brewed there before.) I brought all of my own equipment, even bottled water (I always use bottled). It was definitely a lot harder to do everything right with an extra 6 people hovering around the kitchen!

After dialing in the coffees, I felt like products being produced from Clever Dripper, Siphon, and Chemex were all being scrutinized by each and every person. I enjoy these opportunities because it helps me see what kind of product people expect from a “Coffee Geek”. Much to my surprise, I was 1 of 2 people attending who enjoyed the Siphon coffee. Everyone else seemed to be enamored by the Chemex and Clever Dripper’s (due credit given) result. I am somewhat biased toward Siphon, but I was thinking to myself during the event “What is it about pour-over coffee that appeals to a wider audience?” Now, take into consideration that there were 6 guys in attendance: a mad coffee scientist, a former barista/coffee fanatic, a genuine coffee connoisseur, a Dunkin’ Donuts fan, myself, and a complete maniac (we love you, Gabe.. Your affection for coffee is unparalleled!) So, the demographic, in my opinion, was awesome. Time-after-time people would gravitate toward the taste that the Clever Dripper and Chemex had to offer! Eventually we were sitting around talking about this topic..  Fortunately, Filippo made a comment about how Siphon tends to take all of the flavors and compress them to where they are all on the same plane. Now, don’t take this the wrong way- he wasn’t saying that it holds flavors at bay, rather, he was saying that they all tend to move “forward” in the cup. I never thought of it that way, but I was over-joyed by Filippo’s statement. Not only did I have a fellow in Siphon allegiance, but he described Siphon coffee in a way that I never would have thought of.

It could also be that Matt is just awesome at Chemex. Because he totally is..

In my opinion, one should try the same coffee through as many brew methods as possible. I like to start with Siphon because of what Filippo said- it really does make every flavor apparent in the cup. Near the end of the coffee-fest, we brewed a coffee, Siphon vs. Clever Dripper to see which method liked the coffee the most. I didn’t *not* like what the Clever Dripper did- it was truly awesome! I feel like it gave a more round cup than the Siphon, but was not as complete flavor-wise.

So, to sum up why I wrote about this in the first place…

The event gave me a bit of perspective as to why our taste buds are our own. I went in to brew-fest, being all confident in my Siphon, only to learn that I need to wake up! I have a goal to make money doing what I love most. I have a goal to educate people who want to learn about coffee. I have a goal to brighten people’s lives to the best of my ability. I am glad to have been put in a situation where people didn’t like the same thing as me, where I wasn’t asking for their money first! I wasn’t disappointed that people weren’t as impressed by Siphon as I thought- I was simply confused… Much better to mentalize this sooner, rather than later!

PNG Battle Update

Posted in 1 on March 21, 2010 by Chris Dodson

I made another Siphon/Clever Dripper of the PNG today, and I must say the result has absolutely blown me away.

The Siphon, this time around, was completely different from yesterday. It was absolutely the smoothest cup of coffee I’ve had in a long time. Very sweet and pleasant. The only thing I changed was the grind setting (understanding that it would most likely change the cup a lot.) I was afraid it would over-extract, but it seemed to hold up okay. I don’t like to deviate from my recipe too much, but I can’t help but feel like this morning’s brew has made me want to dig deeper! The amount of consistency I’ve found has been great, but I feel like at this point I’m willing to waste a few batches to refine what I just drank.

As for the Clever Dripper, not too much changed. It was still nice and round, with a sweet, and pleasant tartness at the end. Even a little buttery! If anything, it’s a little more laid back and perhaps sweeter. I can’t help but feel like the coffee needed to sit for another day to reach it’s potential.

The lesson learned?

Continue to make judgments off what are tasting, but know there are no absolute consistencies with coffee.

Sound fair?

Pic unrelated