Editor’s Note: Kevin Kerkhof is the General Manager of Greyhouse Coffee & Supply Co. in West Lafayette, Indiana. When possible, we like to invite our wholesale customers to join us on trips to origin as a way to further connect the relationship between our farmers and our customers. Our Retail Manager Forrest Wright and Director… Continue Reading
One by one, the names of eight fierce competitors filled the vacant spots on the PT’s Challenge bracket. Competitors spent time getting to know the featured coffee and brew method. The outcome of this hard work: one kick-ass cup of coffee and a new champion. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty: this week’s winner is Leah Shinkle.
Featured Coffee: Villa Loyola
Our featured coffee this week is a beautiful Colombian Caturra which traveled to us from Finca Villa Loyola, one of our esteemed Direct Trade partners. We’re proud to work with owner and operator Padre José. With his guidance, this farm will continue to advance its sustainable practices while improving the lives of the workers and the surrounding community.
Villa Loyola earned its way into the PT’s Challenge based on its deep molasses flavor, ripe peach sweetness, and the tones of stone fruit and sugar cane that linger in the finish. This coffee is absolutely delightful and recently received a 5-star rating from Roast Ratings.
Featured Brew Method: Bee House Dripper
This round we focused on one of our favorite pour-over methods, the Bee House dripper. Manual pour-overs are not new by any means, but they have been gaining popularity given the rise of Third-Wave coffee and the desire to taste more of the natural nuances in each cup.
There are several things that make the Bee House so great. For one, you’re able to control more of the variables involved in the brewing process than you can with an auto-drip machine. Your ability to control grind, dose, and water distribution allows you to highlight those characteristics that make speciality coffee so desirable. In terms of its design, the ceramic Bee House retains heat and the unique shape of the brew chamber with two small holes at the bottom encourage an extended brew time. The resulting cup of coffee is clean, full bodied and carries subtle, nuanced flavors.
So, who should consider using the Bee House?
Because of it’s design, the Bee House is frequently referred to as one of the more forgiving pour-over methods on the market, making it a wonderful option for a wide spectrum of coffee enthusiasts. It’s a great option for those of you who already love pour-overs like the Chemex, but are looking for a smaller yield. Maybe you just want one cup of coffee – the Bee House will get you there.
Should you replace your Mr. Coffee with a Bee House? We highly encourage it. The trade off to switching to a manual pour-over is sacrificing convenience for quality. If you ask us, it’s an easy decision. This brewing method won’t take more than a few minutes, but if you’re a “set it and forget it” coffee drinker, the Bee House likely isn’t for you.
Winning Recipe: Leah used a straight forward technique to create a bright and exciting cup that really highlighted the Villa Loyola. Here’s how to brew it.
- 21 grams coffee (approximately 3 tablespoons of beans) ground for a consistency between sea salt and table salt.
- 380 grams of water.
The Brewing Process:
- Place the Bee House, equipped with a pre-wet filter, on top of the range server. Pour in coffee grounds.
- Hit the grounds with 60 grams of water for bloom. If you are without a scale, think about it like this – you want to pour just enough water to have all the grounds wet, but not overly saturated.
- Watch the grounds expand and bubble up, releasing gas as it blooms. The raised coffee bed will deflate within 25 – 40 seconds depending on the freshness of the beans. When this happens, the bloom is done.
- Continue pouring water in a circular motion, keeping the level of water consistent within the filter. Don’t fill it to the brim – you’re aiming to fill about 3/4 of the filter.
- Maintain this level of water until you reach 380 grams of water total.
- Once all the coffee has drained, remove the Bee House from the range server. Swirl the coffee, then pour it into your cup.
- Sit back, relax and enjoy a damn good cup of coffee.
That’s it folks, it’s that easy! Make sure you check back in April for our next PT’s Challenge later when we’ll look at a new coffee and brew method for you to experiment with. Again, big shout out to our friends at Baratza for sending t-shirts for winners.
Go forth and drink great coffee. Cheers!
January-February 2014 As always, the weather in Guatemala in January and February was especially invigorating. This year in particular, it provided an extra welcome relief from an exceptionally cold and snowy winter here in the Midwest. The prospect of trading my office for the outdoors is a much appreciated benefit, but make no mistake, our… Continue Reading
Some more thoughts from El Salvador: Coffee people LOVE coffee. With so many first dates, profound conversations and creative epiphanies had at the mercy of coffee, how can we not? And of course the fullest expression of this romanticism waits at origin. Nothing short of pure magic exists in these places for those of us… Continue Reading
A couple of weeks ago I had the distinct privilege and pleasure of going to El Salvador to meet Aida Batlle during my first origin trip with PT’s Coffee. Senora Batlle is one of our Direct Trade partners, and the producer behind Finca Kilimanjaro which will be re-launched later this year. The context for my… Continue Reading
Last year, bandits raided Finca Santa Maria leaving Armando Benavides, his wife Magaly, and his children Valeria and Juan Pablo with the possibility of losing their entire harvest. You can read Jeff’s account of the awful incident, originally posted in May of last year. Thanks to you and many of our friends and customers, we endeavored… Continue Reading
UPDATE May 19th, 2014: Many news sites have recently picked up the story of the coffee rust epidemic. To help our customers to better understand what this means, we are re-posting Jeff’s Trip Report from El Salvador, originally published on February 20th, 2014. San Salvador, El Salvador As always, when I arrived in El… Continue Reading
I was working a bar shift at our cafe, PT’s at College Hill, when Jeff and Maritza told me that I would be taking my first farm trip. It was exciting, and I only had six weeks to prepare. As I began my research on Bolivia, I started to realize that this journey was going to be a… Continue Reading
Armando from Finca Santa Maria recently posted a Thank You to everyone through Jeff’s Facebook Page. We are re-posting it here for all to see: From Armando: “En nombre de mi esposa Magaly y mis hijos Valeria y Juan Pablo, muchas gracias a todas las personas y empresas que generosamente nos han dado la mano… Continue Reading
Many of you have read Jeff’s post about the terrible tragedy that befell Finca Santa Maria last month in Colombia. You have responded generously and we are so, so grateful. So far, we have raised nearly $2,000 and have already sent an initial payment to Armando to get the recovery started. Due to the… Continue Reading