Introducing better coffee in Victoria... and beyond · 4 March 2006 by colin newell
Adam Tindale and I visited Discovery Coffee today. For the coffee, yes – but also, for the Clover coffee maker. And some.
A little lead-in:
Discovery Coffee is on Discovery Street (on the North-west side of the corners) 2 or 3 doors down from Douglas street in Victoria, B.C. Canada. It is about a ten minute walk North of the downtown
Okay – Something exciting is happening in the Victoria, B.C. coffee marketplace and it is an all-good message for the consumers.
Not surprising, people like Sam Jones, his partners and crew at Discovery Coffee, are helping make this happen.
Okay – so it take a little more than a single coffee brewer to make the difference in Victoria’s vibrant and dynamic coffee community.
In fact, Discovery Coffee is, in some ways, a lab and showcase of all the right tools that any cafe could possibly need for the best cups.
- mahlkoenig coffee grinder
- mazzer coffee grinders
- synesso 3-group espresso machine
- clover coffee brewer
- good filtered water
Did I mention that it’s the people as well as the tools?
The baristi at Discovery Coffee wear Chef’s uniforms. Seriously.
Back to the Clover introduction. The Clover Coffee maker is a single-cup (12 ounce thereabouts) single coffee brewer that retails for 8000 U.S. smackers. Eight Thousand. That is a big coin for a coffee maker. Single cup. Seriously. What about it?
Here is Victrola’s take on the beast.
Well – there is, like, continuous temperature settings from 180 – 210 ºF, Cup sizes 6 – 16 fluid ounces, brew time 10 seconds – 5 minutes with a standard interchangeable filter 70 micron.
Enough tech already. what does it taste like?
The clover is transparent. All you taste is coffee. You taste sharply focused berry notes that are just perceptible with the most diligent home drip preparation (under perfect conditions). With slight variations in roast signature, with the same bean and grind, we tasted remarkable variations in prevalent taste spectrum.
It tasted good. You have to try it yourself. Clover coffee… at Discovery Coffee – Discovery at Douglas Street – Victoria.
Derek and Gena (and their team of beautiful coffee people) at Buon Amici’s feel, it’s in the ambiance… and in the food… and in the physical space. Truth be told, Buon Amici’s wins hands down in the physical space category. Why? Go there and find out. Some of the Buon Amici magic defies a word description. Trust me.
On the way to Discovery Coffee, on Saturday morning, Adam and I stopped by the Mirage Cafe (corner of Government Street and Broughton). They have a bright street corner space with 2 Eagle-Elektra espresso machines – they look like hood ornaments for one of those Earth moving catepillar graders (you know the ones – tires the size of a 2 story building)
The espresso coffee was spot on (their coffee is roasted at the Blanshard and View location) and the food complimenting the java was fresh and appealing. Top marks!
So, what does this all mean? It means there are more choices and more good coffee people in the Victoria cafe biz. This is a serious up-tick folks. I have no idea about how long it will last or whether it will keep getting better out there.
The overall message (from me) is: If you have not been to a cafe recently or the last cafe-cappuccino you had was at the Contempo Cafe in 1979 (a real place) then you really need to get out there now and see what is going on. Seriously!
Looking for another excuse? You know that pretty girl or guy you have had your eye on for a while? Coffee is the fuel of love… and the fuel has never been more pure!
Go on – Ask her(him) out. It is, after all, the Spring! almost.
For the CoffeeCrew.Com Blog, I am Colin Newell
Buy in haste, repent at leisure... · 9 December 2005 by colin newell
This time of year, people are spending money, lots of money. Some of it goes online. Some of that hard earned dough is going to be spent on an espresso machine, coffee brewer or a pricey accessory like a burr grinder.
In a perfect World, it would be no more difficult that filling in the online order form or making a phone call or two and waiting the 5 days for your order to arrive.
In the World that you and I live in, it is a bit more complex. By and large, every sidewalk bricks and mortar business or online enterprise that sells coffee stuff is pretty much on the level.
Truth be told, the internet (and most physical storefronts) are pretty competitive places and noone would be in business very long if they weren’t straight with their customers.
Still, a few rules for the consumer go a long way. Here are some to keep in mind:
- buying online? Ask about warranty and the type of warranty
- ask about the return policy
- ask about after-sales service – everyone has questions
99 times out of 100 you are going to have a good experience.
For a more detailed look at buying coffee stuff online, read my full article over at coffeecrew.com
Staling improves??? · 26 November 2005 by glenn
I have been roasting for only about 15 months now and have never been satisfied with the Brazils.
Ashy, ashy and accompanying off-tastes reminiscent of licking an ash tray[don’t ask]. I was just about to give up on these green beans and look for something else to be used as an espresso base.
All of my roasted beans are generally consumed in less than 7 days, except this time, I had some extra brazils that I had roasted as a separate batch. To my surprise these beans underwent a dramatic transformation in taste after about the 7th day and beyond. The ashiness disappeared and oddly, the crema improved as these beans aged.
These beans were interesting to roast. First crack was very subtle, sounding almost like second crack. In my first batch, I actually missed hearing first crack and all of the sudden your into second.
A stop watch comes in handy here..
CoffeeCrew.Com Micro summit · 25 November 2005 by colin newell
This just in – Dave A. from Ottawa is coming to Victoria next week on business. Interestingly, I have been working with Dave on the website for 2 years or so and this is our first meeting.
Dave has not been to Victoria before so we will be lining up all the best cafes and restaurants for him to check out first hand.
Past summits have included trips to Toronto to see Sara and the Toronto gang as well as Sara’s numerous visits to Victoria.
Tamping and Distribution · 24 November 2005 by
Which is more important ? The man or the machine?
If you don’t have a LM GS3 or a Synesso, you have to make do with what you’ve got.
The coffeecrew’s opinion is this:
You must master technique above all else, otherwise you might as well stick a cup under a spout and push a button.
Been trying a new distribution and tamping technique:
1. new Schomer technique: – push down in the centre of the mound and level off
2. reverse tamp when PF is half full (gently) and follow with another reverse tamp before using the NSEW tamp.
Killing me softly... with coffee · 24 November 2005 by colin newell
How many cups of joe would it take to kick the bucket?
Go on. I dare ya – take the caffeine challenge!