Every Thursday and Sunday in San Rafael, California, Maddies Mud serves up sweet, smooth espresso drinks at the farmer’s market near the Marin Civic Center.
Carlos Silva, the owner of Maddie’s Mud always greets everyone with a smiling face. They feature espresso No. 9, from Flying Goat Coffee which is perfectly smooth, and sweet enough that it doesn’t need sugar.
Carlos is always fun to chat with, remembers his customers, and is continually learning more about coffee. He will be heading to Colorado soon to learn more about making espresso at Allegro’s roastery. http://www.allegrocoffee.com/about/tour
He started his business in Baja, Mexico, and named his coffee business after his daughter, Madeline. Maddie’s uses organic coffee beans and organic milk from local sources.
I have yet to visit Flying Goat Coffee in Santa Rosa, but it is next on my list. They source sustainably grown coffee from around the world, and recently, their coffee buyer, Phil Anacker, attended the best of Panama competition in Boquete, Panama as a judge.
Lately I’ve been noticing some ingenuity in coffee making machinery. One of the more interesting is the Steampunk Coffee Machine by Alpha Dominche. It uses a siphon brewing method. My experience with siphon brewed coffee is, that it results in cleaner cup, than say, a French Press, with virtually no sediment.
It also tends to have a more tea-like or wine-like mouthfeel to it. Khristian Bombeck, who invented the Alpha Dominche, says that they use high temperature steam, which is different than siphon. He also says that the machine brings flavors out from the coffee that they haven’t experienced before. I thought of espresso, and how different it tastes from brewed coffee.
This seems like it falls somewhere in between an espresso, which uses pressure and steam, and French Press, which uses a hot water infusion method. I’d love to try coffee brewed by the Steampunk machine.
They have a great video about the product here: https://vimeo.com/21674489
And then there is Kone from Able Brewing
Crazy Coffee Cubes…..which I have never seen before
And if you prefer to make cold drip coffee, Proper Coffee makes an interesting object d’ arte that is totally functional, and was funded by Kickstarter.
There is also Blossom Coffee, whose tagline is “better brewing through technology”
For travel, and on the go, there is the Impress Brewer. I really like this travel brewer. Shipping begins in April…but I want it now!
I recently visited a farmer’s market in the town of Belmont, California and came across a booth selling iced coffee. Not just iced coffee, but “infusions”. Normally I’m not a fan of “flavored” coffee, because I am a bit of a purist and want to taste the coffee itself, without covering it up with syrups or other flavorings.
I was open to trying this, because it was an infusion pairing the flavor notes of the coffee with fruits, herbs and spice combinations. I asked the team selling the bottled iced coffee who the roaster is, and they are apparently using Ecco Coffee which I had heard of before.
The flavor “infusions” on offer that day were “Fresh Banana” , “Jasmine Pearl”, and “Lemon Cookie”. I liked the jasmine pearl, and the banana. The banana infusion comes with a little vial of chocolate milk, that is meant to be mixed with the banana coffee.
Mixte Fresh Banana with chocolate milk
It’s an interesting concept. I wish I could have been at their L.A. tasting event where they had the following “infusion” flavors:
- Chili Cinnamon Chocolate
- Honey Ginger
- Brown Sugar and Cinnamon
- Orange Basil
Of all of the pairings, I think the Brown Sugar and Cinnamon and Chili Cinnamon Chocolate sound interesting. I would suggest they do an infusion with Cardamom next, and maybe a Mint Iced Coffee. Another question I had, is if the coffee has been cold brewed.
To learn more about Mixte, go to their site at : http://mixtecoffee.com
First crack, and second crack refer audible cues in coffee roasting. It can sound like popcorn popping. Sweet Maria’s in Oakland, California has a great video about what the coffee looks like at first and second crack here :
I have just posted the third in a series of videos from my interviews with roasters in Sacramento. In this one, master roaster Eton Tsuno and roaster Ryan Ausbun talk about their method and technique in coffee roasting. Eton does a great job of explaining how roasting affects the flavor, and Ryan backs up the explanation while he roasts espresso.
The coffee trail has taken me from Sydney, Australia, to Santa Cruz, California for the Southwest Regional Barista Competition, thus far. I was introduced to Temple Coffee, Verve Roasters, and Chocolate Fish Coffee at the competition. Temple Coffee had a booth at the event giving free samples of espresso drinks. So…I decided I needed to visit Temple’s roastery and cafes in Sacramento.
I interviewed Eton Tsuno, master roaster for Temple Coffee, and Andy Baker, of Chocolate Fish Coffee.
Eton has many years of experience in coffee. He started as a barista, and hasn’t changed course from coffee since then. Husband and wife team Edie and Andy Baker started their New Zealand style coffee house in Sacramento in 2004 after researching several locations.
I enjoyed talking with both of them, and learning more about what each has to offer. I also found that Sacramento is buzzing with fine coffee and artisan roasters! In addition to Temple and Chocolate Fish, there is Insight, Old Soul and Broadacre.
In the first of a series of videos I will be posting, Eton talks about what specialty coffee is, and isn’t.
In the second video, both Eton and Andy talk about American coffee culture, as compared to European, Australian and New Zealand coffee culture.