World Coffee In Good Spirits 2017 – Martin Hudak

June 27, 2017

This is incredible to watch, Martin Hudak at World Coffee In Good Spirits 2017.

Amazing attention to detail.

Geisha, to which he refers, is a coffee from Panama, one of the world’s highest rated coffees.

Geisha grows at high altitude, shaded by trees, as all the best coffees grow.

When it was discovered in Panama, the reaction of those who first tasted Geisha was that of discovering God in a cup.

I had the honour of meeting Martin Hudak at Union Summer Carnival last week, not only meeting but actually trying one of his cocktails, a cocktail made with Geisha.

I have always thought, using cold brew coffee to make cocktails, a waste of good coffee. Half of Cold Brew Coffee is padded out with recipes.

But having been served a cocktail by World Champion barista Martin Hudak, I have changed my mind.

Not only have I tried his cocktail, I have Geisha, the very same Geisha he won the World Championship with.

For more on Geisha and its almost mystical status, God in a Cup is an absolute must read.

Emergency appeal: malicious attack on pro-JC campaigner

June 26, 2017

The SKWAWKBOX

r_swindPro-Corbyn blogger @Rachael_Swindon is one of the most tireless campaigners for Labour, Corbyn and a fairer society that you’ll ever find.

As well as blogging and creating some of the strongest memes to support Labour’s message, she is a full-time mother of two kids who also cares full-time for her disabled husband, who recently took a turn for the worse. As a result, she and her family are in the support group of ESA and PIP, which allowed them – just about – to scrape by, except when the DWP screwed up.

Until now.

Because of her effectiveness, Rachael has angered right-wingers both inside and outside the Labour party. Because she has a ‘donate’ button on her blog, in case the occasional donation comes in to help eke out meagre benefits, someone made a malicious report to the DWP, triggering an investigation.

Let’s be clear, Rachael has done nothing wrong –…

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Jeremy Corbyn headline act at Glastonbury

June 24, 2017

Jeremy Corbyn given the reception at Glastonbury that most performers could only dream of.

Mail has become a parody of itself.

A 4×4 is what you use to get around a farm. Not as posers use around Chelsea and Kensington.

No mention of course that Jeremy Corbyn travelled to Glastonbury by train as an ordinary passenger.

Express, another rabid rag, this time owned by a Dirty Des a pornographer, complained Jeremy Corbyn failed to support Armed Forces Day, not true, but then what is the truth when it is more important to run a Jeremy Corbyn smear campaign.

We support our armed forces not with jingoistic parades, but by providing them with the right equipment when we send them into conflict, by supporting when demobbed.

No mention by the BBC that Theresa May was booed when she attended Armed Forces Day in Liverpool.

Later Jeremy Corbyn was pulling pints at the Solstice Bar.

Times they are a changing, as Bob Dylan would have sung.

Cappuccino in Barista Lounge

June 24, 2017

When Barista Lounge opened last year, massive teething problems, staff not up to scratch, massive staff turnover, coffee not good.

But far from improving, it goes from bad to worse.

The food is not good, the coffee undrinkable.

Falafel has to be freshly made, not sitting in a cabinet in a dried up wrap, then if you are lucky hotted up.

Bread has to be fresh, not sitting in a cabinet, so dried up, that almost breaks your teeth biting into it.

Over a period of several weeks, the soup has bene the same soup.

Wa are they doing, hotting up each day?

No exuse for the poor quality of the food when a kitchen out the back.

Last time I passed by, a new lad, never seen before.  He was all on his own, not a clue what to do, had only started that day.

Time before, a guy who claimed he knew all about coffee. He was there again today. As glum as the staff in Costa who are only there cos it is better than McDonald’s.

No, he knows nothing about coffee, cappuccino served hot, with chocalate dumped on top. Two elementary mistakes no barista would make.

People claiming to be baristas who are not.

Poor quality coffee used, catering suppply coffee.

No excuse when there are many quality roasteries around.

Owner never seen. People keep asking for him.

From empty Barista Lounge to Krema which was full.

Easy to see why Barista Lounge always empty.

— to be continued —

Farnham Carnival

June 24, 2017

Last Saturday in June, Farnham Carnival.

They should be ashamed of themselves for the food on offer.  And no excuse when there is these days excellent street food available.

The same applies to the beer tent, output from an industrial chemical plant.

Low environmental standards. Why are they still allowing polystyrene burger boxes for food?

And why the disgusting ice cream vans, rubbish ice cream, engines left running, belching out toxic fumes at just the right height for toddlers to breathe in?

I contrast with the Street Food Picnic at Allen House Gardens last weekend in Guildford, spoilt for choice for quality street food.  Or check out Godalming Food Festival next weekend.

Therefore a few suggestions

— to be continued —

Afternoon in Farnham

June 24, 2017

One of those days when neither cool nor warm, depending upon how much sun manages to filter through the clouds.

Last Saturday in June, Farnham Carnival.

The majority of food stalls disgusting. And no excuse these days when there is good street food around.

Low environment standards too.

Polystyrene burger boxes should not be allowed.

The beer tent, output from an industrial chemical plant.

A coffee in Barista Lounge and a cake, £6-30. Bloody rip off. The cake probably bought in, the cappuccino disgusting.

Krema has sadly now jumped on the nitro cold brew bandwagon. I tried, not good. An overpriced fad.

I watched the parade. Not really worth staying for.

Too late to catch a bus, or so I thought, then a bus passed me as I walked to Farnham Station.

Now cold and raining.

 

— to be continued —

Afternoon in Guildford

June 23, 2017

Another very warm day, though like yesterday, a cool start.

I thought last week The Village was dead. Today even worse. No one around, deserted. At least Kane FM with their moronic music blasting out has gone, but now the bar has moronic music blasting out.

Friday, The Village closes at 10pm. Come 5pm, most of the traders packing up, yet another wasted day.

Only three units worth a visit. Dylan’s ice cream, a fashion shop and a Greek shop.

I had hoped for moussaka. No moussaka. Catch 22. No customers, no moussaka. No moussaka,  no customers.

There are posters around the town, but these are on rubbish bins necessary to bend down to read what they say. maybe for the dogs to read, as at their height.

Cappuccino in Harris + Hoole. No wifi. Now forced to use _TheCloud which is a Murdoch owned company. No way.

Tax dodging Cafe Nero who now own Harris + Hoole are inflicting death by a thousand cuts. Hole in toilet ceiling been like it for weeks, if not months. One of the chiller cabinets has been put of action for weeks, and yet still being used.  Now, clients being forced to use wifi provided by Murdoch, which is not acceptable to have to provide personal data to Murdoch to access wifi.

— to be continued —

Love & Scandal

June 22, 2017

A detour to Lower Marsh to investigate a street food market I happened upon Love & Scandal.

 

Would I like to try a coffee?

Yes, but sorry no time, I am on my way to a coffee festival, Union Summer Carnival at Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, somewhere in Docklands, one of the top coffee roasters in the country.

Maybe later, If I have time.

On leaving Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, I decided I would return.

Too hot to sit outside, we sat outside discussing Cyprus, Turkey, the divided island and the Middle East. It turned out my host was a Turkish-Cypriot. Interesting to hear from the other side.

Eventually I got around to ordering falafel wrap, hummus and salad. Followed by a cappuccino.

The coffee used, a blend form Alchemy, Opus Espresso v 12.  Like Pioneer from Horsham Coffee Roasters, the blend is seasonally adjusted to attempt to retain a similar flavour profile, cocoa, hazelnut, orange.

I had not heard of Alchemy, but speaking to a  Greek barista at Union Summer Carnival, he said it was a highly regarded coffee roaster.

Only for the last couple of weeks, Love & Alchemy has been opening in the evening as a bistro.

Sadly I was the only one there.

On leaving sometime after ten o’clock, I was surprised to find a man with a van from Grimsby selling fresh fish.

 

 

Lower Marsh Market

June 22, 2017

Arriving at Waterloo Station, I noticed from the train  a street market.

I decided to investigate.

Lower Marsh Market, a street food market, Thursday and Friday.

There is also to be summer market running into the evening.

Wandering through Lower Marsh, I happened upon Love & Scandal, a little coffee shop, but no time for a coffee, as now already running an hour late on my way to Union Summer Carnival, a day event at Union hand roasted in Docklands.

— to be continued —

Union Summer Carnival

June 22, 2017

I arrived a little later than I would have wished.

I was half an hour later than I wished arriving in London, then I went on a detour to Lower Marsh, behind Waterloo Station, to investigate Lower Marsh Market and happened upon a little coffee shop Love & Scandal.

As a result, I missed the cupping session and arrived part way through a fascinating talk on coffee, trees, forests, climate change and Ethiopia.

Kew Gardens have been carrying out mapping of the forests, how will be effected by climate change, how to mitigate, and will the coffee varieties survive.

To preserve the forest, we need to add value, we add value by encouraging the farmers to focus on quality not quantity, but this will only succeed, if the farmers have a market for their quality beans.

Union has been helping, they have improved the care of the trees, educated the farmers to only pick the ripest reddest coffee cherries, have improved the drying stations to use polypropylene netting not hessian and to establish a cupping station to enable the farmers to evaluate the quality of their beans.  These must be in excess of 84 on a Q scale, anything above 80 qualifies as speciality coffee.

Union are marketing as the region, Yayu Forest.

How much information on a bag of coffee?

This came up in the next session on Generation Z and the five waves of coffee.

Five?

Most people are only aware of three, if that.

Zero: Quality coffee beans, usually Arbabica, available from local stores.

First: Mass marketing of instant coffee.

Second: Starbucks, a marked improvement, coffee as a lifestyle.

Third: Artisan coffee shops, roasters, focus on high quality, money going to growers.

Fourth: Professionalism.

Fifth: Marketing hype, creation of chains.

Oxfam are still stuck at zero, peddling the fairtrade scam with tubs of black powder to which you add hot water, poor quality coffee that makes people feel good because they have been duped into thinking they are helping growers.

Many would question the existence of the fourth and fifth waves.

This session people either loved or hated. I fell into the second camp.

Anthropologist David Graeber describes bullshit jobs. That was what I was seeing.

Generation Z, Millennials, I groan when I hear these terms. Are people hardwired within their DNA when they are born?

We live in a world where nearly everyone is interconnected through their smartphone.

This has huge implications on social behaviour.

What we should be discussing is this interconnection, and how it is used, not stereotyping behaviour on the basis of when born.

We saw it with Jeremy Corbyn, when he easily won two leadership elections, when despite the smears in the oligarch-owned and controlled media, he almost won a General Election.

PR and marketing show little understanding of this interconnection, how it functions.

It is also personal space, invade at your peril.

Social media is social networks, social, interaction, many to many. It is not broadcast, one to many.

Andy Street former boss of John Lewis has said you do not control it or own it, it takes you where it flows.

We are post-capitalism, capitalism ended in 2008.

Basic tenet of the market is that it self-corrects. it did not for 2008 banking crisis, the criminal bankers had to be bailed out.

Classic Marx, cost is land, labour and capital. We now have a fourth factor, information.

Information has a tendency to flow, you cannot unknow what you know. Like water downhill, it has a tendency to flow. Only artificial and draconian copyright and intellectual property rights restrict this flow, and in doing so, hinders innovation.

We have pure information products, e-books, digital music, that can be reproduced and distributed at near zero marginal cost. We have physical products with high information content, eg mobile phones.

The marginal cost of information products, or physical products with high information content, is falling exponentially.

Robots will take over at least forty per cent  of jobs, or would if it were not for wages being held artificially low.

If we focus on brands, then at risk of cultural jamming, as Naomi Klein, author of the seminal No Logo, discusses in how we jam the Trump brand.

Nike went from producer of $70 retail sports shoes, factory gate price at the sweatshop factory of one dollar, to a lifestyle choice.

Apple likes to project a lifestyle image. What of the workers committing suicide?

We are used to dealing with producer coops. Why do we not see this the other end, cooperating coffee shops, collaborative commons, open coops?

Actually we do. Baristas help each pother, little cooperating networks form.

In Lincoln, indie coffee shops are considering, maybe already have, a joint loyalty card.

Rather than attempt to form so-called fifth wave businesses, why not grow organically, skilled baristas leave, set up their own coffee shops?

If we follow this route, we also can sustain organic growth for coffee roasteries, and plough money back to sustain growers,  encourage them not to replant coffee trees with a  less sustainable crop.

Try a quality coffee in an artisan coffee shop then go back to tax-dodging corporate Starbucks and demand the same quality?

I think not. More likely to search out other artisan coffee shops.

How much information to put on a bag of coffee? Danger of information overload. Why not small information panel, QR code to scan for more information.

Every bean has a story to tell. Why are we not telling that story?

The earlier session on Ethiopia, was telling that story.

Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development presented to the two co-founders of Union.

A coffee throwdown in three rounds.

Here I was a little baffled. Different methods were used by the competitors.  Should everything  not be equal, a level playing field? One method in itself, may produce a superior outcome. On the other hand, maybe that in itself tests the skill of the barista, with the coffee given, part of their skill, is to choose the method that will best bring out what the coffee has to offer.

Watching the competitors, intense concentration.

Then the judges, which coffee would they prefer? They indicated by pointing to or tapping the cup.

The judges explaining their decision, would have provided useful feedback.

On display, a fancy all singing and dancing espresso machine from La Marzocco.

It was one of several different  machines, there to be used.

A couple of baristas were making a coffee. Could I have one please? They handed me their coffee. A queue formed.

There was to be a short talk by a guy from La Marzocco. Either it did not take place or I missed it.

On entering, various coffees on show, fake milk, chai.

Including the almost mythical Geisha coffee.

I have always thought, using cold brew coffee to make cocktails, a waste of good coffee. Half of Cold Brew Coffee is padded out with recipes.

World champion barista Martin Hudak World Coffee in Good Spirits Champion 2017 did an excellent job of making me think again with his excellent cocktail, but even then, use of Geisha.

More on Geisha, read the excellent must read God in a Cup.

The Japanese chilled filter I liked. Little recipe cards were available.

Many will be familiar with Oatly, or at least the name, as it was the wrap around for Caffeine 26.

My experience of fake milk was a cappuccino in Malaika, a vegan coffee shop. To say the least, it was disgusting.

A Greek barista was making himself a cappuccino. Would he make me one too please?

It was so-so. A marked improvement on my previous experience. Not great. Was this the coffee, the machine, the barista? A direct comparison with milk would have been useful.

The previous week, dinner with an Indian. She told me how they drink tea, half milk, lots of sugar. It sounded disgusting. I was shocked. I expected as I drink tea, fresh boiling water on tea leaves, no milk, no sugar.

Prana Chai was served ice cold. To me it was like a milkshake.  A strange tea milkshake with spices.

Talking to the guys later as we walked to the DLR Star Lane Station, they said they were thinking of describing as tea latte, which seemed apt.

In the car park, excellent pizza from a clay oven by Arancina.

For everyone a goody bag.

All in all, a very interesting, informative and entertaining day, and a big thank you to Union for the hard work organising their summer festival.