Posts Tagged ‘Ceylon’

The Fourth Coffee Wave

February 14, 2021

We are seeing a fourth coffee wave. The first three waves were determined by the coffee consuming countries, the fourth wave determined by the growers and coffee shops and roasteries in the producing countries.

We see several examples of this, opening of speciality coffee shops, where the coffee shops and roasteries and farms work in close collaboration, the development of a coffee flavour wheel using local fruits, not northern fruits, El Salvador the first ever world champion barista from a producer country.

That a flavour may be distasteful irrelevant it is consistency that matters.

It is interesting that India has its own coffee filter equipment, made of brass, passed down through the generations. And yes, I would love to get my hands on one to try.

Where I have questions is on heat retention. A lid popped on after first bloom, water between 85 and 90 C, brass an excellent conductor of heat, a brew time of up to 15 minutes, is not the final brew lukewarm?

Is there similar in Ceylon?

Ceylon famous for tea, but once it was famous for coffee, tea replaced coffee when coffee leaf rust wiped out the coffee plantations.

Old surviving coffee trees have been found, at least a century old, the best coffee cherries selected, new trees planted, a nascent coffee industry. The roasted coffee shipped to a Ceylon Coffee House in England. Not ideal, and this is where I would disagree, it is best to ship the green beans than to roast at source. Too risky for the roasted beans they need to be fresh, and the expertise in the roasting not good enough.

A trial roast is being arranged in the UK. I cannot say more as coronavirus has put everything on hold.

But hopefully more than one coffee roastery, more than one variety, and in the coffee shop, Indian brass coffee filter would be interesting to try.

In Bali, the development of an Indonesian coffee flavour wheel. [see Drift no 9 Bali edition]

The coffee flavour notes remain the same, the difference, referenced to local sensory experiences.

Ceylon House of Coffee revisited

December 11, 2020

Ceylon House of Coffee is owned by London House of Coffee in Sri Lanka. Designed to look like a tarditional Ceylon coffee house, it only serves Ceylon coffee.

I visited Monday, today paid a return visit.

I looked in on my way to lunch, then returned later.

Ceylon House of Coffee

December 7, 2020

Once upon a time, a century ago, coffee spread from Ethiopia to Ceylon, Ceylon was a major exporter of coffee. Then disease struck, the coffee trees were wiped out and had to be destroyed to stop, in vein, to try and halt the disease from spreading. Coffee was replaced by tea.

There is now an effort to establish the island’s coffee heritage, old trees located, new trees grown.

Coffee needs a coffee shop.

Ceylon House of Coffee is owned by the owner of a Ceylon coffee planation. High altitude arabica.

It was with trepidation I visited, my expectations low.

Ceylon House of Coffee is to recreate a traditional coffee house. Never having visited one, I would not know, but on walking in, I was transported to what in my mind’s eye I would expect, with the exception of modern espresso machine and a grinder.

I was introduced to the manager and head barista Rohan Pitumpe and spent the rest of the day talking all things coffee until well after the coffee shop had closed.

The coffee is roasted in Sri Lanka then shipped to England. As a general rule, added value in the source country is always a good idea, but for coffee no. Roasted coffee beans do not travel well, there is a risk of contamination, risk of delay, and with UK leaving EU this can only get worse with chaos at the borders. Already companies are stockpiling in anticipation of chaos in the New Year.

The coffee beans must be shipped to UK as green beans, then roasted locally by a skilled coffee roaster. Supply the green beans from Ceylon to a local roastery in UK, then supply the roasted beans to the coffee shop in Guildford.

If coffee is roasted locally, it will suit local palates, local water, and will not encounter supply delay.

Around the walls, information on the farm and history of coffee in Ceylon.

Very elegant coffee cups, equally elegant tea cups. Again reminiscent of what would expect of a traditional tea or coffee house.

The only time I have seen cups like this was in Ben Rahim, an Arabic coffee shop in Berlin.

A long time opening,  Problems with the builders, then covid-19 lockdown.

Open space in the middle, wooden floor, it could be a cabaret dance floor, tables and chairs arranged around the periphery.  Difficult to see what could be done with this open space. If tables and chairs, would be an obstruction to the bar. It could be one large old table, a communal table.

Large floor to ceiling windows which makes open and airy in daylight hours.

A coffee shop needs outdoor seating for the summer. This Ceylon House of Coffee lacks though has applied for permission. It would though be difficult as on a slope and not pleasant with passing traffic.

With changing coronavirus situation, opening hours are in flux, currently open until six thirty in the evening. Too late in the winter cold and dark and folk wish to get home. In the summer could be later.

In the future they hope to offer coffee related events.

And the coffee?

For a change, I chose an espresso. Not harsh, but could be better.

Followed by a cappuccino.

I did not have to send the cappuccino back, I did not have to say no chocolate. I was not asked did I want chocolate? I was served a cappuccino with no chocolate dumped on top. Why do so many coffee shops get it wrong?

The cappuccino, a little weak.

But the beans are roasted in Ceylon, then shipped to UK, far from ideal.

I looked forward to a shipment of green beans, roasted locally.

Currently it is not possible to purchase the coffee beans, but hopefully this will change when coffee is roasted locally.

Ceylon House of Coffee has on sale, of course, Ceylon tea.

For reasons unknown, Ceylon House of Coffee has been targeted by trolls and very unpleasant  fake reviews. Please ignore. Pay a visit and be pleasantly surprised.

I came way from Ceylon House of Coffee pleasantly surprised. It was a pleasure to visit. Sadly not often I feel that way, therefore always a pleasant surprise to find a coffee shop where they care about coffee. Such coffee shops do exist, but it is finding them, too many people open coffee shops, and roasteries, caring nothing about coffee and knowing even less.

We now have two excellent coffee shops in Guildford, Krema in Tunsgate and Ceylon House of Coffee at the bottom of the High Street.

Coronavirus biosecurity excellent.  Open and airy, high ceiling, table and chairs well spaced apart, hand sanitiser as walk in.


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