Take a deep breath. Think about the place where you go to escape. I mean really escape for a moment of personal peace and quiet – your own mental tropical deserted island, your own mountainside cabin. Take another breath, close your eyes, and be there. Feel better?
For me and many other La Colombe folks, our Nizza blend is our coffee “quiet place.” It’s the coffee we always come back to after coffee experimenting and exploring. It simply feels like home (or the beach, or mountainside cabin). From the fragrance of the grinding, to the aroma of the brewing, and finally the sweet balanced flavors in the cup.
Part of the beauty of being a barista at La Colombe is that I get to work very closely with all of our coffees. Since Nizza is used in all La Colombe cafes as our house espresso blend, I have become quite familiar with this coffee. As an espresso, Nizza has flavors of caramel and almond, with a subtle floral acidity. It has a creamy, medium body and a sweet finish with touches of cocoa. It is an extremely classic espresso, which is quite welcoming to many, many palettes. Because I have gotten to know this blend so well, I use it to test out new brewing methods that are unfamiliar to me.
Most recently, I have begun to brew with a Chemex (check it out here) at home. I love how clean Chemex-brewed coffee turns out. It really allows the subtleties of a coffee to shine through. The filter for Chemex is pretty heavy, so it really cleans up the fines that sneak into your ground coffee. It also absorbs some of the natural oils that occur in coffee, hence its “clean” mouth feel. One thing I love about brewing coffee (in this case, Nizza) with the Chemex is that you get the full aroma of the coffee while it brews. It kind of fakes out my brain in thinking that I’m about to drink an espresso. Aside from the big-difference-in-mouth feel, I still get those notes of almond and caramel in my Chemex brews, but it’s softer, and more stretched out over the palate. Also, with filtered coffee, you can let the cup develop as the coffee cools down. It’s during this time that I get the more floral aspects of the blend to pop out. Another thing which I really like about the Chemex, unlike the AeroPress (Ben’s Brew Blog #2), I can also brew enough coffee to share with friends. Sharing is caring, after all! Stay tuned for a Chemex brewing lesson from my main men up at the La Colombe HQ. Todd C. and James are working on really cool videos about their preferred Chemex methods which we will share in a couple of months!
I know that it has been some time since my last post, and I’ve missed you all! As you may or may not know, La Colombe was one of many great sponsors of the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s 2013 Exposition. The event ran from April 11-14, and we had a sweet satellite cafe featuring our freshest single origin coffees. I had the pleasure of being there with not only Todd and J.P., but many other awesome and talented La Colombe folks. A full recap of my experience at SCAA 2013 – The Event (my first SCAA event ever actually!) is on its way soon! Check out the photo album on our Facebook in the meantime. Take care, and drink great coffee!
Photo credit: Theo Constantinou