Coffees of the Month – Bolivia Machacamarca and Ethiopian Harrar

As you can see from the title, the coffee of the month series has gone plural. My home coffee consumption has risen and I now seem to be using around 500g of coffee a month. Ironically, however, this has actually made a real term saving as I find I don’t buy so much coffee from the coffee chains on the way to work any more.

I’ve also abandoned my continent rotation policy and am now just going for the coffees that look interesting at the time of purchase.

Bolivia Machacamarca
This was the coffee used by Colin Harmon, the Irish champion at the World Barista championship (where he came fourth in the world) so again my expectations were quite high. As usual I tried a few different brewing methods, the aeropress and the french press, and while this was fine for both it worked best I thought in the aeropress from which I usually make americano. I guess this should be no surprise as it was as an espresso that it was used in the WBC.

This was one of those wonderful rich, luxurious and chocolaty coffees that was fairly complex yet very drinkable and moreish. This is pretty much my favourite coffee of the ones I tried this year and I would highly recommend it.

Ethiopian Harrar
Well, here I am essentially going back to the home of coffee, the only place in the world where it grows naturally in the forest and probably the place it originated. I’ve been wanting to try an Ethiopian for a while and picked this one more or less at random.

Very different from the Machacamarca, this is a bit rough around the edges and far less sophisticated. In fact the first couple of times I drank it I was even thinking to myself that I might not finish the bag. Since then and with a little perseverance it has grown on me. I’ve almost got to quite like the slightly harsh taste for my morning ‘wake-up’. This is no thoroughbred, but worth a try. I did wonder if this would work better as part of a blend maybe?

Ice coffee

Frappaccino
Frappaccino

It was a hot, weekend afternoon, I wanted some caffeine but hot coffee just seemed inappropriate. What I fancied was a frappaccino and thought i’d have a stab at making my own.

I made a quadruple espresso in the aeropress which I let cool and popped in the blender with some ice, milk and ‘taste the difference’ vanilla ice cream and gave it a buzz. What turned out was quite nice but I realise I got my ratios a bit wrong. Next time I’ll use less milk and more ice and ice-cream. Great for those afternoons in the garden with the paper.

Drinking vs tasting
Just wanted to pass on this little video from the sweet maria’s blog. Like so many of the best idea’s it’s so simple – don’t juts drink coffee, taste it. Watch the video as they explain it better than I can.

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