31 December 2023

From the barista’s corner: Espresso with a Sidecar

Experimenting with the new coffee machine.

Espresso with a small serving of sparkling water (called Sidecar). This is not as common in the USA but fairly widespread in Europe. By my personal experience, most all cafes in Italy, Australia and Germany serve some sparkling water with a shot of espresso.

I believe the sparkling water is to clean your palate before having the espresso. Water is also often served with coffee in the Middle East. I assume the practice there is to keep dehydration at bay. Coffee is a fairly strong diuretic.

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5 January 2018

Costliest coffee in the world?

We went to a agrobusiness coffee plantation in Bali (Batubulan village) that advertised Luwak coffee. We saw quite a few plantations like this. I had no idea what Luwak coffee is or why it is so costly. At the end of the tour we had a little of the coffee too.

What I did not know is how the coffee is made. I remember seeing the whole coffee production process in a coffee plantation in Costa Rica once but this is rather unique. And gross.

First a cat like animal – called civet – Indonesians call it a “luwak” (see the picture – the farm had quite a few of them) actually eats the coffee cherries from the trees. Inside the stomach, the cherry goes thru the digestion process. The fermentation dissolves the outer layer but the beans themselves (there are two beans in a pod) cannot be digested by the cat’s digestive system. So, next day, it poops the beans out (this is the gross part). You can see dry poop in the picture.

The poop is then collected and cleaned and the beans recovered. The shells are broken and then roasted in an open oven as shown in the picture. Finally, the beans are ground to powder like the lady was doing.

After packaging, it is then sold at prices that reach 20X-40X more than normal coffee!!