A very bubbly friend of mine gave me this “Coffee Mug”. I love it!
I recently attended a specialty coffee class taught by:
and I couldn’t wait to share what I learned about coffee and coffee brewing with my readers. After all I love all of the “C” food groups… Coffee, Champagne, Chocolate!
Fun facts I learned in “Coffee School”…Red Rooster Coffee Tasting Room & Lab, 1116 Main Street, Roanoke, Virginia:
- Coffee is the second largest commodity in the world ~ second only to crude oil.
- Philip Hatter is the Account Manager and Coffee Tasting Room & Lab Manager for Red Rooster Coffee. Their coffee is roasted in Floyd, Virginia. The lab serves to increase brand awareness of Red Rooster Coffee and have a place to train baristas that work in local coffee houses. Hatter offers coffee classes ($25) to the general public that help determine the best roast for your palate as well as teach us the proper way to brew coffee.
- Barista is the Italian word for “Bartender” and is used to address a male or female who is behind the counter preparing your cup of coffee.
- It was exciting to have a celebrated barista teaching us how to brew the perfect cup of coffee. Philip is so skilled at his craft that he won a place at the national coffee competition in Seattle, Washington and he will compete next month. If he wins the national title he will go to Budapest to try out for the world title. The competition involves a blind tasting (barista prepares 3 cups of coffee for 3 judges behind a curtain and the judges give the coffee a score based on taste alone). Then the barista prepares 3 cups of coffee for 3 judges in front of the judges and the audience. Those cups of coffee are judged on how well the barista explains the preparation process as well as the taste of the coffee.
- During training sessions for baristas, Philip asks them to “Honor what has come before you when you brew a pot of coffee”. Honor the work that has been done by the grower and the roaster by taking time to brew the coffee correctly. Philip carefully walked through the six elements of good brewing. He shared the importance of the proper water temperature and he used a kitchen scale to measure the ground coffee (not a scoop!) He recommends grinding the coffee beans right before brewing because coffee starts to lose its flavor 15 minutes after grinding.
- One of Red Rooster’s coffees ~ “Hambella” ~ won a “Good Food Award” in San Francisco this year. http://www.goodfoodawards.org/winners/
- Naturally my thoughts turned to wine and the commonalities of the coffee and wine experiences. Coffee, just like wine is effected by terroir…the natural environment (soil, climate, topography) in which the wine is produced. These factors make the flavor of the coffee unique and those flavors cannot be reproduced anywhere else.
One of my favorite flavor combinations is chocolate and coffee…
This Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake tastes like a rich, chewy, decadent chocolate brownie. Super easy to make and it’s gluten-free!
The champagne pairing for this lovely chocolate cake …a Grand Champagne…
Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle
This Champagne is a blend of three excellent harvests: 20% 1999, 20% 2000 and 60% 2002. It is 50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir and all the fruit comes entirely from Grand Cru villages in Champagne. Soft, elegant and balanced with notes of black currant and creamy marzipan and apple. Tiny consistent bubbles dance up the flute. $125 range.
And just for fun here’s some other bubbly we’ve enjoyed recently:
1995 de Venoge Champagne Brut Louis XV
Presented in a beautiful crystal bottle. Bright with green apple, hazelnut and brioche notes. Tiny consistent bubbles in the glass. De Venoge produced this champagne in honor of King Louis XV, who first decreed the bottling of Champagne in the region to preserve the bubbles (prior to this time wine was transported in wood barrels which resulted in flat champagne since most all of the gas would escape through the wood).
This champagne comes with a lovely glass stopper that matches the champagne bottle so after the champagne is gone the bottle becomes a beautiful glass decanter. $195 range.
Each bottle of Krug champagne has an ID number on it. I reviewed the notes about our bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée at krug.com and here’s what I found:
Received its cork in August, 2013.
Blend is 142 wines from 11 different years.
Oldest wine is 1990.
Youngest wine is 2006.
Notes on this bottle by: Eric Lebel, Chef de Caves, Maison Krug
This bottle left the Krug cellars to receive its cork in automn 2013. This is the last step after more than six years of ageing in the cellars to acquire finesse and elegance. This bottle is an extraordinary blend of 142 wines from 11 different years, the oldest from 1990 and the youngest from 2006. Every glass of this bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée is the fruit of more than 22 years of craft and patience. Reserve wines lend structure and depth to this season’s harvest which seemed to be somewhat too homogeneous. It is this year’s wines of many plots from the villages of Mesnil-sur-Oger, Avize and Villers Marmery which provide the shine and minerality to the blend. Blending many years gives Krug Grande Cuvée its unique fullness of flavours and aromas, incredible generosity and an absolute elegance that are impossible to express with the wines of just a single year. Krug Grande Cuvée is re-created each year beyond the notion of vintage. Every year, we recreate from scratch the multitude of facets that do not compete on the palate, but instead form a perfect harmony, the main characteristic of Krug Grande Cuvée. Its myriad aromas make Krug Grande Cuvée the richest of them all. Its generosity means that everyone can find something in it that stirs the emotions.
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