As part of the festival “Stadt Land Food” from 01.-07. October 2018 I attended the espresso workshop with Philipp Reichel from Kaffee 9. The name already suggests that this café with attached roastery has its home in Markthalle 9. It was not until about 3 years ago that Philipp Reichel began roasting coffee. Before that, coffee by another Berlin roastery was used in Kaffee 9.
Philipp Reichel is now no longer the operator of Kaffee 9. He still roasts coffee there under the name Vote Coffee Roastery.
There was a lot of information about growing regions, coffee varieties, mixes the so-called blends, the roasting process etc. Of course, ultimately we have also extensively tasted coffee. Philip had prepared three coffees for this purpose. A commercial espresso coffee from the supermarket for about 10, – Euro per kilo. One from the roastery, which initially supplied his café and is used in many Berlin coffee houses. And finally one of his own roasts. A Brazil-Peru blend of 100% Arabica beans called “Element Espresso”.
Before the actual tasting started, we took a closer look at the beans. The degree of the roast, how evenly roasted they are and the quality of the beans that were used. Here, for example, numerous beans from the supermarket coffee had significant shortcomings like nutritional traces from insects.
In order to produce the same conditions for all three coffees, exactly 18 g of coffee powder were measured per serving and the espresso itself had to weigh exactly 36 g, which is exactly twice the weight. For this purpose, a scale was placed under the cup. I had never seen that before.
My taste judgment is as follows
The supermarket coffee was not bad, but quite bitter. The package didn’t clearly tell you how the mixture was composed. You could drink it, but it was definitely not my favorite.
The coffee of the other Berlin roastery – namely Andraschko – I already knew since it can be found in many cafés in Berlin. I think it is very good and in my opinion has balanced taste. Of the three coffees we have tasted, this one is my favorite. Incidentally, Philipp has told us that he is friends with Willi Andraschko and has learned much from the old stager of the business. Nevertheless, the philosophy of the two apart in some areas. For example, in the question if the beans should be mixed first and then be roasted, or each type of bean should be roasted individually and only then mixed into the blend.
The espresso from Kaffee 9 was a little bit too sour at first, but the after taste I found very pleasant, which ultimately made me feel conciliatory and I would definitely recommend the coffee. In my opinion, it is the type of coffee, that is known from other young Berlin coffee roasters.
Where do you get the best coffee in the world in your opinion? Write it in the comments!
What have I learned?
A nice crema says nothing about the quality of the coffee. A distinct crema is usually caused by a certain amount of Robusta beans in the coffee blend. But from the range of flavor nuances, this kind of bean remains far behind those of the Arabica beans.
There are far fewer differences in the portafilter coffee machines than in the coffee grinders. With the latter ones you should be ready to spend some money. Above all make sure that it always freshly grounds the coffee beans. So you better don’t get yourself a so-called storage mill! The mill should grind the beans as evenly as possible, because the water always seeks the path of the least resistance and would otherwise pass by the coarser powder. In this case the full taste can’t be achieved.
The darker the roast, the hotter the water may be. This goes up to almost 100° C.
Philipp Reichel has also pointed out that a reasonable price for coffee is important in order to guarantee a decent living for farmers in the producing countries. Climate change also threatens the cultivation of coffee in some traditional growing areas.
And last but not least, he recommended that you always take a double espresso so that the taste can fully develop.
Want to know more about coffee 9? Then take a look here!