NEXUS COFFEE – New Seasonal Espresso

We love coffees from the Latin America as much as you do and we’re going down south this time. Sourcing out a fine coffee from Colombia grown in the farm known as Veracruz!!

This coffee is grown in a highly complex region that boasts diverse microclimates and singular volcanic soil. Combined with a tradition of excellence and a unique extended fermentation process, we’re stoked to be serving such an amazing coffee loved by many in our community!

This Caturra, grown under such a unique microclimate goes through rigorous picking of ripe cherries across a span of five days, adding each day’s pulped pickings to the fermentation tank. With this method, Pedro, his son, Pedro Jr and the farm’s management are able to maintain the correct ph level while reducing the development of “unwanted” acids and bacteria during processing bringing us a highly complex yet clean cup. A Colombian coffee lover’s dream come true.

That’s not all, a microclimate suitable for coffee growing means an overall cooler temperature leading to challenges during the drying stages and they have successfully employed the use of drying silos, a reliable drying method that keeps the temperature of the beans low while the drying. But, they have yet to rest at that and have begun experimenting with three new methods to push quality to the next level!!!

Tasting like ripe cherries, sweetness of Molasses, ripe juicy orange with a mild sweet brown spice in the finish every sip is a treat!!

This coffee is available exclusively at Nexus Coffee on Espresso so so come by to get a dose of this awe inspiring coffee!

If you’d like to know more about this coffee, you can read it here

New Seasonal Espresso – Finca Veracruz

Singapore Roasters Forum Roasting Competition 2019

We co-organized the inaugural Singapore Roasters Forum with our friends from Compound Coffee, Cata Coffee & Glyph Supply Co this year with the idea to push knowledge and perspective to the industry with as much openness and transparency as possible. The Forum also consisted of the first-of-its-kind Roasting Competition, which showcased 12 local roasters, including us.

The Competition required the roasters to roast 2 coffees; a Sponsored Compulsory coffee (a mixed variety natural processed lot from Finca San Pascual, Colombia) and an Open coffee (a fully washed Central American coffee, any variety except Geshas). Each roaster was given 15kg of the Sponsored Coffee and they had to source their own Open category coffees.

Off the bat, we were looking high & low for a coffee that would be suitable for the Opens. The diverse microclimates of Central America meant that there was gonna be an incredible spread of coffees, from the Bourbons to the Pacamaras, so we knew we needed a coffee that was unique and stood out in terms of its taste balance as well as flavour profile. We were lucky to be able to share a 30kg lot of a fully washed Lempira variety from Finca Liquidambar from Intibuca, Honduras with our friends Compound Coffee. This made it very interesting, as we would have a direct comparison of the final roast profile with Compound Coffee’s.

HOW WE APPROACHED THE ROAST PROFILE

Having only 16kg of the green coffee, this meant we had to plan carefully how much we could experiment with. We also decided to roast the coffee on our production roasting machine, a Giesen W6, as we were most familiar and comfortable with the gas burner & airflow settings.

We decided to use a 3kg batch size as this meant we would have at least 5 attempts at roasting this coffee. We started off by measuring its physical qualities, mainly Moisture Content (11.0%) & Density (840g/ml). We interpreted this data to mean

  1. The moisture content allowed us to be aggressive with the heat transfer at the beginning of the roast
  2. It was a relatively low-density coffee. This meant the cell structure of the bean is not as closely knit, making it a less effective heat conductor. This would require us to hit first crack with slightly more heat, but needing to reduce the energy thereafter. This allows us to develop the flavours of the coffee longer without it being too dark or caramelized.

Roast Profile of a 3kg batch of fully washed Lempira variety on a Giesen W6

  1. Charge at 175 Deg. This lower charge temperature allowed to us be more agressive with our burner gas at the start. We used 70% gas after the turn around point.
  2. Colour change at 3:54. This was a good pace, too fast meant we risked having scorching or tipping, too slow might mean we would have less vibrancy in the coffee.
  3. Slowed down the roast during Maillard phase by reducing burner gas settings. This was to increase complexity of flavours and emphasising on the mouthfeel.
  4. Unfortunately, we underestimated the heat capacity and ended up having lesser energy at first crack. This meant the coffee would not have the ripe fruit characteristics, but rather closer towards unripe or fresh fruit characteristics.
  5. We developed the coffee for 1:43 seconds, hitting an end temperature of 199.3, which was a 6 degree increase from 1st crack.

The evaluation of the coffees were done cupping style. We taste the coffees the day before the evaluation and were pretty happy with the balance of acidity and sweetness. The flavour qualities were very good as well in our opinion, with distinct black currants & vanilla, highlighted by a juicy body & mouthfeel.

The coffee scored an average of 75.45 across 19 evaluators. We were pretty happy with the final score of this coffee, and there were a handful of positive feedbacks we received for this coffee. Overall, we managed to take 3rd place (surprisingly!) for the Roasting Competition, rounding off an incredible experience.

We took away some valuable insights from this competition. Most importantly, in a competition format, it is always important to always reference the score sheet. We managed to do slightly better by roasting and tasting to the scoresheet, which placed emphasis on Acidity, Sweetness & Balance. This reflects our daily approach to our sourcing, roasting & brewing, we will continue to strive & improve each and every step of the process.

Currently, we are brewing this Lempira from Finca LiquidAmbar at both our coffee bars and we are enjoying this lively & sweet coffee day in and day out. This coffee is also available on the retail shelves, so bring a bag home to enjoy in the comforts of your own place.

If you’d like to read more about this coffee, go here.

Singapore Roasters Forum 2019

Over the last week, we participated in the inaugural Singapore Roasters Forum. We co-organized the forum along with our friends from Compound Coffee, Cata Coffee and Glyph Supply Co. We had this idea a year ago, after being continually inspired by the Nordic roasters who have been having a similar event for almost a decade. In June this year, we decided to act upon this inspiration.

The Forum was always going to be industry-focused, compared to most specialty coffee events that have been around. We wanted it to be an inclusive event for coffee professionals, where knowledge, experience and perspective will be shared without any hesitation. The balance was having topics that were appealing to roasters yet approachable enough to the rest of the attendees (we estimated about a 70% barista crowd). We also had decided earlier that the theme to this year’s event was gonna be about the numerous facets of “QUALITY”.

We were very happy with the diversity and level of professionalism that the speakers brought. The speakers were:

  1. Adryll Lin, Mercanta Asia – Quality Through Relationships
  2. Regina Tay, Bearded Bella – Roasting For Competition
  3. Pua Yi Sin, Glyph Supply Co – Introduction to Roasting on the StrongHold Roasters
  4. Will Frith, Building – Improving Quality in Vietnam
  5. Ben Toovey, Genovese Coffee – Quality Control In Your Roastery
  6. Andre Chanco, Morning – Encapsulating Quality

Overall, we were satisfied that the crowd stayed to the end, and they also got to taste all the coffees that were roasted by the competitors of the SRF Roasting Competition. Apartment Coffee took top prize for the “People’s Choice” Award with a washed Paraneima from Finca Paraideli, Honduras.

Another highlight of the Singapore Roasters Forum was the Roasting Competition. The competition was modelled after the Nordic Roasters Forum, where competitors had to roast 2 coffees:

  1. Natural processed mixed variety lot from Finca San Pascual, Colombia sponsored by Mercanta Asia
  2. Washed processed coffee from Central America that is not a Gesha variety

We decided to enter the competition and sourced a washed Lempira variety from Finca LiquidAmbar from Honduras. Overall, we clinched 3rd place in the competition, which was a pleasant surprise! Alchemist Coffee took 2nd place while Apartment Coffee again took 1st place. The standard of roasting in the competition was very close amongst the roasters, which was great.

In our next post, we will share our experience competing in the SRF Roasting Competiton, what we learnt and what we wished we could have done better. We will also share our thought process in roasting the Compulsory and Open coffees! Watch this space!

Another month, Another new coffee(s)…

We can’t believe it is already October! 10 months have flown by and we look back in fondness at the incredible coffees we have had the pleasure of sourcing, roasting, brewing & serving. Some coffes have left an indelible impression on us, while others have us wishing we could have had a better job at it. The beautiful thing is, every new coffee gives us an opportunity to roast better, using the data and experience we have accumulated from previous roasts.

This month, we’re excited to be releasing 2 coffees that are incredibly delicious, yet very different in flavour & texture. First off is a fully washed Caturra from La Conchita, Colombia. This farm is owned by Juan David Cordona, who belongs to an informal group of young & progressive producers in Antioquia. Their ambition is to change the way coffees coming out of the region are viewed, which are typically chocolatey and caramel-driven.

Juan David leased this farm from his father, who did not share his progressive outlook. Since then, Juan David has made significant changes to the farm to great effect. His coffees are meticulously hand sorted, before dry fermenting for up to 36 hours. They are then washed, graded and washed again before being dried on drying tables under shade. This particular process has produced a bright & juicy cup, reminding us of yellow fruits, like gooseberry, pineapple & yellow plums. Our cups and brews have also exhibited sweet notes like cane sugar or caramel. We have started brewing this coffee at The Community Coffee on espresso and V60 as well as at Nexus Coffee through the Aeropress.

If you’d like to read more about this coffee, go here.

The 2nd coffee we’re releasing this month is Uraga Bildimoo from Ethiopia! Yes! Another Ethiopian coffee! We can’t help it, we love coffees coming out of Ethiopia for its diversity and spectrum of flavours. This washed lot comes from the Uraga Washing Station which is located above 2000 masl, and the farms are located at even higher altitudes. We won’t say too much about this coffee, except that it is insanely delicious with notes of raspberries, mandarin juice and overall floral complexion. This coffee is also available at both The Community Coffee and Nexus Coffee.

If you’d like to read more about this coffee, go here.

October is a very busy but exciting month for us. We have also secured our new shipment which should arrive early November, we have some -delicious- coffees there, we can’t wait to share with you!

We’re also proud to be co-organising the first ever Singapore Roasters Forum held at Glyph Supply Co on the 12th this month. We will be releasing the coffee that we are sending in for the SRF Roasting Competition, so keep your eyes peeled for it!

TESTI ADORSI

Ethiopian coffees have always been a favourite of ours. It is incredible to think that all coffees came out of this country and has diversified so much in its form and flavour. So much has also changed (and very quickly too!) how coffees have been sourced from Ethiopia. Up till maybe 7-10 years ago, traceability was limited to only generic regions in Ethiopia such as Sidamo, Jimma etc, but thanks to the incredible work done by the exporters and importers, we can even enjoy the fruits of labour from a single farmer.

The majority of Ethiopian coffees are still produced by smallholder farmers who grow coffees in their backyard, and these farmers typically belong to a co-operative who looks after their remunerations and welfare to ensure that coffee production is still a sustainable effort for these farmers. This particular coffee that you will enjoy comes from the town of Aricha, a name synonymous with floral and delicate coffees! Farmers from around this area supply their cherries to Testi Adorsi Washing Station. Testi Adorsi is a privately-owned wet mill that works closely with certain exporters to increase quality through systematic processes at the washing stations.

In our usual fashion, we’ve roasted this coffee to a single profile, which means you can choose to enjoy this coffee either as a pour over or an espresso. Through both methods, you will enjoy a floral aroma of medium-intensity like jasmine with distinct flavours of nectarine and tangerine. As a pour over, we experience a fruit tea-like mouthfeel that also reminds us of marmalade, whilst on espresso we really enjoy its juicy and smooth body.

This coffee is available at The Community Coffee as both espresso & pour over as well as at Nexus Coffee, which will be brewed through an Aeropress.

If you’d like to read more about this coffee, it is available here.

Aquireas Estate, Don Alfonso

We’re excited to source, roast and serve this innovative lot from the town Aquiares in the vibrantly innovative country of Costa Rica.

This farm is owned by the Robelo family since 1971. Being one of the largest and most historic farms that produces quality Arabica coffee, with methods to preserve the natural setting of the stunning terroir, support a community of about 1,800 people and build a modern model of sustainable agriculture.

The Centro-Americano F1 varietal, the first generation of the Experimental Hybrid is high yielding, reasonably resistant to disease with a very good quality potential making it very representative of its origin.

This coffee is naturally processed providing it with intense aromatics, luscious mouthfeel and very intense ripe sweetness. Think Cantaloupe flavour, Ripe Banana sweetness, liquorice aroma with a dense mango juice like mouthfeel transitioning and finishing off like clean red tea.

This coffee is available at The Community Coffee as espresso & V60, as well as Nexus Coffee on Aeropress.

If you’d like to know more about this coffee, you can read it here.

El Pantanal #2

We’re so happy to be able to source, roast and share this coffee with you. This lot comes from El Pantanal in Honduras, and is one of farms owned by renowned coffee producers Marysabel Caballero and Moises Herrera. It is a fully washed Catuai which is a high-yielding varietal and is largely economical for coffee producers to grow. Amidst our obssession with unique flavours and experimental processing, we tend to skim past the fact that coffee is a crop, a means of livelihood for a large group of people. This Catuai lot is a great example of a very good coffee with a mellow flavour spectrum (think oven-baked apples and nougat), with more emphasis on dense, raw sugar-like sweetness and a thick, coating mouthfeel. This coffee is available at The Community Coffee as espresso & V60, as well as Nexus Coffee on Aeropress.

If you’d like to know more about this coffee, you can read it here.