August 2003 Archives

Had coffee today with Rich

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Had coffee today with Rich @ campos, at his suggestion we had soy latte with a single ristretto. It was superb, so smooth. Not many cafes have got their head around the way to brew a ristretto yet.

As we were talking, we both agreed it would be really rewarding to learn the art that is making fine coffee. Particularly as I'm so bad at it now! So many of my friends talk about opening up a coffee shop at some point in their lives, I too would like to have some involvement in a coffee shop, but probably would prefer to be the chef in a cafe with unique character. Training as a barista wouldn't be a bad way to start.

There is something about the character of bread that is allowed a longer period to rise, so many people these days are used to the heavily yeasted fast rising breads and as a result cannot understand the complex flavour and aroma of a slowly risen loaf.

This to me is a great loss, it is only in recent times that we have had the manufacturing processes to isolate the strains of yeast that are specific to baking, prior to this, all bread was made with wild yeast which had varying characteristics depending on the local environment.

Even when using commercial yeast, a less rushed approach to bread making can bring out extra depths to something as humble as a loaf of bread.

I woke up at 4AM this morning to continue the baking process I had started the night before and a couple of hours later, enjoyed a simple but delicious loaf, made from only flour, water, salt, oil and yeast.

My colleagues at work thought I was crazy to get up at 4AM for the sake of a loaf of bread. Maybe they are right, but at least i'm enjoying being crazy.

Like the complex aroma of roasted coffee beans, the smell of freshly baked bread is to die for, and not a bad way to start the day at all.

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