Saturday, September 12, 2009

Coffee weather at last! Changes abound.

The first hint of Fall graced our fine city this evening. A swift sprinkling of rain rolled over The Hub as the sun fell closer and closer toward the horizon. Ahhhh. Sighs of relief and comfort; it was a wonderful change from the relentless Nevada heat, if you ask me. A calming cool fell over the coffee shop on this particularly slow Saturday evening, renewing my spirits and motivating me to take the lull in business as an opportunity to fine-tune the many things in the shop that require an occasional fine-tuning. I couldn't have asked for a more peaceful evening.

With perfect coffee weather just around the corner, we have equally exciting changes constantly taking place in the shop. As many of you may know, the list of goodies being offered at The Hub are growing: new seasonal scones from Dish Café; tasty croissants, muffins, and maple-bacon scones from Walden's Coffeehouse; not to mention the many amazing teas we now have from The Tao of Tea.

On the espresso front, there has been a slight change in the house blend, The Boss, that you all know and love. Rest assured, it is still the same tasty, quality-roasted blend of coffees from Barefoot Coffee Roasters, but the seasonality of coffee calls for slight changes in blends offered by any roaster as they run out of certain harvests throughout the year. New harvest East African coffees have finally made their way into Barefoot hands. And just in time for the new harvest Ethiopian Sidamo Amaro Gayo (which we have been serving up both as french press and single-origin espresso!) to replace the waning harvest of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Dominion that was previously being used in The Boss. Same complex, sweet, tantalizing espresso, with a slight tweak of flavor specifics. Ask us about it, and we'll talk you through the tasting experience upon your next visit!

We've also been playing around with our top-of-the-line La Marzocco GB-5 espresso machine's temperature stability capabilities. A mouth full, I know. Generally, espresso ''should'' be pulled using water at a temperature between 198-202 degrees Fahrenheit. However, as is quite typical of us third-wave coffee pioneers, we're not afraid to break custom, playing around with temperatures as high as 204/205 degrees Fahrenheit when pulling our espressos.

There are various reasons for playing around with brew temperature. One example: certain characteristics of the espresso, notably brightness/sweetness and body/texture, tend to change inversely with temperature differences. A higher temperature, in general, yields a brighter/sweeter, perhaps more complex, espresso. A lower temperature, in general, yields a rich, syrupy body/texture, but a more mellow, perhaps smoother, flavor. To all of our avid espresso drinkers, see if you notice a difference, see if you can pinpoint that difference, the next time you order an espresso from The Hub. And speak up! Baristas are there to talk to you about what you're drinking!

We're super excited to keep improving, constantly stepping up our game, for all the coffee drinkers of Reno. See you at The Hub!

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