Antalya, Turkey is famous worldwide for its beautiful Mediterranean beaches and picturesque mountains, which line the coast in dramatic fashion. The water stays warm late into Autumn, making it a popular vacation destination for European tourists seeking nicer weather. But while most visitors see almost nothing of the city on the way to their all-inclusive resort, coffee lovers have a good reason to make a detour before jumping in the sea: The Sudd Coffee in Antalya’s Konyaltı neighborhood….
How many specialty coffee shops can one neighborhood support? In the case of Istanbul’s Nişantaşı neighborhood, the answer is at least one more. As we’ve written elsewhere, the neighborhood has perhaps Istanbul’s densest number of specialty coffee shops. The latest addition is a new location from Turkish coffee pioneer Kronotrop Coffee Bar & Roastery. …
With representatives from over fifty different countries, the World Barista Championship is something like the World Cup for coffee professionals. Along with Brewers Cup, Latte Art, and Coffee in Good Spirits, these competitions can help launch a barista’s career, landing them lucrative jobs offers, endorsements, or funding for their own businesses. Competitions also help push the industry forward, highlighting new processing methods, obscure varieties, and new brewing techniques.
Many baristas aspire to compete, but the learning curve is steep for first time competitors. As a barista competitor, coach, and judge, there are several mistakes I often see first time competitors make— many of which I made myself. These mistakes can result in a bad score that is discouraging even demoralizing for an aspiring barista, but thankfully can be avoided with good coaching and feedback.
Conflating the taste Balance and Flavor Descriptors
It’s pretty common to hear competitors describe their coffee as having “a lime-like acidity, a chocolate sweetness,” etc. The problem with this mistake— which is one I made myself— is that it conflates the taste balance and flavor categories on the score sheet. For taste balance, the competitor only needs to describe the intensity and quality of the acidity, …
The Nashville coffee landscape gained a distinctive cafe and roastery this August in Berry Hill. Stay Golden is the latest project from Sean Stewart, Jamie Cunningham, and Nathanael Mehrens. Last December, they began working with parent company, DesignWorks on the concept and enlisted many familiar faces from the Nashville coffee community to be part of it. The trio have all worked in various parts of the Nashville coffee scene for the last several years, Steadfast Coffee being their most recent project. Cunningham said this concept is an evolution on their thoughts on coffee and hospitality and a “resurrection and completion of ideas and past projects.”…
The Aeropress enjoys a cult following around the globe, and Turkey is no exception. We recently were on hand for the 2018 Turkish Aeropress Championship in Istanbul, which attracted baristas from as far afield as Ankara and Izmir to see who was the best at making coffee with a plastic tube. …
There are few jobs in the coffee industry as romantic or mysterious as roaster. Traditionally, the tradecraft of the making-coffee darker arts has been a closely guarded secret, passed on from roaster to roaster in old fashioned apprenticeships. Other than a couple of good books, there aren’t many resources available to aspiring novice roasters. Joe Marrocco is helping to change that. The longtime Cafe Imports educator recently moved on to work with Mill City Roasters, but the year-long video project Roasting Concepts is now free to view on YouTube. We caught up with “Roaster Joe” over email in the midst of his busy travel schedule to learn the thought behind the project–and how young roasters can develop their skills.
Over the last seven months Cafe Imports has been releasing a series of videos called “Roasting Concepts.” What inspired the project?
This is a project that I worked on with Cafe Imports over several years. I know that the videos seem very simple and short, but they took a long time to conceptualize, carve out time for and put together. The idea was born out of teaching people roasting at the Cafe Imports headquarters in Minneapolis….
We love hearing from our readers, especially if they’re passing through one of the cities where our blogging team is based (Louisville, San Francisco, and Istanbul). It was in the latter we met up with Canadian barista Gavyn Stroh, sharing a pour-over at Coffee Department in Balat. Istanbul is one of the world’s great travel hubs, so it’s not uncommon to meet visiting coffee professionals. But what made our visit with Gavyn exceptional was his mode of transportation. Turkey is one of 34 countries Gavyn cycled through over the last 12 months. We’ve been following his journey since that delicious, naturally-processed El Salvador we shared, and we’ve been taken by its breath-taking panoramas, ever-increasing tan lines, and of course, the many cups of coffee along the way. Now that his journey is coming to a close, we caught up with him to learn about coffee on the open road.
Known as Smyrna in Ancient Greece, Izmir is Turkey’s third largest city, and perhaps its most progressive. The city surrounds a natural harbor, which means you’re never far from the Aegean Sea. With beautiful parks that line the coastline and a relatively modest population of 3 million, it feels relaxed and liveable to one visiting from Istanbul. Izmir is a main travel hub for many of Turkey’s best beaches, as well the stunning ruins of Ephesus. But the city has long been associated with coffee too, as it’s home to Turkey’s thriving coffee roaster manufacturing industry, with brands such as Toper and Has Garanti headquartered here.
With so many coffee roasters readily available and all around good vibes, perhaps a specialty coffee boom was inevitable. Indeed Izmir could give the capital Ankara a run for its money as Turkey’s second coffee city. Unfortunately, when I visited many of the cafés on my list were closed for the holidays, but thankfully two great coffee shops had their doors open.
Roast and Found
Izmir’s Bostanlı neighborhood on the north side of the city is home to Roast and Found, a microroastery and café. From the city center the neighborhood is a short ferry ride away (as in Istanbul, commuting by ferry is one of Izmir’s great pleasures). The café curiously has two espresso machines: including a customized Kees Van Der Weston Spirit. I enjoyed a sweet, chocolatey espresso with such a think head of crema I suspect their was some robusta in the blend. Regardless, it was a fantastic shot I would gladly drink any day. With plentiful outdoor seating, this is a great café to enjoy Izmir’s beautiful weather.
Baristocrat has three locations around Izmir, and we visited their Konak location in the heart of the city– a reasonable walk from sights like Izmir’s iconic Clock Tower and Agora. I first met Baristocrat founder Nurettin Karakundakoğlu at a Q course in Istanbul almost three years ago, when he was still working for Toper. Now he’s fulltime at his own roastery with an expanding number of cafés around the city. In addition to a gorgeous La Marzocco Linea PB with color-coordinated Mythos Grinder, the café has a great selection of back issues of Fresh Cup and Barista Magazine available, a real rarity in Turkey. Our group enjoyed a cappuccino, cortado, and cold brew, but regretted we didn’t find time to make it our to their roastery in Urla.
We spend our lives searching for our destiny, while the universe conspires to help us achieve it. At least, this is the way of the world in Paulo Coelho’s internationally bestselling book The Alchemist. Such a reminder is artfully depicted on the wall of an enchanting cafe which shares its namesake with the very book it draws decorative inspiration from. …
Coffee is one of the few fruits grown only for its seeds. But this presents coffee producers with a challenge, as the cherries must be processed– separated from the fruit, dried, and milled — before being exported. But processing is more than an obligatory step after harvesting: the methods the coffee producer uses has an enormous effect on flavor. In fact, many coffee professionals believe processing has a bigger effect on the way your coffee taste than the variety of the plant or the country of origin.
There are four main ways of processing coffee, with perhaps infinite variations within each category. Certain methods tend to be common in different regions, often driven by the local climate and available infrastructure….