Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Sublime Brew Messing with Your Mind

Photo by Peter DaSilva for The New York Times
"The whirlpool, it messes with your mind," said Mr. Freeman, who practiced stirring plain water for months to develop muscle memory before he brewed his first cup of siphon coffee. "There’s no way to rush it." - James Freeman, coffee brewer and owner of the Blue Bottle Cafe in San Francisco.

I feel your pain, James Freeman, your sweet, obsessive jonesing for the one (it shall be named The Cup of the Neo) good cuppa joe. From the NY Times story on such coffee geekery:

"Called a siphon bar, it was imported from Japan at a total cost of more than $20,000. The cafe has the only halogen-powered model in the United States, and getting it here required years of elliptical discussions with its importer, Jay Egami of the Ueshima Coffee Company."

But, it's the Seattle-based Coffee Equipment Co. that has, according to this story, set the standard for brewing the quintessential cup of coffee.

"A professionwide interest in brewed coffee has driven the stealth spread of the Clover. Introduced less than two years ago, it has become standard equipment at some of the country’s most progressive cafes, including Intelligentsia in Chicago, La Mill in Los Angeles and Caffe Vita in Seattle."

Photo by Joshua Trujillo, Seattle P-I
Determined to track down a cup of this Clover-ly made coffee, I made my way to the Pioneer Square location of Trabant Coffee and Chai on 2nd Ave near James Street. Inside the warm, wood-paneled shop I found the machine, two caffeinated coffee geeks working the counter and Trabant's own Clover menu which featured their current selection of coffees. I splurged on the super premium choice, La MontaƱa from El Salvador, which come with it's own story. This cuppa joe was indeed sublime and has spoiled me for good.

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