Continuing to explore the Roasters of Europe, we saunter down the rustic and cozy streets of Leuven, Belgium and arrive at Mok Specialty Coffee Roastery & Bar
Their message is clear: experience coffee.
Coffee is roasted batch by batch. A batch of coffee is the volume of green coffee cherry seeds which will enter the roaster, roast, and ‘drop-out’ of the roaster as coffee beans. To unleash the flavor of coffee Mok roasts on the elegant Geisen W15 (link below). This machine allows Roasters to focus on the tasting profile of each single origin coffee. With the W15, a Batch of coffee to be roasted may enter the roaster anywhere between 500g to 15kg. The variance in the batch size allows a roaster to aim high and low - High in the sense of keeping quality while keeping in step with the demand for roasted coffee and Low in the sense of focusing upon the intricate molecules and processes constituent of Flavor. As Mok notes, “we roast in small batches of 10 - 15kg. Roasting in such small volumes allows us to fully control the roasting process, making sure that the tasting profile of the bean is just right”. We are very excited to be featuring the delicious coffee from Mok this week!
We have chosen three coffees from Mok: one to be Espresso, one for Filter and one as Whole Bean.
Filter - Ethiopia Dimtu Tero Farm
Ethiopia is regarded as the Origin of coffee origins. When I began drinking coffee I identified coffee with the names of generic coffee-blends or style of roasts. I never tasted coffee from Ethiopia - I did not know how the flavor of a coffee could be fierce and delicate ... the flavors of this cup are exactly that.
Mok’s Ethiopia hails from the the Dimtu Tero Farm of the Guji region. As an origin growing coffee, Ethiopia is known for its altitude. At high altitudes coffee plants undergo an environmental stress, lack of oxygen, and this contributes to the small bean sizes which are characteristic of Ethiopian coffee. The Guji region sits 1800 - 2100 meters above sea-level (masl) and the variety of this coffee from the Dimtu Tero Farm is denoted as Heirloom. However, this notion of Heirloom coffee from Ethiopia sheds light on a ‘grey area’. On the one hand, as the legend goes, Ethiopia is the birthplace of Coffee. In this case, Heirloom could be understood as the original or wild-type plant from which the other varietals stem. On the other hand, one does not know with absolute certainty which lineage 'the original' coffee comes from (Bourbon or Typica strains). Heirloom, in this second instance, means that the coffee tastes delicious but its origin remains obscure (link below). All in all, Ethiopian coffee is flavorful and delicious - the experience begins with floral bouquets and lasts within the lingering notes of bitter-sweetness. The notes of this coffee are: floral, lime zest, caramel and vanilla . . .
Espresso - Kenya Gakuyu-ini AA
To serve this coffee as espresso was a recommendation of the Roaster. The trick to drinking espresso is in understanding how to approach the demitasse and to have a way of processing the uneasiness of intense flavor. Unlike a shot of rail tequila, there are layers to espresso. The crema, the body, and the heart (link below). First, Inhale. Smell the aroma rising from the tiny cup. Second, Stir. Three strokes then place the spoon down to watch the colors of the layers in the shot intermingle, observe the oranges, yellows, and dark red. Third, Sip. Allow the beverage to hit the tip of your tongue and collide against each taste bud. Think of espresso more like mezcal - throbbing with flavor and depth. The soil of this Kenya was fertilized from a nearby Volcano and the demitasse is erupting with notes of rhubarb, blood orange and juniper.
Whole Bean - Guatemala El Zapote
We thank Mok for roasting something special.
In the coffee world there is the legend of the Gesha. This coffee is not the same as a Geisha in Japanese culture, however, what the two ‘Geishas’ have in common is how they entertain the mind … they are spectacular upon the senses - Sensational. The Gesha of the coffee world arose within Panama. It was discovered on the cupping table because - for some reason - this varietal stood-apart from the other varieties (link below). How does this coffee stand out from the rest? To be said simply, the Jasmine and Chamomile flavors of this coffee were only known as tasting notes in Ethiopian coffees. The experience of the Panamanian Gesha tasting like an Ethiopian coffee ignited discussions of ‘the limit’ of coffee’s flavor and how the varieties of the coffee plant intermingle with their environment (i.e. the terroir of coffee). Shortly after the discovery of the Gesha - and, the parallel conversations of terroir in regards to coffee - the legend started to spread along with the planting of this variety throughout Central America. Just as Ethiopia is the Origin of coffee, Panama is the origin of Gesha. There are two things which make this coffee from Mok unique. First, this is a Gesha which was grown in Guatemala, not in Panama. Second, the seeds went through Natural processing. The main difference between Natural processing and washed processing is that the seeds are left within the coffee cherry to dry. Together, these flavors (the Gesha varietal and Natural processing) contribute flavors which are the most influential to people who want to experience a coffee that taste more than "just coffee". To quote how Mok experienced this coffee, “For this lot cherries are picked, sorted & dried on raised beds for 25 days, then rested for a further 30 days. When cupping we were stunned how clean this natural is, the final cup is so delicate & juicy, its seriously hard to put down.”
Post by Federico