Inspiration from the World Barista Championships.

If you are involved in the specialty coffee industry because of passion and enthusiasm and/or by employment you probably saw or heard about the World Barista Championships that happened at the end of May.

This event takes place every year and this year it was pared with the World Brewers Cup. The event changes locations every year and this year it was held in Melbourne, Australia.

You are exposed to so much creativity and experimentation during these competitions that I got to say I caught the bug.

A few years ago we did a summer drink here at the shop that was carbonated water over ice with freshly crushed raspberries and a single origin Panama espresso over top.  This year I tried to infuse blueberries into the brew rather than as an ingredient after.

I used a batch brewer and my ratio was 56g coffee and 72g’s fresh blueberries.

(For coffee I used a Los Naranjos Colombian 6 days off roast from Other Brother Roasters. The blueberries are local, but I’m not aware of which farm.)

Here are my freshly crushed up blueberries.

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I flattened the coffee bed and spread them evenly over top, trying to apply the least amount of pressure possible and doing it as fast as I could to minimize the contact before brewing.

Here is the coffee/blueberry bed after brewing.

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My initial reaction was how much it smelt like a Geisha I had from Fratello last year.

I think that the blueberry ratio was probably to high and could come down about 10 or 15g’s, but I was really surprised how the blueberry paired with the natural sweetness and roasted almond notes that the coffee had, and as it cooled it actually got a lot nicer.

One surprising fact was that although I found many similarities to the nice geisha I had from Fratello last year, you could distinctly tell when drinking the coffee that the blueberries and the espresso were two different parts of the beverage, almost like an added ingredient after brewing (duh), where as a geisha on it’s own is seamless in it’s mouth feel and taste, here there was distinct separation in the mouth feel and taste.

In ether case I still can not get on board with infusing anything into my coffee, I prefer a great cup of coffee on it’s own, but in the future I’d like to experiment with how adding fruit during different stages of the roast would affect things. In the back of my mind I think this is probably all stupid and mostly a waste of time. Curiosity is my nemesis.

Have you had any experiments with good or at least interesting results?

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