Precious cofee culture remains

Posted on Mar 23, 2012 in Hiroko's Blog

After my step-son, Gregory Beitchman, told me that the coffee at Stumptown tastes almost exactly as good as Japanese coffee served at kissaten (coffee shop) in Japan, I had to try it even though I am not today a coffee drinker. Stumptown is housed in a hip and cool NY hotel, ACE. When you enter the store from outside you will be mingling with cool and young New Yorker or cool visitors from all over the world. I wanted to taste the real coffee (no latte or fake coffee). A cool looking coffee-tender (I just made up from the word, bartender; by the way every coffee-tender at this store wears cute hat) suggested that I should choose ‘cheme’ (drip coffee) but not American which is already brewed (not in the machine, but hand-pressed) and stored in a pot. Cheme is the technique to brew coffee, and is named after a chemist who invented the method, I was told. After describing the type of flavor which I want in my coffee, coffee-tender recommended me BURUNDI KINYOVU because of its noted, pleasant acidity and rich flavor.

First coffee beans are carefully weighed (100g). (Electric scale is necessary in their operation.) Then, beans were carefully ground. The ground coffee was added to the paper filter in a glass corn which is set over a glass flask. Woman coffee-tender added enough boiled water to wet the ground coffee. With a spoon she gave a large stir in the coffee to make sure that all coffee particles are wet. She let the coffee stand for 1 minute to bloom. (Serious business!) Then, she added additional hot water (about 200g?) little by little in a thin and long stream. After 1 minutes of additional waiting she added the final water little by little. She used the electric scale all the time during brewing. Finally coffee was poured in a ceramic coffee cup and served to me. No milk, no sugar, no nonsense, of course. First sip – with good acidity and round and rich flavor – hit my taste bud and reminded me of Japanese coffee. As I continued sipping other flavors popped up in my mouth – molasses and black currant. I do not know how many people have time to order’cheme’ and appreciate it black. I was heaven to learn that serious coffee and wonderful coffee culture exists at this store.