Here at Café Altura, we value sustainability, and our background in biodynamics is a big part of that. Pioneered by Rudolf Steiner in the early 20th century, biodynamics is a holistic form of agriculture which treats a farm as an interconnected entity. What follows is an interview with Christian in which he describes his background, the play, his thoughts on the enduring relevance of Steiner, and even a little about his coffee preferences.
As fall approaches, so too does the arrival of pumpkin-flavored everything. Whether it’s beer, chocolate, or food, tis the season for warm, comforting fall flavors. Here at Café Altura, we’re big fans of festive coffee concoctions, so we figured we’d share on of our favorite recipes with you; a simple but delicious pumpkin spice latte.
The coffee cultures of Europe, Italy in particular, and the artisanally crafted latte and cappuccino cups of the U.S. owe a debt to one key building block–the espresso. Forged by a process of forcing highly pressurized water through a tightly tamped down portafilter of finely ground particles, the espresso’s history in commercial and home consumption has been inextricably tied to the technological advancements that made it possible.
Cold brew is the ideal afternoon pick-me-up or ready-to-go option for busy mornings, and making it can be an easy and fun activity to do at home. Cold brew may actually be one of the simplest ways of producing coffee at home. All you need is a container to combine ground coffee and cool water in, a filter to separate them, and a second container for storage.
Fun fact: coffee beans aren’t actually beans at all, they’re seeds. The world’s most beloved “bean”, consumed by over two and a half billion times a day, is the seed of a cherry-like fruit that grows best in very specific regions throughout the tropics. And, until recently, the fruit itself was widely considered to be a by-product destined for little more than being turned into fertilizer.
Enter the paper filter in 1908. Invented by a German housewife, Melitta Bentz, this new method of filtration would soon become the most popular method of all. Bentz thought up the idea as a solution to bitter taste produced by boiling coffee and using the linen filters of the day. The paper drip filtration system avoided earlier issues of over extraction and the material naturally removed diterpenes present in the coffee, making for a cleaner and less oily taste.
For many people, coffee is a tasty caffeine tonic which makes facing the day a little easier. However, a little further up the supply chain, coffee lives an entirely different existence; that of a commodity oft-traded on international stock exchanges whose global export value is in excess of $20 billion USD. In this blog post, we explore this global commercial life of coffee.
Some of the most common questions we get from our customers here at Café Altura are about coffee grinding, specifically, what grind setting to use when brewing. We’ve explored the concept of grind size distributions and the importance of a good grinder in a previous post, but today I’d like to dive a little deeper into the specifics of why using different grind sizes for different brewing methods matters.
Almost since the origins of agriculture, farmers have sought to improve the efficiency and resilience of their crops. In years with less rain, or in areas with poor soil quality, a resilient seed and plant could make the difference between a decent harvestand a non-existent one.
One of the first steps many coffee enthusiasts take when looking to improve their home-brewed coffee is to start buying whole beans and grinding them at home themselves. While this is certainly the best way to achieve the freshest and most flavorful product at home, it does mean there are some new factors to consider. Since coffee particle size and consistency are paramount to brewing a good cup of coffee, a grinder can either help or inhibit this quest.