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by_Lisa Zancanella

Training Log #9 by Lisa Zancanella - It's almost time...

Posted by GenovaWebArt Collaborator on


(LESS THAN) ONE MONTH LEFT.On October 6th will take place the first round of the Italian Brewers Cup, followed by semifinals and finals in January.  We started preparing the speech back in June, based on a coffee that fits the presentation structure and topic perfectly.However, according to my very low level of luck, very soon we realized the coffee wasn’t performing as expected; plus, it didn’t fully fit the range of flavors I was looking for. Cupping new, different coffees are obviously the answer. In August we found a coffee much closer to my preferences, but we decided to wait a couple of weeks more for the arrival of the same estate‘ coffee, but in two better lots. Once the...

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Training Log by Lisa Zancanella - My current competition brewing recipe

Posted by Bhavin​ Metizsoft on


In the past weeks, I’ve been training on different recipes, identifying the following variables: coffee/water dosage Water temperature Total brew time Grind size Method Number of pours Water quality I’ve been using the same coffee for all the training, in order to have always the same taste reference as a base, also, the same water, method (v60) and roast profile. The only variables changing were the dose of coffee and water, grind size, water temperature, and total brew time. The starting point for every recipe was to decide which variable gives strength and which gives clarity to my coffee: Where does the strength come from? Where does the clarity come from? I’ve been practicing with a Colombian Pink Bourbon from...

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Training Log by Lisa Zancanella - What is your favorite brew method?

Posted by Bhavin​ Metizsoft on


What is your favorite Brew Method and why? My favorite Brew Methods are two: first, the Cupper Brewer, which reproduce the same beverage of a cupping cup, used without filters, the same timing and procedure of cupping, it brings out the coffee as it is, more intensely than with any other device. The V60 then, which allows us to play more with recipes, doses, and timings, exploring all the limits and possibilities of the coffee. Plus it personally helps me to understand and stretch each variable of the brewing.   What do you recommend a Home Brewer should think about if they want to make competition quality coffee at Home? I would only suggest to keep it simple, exploring a...

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Training Log by Lisa Zancanella - Making sense of practice

Posted by Bhavin​ Metizsoft on


One of the main goals for me is to perform in front of the judge's feeling - and looking - totally comfortable with the speech and the brewing. In the past couple of weeks, I've been practicing the manual brewing while speaking, that for me is the hardest part. Initially, I associated specific parts of the speech and music to particular movements of the brewing, but that ended up being very mechanical, also, with still the speech, not 100% locked up, it wasn’t making any sense. What seems to work better, is to practice every day for a couple of hours a different recipe, repeating the competition speech just a couple of times and explaining the method I’m brewing and...

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Training Log by Lisa Zancanella - Multitasking is difficult

Posted by Patrik Rolf Karlsson on


The people that say that millennials are a generation of multitaskers probably skipped my generation, or just skipped me.  Considering that I can’t even write a text message while listening to someone talking, this week´s big question mark is how will I smile, look at the judges, whilst checking the right pours, and explaining the presentation - all at the same time. I’ve been trying to brew precise pours with podcasts in the background to get my focus practiced, and I found out that sometimes I don’t listen to them nor focus on the brew. The aspects of this competition I thought would be “easiest” are now the ones I’m uncomfortable with. Which is good, after the Nationals I really aim to be...

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Training Log by Lisa Zancanella - The Philosophy behind practice

Posted by Patrik Rolf Karlsson on


That old good guy of Aristotle used to say that we should act like navigators: mastered the theory, what’s more, important is knowing where you want to go and being reactive to the changing circumstances in which you are. All the theories, the recipes, the coffee superheroes statements, cannot substitute the direct experience on the brewing act. Which means everything I took for granted, now I critically need to prove it by myself. I never really learned anything significative that wasn’t coming from an error. Trial and error: that’s supposed to be the motto for the next months of preparation to the Nationals. The error comes from inconsistency: doing something in a different way from the planned one. Inconsistency is one...

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Training Log by Lisa Zancanella - First Practice with April

Posted by Patrik Rolf Karlsson on


Last week we finally started to practice together, four days in a flat between coffee and pizza in Porto, Portugal.  We started by tasting coffee samples to understand the range of taste we want to showcase and more important, to focus on how to describe the taste to the judges.  The tasting has been very “versatile”: we tried different coffees but also quite uncommon food combinations; An exercise that allowed us to improve our flavor palate. Unexpectedly we figured out also the presentation: after coming up with some random topics, we understood that the easiest and most original topic is taking something that only belongs to me and connect it to my experience in coffee. A few minutes later we got...

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Training Log by Lisa Zancanella - Starting to practice

Posted by Patrik Rolf Karlsson on


Start from the basic. I decided that if I really want to start this journey I’d need to put all in right from the beginning creating a daily training routine. I’ve been pouring water over three empty v60s every day, taking notes of all the grams of each pour, to really realising how my precision was. Then I made a list of all the variables possible about pouring technique, water, ratios, grounds, chemistry... everything. Panic: I- don’t- know- anything. I soon realised that there are so many different opinions about each coffee topic. There is no right and wrong, the key is to adapt the technique to the variables, being elastic and focusing on the coffee. I’ve always been driven...

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Training Log by Lisa Zancanella - The first thing I ask myself

Posted by Patrik Rolf Karlsson on


Everything starts with a question. Why decide to dedicate the next months into pouring water on coffee grounds for three people smiling at you while deciding if you are serving the best coffee at the competition? Well, because for everything worth it, a choice is pull- and not push- by a need. My need has been very clear from the beginning: I need to scratch the surface and understand what I really know about coffee. I need to face my lacks without compromising. I need to be confident in my abilities, confident that even if I come last, I will know my value in coffee. I need to learn, learn, learn. I need to win because I want it, and...

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