A Taste of Green

A taste of green - The Discovery Coffee visit: March 04, 2006
by Adam Tindale

What is the difference between good coffee and great coffee? Details.
What about consistency, you say? I say that the things you are
striving to make consistent are the details. Water will pass over
ground roasted beans. Where do the beans come from? How hot is the
water? How much water? How much beans? How fine the grind?

There are lots of happy accidents in the coffee world. Sometimes the
moons align and all the details are perfect. The difference between
good and great is realizing this and striving to learn about these
happy accidents and make them the norm. We all know this takes years
of dedication to the details.

A clover coffee machine has been delivered to Sam Jones' Discovery
Coffee. The coffeecrew was on hand to try it out. The clover has been
espoused as the greatest leap forward in coffee since the E61 group.
Big shoes.

Sam brought out four of his single origins for us to try:
Yirgachaffe, Peruvian, Mexican and Guatamalan. We tried varies roast
qualities of each bean. This was a serious round of tasting and when
it was all done there is one word to describe the clover:
transparent. This machine does not impart any of its character into
the coffee, it is all bean. Not only that but it is so adaptable. We
were able to change the brew time, temperature, grind and amount of
coffee ( in this round we only varied brew time and amount of
coffee ). The machine changed immediately. Incredible.

It was absolutely stunning to experience the change in the cup with
minute changes to the roast quality and the clover settings. This is
simply not possible on any other machine in existence. This allows
two major things: experimentation and customization. You can now come
into a receptive shop with a clover and ask that your coffee be
brewed at a specific temperature for a specific amount of time and
all the barista has to do is dial it in and smile! Well, maybe the
barista can also make some pleasant about what a lovely (or poor)
choice of settings you have made. This potential alone makes this
machine worth the sticker price.

Not only did I learn about a new machine and a lot about how I taste
coffee, I came to appreciate more about the details of coffee. If a
shop has a happy accident that is one thing, but truly great baristas
and shops will deliver consistently across their whole product line.
That takes dedication and deserves respect. Sam and his staff have
earned even more of my respect. Sam is now roasting coffee at
Discovery Coffee. Now you have many reasons to go in: try the beans,
the clover and to appreciate a master of details.

Adam Tindale is a Victoria resident and Phd candidate at the University of Victoria. Discovery Coffee is on Discovery Street on/near the Northwest corner of Douglas Street. The cafe is open Monday through Satirday.