More than a specialty café, Orbea Cycle Coffee is a specialty training and knowledge hub. This is one of their training session – the filter coffee training for Lilo Cafè, a new place that is going to open next Monday.
Orbea is a bicycle manufacturer in Mallabia, Spain. It began in 1840 as a rifle and gun producer and began making bicycles in the 1930s. It is Spain’s largest bicycle manufacturer. Designs and builds bicycles, with some of the higher-cost bikes being made in Portugal but all the others made at the Orbea factory in Mallabia.
Surrounded by bicycles and accessories, cycling photos and magazines, the setting of Orbea Cycle Coffee is spectacular, and the various high quality, single origin coffees – which they use and also sell here – come from those who also run the café – Café de Finca, roasters from Castelldefels, near Barcelona.
And this session is reserved for filter coffees – specialties that neither them, nor me have tasted and learned much about, before.
3 Ways for Filter Coffee
Preparing filter coffee is also spectacular to witness. First, the vessels have an original design. Then, filter coffee implies measuring, heating, pouring, stirring, then finally pouring into the cups – a procedure that takes longer but it’s so worth it, especially if you have a barista in front of you, explaining anything you’d like to know about the origin of the coffee, its history, its tasting notes, as well as all the steps to follow in preparing your coffee.
The key to quality coffee resides, as we listen to Nito’s explanations, in numbers: quantity, temperature, timing. Very precise, all of them. As well as the grinding of the beans, the pour rate and the stirring. After all, it’s a science, a reaction best achieved under well determined conditions. Therefore, the scale for weighting everything, the beans, the water, the coffee, is the central piece of the training.
In theory, espresso and filter are the same concept. The basics are the same, anyway: hot water, poured over coffee grounds, passes through and, filtered, it falls into the vessel. The key difference between the two is that, instead of water being pushed through with pressure (espresso), water runs through the coffee grounds only because of gravity (filter). For this reason, the brewing process takes slightly longer and the result is a bit different, but heavenly good.
Coffee is brewed by first placing the paper filter and the ground coffee in the neck of the flask, while heating water to 93-96 °C in a separate vessel; then “blooming” (moistening) the ground coffee by pouring some hot water onto the dry coffee, and finally, by pouring the desired quantity of water (number of cups) over the ground coffee, and awaiting it to percolate down, through the coffee and the paper filter, into the flask.
The most visually distinctive feature of the Chemex is the heatproof wooden collar around the neck, allowing it to be handled and poured when full of hot water. This is turned, then split in two to allow it to fit around the glass neck. The two pieces are held loosely in place by a tied leather thong. The pieces are not tied tightly and can still move slightly, retained by the shape of the conical glass. For a design piece that became popular post-war at a time of Modernism and precision manufacture, this juxtaposition of natural wood and the organic nature of a hand-tied knot with the laboratory nature of glassware was a distinctive feature of its appearance.
The coffee has a nice warm color, a light texture and a great taste.
Filter Coffee with V60
The Hario V60 has become one of the most widely used brewing methods in specialty coffee shops around the world. Hario, a Japanese producer of glass items, launched their first home product in 1949, a glass filter coffee syphon. Hario received hundreds of design awards, yet it’s the V60, launched some ten years ago, that’s become its most famous invention. The name comes from vector 60, the 60º angle of its cone. The V60 was first introduced in ceramic and glass, then plastic, and finally in metal.
The V60 has a cone shape that adds depth to the coffee layer, and several spiral ribs, inside the cone for maximum coffee expansion. The paper filter is placed inside the ceramic cone, which has a hole for the coffee to pour into the vase below.
The coffee slowly pours into the vase and Hario says that the big hole of its V60 can change coffee taste according to the speed of water flow.
By changing the grind size you can speed up or slow down the rate at which the coffee will be brewed: the larger the grind size – the faster the brew time and, conversely, a finer grind will take a bit longer. Faster brewing with the V60 usually results in a brighter, lighter bodied cup. This is a light bodied cup.
Filter Coffee with AeroPress
The result has an espresso strength concentration, as well as flavor, even though the aspect is that of a filter coffee – lighter and more transparent. It instantly became a new favorite of mine, and I warmly recommend it to anybody stopping at Orbea for a coffee.
The device consists of two nesting cylinders. One cylinder has a flexible airtight seal and fits inside the larger cylinder, similar to a syringe.
The coffee is literally pushed into the glass vase, by pressing constantly.
The AeroPress is a device for brewing coffee invented in 2005 by Aerobie president Alan Adler. Coffee is steeped for 10–50 seconds (depending on grind and preferred strength) and then forced through a filter by pressing the plunger through the tube. The filters used are either the AeroPress paper filters or disc shaped thin metal filters. According to the position of the AeroPress, there are two ways of making the coffee: the traditional and the inverted.
Orbea Cycle Coffee is a specialty cafe run by Café de Finca, coffee roasters since 2009 and cafe owners since 2010 (Café de Finca Castelldefels). As coffee roasters, they provide coffee, equipment and knowledge for many other places, from Che Bici in Valencia to the Montana, in Lisbon, and from Fairview Coffee in Montpellier to Cafeteando in Madrid, not to mention several cafes here, in Barcelona.
The coffee they worked with, for the training, is from the farm San José in Honduras. The card displays the essential information about the coffee: the variety, the origin, the main notes, and this information is also put on the coffee bags that can be purchased from the cafe. This is one of the favorite cafes of Café de Finca, a variety of Caturra and Catuai, cultivated at 1400 – 1600 meters above sea level. This origin has a low acidity, notes of chocolate and a very comforting honey sweetness in the mouth.
This one of the most rare things one can see, at least in a big European city: dried flowers of coffee. They are used for infusion and this brand, Los Lajones is owned by Award-Winning Producer Graciano Cruz, located on the eastern slopes of Volcan Baru, Panama.
The cafe is to be found right in the center of the bicycle shop of Orbea, the biggest manufacturer of bicycles of Spain, and the shop, Orbea Campus Barcelona, is to be found right in the center of the city, near Rambla de Catalunya.
The Orbea Campus BCN is pretty close to Plaça de Catalunya, on Consell de Cent 321.
Orbea has a history of 175 years in building bicycles.