Coffee Cosmos by Mr. Hoban

Coffee to go in a paper cup is passé.

Nowadays, drinking specialty coffee is considered just as fine an art as wine tasting. Jan-Cort Hoban has been in the coffee business for over 13 years. After working in restaurants, he set up his own coffee roastery in Hamburg in 2012. Mr. Hoban is now known for coffee with sweet aromas and a balanced body. The beans come from Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Guatemala, and Honduras, and are exclusively supplied by individual coffee growers. After all, the coffee aficionado finds transparency just as important as the quality of his beans and the degree to which they are roasted. COMPANION caught up with him to get his expert take on current trends.

COMPANION: What does “third wave coffee” mean? Has the fourth wave maybe even hit now?
JAN-CORT HOBAN: Third wave is a movement in which coffee enjoys the same status as wine. Suddenly, people have a small espresso machine at home, too. The fourth wave movement focuses even more deeply on the total experience of coffee – from the farm and the way the coffee is prepared, to new ways of roasting and brewing.

Which third wave coffee trend should we try?
I’m a big fan of the espresso tonic. The important thing is to put a small bottle of tonic on ice before slowly pouring in the espresso.

What’s the secret to cold brews? Can you drink them in winter too?
You can drink cold brews any time of the year. The type of beans is key, for instance my Ethiopian Boginda, which can be brewed cold, allowing different aromas to emerge. You pour a liter of cold tap water over freshly grounded beans – around 80 grams – and put it in the refrigerator. After 24 hours, you pour the coffee through a sieve and then through a coffee filter, for a clearer taste.

Siphon, Chemex, and Aeropress – do they all make the same filter coffee?
No, each method yields a different-tasting coffee. The siphon pulls water up from below – it’s basic physics at work. After you’ve turned down the heat, the coffee drips back down through the cloth filter by itself. The trick here is the degree to which the coffee has been ground and the time it has to steep.

Which aromas can be found in a well-roasted coffee bean?
Depending on the origin, almost everything that can be found in nature. Coffee is the drink with the most aromas. Some aromas that I can think of off the top of my head include lemon zest, jasmine, bergamot, blueberry, licorice, cedar, apricot, toast, pipe tobacco, and many, many more.

But seriously: What’s the difference between a cappuccino and a flat white?
The flat white has less foam, and, therefore, more milk than a cappuccino. It’s a little like a mini latte with just a bit of foam.

You can buy Mr. Hoban’s roasts in the following coffee shops in Hamburg: Erste Liebe Bar, Neun Bar, and Café Luise, or online a mrhoban-roastery.com/shop

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