The Science of Coffee beans Costa Rica Nespresso

Coffee science | Cafe culture with Nespresso’s Karsten Ranitzsch

Charisma and character - and just a little bit game-changing. Action!

Coffee is high science today. Karsten Ranitzsch oversees the coffee journey – from the coffee cherry to the cup – for Nespresso. Here he clinks coffee cups with Susan Skelly.

Q: In Australia, many people have exceptionally high expectations of coffee, whether in a cafe, at work or at home.

A: With Australians entertaining at home more than ever, being able to offer a good coffee is becoming increasingly important. Not only does it elevate the overall dining experience, but in a recent survey we conducted, we found 87 per cent of people also view it as part of being a good host. We’ve started to see coffee lovers matching their favourite Grand Cru to certain ingredients and flavours in their kitchen. This could be as simple as pairing strong coffees with intense, rich treats such as dark chocolate, or using it in sweet or savoury recipes.

The Science of Coffee Karsten Ranitzsch

Nespresso’s Head of Coffee Karsten Ranitzsch overseas quality control.

Q: What’s been the game changer in the way we drink coffee?

A: Nespresso was the first brand, in 1986, to create portioned coffee. Introducing coffee in capsules contributed to a change in coffee-drinking habits worldwide. Also, many coffee drinkers have become coffee connoisseurs, who seek to learn more about coffees and understand their various aromas.

Q: How do coffee profiles vary from country to country?

A: Terroir plays a key role. Soil, weather conditions, variety, altitude and temperature contribute to the aromas coffee will develop on the tree, which will be released during the roasting process. The coffee we are sourcing in Costa Rica has malty notes, our coffee from Brazil is rather sweet, with cereal notes, and the ones from Ethiopia are more floral, with jasmine. Last year, we launched two limited-edition Colombian coffees from different terroirs, Cauca and Santander. The terroir differences can be tasted in the cup.

Q: These days, coffee is marketed like wine, with tastings, notions of terroir, special reserves, limited editions, single origins – has this been a deliberate strategy?

A: Only one or two per cent of the world’s coffee crops meet our quality and aroma profile requirements. We called our coffees Grands Cru because [as winemakers do with wine] we push for perfection at every stage of development. We believe coffee has an important role to play – like wine – in an exceptional dining experience. Five years ago, we created training programs to develop the coffee expertise of wine sommeliers and chefs. Our Coffee Sommelier Program and Chef Academy has been attended by 170 wine sommeliers, including Paolo Basso, 2013 Best Sommelier of the World, four sommeliers in Australia, and more than 100 chefs.

Q: Many chefs have become your ambassadors. Who are the most notable chefs experimenting for you?

A: Shannon Bennett of Vue de Monde in Melbourne, and Tetsuya Wakuda of Tetsuya’s in Sydney.

Q: Name three food or coffee innovations that have impressed or intrigued you.

A: Tetsuya has introduced a serve at the end of the meal, an intense Grand Cru coffee in a glass with an ice cube, a Japanese tradition. Shannon Bennett looks for ways to integrate our coffees into his degustation menu, such as coffee crème brûlée served with ripe papaya, flavours he believes perfectly complement each other. His recipe for the Espresso Martini, using lemon oil and raspberry liquor, is also one of the most popular cocktails served in The Lui Bar, which adjoins the restaurant.

Source Qantas The Australian Way February 2015 Images courtesy Nespresso



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