Coffee Tasting in Lima – Alpha to Omega

hpnxbod0onpvzyc33ukcakzdtsv3nd7_ecxehcvqqdxokod0ukcp6zdvmbrdsuf9ubre5etbsfemsakdowuwhcr5p0nzubr-lf4gv_fxriqgnwj6_b0jwe0govni_4jinuezdd_coxbfaz8bgfyfjpdgotlkfqr7l7j_frmn8jjfbq-_4sotqplpzjI organized a coffee tasting with the guys from Artidoro Rodriguez coffee. After five hours of learning about coffee and drinking coffee, I was too caffeinated to write this blog posting… I realized how little I know about coffee. For the food geeks, there is a coffee tasting certification class in Lima (one week for eight months–not sure why they don’t do a two month class). Anyway, back to what I didn’t know…. Notice in the photo below that there is some magical ratio of weight of ground coffee to water at a certain temperature (I think this is why the Brits say, “water from a freshly boiled kettle”).

brfmvt3pkp_vrir5694d8ojao2lyr5mkilb7xtxvqi8dw6nthmbdf46omagr2bur8dj4ikdz5wzvq-oobk8y5u1b4ssexdm4att3gg_d0jyajwxyglbtshnekvrzri3boy_1rqavemjt9mx58cidyssofiyl9-ctsyhwq6vif2hqpc9lv1zczs7ogxThe coffee tasting class cost 100 soles (about $30) per person. It was planned from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. but we got a five hour class, freebies, coffee (duh!) and so much info that I had a buzz not solely from the coffee! The owners, Felix and Julian, are experts in tasting and roasting respectively. Felix is the grandson of Artidoro Rodriguez so a legend in the making (Juan Valdez was made up by marketeers!). You heard it here!

ck_gg9o4_pmvmxly_y-5h6jrafmnkar10zbojykcqevhm0xbhxvwxacxdhwvcn9wgrjranve-uhvveju7cystubxmhpx-kas17nwrd8cqlhljuxbyvwhvvtxdfxc0h4ffvuftrpxeo3tjy7aocphhfafmosotbyfiuy_ova-wpij11wklzrlinhcsrI set up the class with Julian via email. The class was in Spanish as Felix feels more comfortable in Spanish. Julian’s English is good so he translated when he could. Plus, I had my secret superpower with me (a bilingual friend who is professional level simultaneous translator level, and a subject matter expert to boot!). We tried more than ten brands of coffee and around six methods of making coffee. As it was a tasting, we could choose to not swallow the coffee and spittoons were provided… but I drank the coffee (hence the buzz).

9t5q9-bs1osqtlr9o9vxawhu3ntqwwryvdzjgc6pmagfj36hqwwspqmrorm0rbwehzze5s45zmdvk3tbqpm632speuugo20civf0tmiuv8plr9aimuigezbpgir_6mwy_bxapta7ct1nrt8bfdu7c1zvigewkpvw3l-tjlbpzvk_sblqgshwxv1unrWe learned so much that I can’t recall most of it. But, there are two types of coffee beans and Peru has lots of areas where both kinds (robusta and arabica) of beans can be grown to produce gourmet coffee. We learned about weighing our coffee when we make it. We learned that there is a coffee grading scale from zero to 100 points. 80 or above is gourmet. Aridoro Rodriguez is 84 (no  shame in that!). Coffee from 60 to 80 is commercial coffee. Below 60… fuggedaboutit. We learned that shiny beans are no good. Shiny beans have been over roasted, one way to compensate for deficiencies. Notice the shiny burned look of the two groups in the photo below. The smallest bunch of beans are roasted correctly. No oily sheen. Just a healthy luster.

y_aq8gg5cnd3slkdznrwwkungden1qxwkky1tz7kjubqsu4tqa2juijh4untex0pc4tpjcnxsn4jc07agejzpdjlk6eqnrxr07muj7rggkoqum4xctq2jq8rgo8grqgq2lumygasgzadwpsqhcyxsap8zymfxzrilsggobxxgsvb7snp3eqm5zpyynWe learned that slurping is good when tasting coffee. We looked at runty beans called “snails” and how they are picked out as a specialty. Just smaller, uglier, but with equal potential (some deep zen going on here, amiright?).

6e3hxhwt92tcc2kgoq4e9ztntjfznlszfd68phrgsix4x_unin3e2imwp2puu1jvgpf4a8mixmrrijvi_ivkey-2nfzynqhxd2difxifzmawszyofp-qscvcap_zw8onfvvj5ctmmwdt1idns6hte39dcvydc4olwy2xg8_netf-e5n3h3v8ueifgdWe learned that beans need to be separated before roasting so they roast at the same degree. That it’s a matter of seconds from the “first pop” of the first bean roasting to the full on fireworks of popping, and, that in those ten seconds, the coffee roaster can make or destroy a batch of coffee. A roast lasts around eight minutes but I can’t recall the exact details. We also learned that after roasting, coffee grounds should “exhale” for eight hours before being used to brew coffee. We learned about “fragrance” and “aroma” and all the other ways to know one’s coffee. We even learned about coffee “tea” (see raisin-like things next to weak cup of liquid in photo below), and then our minds were blown.

vgzs3l3bykenfekexnqn95bfizn14dimdpuwq66xsw1e72te7oqehh8piaasp0iyjb4kkgjnkq035nwdfnszrv9rbsgzuwj7wgrcyfbmifpvrvl4g7sr6tmdmnet5n8euke11u6alynvohtxudtjzsqqpxyn8slxfqhwq5vwijp2ihepcddd1tilqsWe learned even more. About people, livelihoods, the environment, pride in product, taste, and that Felix and Julian are looking to open up a coffee bar somewhere in Miraflores. We learned of the coffee places approved of by Felix. We sniffed… we sipped… we giggled… we roared with laughter… we… take the class! Learn. Get caffeinated. Get mo’ on joe!

ytsbs7jqqzbzkpnjlvep_bhtjb7uwdlr3x35hnhj6cy76i0i5-xo_ekgbphixb3a7je2g8dujr59m_teya0ofgfuiwingt6dzorqig4m-cvvvyikdcou7f0ejhbhgzbf7iq9pwexu0i1yrxjhi74ggngc7ifyghzqmajtn9d8i18t6frjyhhbcrhjoThe key point that Felix told us was… no two cups of coffee will be the same… each cup is as individual… as an individual…

O-M-ega. This just got deep.


Drink up, my friends, may your cup runneth over. In the best of company.

A Coffee Expert’s Choice of Where to Drink A Cup of Gourmet Josephus in Lima

mk3cgijzqrjy-rlnr3y51egskptmg1vy-j-5m-wgw39oittpz6dpdklt8dg7gh5y5fhew_7kffg9hwh15wul4i34ga8z4gwaquftsvuotvfmq7nuu90qyogpctagmtqjxfts8wz_b17mknv0y34c7xasotu2tgro162ayucl1xuuwe34qghfuca7wjRecently, I organized a coffee class tasting at Artidoro Rodriguez (I’ll write about that another time, once the caffeine has worn off. But, if you want a foretaste, read about how gourmet coffee is a hot item (!!!) in Peru.). Felix of Artidoro Rodriguez is an expert coffee taster (a different skill from being an expert roaster). Naturally, we asked Felix where he drinks coffee in Lima, and he told us his list of where to drink gourmet coffee (gourmet coffee is coffee with a grade of more than 80 on the 100 point scale. Don’t ask about coffee below 60 — okay, okay, more about that another time). Now, I need a cup of Joe. Gourmet Joe!


La Teoría de 6 Cafés, Calle Gral Mendiburu 890, Miraflores: They have cold brewed coffee as well (there is more caffeine in cold brew). Felix, the coffee roaster of Artidoro Rodriguez coffee (and grandson of Artidoro), may be biased as he is friends with the folks at this cafe (or did they become friends over a cup of coffee?). Note in the photo below that this cafe serves cold brew with orange juice along with other hipster coffee trends.
Milimétrica Espresso Bar, Av. la Paz 580, Miraflores: The link from Beanhunters provides lists of where to drink gourmet coffee around the world.
Colonia & Co, Av San Martin 131, Barranco: From the photos, it looks like they even have a real hipster with a manbun working here.
Caleta Dolsa, Av San Martin 223, Barranco (couldn’t find a link on the cafe so inside I include one of the area including a tip on a hotel to stay in): this place is only a few months old. It’s located in a sunken (basement) space.
And these two:
Neira Café Lab, Calle Enrique Palacios 1074, Miraflores: Also has lists of cafes, plus a notification about a foam competition
Cafe Verde (this link includes even more coffee shops to try, though Aromia is gone), Av. Sta. Cruz 1305, Miraflores


10 New Restaurants to Try on La Mar

1l0L20fmvHGrmW_dJ44Yfm7ZS_ssAhkPst0WOMcHJncJ6OUotia9fHsAXmpsy1sZ83j-_3dpwkosgR8XQdbCuG27oVSP-Ig-24pMbcwAtLutKHEog9ITc_w3wO6AJYw_4pLAS6yZhZkNnjvE5cCHqF_3uYSVB1T_gFLCjnq9JawmYXs6F5C3gfyo_rI start with an old photo from La Mar restaurant on Avenida Mariscal de la Mar as a tribute to Gaston Acurio who suffered the slings of society scoffing at him for opening a restaurant “out” on La Mar (yes, he has laughed all the way to the bank, but also straight into the hearts of most Peruvians and he is now considered a national treasure). True, La Red had been there but that is part of the folklore of La Red, and La Mar was the leader in “haute cuisine” places on La Mar. Now look how many have popped up in the past year (some even in just the past few months):

Poke Pacifiko, Av Mariscal La Mar 555, Miraflores: make your own Hawaiian style raw fish salad here.

Statera, Avenida Mariscal La Mar 463, Miraflores: like Central but with bigger portions.

La Verdad de la Milanesa, Av Mariscal La Mar 684, Miraflores: “chicken fried” restaurant. To do something in the style of Milan is to bread(crumb) and fry something.

Huh, Av Mariscal La Mar 760, Miraflores: new healthfood place.

Roll & Co., Av Mariscal La Mar 733, Miraflores: hand made ice cream (on a cold plate in front of you).

Maketto, Av Mariscal La Mar 830, Miraflores: new “street food” looking (it looks like an alley in Tokyo?) sushi place.

Las Barras de Ronalds, Av Mariscal La Mar 825, Miraflores: a ceviche chain.

Mayta, Av Mariscal La Mar 1285, Lima: they re-opened on La Mar.

La Pizza de la Chola, Av Mariscal La Mar 1085, Miraflores: Chola’s pizza place. Seems so long ago that he opened this place in June…

Maria Panela, Av Mariscal La Mar 1035, Miraflores: new Brazilian home cooking.


Parallel to La Mar:

Frida, Calle Gral Mendiburu 793, Lima: Jeronimo and Tinga Tu Taco chef Moma’s new Mexican place (but also seems so long ago that it opened — it was August…)

Tribu, Calle Gral Mendiburu 1028, Miraflores: it’s new.

Sakura, Avenida del Ejército 820, Miraflores: upstairs near the western end of this street. Japanese food.

Nami, Av. del Ejército 182, Miraflores: sushi.

Las Tres Suecas, Av. Gral. Córdoba 1193, Miraflores (turn right at the western end of La Mar): a Swedish cafe and shop.

On the “Barranco side” of La Mar (as in, these are in Barranco but Central once was in Miraflores):

Kjolle (Pia Leon, wife of Central chef) Av. Pedro de Osma 301, Barranco: Virgilio opened a place big enough for his wife and partner to get her own name in lights (she is also the owner of Central but no one remembers that).

Dhaasu, Av. República de Panamá 245, Barranco: Indian food.

Lettuce, Lettuce, Let Us Eat Lettuce!

At the start of every year, and indeed at most other times of the year, there is someone who wants to eat salad. I was asked to do a posting about salad which I took to be about salad with lettuce. So, let us eat lettuce!

WoQGX3ZF3_lxBurWnYAdSUGniUj17tsfbvPQ1_8GTJ0Jl-7wzWG4iJjbrMUwAAsm0r44m0hv8rQhemOiFiWxz0-mwhbNFDDe5D4OeW3l9doxHbhlBWQptENT3sM2VHioPJnWgHVbnysL8xU-bsUYF0iow_ZovhzwXMnEJqUp2I9ilYrZPyNUznunsxCosme: “Col” salad at Cosme. This large (larger than most main courses) salad is served on a ten inch wide plate and is large enough for a main dish or to be shared as an appetizer. It is listed as an appetizer on the menu at Cosme. The salad has raw shredded red cabbage, alfalfa, cashews, hearts of palm, artichoke, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, and the dressing is a yogurt based dressing so you feel healthy when eating it.

Matria: Also has a decent salad. It’s pretty and actually makes you want to eat salad.

9nhejpfj-ru4is6sefod00-jfoqwvphqgayltmhausdvzuun9wornileffbcmeihokblotnbrpxnccpzp1fuiku2yttzttt6d4q67d-xpihrcmeothewkpdievqdr7f0k6gk_simavsq4ewbbkc5dcxjfpacuxszwr_0z4lvqfljbogetbcth-rpgbOsso: Although Osso is a steak house, there is a selection of salads including an attractive wedge salad (in real life, in the close up above, the wedges rise like the Andes covered in mint green and dusted with bacon and candied pecans). The second salad mentioned, “salad #3” contains tiny deep fried cheese balls. I recommend keeping the dressing on the side, and foregoing the song and dance of the waiter pouring and tossing, so that you can enjoy the fried cheese “croutons”. The salad is called #3 because on the old menu, it was the #3 (at least, I think that’s why).fullsizeoutput_1cd

Cafe Mozart: Located in San Borja, this cafe has an all-you-can-eat salad bar. The salad bar has a full selection of cooked items including pasta salads and many other salads to put in the salad.

La Mora: They have several salads. They also use a classic European mustard vinaigrette. Because the olive oil is whipped/emulsified in, the dressing has the thickness of an aoli (mayonnaise in plain language).

3GQc9lSFI-1umiDX2Wm7Ney9E192KbG-9X_NMdVdGkrECUxQJC3MLHZPBqR-PiI2NKGxBtsdq8EMjYJ8eqC7WhdAPTH8IiuoNS2GmoveXflfOprLRdr5uSryFYpMIAcPGVfHjq3KRPGLz5bhP_YNpPEERUqktN7oUuY6_EHtALBAz0YrtI9_8YmYCBCafe A Bistro: The head salad is like an iceberg wedge salad, but you get all and not only the wedge (the photo doesn’t do the salad justice as the salad is more impressive when viewed in profile).

Antica: One of the salads uses butter/bib lettuce and has wedges of oranges among other things making it a decent salad.

La Panka: This chain restaurant has large salads. The one below is with roasted veg and chicken. The salad is the size of small hot tub.w1juIMnVrScp_q6FwjmCp1IIUQfkxbaWXebVY9S8jaypnMl_-YvzYCcby_vkgAjMYO_M2H3nWUk8MqsdX-Y5ghc2dDC0TdS07xM0oYrX0GkrZYNDGYyzU6XQC0usC2JSAjfYsEHYKUGpKZkwkUk7vRuFEGaxAuwbf9OlnjVvbgwNC_To-HOlQEek8a

La Linterna: Also has a decent house salad with ham and pecans.vHOkB8A2EZov8WNDXSVNVW-GQiKO0F7QtiFWJG66dbkiRrWmcvWrZyp-N2zLKyhdA8mVscF4i1N1ZcLKOn0aNMzMtSsFJ12puZkkGGOiBXjJ7XDbrSo0LN5N1Tq0jhqbsQe1vBsVfQkqQBmIVGtMpa1dG-9lZ_xTw6APva1avEcMT3KjPHj3ZdrsLI

Taller Razeto: Has good salads (melted cheese on a bed of lettuce in the photo below), but the restaurant is out in La Punta so not a daily destination unless you live there.

y4UPU4KJ8s7Mbs8ocHT7MmHYGPCoY4b0pD6S0V9rG7G-W81Ndt0wo7CpA3DgXwNuOg-50EfDuyWP1WssXSFiI32qTBqXakZhfUQBGxGyui9m3Q-SRf4lAfJr71zB9IP-cgGLoo92pMPShkFe0tas5eIAb4XWr8HMBuAyJ1acoszteGUH17W3X1oczTPardos Chicken: Has a lettuce salad but I like their “cooked salad” with cooked carrots, beets, beans, and avocado. But, we were talking about lettuce.

Poke Pacifiko: As you can order exactly what you want, I imagine you can make your own salad. I’m sure you can get it without fish.

Plus, I would guess that most of the vegetarian and vegan restaurants have lettuce salads.