“Third Wave” coffee is a term coined by Timothy Castle, a culinary writer, to describe the approach to coffee as a culinary pursuit similar to wine or food. It is a part of the broader “specialty coffee” movement, which places a stronger emphasis on the various changes in flavour which come from regional and varietal changes in beans. An Ethiopian yirgacheffe, when picked in the right season, will have a better flavour to one picked out of season. This would be true for a tomato, a brussel sprout, or grapes for a wine, so why not emphasize this importance in coffee? If a person wishes, they can pursue their coffee palate as far as any sommelier would with wine. There is an enormous amount of knowledge to gain about coffee, especially once you start exploring regional differences as well as agricultural practices within different regions. Once you finish examining the origin of the bean there are many different ways to extract coffee from those beans. How joyful is the variety of ways that we can produce that delicious liquid: coffee!
At Grounded, we have an excellent relationship with our local roaster, who in turn, has an excellent relationship with coffee beans. We bring in freshly roasted, small batch coffee and order twice a week so that we can extract the product as it ages into its peak. Our filter coffee is a rotating blend, changing up the flavour profile so we don’t get bored. Filter coffee is, of course, the lifeblood of any restaurant, and the literal blood of many chefs.
Our espresso is a contemporary blend involving a number of after-roast blended beans. Some beans are a dark roast, adding a classic dark chocolate taste to the espresso. Others beans sit in the medium to light range, allowing their lighter flavours to permeate the drink with a certain floral-brightness. It is an easy drinking espresso on its own, but has enough dark notes to shine through from under milk for a nice flat-white or cappuccino. We extract our espresso using flat bottom porta-filters (the arms which fit in the actual espresso machine) which helps create and preserve the crema on top of the espresso, allowing for better latte art and, generally, a better all round flavour.
All of our milk-based drinks are prepared with a microfoam, keeping the milk temperature below its burning point so that the sweetness of the dairy blends well with the espresso, producing a velvety, smooth construction. We serve our in-house drinks in thick walled cups from New Zealand. They feel heavy and comforting in your hand, retaining heat so your coffee maintains an optimal temperature for as long as possible. The wide mouth of these cups allows for a nice pour and better detail on latte art.
Barista chatter and pretension aside, at Grounded we actually care about the cup of coffee that we put in front of you. We want you to enjoy the experience of a well crafted, hand made coffee. I, personally, would love to have a chat, and make you a fancy, fancy brew.