Events, Food

The hours between coffee and wine

I love coffee, I need coffee, I want coffee – as the greeting-card saying goes, “life is what happens in the hours between coffee and wine.” It is disappointing to end a good meal with muddy dishwater rather than a properly-made espresso.

Thanks to Amir Gehl from Difference Coffee Co., who lured us to Harry’s Bar with both excellent coffee and a very good wine, indeed: 1929 Chateau Mouton Rothschild. Intact and alive in the 21st century. After dinner, we then tasted the First Growth of coffee: Jamaican Blue Mountain, a Hawaiian Kona, and the infamous Kopi Luwak.

The civet cat coffee

Even if you have never tasted Kopi Luwak, you may know about the civet cat. Kopi Luwak is a coffee made from the Sumatran civet cat’s half-digested coffee cherries, which in the process of digestion, partially ferments the beans.

As you can imagine, making coffee from the beans excreted by civet cats in Sumatra is not cheap. Although for coffee connoisseurs, much like people crazy about wine, 550 euros is a small price to pay for one kilogram of these rare, labour-intensive beans.

Coffee and wine

As a result, Difference Coffee Co. has created coffee pods to make the gold-standard in coffee accessible to Nespresso machines; the pods keep the coffee fresh and in optimal condition for use, especially in restaurants. If you drink the finest wines known to humanity – and the 1929 Chateau Mouton Rothschild is in the pantheon – then it makes sense to end the meal with the the best quality of coffee. 

My impression of the coffee? There is clearly a difference between these terroir-led coffees and the usual coffee served in restaurants. It reminded me of drinking the very best wine: it has a clarity and almost sobering quality. The after-taste of the coffee is extremely clean and up-lifting.

The 1929 Mouton Rothschild? Here are my first thoughts after the lunch on instagram

Holding history. 1929 Chateau Mouton Rothschild at lunch. The first thing to consider on drinking very old wines is that they could have fallen over already. It’s a bit nerve-wracking to think the star may be too out-of-condition to sing. Think of how much this wine has gone through since 1929. But it was not only fine but it was on fire. Compote wild strawberries, mocha in background, fresh acidity even an hour later. Served with veal simply done and roasted artichoke…

 

Menu for Difference Coffee Co. at Harry’s Bar, 6 October 2016

Panama Geisha coffee ‘tea’, brewed for seven minutes
NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Sous Bois

 

Seared blue-fin tuna, crunchy vegetables and Sicilian orange dressing
2002 Kistler Vineyards ‘Kistler’ Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley
2012 Rotem & Mounir Saouma Chateauneuf-du-Pape ‘Magis’ Blanc

 

Pumpkin and pickled fruit mustard ravioli from Cremona, with butter and sage
Castello di Vicarello ‘Castello di Vicarello’ Toscana IGT 2011
Stellenrust Quota Cuvée 2012

 

Roast t-bone of Limousin veal, sautéed porcini mushrooms and Albenga artichokes
1929 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild

 

Difference Coffee Co. tiramisu layered in a coupe and selection of Harry’s Bar desserts
Hawaii Kona from Buddha’s Cup Estate- Grade “Extra Fancy” 
Jamaica Blue Mountain from Gold Cup Estate – Grade 1 
Wild Kopi Luwak Grand Reserve 

 

Finished with an espresso martini made with Beluga Gold Line, Wild Kopi Luwak, St. George’s Nola Liqueur.

 

Thank you for the lunch, wines and good company, Douglas Blyde, Neal Martin and Amir Gehl, and the wonderful staff at Harry’s Bar, London W1K 2PD.