Imagine you order an Espresso in your favorite L’Osteria. A short while later, you will find yourself in front of a small, white cup with red print on it from Andraschko. It contains a sip of premium grade coffee. Before the Espresso reaches you, however, the beans from which one of the best Italian coffees is created, have travelled far. One stop on their trip has been the coffee manufactory Andraschko in Berlin. And since we are very proud to be working with this partner, we’d like to present it to you in more detail.
Italian coffee, straight from Berlin
In the center of Berlin Tempelhof, the raw coffee beans are being prepared for an excellent roasting process under the supervision of Willy and Elisabeth Andraschko.
Since 2005, the Andraschkos have put all their energy and passion into roasting coffee. This passion has an origin, as both of them recall. Since 1979, back when the Andraschkos were still running coffee houses in Berlin, the couple has always been in search of the best coffee. With the closing of their trusted coffee manufactory in Florence, the idea of the best coffee from their own manufactory became a reality.
The coffee silos for the small drum roaster. Here, valuable beans from all over the world are stored.
Choosing the right bean
You might ask: Italian coffee, roasted in Berlin? Since they opened their coffee house, the Andraschkos have put in a lot of time and effort in finding out what makes a real Italian coffee special: 100% Arabica beans and the way it is roasted are the secret recipe of the iconic taste. Not the country that it is roasted in.
Of the almost 300 coffee types that there are on this planet, only very few are edible by us: Arabica and Robusta. Robusta is – as the name implies – much more robust than the sensitive Arabica plant. This reflects in their different taste: Arabica is much milder and more flavorful than Robusta.
Willy and Elisabeth handpick the plantations where Andraschko is buying its coffee. For instance, the plantation of Ricardo at the Fazenda Nasso Senhora de Fatima in Brazil. One of a few exemplary biological plantations in the world of coffee. Especially the watering system of this plantation is legendary for working with the precision of a Swiss clockwork and reaching every single plant. Long-term partnerships such as these are what the Andraschkos value.
Like at a vintage, taste and quality of the harvest vary from year to year. Thus, coffee blends are changing their composition as well from time to time to maintain a consistent taste even though the harvest is different.
Coffee wants to be roasted and air-cooled
As mentioned above, not only the type of coffee bean matters but also how it is roasted. While coffee is “roasted” with hot air in industrial factories, the Andraschkos are using two drum roasters from Probat. One 50kg roaster for private blends and a 120kg roaster, where roasts like the L’Osteria’s are produced.
The large 120kg roaster from Probat. You can see the air cooling in the front.
The roaster seems rather small on a first glance, considering it needs to process 13 tons of coffee each month. At least until you talk to Willy Andraschko about the difference between manufacture and industrial coffee: up to a drum size of 120kg, it is possible to cool down the coffee after roasting through a blower. A fast cooling process of the hot beans is essential to ensure a great taste. With quantities larger than 120kg, however, air-cooling is not an option anymore. That’s why in the industrial factories, beans are cooled down with water. Most liquid evaporates immediately after contact with the beans. However, the coffee soaks up about five percent of its own weight in water.
From the coffee silo into the bag
The raw coffee is separated in different silos according to their origin. There, it is weighed very precisely. With large machines, this is an automatic process but with smaller machines, it is still done by hand. The beans are sucked into the container where they are blended and sent on their way to the roaster. The drum has a temperature of 220°C, in which the coffee now roasts for 15 minutes. After that, it is cooled by cold air as fast as possible to reach room temperature again. This process is important to conserve the valuable coffee bean oils that are released in the bean during the roasting process.
The 120kg Probat drum roaster.
The beans are losing water during the roasting process, and are therefore getting lighter. This is important for the next step. Through the stream of air, they are carried into the “rest silo”. Heavier objects, like stones, fall down and leave only pure beans in the silo.
Here, the coffee rests for up to 48 hours before it is packaged into bags and will soon be served as a delicious Espresso at the L’Osteria.