Mauritius is famous for its dité vanille*. But did you know that the island is also home to an excellent range of coffee blends? To help you discover this slice of Mauritian culture, Veranda Resorts has teamed up with Mauritian roasting experts Les Brûleries de la Fournaise and their Dodo Café brand to offer guests classes in coffee art (that is, the art of creating images on coffee) and an exceptional house coffee blend.
For almost three decades, Les Brûleries de la Fournaise has supplied the island’s hotels with state-of-the-art coffee machines and a wide range of beans of various origins. It was also the first to launch an artisanal roasting plant to process green coffee beans in Mauritius! This year, the group launched Dodo Café, a new brand of coffee beans that aims to promote the local art of coffee roasting. The brand donates a portion of its profits to the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, an NGO whose mission is to protect the island’s endangered endemic fauna and flora. Given its long-standing experience and expertise, Les Brûleries de la Fournaise is the perfect partner for Veranda Resorts.
“We wanted to offer Veranda Resorts a coffee blend with a story,” explains Adèle Lagesse, the company’s Sales and Marketing Manager. Les Brûleries de la Fournaise therefore created “Mo Kafé”, which it markets under its Dodo Café brand. Mo Kafé is a unique coffee blend offering the perfect balance of body, aromas and flavours (acidity, bitterness, etc.), while remaining fragrant, fruity and pleasant on the palate.
To create a high-quality blend, explains Adèle, you have to start with a “neutral” coffee, such as that from Brazil, which is naturally sweet. You then add a coffee that that has a higher natural acidity, such as Ethiopian coffee, which also offers wonderful aromatic complexity. This gives the blend a combination of fruity or floral notes. Finally, you add a Robusta to balance things out. While the Robusta is less aromatic, it is powerful on the palate, and gives the blend body, balance and silkiness.
Coffeefiles won’t be disappointed. Not only does their Veranda Resorts hotel offer them a unique coffee blend – it also invites guests to take part in a friendly coffee art session. The aim is to introduce guests to the history and cultivation of coffee, from bean to cup, as well as to teach them about different types of beans, the roasting process and different ways of preparing coffee. In particular, the intention is to introduce them to the art of coffee illustration, under the friendly supervision of a team of baristas from Les Brûleries de la Fournaise.
But what is a barista, exactly? “It is an Italian term for someone who works behind a bar, which has been reclaimed by the specialty coffee movement and is now used to refer to a coffee extraction specialist,” explains Adèle. Despite the hipster designation and cool-sounding job, being a barista is a real profession. Baristas are product specialists and are highly knowledgeable about each type and batch of beans (i.e. how they were cultivated, dried, stored and roasted). They are also customer facing. They don’t just offer you coffee: they offer you an experience! And of course, they are experts in foaming and pouring milk to create latte art (or coffee art). The image should be centred and high in contrast, and the milk should shine. So… would you prefer a heart, a tulip or a Rosetta?
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