My August 2016 introduction to Difference Coffee Company and its founder Amir Gehl has now gone cold and requires a top up. But rather than a refill, Difference deserves a new cup as Amir has upped even his own game.
Back just before Christmas I had a chance to catch up with Amir and find out what he had been up all these months and how his plans were coming along to build the “ultimate terroir-led coffee collection” and offer a taste of it in limited edition Nespresso system compatible capsules.
I’m not quite sure how he did it, but somehow Amir managed to wedge a place for Difference among the bidders at a few of the most prestigious and rigorous coffee competitions in the coffee loving universe: Cup of Excellence, Best of Panama and the annual Kona Cupping Competition. Such events are for major players with real money to spend on the highest rated award-winning specialty grade Arabica beans from the world’s most lauded estates.
To illustrate the level of scrutiny at these exclusive competitions consider the Cup of Excellence. With no more than 300 entries, it consists of six rounds of evaluation by both national and international juries, with a total of 9,020 cups having been analysed before the top 10 winners are announced. Remarkably, the 10 finalists would have been cupped no fewer than 280 times. Amir’s place at the Cup of Excellence table means his collection represents some of the rarest and highest graded coffees in the world.
During my Yuletide yarn with Amir, I got to sip some of the Difference yield. New to the collection since my 2016 tasting was Panamanian Geisha from the renowned Hacienda La Esmeralda plantation in the mountains of Boquete, Panama. And – wow oh wow – that was a sublimely flavoursome drink: floral nose, mild chocolaty flavour, almost mouthwatering effect.
And not yet included in the Difference collection (to the best of my knowledge to date anyway) were capsules made with Honey Geisha beans from Finca Don Antonio, Costa Rica’s best scoring entrant in the 2017 Cup of Excellence. Double wows on this one too: juicy and complex with a pronounced hint of orange zest and a long aftertaste. Difference was one of only six buyers able to get in on the action and purchase Don Antonio beans.
In addition to the capsules, Difference Coffee Company is also starting to produce its own cafetiere grinds (!!!) while also supplying whole roasted beans to a choice selection of London venues, such as The Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square, Harry’s Bar, Mark’s Club, La Dame de Pic London and The Wellesley Hotel.
Find out more at differencecoffee.com.