Stepan arranges the glass bulbs as if he is getting prepared for a chemical experiment. In fact, barista Stepan makes pomegranate coffee he authored himself. He first pours pomegranate juice into a glass container, adds hot water, so that the juice opens up and when already combined with the coffee its aroma be felt better, then he heats it with a fire.
Stepan Abrahamyan works at the Brew Cafe and agreed to share with GastroVino his method of preparation of pomegranate coffee.
“When we heat the pomegranate juice with fire, it goes up through the tube and fills the upper container, then we add the coffee aged in the brandy barrel. This process takes 1-2 minutes, after that we turn off the fire and the filtration process begins. The excess remains at the top, and the filtered part goes down. Just 3-4 minutes and the coffee is ready,” Stepan says, noting that this method of making coffee is called siphoning.
The barista with 12 years of experience in the field thought of making pomegranate coffee when working at the Brew Cafe.
“I have been working since I was 15, I was both a bartender and a barista. I couldn’t decide which was my line, bartender or barista. Doing both jobs at the same time and not focusing on which one was mine, I worked for about 10 years. Then the time came when I wanted to leave the field, I started doing different things, but as a result I returned to this work with a clearer orientation towards coffee. I began to expand my knowledge in making coffee. When I got a job at the coffee-oriented Brew Cafe, I started to create, apply new ideas. Here I was asked to create a fruit coffee. I didn’t think long, I don’t even know why the pomegranate immediately came to my mind and its combination with siphon and coffee aged in a brandy barrel,” he says.
Brandy flavored coffee and pomegranate juice get a unique taste combination. Stepan notes that coffee beans are aged in a brandy barrel for several months. During that time the coffee absorbs the aroma of brandy, which is immediately felt from the brewed coffee.
“Because it is served hot we thought it would be more in demand in winter months as a convenient drink for cold weather, but it appeared to be very popular even in these hot summer months. The interest of tourists and bloggers and their comments about this coffee contributed the most to this,” he notes.
The pomegranate concentrate used in this coffee is also prepared by Stepan. He says that it is made of pomegranates from Meghri or Artsakh. “The olfactory properties of our pomegranate differ a lot, and it is important not only for the name to be seen, but for people to know about the properties of the Armenian pomegranate.”
Stepan Abrahamyan now produces more than 10 types of fruit concentrates.
“While working, I was also thinking what to create that would relate to this industry and bring me income. Step concentrates became the first step I took in the field of production. At first, I produced them at home, in small quantities, then I moved them to the workshop and increased the volumes. The concentrates will soon be available in stores as well. They can be used to prepare cold and hot teas, lemonades, smoothies.”
Photos by Emin Aristakesyan