Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tasting- 3ter Triple Blonde au cafe


A Goutte D'or and Lomi Cafe collaboration

urlTwo of Paris's leading innovators in hand crafted sipp'ables have joined forces like Rocky and Bullwinkle to create a beer the likes of Paris (and the world!) has never seen:

3 ter

Triple Belgian blonde ale with coffee

The unveiling of 3ter drew in the who's who of Paris's craft beer scene with an invite only event at Lomi Cafe on 3ter (thus the brew name) rue Marcadet, 75018 PARIS.

We've seen stout and coffee, porter and coffee, and even some lager and coffee but not yet have I had the pleasure of crossing paths with a belgian blond and coffee (if you have, please share the information!).

Check out a kickass film clip created by Monsieur Brice showcasing 3ter and the men behind like rockstars.

The Beer

Appearance wise 3ter is a delight with a slightly chill hazed tawny orange.

Smells of yeast breads and belgian beer spice abound but some apple/fruity tangs creep in around the edges.

The taste is where things go slightly array as the word cafe sticks in one's mind while the Belgian yeast esters blast banana and fruity apple zing. Spiced breast, banana and finishes with a slightly roasted bitter... coffee?

Mouthfeel is best described as a slick and buttery breaded roll that lingers on the palate- Hello Belgium!

Overall I'd say that 3ter is a great Triple Blonde ale! And if I sip on the two coffees brewed for the event, which were added to the beer, then I can say things like, 'yeah, I get some of that coffee bitter at the end," or "some of the roasted notes some through on the nose," but in actuality my mind is willing a change to reality. The coffee might add some of that spiced apple wassle to the finish, but then again my over caffeinated mind might be playing holiday tricks on me again.

How much caffeine does 3ter pack? Will we be able to substitute this for our morning coffee?

Not likely. There wasn't any testing done to determine how much caffeine 3ter will inject into your brain, but the amount isn't likely to be very noticeable. Bummer. But it also means that we can safely drink without becoming Four Loko health risks.

The Coffee


Not all Parisian coffee is equal and not all beans are created equal. Lomi Cafe uses only Aribca beans,
"...not because we are prejudice but it's hard to find a Robusta grown with the same care."

Two coffee additions were made to 3ter:

Kenya roast (the larger cup pictured above) was fresh ground next to the brew kettle, added to a muslin sack and let to rest in the wort for about 7 minutes before. The Kenya brew is tangy and bitter with huge roasted coffee notes and a crazy strong earthy smell. This bean was processed using the washed method.

Costa Rican roast (the smaller cup picture above) smells of cinnamon and warm apples, tasting like a spiced christmas wassail and bitter apple peel. This blend was dried with the cherry bit still attached and then removed before roasting. This distinct ground was brewed and then added to the bottle conditioning.

We aren't coffee experts here at Tasting Nitch, we are beer people, but it never hurts to learn some other crafty lingos and get our equatorial bean on.

Fun Fact: DO NOT LEAVE YOUR GROUND COFFEE IN THE FRIG! According to our professional friends at Lomi Cafe it not only does not prolong the life of your grind beans but the change from heat to cold and moisture will absorb away the better flavors of the batch. Leave your grounds in a cool, dark back cupboard for best results. And this is coming from the 2011 Latte art champion, people so, ya know, he knows some shit about coffee.


The Label Let Down

rocky_bullwinkle1Although not 100% bull, beautiful label design and slick movie clip advertising can't change the fact that 3ter isn't what we were expecting. Label let down:

"le café n'est pas la, mais c'est très équilibré"


What were we expecting? To be impressed but not attacked by coffee and malts. Creating something new is always a risk and if there had been too much coffee roast on the Belgian blend then no one would have drank at all. So the safe road is to down play the coffee, catering to the traditional Belgian brew aware French palate.

But, personally, if something has an ingredient on the label (cough, cough- coconut) then I'm expecting a distinct representation of that ingredient.

3ter is a beautiful triple Belgian ale that has yet to display itself as a triple blonge with coffee. Give it more time perhaps and that duel yeasting might settle down a bit and allow the ample amounts of added coffee to stand out more, but for the time being we are looking at a beer that shines in concept. At least it is enjoyably drinkable unlike some strange ingredient french beers we've encountered.

Beautiful people, beautiful mouth amusings and simply the best Paris to offer- until the next batch. We want more COFFEE! We want more Lomi Cafe and Goutte D'or!

Thank you both companies for hosting such a great event to display your lasted experiment, Paris awaits your next batch with caffeine glazed eyes and yeasty lips.



  1. My friend from Victoria, BC sent me a Belgian Golden with Coffee a few months ago. I did not like it at all. The two elements just clashed like crazy, in my mind. Maybe it was better having less coffee influence?

  2. Exactly "I think about beer", too much coffee is precisely what we don't want in our beer. It is the reason why the next batch will have the same intensity in coffee. The best balance we are abble to do I imagine...
    I am sorry Nitch ;)
    See you !

  3. No apology needed Sir! The beer is great in it's own respect and I agree that over doing it would have cased the beer to undrinkable, to which we are all thankful. Better to start small, but you are talking to a blown out American palate here, a cowboy at a fine restaurant. In saying such though, I believe that the comments were universal and most people echoed the name notes on wanting more coffee flavor or aroma. We are all extremely excited to see the next batch and will have no trouble helping you finished off this one.


  4. Oh boy do I agree! This is the first time I've even heard of such a blending (belgian blonde ale/coffee) so I was ready for anything. But, was delighted/confused to find it drinkable as an ale, minus the coffee. My only criticism is that if one is going to showcase an ingredient on the label then I'd like to have that element present itself in the product somehow (without me having to be told). The people behind this brew are legends and all hats are off for trying something unusual in a market where irregularities are not (usually) rewarded- tradition is king. I think they played it safe, made a (really good) traditional beer and I'm looking forward to seeing them get a little more crazy. Hopefully within the bounds of a still drinkable beer -maybe Belgian blondes and coffee aren't meant to be together- a challenging balance act that can only lead to great lessons learned.
    I'll send you a bottle of their next batch when it comes out- you can help be the judge!


  5. Elysian is coming out with a Coffee Milk stout next month, I've had it in the past. So freakin' good!

  6. How are you guys using the coffee? Here, the best brewers are using "cold brew" method coffee. This allows for less acidity in the coffee and also bumps up the intensity of flavor which means you need less overall coffee to get the flavor into the beer.

  7. Pretty much everything Elysian is freakishly delicious, I wonder if I can get a bottle of that from my web dealer. huumm.. yumm.