Ok, so I might have a little too much Christmas spirit in me at the moment. Never a bad thing right? Unless it happens to be 75 degrees outside on December 6th. Which is what it is. December 6th, and 75 degrees. Does make for a little damper on your Christmas moods. I mean, I’m reaching for the iced sweet tea and indulging in my bad dental addiction-chewing on ice. Don’t spank me.
What I SHOULD be reaching for in these supposed cold winter months is Coffee. Ah yes. Freshly roasted, freshly brewed, dark, hot, belly warming goodness. I may or may not also have a bad addiction to hot black beverages as well. Funny. Ice and coffee. Like total opposites. Unless of course you combine the two. The iced coffee inventor should be kissed. He probably is. AND he probably hates coffee AND ice. Cuz ya know….have you ever been into a coffee shop and asked the opinion of the barista on a good cup and they are like “well I don’t actually drink coffee.” Say what? Its like the skinny chicks (sorry, I’m not trying to stereotype) who work at like Five Guys hamburger joint and when you ask them about the burger they are like “I’m actually a vegetarian and have never tried our sandwiches.” Right. “Double cheeseburger with bacon” I’d say. Not that I eat there very often. Maybe once a year. Don’t want ya’ll thinking I’m addicted to cheeseburgers too. Just cheese and bacon.
So what was this post about again? Oh right coffeeeeee. (It’s getting late so it’s been a while since I’ve had some…ya know?)
So we’re making the plunge! We are going to start (very small I shall say) roasting coffee for family and friends to see how it goes. As most of you know, our dream and goal is to get a larger commercial sized roaster, plug that baby in and roast us some big time orders. You know, get all technically a business and stuff. It’s a hard process and will take a significant amount of investment…but we are excited that it might happen someday! I’m excited. Can you tell?
If you’d like us to roast something for you and are looking for a specific variety of coffee…let us know! We have lots of connections to get lots of different origins! We try very diligently to order the green coffee beans from trust worthy companies who can give us information about the farm that it came from. We make it a point to buy Fair Trade or Socially Sustainable coffee as well as organic. I feel that I can get behind what I offer to others because I know that I am treating everyone in the line with integrity and dignity. For me, that’s worth the extra few bucks! Know where your food comes from!
Alright. So that’s that.
And in case you needed (which of course you don’t) any further convincing that you should try out some coffee…our customer support central answering system is excellent.
Roasted up some Ethiopian from Dean’s Beans this morning. Ethiopian beans have a very delicate flavor that can get quickly roasted away (this way with many African coffees), so Alex suggested I roast it at a City+ level. I am usually a bit uncomfortable doing lighter roasts for some reason- I usually leave those to Alex! Nevertheless, I gave it a try. Ah now for the waiting period!
There is something about roasting your own coffee that gives such a deep down, soul, satisfaction. Seeing it transform before your eyes. Hearing the different sounds it makes throughout the process (from popcorn-like sounds to like rice crispy “snap, crackle, pop”). I think however, that my favorite part of the process is the smells. It is not like any smell that you have experienced before. One might expect it to smell like a fresh brewed pot of coffee but it is far from that. There are numerous different smells throughout the roasting starting with a very “bready” smell. Kinda like a fresh loaf of bread baking- but a bit more sour than that. Then when the beans start to smoke, unlike regular smoke, this has a very very sweet smell. It definitely has some distinct “coffee” characteristics to it but it is so different. I love this smell. I especially love after Alex has been roasting coffee and comes in the house, he smells like it! Ahh. I love fanning the first wisps of smoke in my direction just so I can inhale their sweet smokey uniqueness. It’s lovely. Then comes the smell of it cooling and it releasing its final cracks as it is ejected from the roaster. We usually like to comb our fingers through the beans and just smell them.
It is an accomplishment every time. Every time the beans are rotating around in the drying pan, I stand back in awe and amazement of what I just did. Like I said, deep soul satisfaction. The kind that puts a smile on your face. The kind that never gets old. The kind that you don’t take for granted. The kind that gives back in a few days when you brew the first pot of your fresh roast. I love it.
I can’t help but to think of a famous commercial line every morning “the best part of waking up is ________ in your cup.” I would have to agree that coffee is pretty much the best part of waking up. I would have to disagree that the unnamed brand is best. Far from it. Now, what I look forward to and would consider the best part of waking up is to taste a fresh batch of coffee that I have roasted. You see, after roasting green coffee beans they need to “rest” for a couple of days before grinding and brewing. There is a unique flavor profile that emerges when you give the freshly roasted beans a day or two to chill. If you tried to drink freshly roasted coffee, while it isn’t horrible, it has a lot of acidic and off balanced flavors. The rest time also lets you build a nice bit of anticipation so that when the day is finally here when you can brew it up, you are fully appreciative of the effort it took to get that coffee to your cup (and I am not just talking roasting here). As Alex mentioned in the previous post, there is a lot of farmer abuse in the coffee industry. I hate to say it, but that unnamed brand above is not innocent by any stretch of the imagination. I am not here to bash though. That is not my goal. As with any food that we eat, we appreciate knowing the origins, relationships, etc that are involved. How was the person who grew this food treated? Same goes with coffee. The best part of waking up is knowing that you are supporting family farmers and in exchange you get a delicious cup of hot unique coffee.
This morning we are enjoying a cup of Peruvian coffee. I roasted this on Wednesday at a nice medium to dark roast. This is one of my favorite coffee origins. Peru coffee is very smooth and rich with low acidity. I love “chocolatey” coffee and this definitely fits the bill. We appreciate the integrity of this coffee and I know that I honestly look forward to my pot of coffee love every morning.
If you cannot access freshly roasted coffee, we have recently started ordering from a guy online (Alex mentioned in previous post) Deans Beans. We just ordered a big batch of green coffee from him to try, but like Alex said, he sells roasted as well-at an extremely good price. This would be a great resource for all your coffee needs (until we get our big roaster of course-then you should buy from us!)
Its January 26th and we have had our first official snow! Started falling last night about 3 o’clock! Thankfully Alex got off work a little early and made it home before the interstate was a parking lot! Praise the Lord! We got about 2 inches! Lea was thrilled to pieces to play in it!
While tossing snowballs at each other this morning I was sipping on some Colombian/Sumatra blend coffee I roasted up earlier this week. I think it is an excellent roast. I did a pre-roast blend of the two origins because we were low on both. I roasted at a Full-City+, although I am still a bit unsure of how to call the cracks. I am pretty good at hearing first crack but second crack is a little harder for me…nevertheless, I know it was in the Full City+ range! I usually roast to a Vienna or darker because I like a darker roast. Alex likes the lighter roasts so he usually does those!! I like some oily beans!