Feb 22, 2011

Twelve Pound Tuesdsay!

Roasting everything in twelve pound batches today. Roasting twelve pounds at a time is more arduous than a typical batch, the curve compresses and is much more susceptible to heat variations. Luckily I roast like a boss and accept the challenge of such epic roasting.

Organic Costa Rica La Amistad
Organic Guatemala Huehuetenango
Organic Honduras Octotepque
Sumatra Harimau Tiger

I also dialed in a new espresso blend this morning and I must say it is approaching facemelting status. Since the crazy Sumatran weather is keeping all exports from getting here I've had to find substitutes for that part of the espresso blend. Typically Sumatra is the heavy-hitter, adding big body and dark chocolate notes to the blend. I substituted a microlot of washed Sulawesi to the blend and it has really taken it to the next level. I'd love to be able to continue this blend but unfortunately I already blew through all the Sulawesi.

Feb 21, 2011

Roastlog: Mon 21 Feb 2011

Nice, lazy weekend has passed and now I must get back into the swing of things. I'm thinking of a bigger article soon addressing the state of Sumatra coffees. Weather (namely) is causing a great deal of delay on shipments of Sumatra and it is VERY difficult to get a hold of right now. Luckily I ordered two bags of a conventional (non-organic) Sumatra... then only one bag showed up :( sad, sad panda.

Organic Mexico Altura
Organic Guatemala Huehuetenango (so much fun to pronounce)
Organic Costa Rica La Amistad
Organic Honduras Octotepque
Organic Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Michelle
Sumatra Harimau Tiger

Feb 18, 2011

Coffee in the Wild!

A little something different for Friday, some examples of bringing specialty coffee to the wilderness! These are from a camping trip last Summer. Coffee lovers will see a Buono being heated by gas flame and shirk away, but this is how things get done around here. Ever brew coffee at 11,000 ft?

Happy Friday everyone!

My pack in late Summer 2010, complete with V60 awesomeness. I would later learn it is a BAD IDEA to have a ceramic coffee maker attached to the outside of my pack via steel 'biner.

The natural fit of Buono on backpacking stove indicates they really were made for each other. Notice the nice patina on the outside of the Buono, it had already been used over a campfire the previous morning.

The essentials, left to right: Mosquito repellent (suckers were nasty!), Hario Skerton (top only) -- v60 filters and coffee below, Nissan thermos (best thermos on planet), Hario V60, granola, dog leash. Everything you need to go backpacking!

Feb 17, 2011

Roastlog: Thu Feb 17 2011

Slow on getting my roastlog published lately, I've had a ton of things to get done around here. Most notably, getting everything together to complete our Organic Certification. Being certified organic is great and all, but the amount of paperwork and systems required just to create a paper trail makes the effort very arduous.

Organic Honduras Octotepque
Organic Vienna Blend
Kenya Thika French Mission Bourbon

We also celebrated the last day (and birthday) of our General Manager for the last several years (long before my time here). We wish him the best in his future endeavors!

Lastly I'd like to call attention to my photoblog, which could be a lot more of an interesting read depending on the day (like today, its a great post, go read it).

Feb 14, 2011

Painting with Milk

Drinks I made today

I'ts all about presentation when you're serving up a delicious espresso libation. This starts with a clean cup, a perfectly extracted shot of espresso, silky steamed microfoamed milk, and a perfect pouring of the milk into the espresso. This is no easy task to master, these examples were taken a YEAR after I started training as a barsita.

Some argue the necessity for latte art. Yes, it is but an aesthetic addition to a beverage, but it also shows that the barista has had some training; and that separation between white foam and the brown crema of the espresso shows the correct amount of microfoam made it into the cup.

Feb 12, 2011

Roastlog Fri 11 Feb 2011


Rounding out the week with more espresso! I'm also heading out of town for the weekend so I pushed this post into Saturday. Ah the glory of publishing in the future!

I might try to bust out a video demonstrating a brewing technique on Sunday. What would you all like to see? French press, chemex, aeropress, percolator, v60, cowboy coffee, something else?

Organic Costa Rica La Amistad - espresso
Organic Guatemala Adisque - espresso
Organic Peru Cepicafe - espresso
Organic Sumatra "Mega" Mandheling - espresso
Decaf French roast - very dark

Feb 11, 2011

Roastlog Thu 10 Feb 2011

Organic Costa Rica La Amistad - light roast
Organic Columbia Paez San Pedro Gaitana microlot - light roast
Organic Honduras Octotepque - light roast
Sumatra Harimau Tiger - medium roast
Ethiopia Washed Sidama - light roast
Decaf. Espresso - espresso roast

Feb 10, 2011

Roastlog: Wed Feb 9 2011

Catching up from yesterday!

Organic Costa Rica La Amistad - Espresso
Organic Guatemala Adisque - Espresso
Organic Peru Cepicafe - Espresso
Organic Sumatra "Mega" Mandheling - Espresso
Organic French Sumatra - French roast
Kenya Thika French Mission Bourbon - Al Fine
Decaf. French Sumatra - French roast

A quick breakdown of some roast level nomenclature, from lightest roast to darkest:
Cinnamon (light)
City (light-med)
City+ (medium)
Full City (espresso falls in this range)
Full City + (also espresso)
Al Fine ("to the finish")

The history of these profiles is pretty interesting and I will be making a more in-depth post about it this weekend.

Feb 9, 2011

Kenya Thika French Mission Bourbon

Yes, there is actually a varietal of coffee called bourbon!

This is what I made this morning, in a chemex, and was extremely pleasantly surprised to finally find the coconut-like notes I had been told were present in this cup. What makes this find so interesting is that this coffee is 6 days off roasting. Some people would be tossing this coffee out for "lack of freshness" but up here at high elevation coffee takes a lot longer to stale. This has to do with barometric pressure and maybe some other factors, but that is a really long post to get into -- and I almost cut my thumb off yesterday, making typing extremely difficult today!

Found this great photo of an African drying bed. Coffee cherries are put on these screens and raised up, allowing coffee to dry more evenly. This is a fairly cheap method to get much better coffee (and a much better price for it).

Coffee Drying
Photo CC Flickr user adamp1988.

Feb 8, 2011

Roastlog: Tue 8 Feb 2011

Primo PRI-20 coffee roaster with Cyclone
My baby .

Another mild roasting day. Going to pay for it tomorrow though, since I'm not roasting spro. We got about 6 inches of fresh snow last night, and really I'd like to be as far away from a 400 degree roaster as I can (such as -- up in the mountains with all this fresh pow!). But all the same, I love all the rituals that involve coffee and that certainly applies to my rituals with roasting coffee.

Organic Costa Rica La Amistad - 22.4Lbs - light roast
Organic Honduras Octotepque - 18Lbs - light roast
Organic French Sumatra - 24Lbs - very dark roast
Organic Honduras Octotepque - 12Lbs - very dark roast
Ethiopia Harrar Ali Brothers - 12Lbs - very dark roast
Decaf Sumatra - 22.4Lbs - medium roast

Feb 7, 2011

Roastlog: Mon Feb 7 2011

Nice and easy Monday, which is great for me because I got a little drinky drinky last night.

Organic Columbia Paez San Pedro
Organic Costa Rica La Amistad
Organic Peru Cepicafe
Organic Honduras Octotepque
Decaf Vienna

Feb 6, 2011

Sunday Morning Ritual


Sunday morning and I'm making a Chemex for two. Sundays are always the best days for enjoying the concept of "slow coffee." A time to slow down everything; to sit back and enjoy the slow pace of things, if just for a day.

Of course, this is no ordinary Sunday so I'll just add GO PACK!

Feb 5, 2011

Roastlog: Fri Feb 03 2011

Organic Sumatra Mandheling, green

Some of the usuals to round out the week:
Organic Costa Rica La Amistad
Organic Columbia Paez San Pedro
Organic Honduras Octotepque - light roast
Organic Honduras Octotepque - dark roast
Organic French Sumatra
Decaf Vienna

I'm thinking of expounding on this information to include more details about each coffee, including origin information as well as roast curves. I've seen a lot of talk about transparency these days when it comes to the shared knowledge of the specialty coffee industry. I agree, and believe its time to start being much more open about how we're treating our coffee from seed to cup.

Feb 4, 2011

Friday Maintenance Day

It's Friday, which usually means it's clean-the-crap-out-of-the-roaster day. Maintenance is always a fun way to keep track of just how much coffee I've been roasting. The thickness of gunk built up on the chaff collector fan blades, for instance, tell me a good tale.

A typical Mon-Thu

However, today I've got a good half dozen roasts or more to get finished. This probably means I won't get to maintenance because the roaster will stay hot for most of the day, which then means I have to fit maintenance into either my weekend or the beginning of next week. Oh the joys of roasting coffee! Happy Friday everyone!

Feb 3, 2011

Roastlog: Thu Feb 02 2011

Thursday is the official hectic day for my roastery, here's what's in the lineup:
Organic Costa Rica La Amistad
Organic Bali Blue Moon Rain Forest Alliance
Organic Vienna Roast
Ethiopian Washed Sidama
Kenya Thika French Mission Bourbon

It's not so hectic for the amount of coffee that's needed to roast; but rather because today is also cafe delivery day. Several hundred pounds of coffee, tea, syrup, and chocolate need to get out to the cafes. Oh and its still something like -15 degrees outside... which always makes things interesting.

Feb 2, 2011

Roast Post!

Welcome to the very first posting from Roast Post, reporting on all things Specialty Coffee. We're excited to bring you up to date industry news and analysis in this ever-changing and exciting world of coffee!