When that first sip of coffee touches your soul

Coffee, Java, Caffe and the list goes on.

I’m not one for sitting in line waiting to order some new creation from a trained barista and then pay a ransom for it. For me, a mug of dark roast served black and bitter makes my morning. Surprisingly the darker roasts are less bitter than the lighter and medium roasts.

If you have followed any of my ramblings, you may have noticed that I like a lot of different things. I may make a recipe twice if I really like it, but more than likely I will mix things up. I think I am good at a little of this and a little of that.

Well I like to try different things so when Francene stomped on my idea to build a still I pouted for a while, then decided that if I couldn’t make vodka, I would roast my own coffee. What does coffee have to do with a still? depends on if you like Black Russians or The 44 Cordial (homemade orange and coffee liquor).

After doing my due-diligence on the web, reading a ton of articles, and comparing every roaster out there, I narrowed the field to the Behmor 5400/1600 and the Gene Cafe CBR-101 roasters.

The Behmor is designed for the coffee drinker that wants total repeat-ability and being able to continually develop ‘their’ blend.  You can program  developed profiles making your roast more consistent.

The Gen Cafe on the other hand is just a robust roaster.  It doesn’t look like like a toaster oven and will generate interesting conversations. It will smell great on the patio. Yes, the patio, you don’t want it smoking in the house, worse than a cigar.

So the roaster showed up with lots of little bags of green coffee. After trying to keep perfect notes and never reading them again I realized what I really wanted was a good mug of Java, strong, black and bitter, and Francene likes hers just the same. So I roast two to three 1/2 pound roasts a week and now we have something different every morning.

Now the notes are just a list of what we don’t care for. So far, nothing is on the list.

So one week it might be

* Burundi Shembati Fully Washed 15+ Lot 38
* El Salvador Santa Leticia Las Ninfas Pacamara Full Natural

Next week it might be

* Ethiopian Washed Yirgacheffe Gr. 2 Dumerso Surafel Birhanu
* Costa Rican Tarrazu La Pastora
* Dominican Org. Ramirez Estate

I can’t enunciate them either, but it does look more impressive then ‘Bill’s morning blend’

If we find one roast a bit bitter and another too chocolaty we might blend them for a pot or two. Such fun, and we appreciate our morning coffee much more than we did when we had a 3 pound bag from Costco to go through

On a final note, the roaster can also be a multi-tasker, I have roasted almonds and pine nuts in it as well as coffee

After you have roasted your beans they should have at least 24 hours to degass. Like most foods light and air are not friends of your coffee beans after they have been roasted. I use the Mixpresso canisters as they have dials on the top to set a roast date and one way valves for letting carbon dioxide escape. Depending on the roast and the bean, degassing can take from 1 to 12 days.

Never grind or mill the coffee ahead of time as this also negatively affects the flavor we have worked so hard for. A fine grind will allow too much degassing too quickly as well as exposing the coffee to oxygen for too long, giving a stale flavor to your freshly roasted beans.

One of our desires is to use smaller trash containers and recycle more. We also have a small garden because our yard is small.

The used coffee grounds are acidic and are collected in a stainless steel kitchen compost bin and then spread around our roses, hydrangeas and rhododendrons. Our egg shells are crushed and spread around the tomatoes, as the calcium prevents bloom rot.


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I love to read and cook, and I am at the age I am not afraid to share my opinion. There is the right way, the wrong way and Bill's way. 🙂
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