Category: Coffee

Thoughts on Ritual: Coffee

So when I make coffee there’s a bit of a ritual involved. First it’s washing last nights dishes. I know, I could wash them right after dinner but where is the fun in that.

Then take the French Press and the coffee mugs out of the cabinet. Set a towel or more accurately paper towel down. Press the  button on the coffee grinder and it shoots a 2oz. dose of grounds specifically for French Press. Dust off the cover of the container into the bin with the rest of the coffee then into the French Press.

Then I start the water to 200F – I timed it a few times. Seven minutes and thirty seconds gets me so close to 200F. Then watch the temperature – at 199F I pull it off heat as carryover will bring it to 201F.

Then I bring the kettle over to the French press and pour in just enough hot water and then take a spoon and gently agitate it. The foam that gets created I really want to skim that and taste it, I bet it’s delicious as it’s coffee oil foam.

Then fill the French Press, insert the filtration plunger and set the timer for three minutes. While I’m waiting I’ll put a bit of sugar in each mug. And if creamer is being used I’ll give that a vigorous shake.

At the end of three minutes I pour in a little coffee to melt the sugar and then fill it near to the top, leaving head-space for creamer – damned H.P. Hood creamers are awesome, if slightly sugar filled.

Now every 4 or 5 days I roast a new batch of green beans. I’ve found with New Guinean beans it takes about 35 minutes, but Costa Rican take about 20-25 minutes. And I do like the Costa Rican beans.


Coffee: Getting better at roasting

Take a look at these:

Found out the trick – buy the least expensive popcorn popper you can find. I went with this one:

61nazl2blqfl-_sx355_Yup – a West bend Stir Crazy for all of $21.60 on Amazon. Dump in anywhere from 4 to 8 oz of coffee beans, wait 25 minutes and presto – roast coffee beans. It’s really awesome. Optimally 6 oz. seems to work best in this device. And it’s a damned sight cheaper than a fancy home coffee roaster, about 1/10th or less the price. And the added benefit, I can also do popcorn in the thing.

And the coffee it produces – first off I shall never again buy french roast beans. They’re pretty much stale when you get them. And the coffee – it’s heavenly. You get fruity and other notes in it. It’s what happens when you don’t roast the hell out of it and it’s fresh.

But this doesn’t mean that someday I’ll pop a couple grand and get a professional coffee roasting rig. But for now every few days I’ll roast a bit more and we’re good. And we don’t drink that much coffee to warrant roasting pounds of beans.

I’m also considering growing a coffee plant – I want to see what coffee cherries taste like. You get that from WalMart for about $5 per plant. I know, I don’t live in a zone that would be considered good for making coffee but it’s going to be inside heated/cooled space so it may work.

Speaking of which I think I’ll go make some coffee now.


Success: Roasted coffee

So received my 3lbs of dried coffee beans today. And I’ve roasted them. Every video I watched says if you can do popcorn without burning it, you can do coffee beans.

Here’s what the dried beans look like:

So I used my wok – I had just oiled it and cleaned it. Used the inductive appliance to get accurate control over temperature. So cranked it up to 500F and measured out 2 ounces of beans. Whisked it for about 15 minutes. The result is in the pic below – sort of a darker roast when all is done which is what I wanted. Not burned, just roasted. I will say I’ll spend the $200 or so and get a coffee roaster that does 4oz at a time. Additionally found it’s great for seasoning the wok.
Here are the ground beans in the French Press.



Upon looking at the pic – I see it’s more between medium and dark. So I’ve cooled them and put them in an airtight container and tomorrow morning I’ll grind them and make some coffee.

And update – I ground the beans up this morning. Here’s what they look like ground up and in the French Press.


The end result, the absolute most wickedly good awesome mug of coffee we’ve had. In fact I noticed something, it didn’t leave any sludge at the bottom of the mug. I’ll be doing this from now on.

A new dimension in coffee

So I watched this video on YouTube:

And I’m gonna do it old school. Got 3lbs of dry green coffee beans  being shipped to me. Cost per pound is about $6.00 so that’s not too bad.

I’m going to do the pan roasting method  – I’ll use my inductive cooking appliance to do it as I can get tight control of temperature. Plus I have the infrared thermometer so I can closely monitor pan temperature. And then I’m familiar with stirring and keeping things moving in a pan so it shouldn’t be too difficult. I want to see what the difference is between the beans in a can that are already roasted, and freshly roasted beans.

It’s funny even someone remarked my culinary skills have gotten better over time. And I’m always looking at something new, be it technique, or ingredient. For example the latest is Umami paste. I’d got anchovies in it. Someone doesn’t like anchovies, me I’m good with it. But in the paste form it’s sublime. It finds it’s way into many things too.