[Homeroast] The Vac is Back!

Doug Hoople doughoople at gmail.com
Wed Jan 6 17:02:51 CST 2010

Hi All,

Got to the container two days ago, set up my Vario through a 220-110
stepdown transformer, and unpacked the vacpots.  Yama 5-cup and 8-cup
stovetop, with Cona, Corning and Cory glass rods.

I had a gas stove in California, and it's an electric here, so it's taken a
bit of adjustment to make things work. I turn on two burners, a wire spacer
for each, one medium-hot, the other medium-low, as the burners don't respond
quickly enough to work with just one. Medium-hot for the hot-water rise,
medium-low for the 110-second steep, and medium-hot again to finish for the
10-second vapor column burst that guarantees a consistent drawdown. Max
water temp in the funnel, 201F, even during the burst.

I brewed about a half-dozen calibration pots, some from pre-roasted beans,
and one from my own first batch. None of these was particularly satisfying,
and I started wondering why I was so obsessed with doing things my way. Had
I only imagined perfect cups in California?

Roasted up a few more batches of coffee as I'm getting used to the new heat
gun, a Papua New Guinea, an Ethiopian Yrgacheffe and an East Timor. Here in
New Zealand, you don't get the kind of information about origin that SM
provides, so they're a bit generic and mysterious to me. The PNG and the Yrg
I got from an NZ-based Internet supplier, Green Bean House, and the East
Timor I got from Havana Coffee, here in Wellington.

btw, since I can't get SM here, and you can't get these suppliers there, I
thought it safe to mention their names, more as a matter of curiosity about
where to get coffee in a place where SM's is out of reach. If that's a
violation of list policy, let me know.

The first pass at the East Timor was very lackluster, and I think I baked
the first pass at the PNG, which took 7 minutes between 1st and 2nd crack.

But I nailed the 2nd attempt on the East Timor, taking it just past FC+, not
quite to Vienna, at around 14:30. Brewed it up in the vacpot after 18 hours
rest, and voila!!! The nicest cup of coffee I've had in 2-1/2 months!
There's nothing like it! Perfectly caramelized sugars, and supersweet.

Competing with the silts of a press, this sweetness would be lost in the
noise. Brewed in the vacpot, clean as a whistle, it sings clear as a bell.


Now to see how the Yrg turned out.

Here in New Zealand, where it's all espresso and press pots, it's more
important than ever to run your own home roastery and cafe!!

Nice to be back in action. Almost feels like home.


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