[Homeroast] When your do NOT have home roasted coffee... a Sunday post.

Edward Bourgeois edbourgeois at gmail.com
Sun Mar 7 14:00:45 CST 2010

I don't get to travel like I used to. In my early days I'd find myself
drinking cowboy coffee in a gypsy wagon at 10,000ft waiting to select
livestock on horseback. Now I work mostly out of my office at home
where the homeroast is always available. Though I often go to meetings
elsewhere and always bring a thermos. Otherwise, when I'd take a sip
of meeting coffee someone would tend to look at me and say "are you
alright? is there something wrong?"

On Sun, Mar 7, 2010 at 1:03 PM, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
<sweetmarias at sweetmarias.com> wrote:
> A nice post reminding us why we complicate our lives with home roasting. I
> think in some sick way I enjoy traveling because there are always those
> transit days that force a person to either a. estimate where they can get
> the least-worst cup of coffee or b. get a cup of tea. The later was never an
> option, but lately I keep a little good earl grey or Darjeeling with me, and
> I have to admit it is much better than travel options. For example, I have
> to transit through the airport in San Jose Costa Rica a lot, and the coffee
> there is painful, at best. Oddly, as of late I would actually rather have a
> really commercial coffee, light roast, flavorless, then have someone's
> really sick idea of "specialty coffee" roasted a bit darker. Seriously.
> This all brings me to, of course, Via. I just don't get it. The idea of
> traveling with your own mediocre Starbucks coffee because you are so
> addicted to it you can't be without, even when you go to some imaginary city
> with less than 1000 sbucks locations, well, it seems very depressing. It
> goes beyond coffee addiction, its brand addiction. Via is really expensive
> and yes, it is a lot better than the cup you get at the San Jose CR airport,
> but does that matter? If you are traveling, being without good coffee is
> temporary. Anyway, Greg, it's very encouraging to know that home is where
> the best coffee is at. I think home roasting still has a ways to go
> (roasters and grinder could always be better), but if it's the freshest cup,
> if it gives us choice of taste and we can craft our own idea of the "best
> cup" (even if we don't always hit the nail on the head), it certainly is a
> LOT better than being a slave to a giant chain coffee store.
> Which brings up traveling with home roasted coffee: sometimes I do,
> sometimes I don't. My Hario Skerton/Aeropress combo was great in Africa, but
> recently in Guatemala I preground everything. The aeropress is the smallest
> coffee maker, fit's better in my luggage, but is hard if you want to make
> cups for 2-3 others as well. The Clever dripper would be better for that,
> but it is large for my luggage. In Costa Rica I did not bring any coffee or
> coffee maker. You would think there would be lots of good coffee around, and
> there is at some places. Helsar farm has their own Behmor and serves very
> nice French Press coffee, as does Montes de Oro farm. I brought a Behmor
> down to the Don Mayo mill because his Gene Caffe died, and I couldn't get a
> new heating element for him in time. In CR a lot of the producers we work
> with are now home roasters! They can't afford Probats and the like, so in
> the past they never were able to roast/taste/serve their own coffee. That
> has changed, and on most trips I am taking down machines for someone or
> other. Now, if we found someone on the list who actually travels with green
> coffee and a roaster (!) as well as grinder and brewer, we would have to
> crown a new champion of coffee excess!!!
> Tom
>> Life is good ... with fresh coffee.
>> As you may or may not know, I'm in one of the towns without a good coffee
>> shop (Orange County, CA).  I was taking my eldest to acting class the
>> other
>> evening, and decided to take my 2 younger ones to a chain store (not
>> $bucks)
>> to try a cappucino while we waited.  They served me probably a 16 oz cup.
>> All I could say was ugggh.  The milk felt like soap bubbles and burnt, way
>> too hot.  I was about half foam on top of the coffee and then below was a
>> weak excuse for a coffee elixir.  Reminded myself how bad coffee can be.
>> The next morning I woke up as usual around 4 or 4:30.  My latest batch of
>> Colombian (Colombia Platos Fuertes de Huila Microlot Mix) roasted just to
>> the end of 1st crack was on it's 3rd day rest.  I whipped up a cup in the
>> CCD, and all I can say was I hit the roast and brew perfect.  My
>> experience
>> with Colombians in the past has been less than stellar, so I was using
>> this
>> as an experimental roast.  This coffee turned out perfect.  Even my wife,
>> who doesn't obsess about these things, noticed what a clean cup this was.
>>  A
>> nice quiet early morning enjoying a perfect cup of coffee.  Ahhhhh!
>> Then, I decided to make 2 cappucinos out of my first blend ("Dr.'s Rx No.
>> 1").  It is a post-roast blend of 2 parts Brazil, 1 part Costa Rica, 1
>> part
>> Ethiopian Yirga Cheffe.  Brazil & Costa Rican roasted individually just
>> over
>> the edge of 2nd crack.  The Yirga Cheffe taken to before second, and
>> probably a bit too far, but I still got the lemony fruit flavors out of
>> the
>> drip cup (I'm calling it C+).  The blend was about 5 days post roast.
>>  Wow!
>> I really succeeded on this blend.  Nice syrupy shots with a good color
>> crema
>> and tiger striping.  Also made the microfoam just right and had 2
>> wonderful
>> cups.  This was quite the eye opening experience about how far I have
>> grown
>> in my coffee tasting, quest, and roasting/pulling skills, especially
>> compared to the chain from the night before.  Honestly, night and day
>> difference.  I was in a good mood for the morning revelry with the troops.
>> I was so impressed with myself (LoL), that a few hours later, I pulled a
>> shot of the Dr.'s Rx to see if it really stood up to the challenge.
>>  Again,
>> perfect for me.  A nice buttery caramelly shot with hints of chocolate
>> sweetness and fruity brightness.  I was a little concerned the Costa Rican
>> might not work well, and that the combination being 50% Costa
>> Rican/Ethiopian might shift the flavor off, but it worked.  I've got a
>> half
>> a pound left, and I've been enjoying each and every shot like the
>> previous.
>> I've got 12 oz of Workshop #7 resting for Tues/Wed, I can only hope that I
>> continue with my success when I transition to this blend.  If not, I may
>> go
>> see the Dr. again.  :-)
>> Enjoy your Sunday morning cup, I know I will.  Now to contemplate what to
>> roast for a trip to England, the home of instant coffee, at least where
>> I'm
>> going.
>> Cheers!
>> Greg
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> --
> -Tom
> ____________________________________________________________________________
> "Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee
> Roasting
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Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
Amherst MA.

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