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

Greg Hollrigel ghollrigel at gmail.com
Sun Mar 7 19:02:39 CST 2010


Yep, I agree.  I have to say having my Aeropress & CCD & Hario Skerton, and
now the SM's tea kettle (Ibis mini?), I'm happy with my travels when there
is no good coffee.  For my flying travels, I have to agree that the
Aeropress & Skerton work well enough to deliver nice fresh coffee.
Depending on the locale, I take either beans and grinder, or ground.  Also,
I just got back from Utah on a ski trip with the family, and I brought my
tea pot, CCD, and grinder.  Our family friends were just laughing, until I
made them a cup of 3 day old Ethiopian.  They finally could drink black
coffee and were loving it.  It's a little more work, but it's worth it.

Some other updates from past posts, just to complete the saga(s), for those
who want to read.  :-)

I went to the coffee shop that was mentioned this morning for my atonement.
Unfortunately, I stand by what I said (maybe I'll find a good shop some
day).  Espresso was watery and over extracted, cappucino was almost like my
other experience.  So home roast, despite it's variability and
uncertainties, brings so much more with its freshness compared to shops in
my locale.  If I had Barefoot or Red Berry or Blue Bottle near by, it would
be tougher.  But, the baked goods and drip are still good.  Just one man's
opinion.

A Las Vegas update, from my trip through Vegas to Utah:  the family of 5
stayed at Embassy Suites Convention Center OFF the Strip.  I loved it!  It
had a nice room, and a little kitchenette for making coffee, whereas my
Strip hotels had nothing.  I broke out the CCD and kettle, and fresh coffee
and was simply delighted.  So at least there's hope for some less known
hotels.

England update:  I'm staying in Southampton.  I'm going to check out the
link to see if I can find anything, but I'm guessing more shops are in
London.  I'm trying to arrange a meeting in London, so maybe I can find one
nearby the office.  Funny thing is, I'm staying at the hotel that accused me
of being a smoker for brewing fresh coffee in their room.  This time, I'll
do it closer to an open window.  ;-)  I do like UK hotels though because so
far, all of the one's I've stayed at, had a tea kettle available, so one
less thing to carry.  Thanks for the tip to the UK shops.

Now, off to see if I can find tips on roasting Panama Gesha without ruining
it.  I saw that Barefoot has some Gesha on the bar in French Press, so I'm
looking forward to trying that in 2 weeks (Chris - that's an invite if you
can get to the shop early in the AM before the kids school.  I'm aiming to
get there at 7ish, when they open).  Cup is on me!  If you're interested to
try again, email me off list.

Have a good one everyone!  

Greg

-----Original Message-----
From: homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
[mailto:homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com] On Behalf Of Tom &
Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
Sent: Sunday, March 07, 2010 10:04 AM
To: A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this
list,available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html
Subject: [Homeroast] When your do NOT have home roasted coffee... a
Sundaypost.

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





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