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

peterz peterz at npgcable.com
Thu Mar 18 21:28:37 CDT 2010

Back when Harrar Horse was in steady supply, C and I bought a fifth 
wheel to travel with. I did bring along my modified P1 to roast with and 
my Mazzer Mini to grind with, and the coffee on that trip was indeed 
Next year, we still were able to get pounds of the horse, but roasting 
and grinding was a bit inconvenient we thought. (  C dropped the Mazzer 
one day and it went through the oak door of a cabinet :(  )
Soooooo, I roasted up several pounds of Harrar Horse, and then ground it 
all! no vacuum sealing, just stored it all in those clamp top jars with 
the silicon washer seal. We drank this coffee for several months, 
enjoying every last drop :)
Now I do not claim to be a real connoisseur of coffee like lots of folks 
on this list, but I do know what me and C like, and horse is really 
better than fine :)
We sure miss having it around.
That being said, we have tried and liked several of the dry-processed 
coffee that Tom offers, and almost all of the wet processed from the 
sample packs.
Nope, none of the wet process appeals to us, and my taste buds are so 
crude that it is hard to imagine that I can tell the difference in how 
dry processed is roasted, but I can. And I can tell if I like it or not.
We never taste any of the wonderful flavors that are listed in the 
description, but liking what it is, to me, is good enough. I have 
finally decided.


Roasting still, 540 gr at a time in my bread machine/turbo oven mod, 
here in LHC

Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee 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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