Recovering from a Bean Fire

I was riding high. Visions of gloriously aromatic coffee beans danced before my eyes as I worked my brand new Behmor 1600 roaster night after night. Flush with initial success, I had just set up, and was getting ready to spread my joy to the world. That would be a good time to learn humility, right? And humility arrived, right on cue.

Best Coffee Brewing Methods

The best method for making coffee depends on individual taste, but the list definitely does not include the common drip brewer. The flavor ingredient of coffee is the oil that lies within the bean, and drippers burn it off quickly in the name of keeping the coffee hot, resulting in sawdust juice. If you must buy a dripper, get one that brews into a thermos. Oh, and also avoid the Tassimo and Senseo single-cuppers — pure garbage.

Now that we’ve got the bad actors out of the way, let’s review the good methods. (more…)

San Francisco Blend — from Atlanta

Our good friend Lee Patrick Sullivan brought back some excellent dark roast beans from San Francisco Coffee Roasters, Atlanta the other day. He spoke of a dedicated roaster that exercises maniacal control over his roast. That was evident when we put it through the little espresso machine in the office. The sip began with an assertive profile, but then as the flavor progressed to the back of tongue, it receded to a very smooth — almost creamy — finish, with hints of dark chocolate and apricot. This is a very fine and complex coffee. Try some of the San Francisco Blend here.


Gedeo Coffee from Ritual Roasters

Gedeo (Image credit Scott Beale | Laughing Squid)

I first experienced the Gedeo blend from Ritual Roasters at the Coffee Van at the Oakton farmer’s market. This coffee originates from the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia. Ron, the owner/barista, brewed me a shot to taste. At first sip I was taken aback by the intense, assertive lemon flavor, followed by a fruity finish. It was a lovely change from the usual.

Fast forward a few months. During my Saturday morning visit to the market, I finally bought some of the beans from Ron. At work, Mike Petrucci and I decided to take it through several brewing methods to see what works best. We tried French-pressing and the Aeropress. The lemon flavor was much more subdued, moving to the back of the mouth with the French press version. The Aeropress yielded a more vivid flavor palette, with the berry flavors showing up much more prominently. It has a much smoother finish when brewed this way.

As we experimented and drank this bean, we experienced how preparation methods changed the flavor profile drastically. Not all beans open themselves up to this much variety. You might want to pair the espresso version with something rich like cheesecake. Try it – you won’t be disappointed. Ron might still have some beans in stock – talk to him.

Enter the Officcino

We all know how necessity can birth inventions. Some of them are crazier than the rest.

I was recently in the mood for a cappuccino, and felt too lazy to go buy a bottle of milk. So I gathered up four Mini-moos – those no-chill-required liquid creamers – from the office coffee table, and added them to 3/4th cup of hot water. The consistency approached skim milk. I foamed this mix till about 140° with the little old pump espresso machine, and added to a double shot of espresso. Not bad. Foamy, half-decent texture, not a substitute for real milk foam but passable. Here we call it the Officcino.

« Previous Entries Next Entries »