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          Archive for the ‘window blog’ Category

          window blog, and notes on what we have been roasting

          Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

          IMGP4027 by you.

          Working to lock down flavor descriptors of roasts we are doing. Alex is getting much time in on the roaster, and we have been steadily cupping all of the production batches sent out.

          Currently we have been focusing our attention hard on two coffees-Guatemala Esquipulas(town) de Chiquimula(area) finca (farm) las Nubes & El Salvador Palo de Campana (town) finca (farm) Alaska. This gives us time to really explore the coffees and how we are developing the flavors during the roast. When we cup, or taste these coffees, for us, it is super helpful to be tasting many batches/roasts of the same thing and then compare. Perhaps we have been too hyper-focused, and we do have some exciting new coffees on the way, but it has been a ton of fun working so intensely with these two lots.

          When roasting there are many things to consider. Colors start at green, the green of the coffee seed/bean, and move to yellow, peach, orange, khaki, brown. The texture of the seeds change as they expand, releases moisture and vapor, and swell. Smells from the roasted coffee also change dramatically during the roast, often a sign of what will be in the cup, and also a sign of what is being lost. Sound helps define stages of the roast, marking structural development, chemical, and also momentum/speed of the change. These sensory things, along with a log of time and temperature we try and record.

          Changes in a roast happen in seconds, and sometimes the most critical moment is to gauge when to pull a roast.

          Both of our coffees at the moment have a ton of sugar, and there is definitely a part of the roast where raw sugars are being developed and later caramelized. I think when more of the raw sugars are present, such as a lighter roast there is also a fruity/citrus quality to them. We have been leaning on the raw sugar side for a while, and we have been trying to drift to more of a medium roast without sacrificing the citrus florals. While there is a ton more going on with super light roasts there is also perhaps more acidity in the coffee and more caffeine.? These super light roasts are amazing, but perhaps not crowd pleasers or easy on the stomach. Anyway these are my thoughts for the day, perhaps some tasting notes later.

          window blog

          Sunday, August 16th, 2009

          IMGP3454 by you.

          Perierra Creperie now serving Courier Coffee

          Monday, July 13th, 2009

          IMGP3119 by you.

          Perierra Creperie makes crepes on 12th and Hawthorne. Starting tomorrow they will be french pressing Courier Coffee!!! Coffee offering- Guatemala Huehuetenango finca Palhu. Coffee will be served in paper cups, and made often. Bring a cup from home!! Sean of the Creperie is making a large sign inviting people over for coffee, definitely bicycle themed. The crepes are delicious, they are open till 3am, and this is an outdoor food cart- super bike accessible!!

          Working on the Guatemela Palhu, calibrating our hygrometers, biking loops with the cargo bike

          Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

          IMGP3008 by you.

          A quick reflective cupping of Guatemala Huehuetenango finca Palhu, May crop arrival into Oakland/Emeryville through Royal Coffee. Palhu is a 33.8 hectare farm; elevation 1550-2000 meters; cultivars: 75% Catura, the rest Bourbon, Catuai, Mundo Nuevo.

          We’ve gradually been finding our balance on this coffee. At the beginning of last week we were developing more of a chewy mouthfeel at a medium roast, slightly too much in the end, and we found ourselves liking the lighter roasts. Our Friday and Sunday roasts were comparatively light with flavors of Ceylon tea and lemon. Now we are slowly working back into developing the sugars without taking away the crispness in the acidity.

          IMGP3017 by you.In other developments, we have re-calibrated our hygrometers using table salt and Ziploc bags. Pictured above is a worthless Taylor hygrometer.There is actually no way to calibrate this except by bending the needle, and even then it is garbage. Synthetic hair hygrometers are the way to go, the best from Duro-Therm. Hair expands and contracts with humidity, and is a pretty accurate way to measure relative humidity. The one we are currently using is an older Duro-Therm I got off eBay. We used to use a wet/dry bulb method that we combined with a vacuum cleaner to draw air across the wet bulb, kind of like a sling psychrometer. Our cellar has been a little moist, to be expected for a basement. We have a wine humidifier running all the time but it struggles sometimes with the amount of moisture. We are currently at 68% RH and 55 F. In a beautiful world I would have us at 55% RH and 60 F. I am sure we need an above ground silo to store our green coffee. Moisture and temperature are important for keeping our green coffee fresh for as long as possible, but at the very least our store room is highly stable. Our recent investigations are part of a long term study in green coffee storage. Today we are just excited about our high tech method for calibrating our gear.

          Other news: the cargo bike had a long run yesterday from 40th & Hawthorne, 52nd & Steel, Milwaulkie & Tacoma, Fremont & Mississippi, 18th & West Burnside, Knapp & Milwaukie to 40th and Hawthorne.

          window blog

          Thursday, June 18th, 2009