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Topic: A Hiking Question (14 msgs / 427 lines)
1) From: Peter Barnes
I've been thinking about hiking the Appalachian Trail next summer after 
I finish my masters work.  Of course, being the man that I am, I've 
spent most of my time dreaming about the trip trying to figure out what 
I'm going to do for coffee out on the trail.  At the moment, this is 
what I'm thinking...
Carry green beans with me
Roast some every couple of nights in a small frying pan
Use a portable press and Turkish Zass in the morning for a couple of 
cups of coffee.
The only problem with this plan is the coffee.  I don't want to be 
walking around with coffee spending days resting.  I'd rather just do 
enough for 1 or 2 days at the most each time I roast.  All of the 
coffees I really like tend to require more rest - Sumatras, Yemens, 
etc.  So what are some good coffees that require little to no rest for 
flavor development?  yirg? 
Also, does anyone have any experience with long hiking trips like this?  
How did you get your coffee?

2) From: Lissa
On Wed, 2004-06-16 at 22:58, Peter Barnes wrote:
I have a camping press.  Got it from REI.  It is awful.  I carry a
regular press when I camp.
The combination of a Turkish Zass and press pot is going to leave a lot
of sludge in your cup.  If you are carrying a Turkish grinder, why not
make Turkish (or Arabic, as it is known here) coffee?  You'd get more
concentrated flavour.  An ibrik isn't going to be any heavier than a
press pot, and they are metal, and therefore bangable.
Greens are heavy.  You might want to mail drop some.  You'll probably be
mail dropping stuff, anyway.
I prefer many Sumantrans rested under 24 hours, or even right away.  A
few of the Papua New Guineas I've had are the same.  PNGs are probably
one of the most forgiving beans.  When I run out of roasted coffee, and
have to roast first thing in the morning, I reach for PNGs.
There isn't a coffee I have in stock right now that is best when new,
but I haven't bought greens in a few months.
Roasted coffee is going to be bulkier but lighter than greens.  So,
carrying them might actually not be a bad idea.
Yirg needs a good rest, most years.
Be well,
Libraries are far from the rarefied cathedrals of secular humanism they
pretend to be, while librarians are the shadiest creatures this side of
the Russian mob. Scratch the adamantly bland demeanor of any librarian
and you'll find trails of broken hearts, bathtubs full of meth fixings,
and covert careers in porn.
David Schmader
(The Stranger.com column, 17 October 2002)

3) From: John Abbott
On Wednesday 16 June 2004 09:58 pm, Peter Barnes wrote:
Guatemala Huehuetenango  is one of the fastest settling beans I know. I 
always keep some in stock (just reorder from new lot -Huixoc 64680) and 
I keep it because of its combination of great taste and quick time.   
It also will roast up nicely in your steel fry pan.    I began roasting 
with a Mexican bean done in a steel fry pan with a glass lid (necessary 
if you roast inside anything).  The Mexico Organic/FT Oaxaca Pluma 
roasts nicely in my wok and should do just as well in the fry pan, but 
in my experience its best after about 18-24 hours.  There are some on 
the list (Oaxaca Charlie) who will tell you its good to go when it 
cools - and it probably is.
If you are are brewing for two you will probably go through 1/4 to 1/3 
pound a day.  If you are going to be 2 weeks, that's going to add up to 
under four pounds.  If you are traveling with someone they could pack 2 
pounds of one and you two pounds of the other.
~John~ loving life in the slow lane

4) From: Peter Barnes
Lissa wrote:
Now *this* is a great idea.  Of course an ibrik would be better for 
this.  Mind you, the Zass Turkish can do a grind coarse enough for a 
press, but I think you're right on with the thought of just making 
Turkish coffee. 
Yeah, that's for sure.  I've already started thinking about drop-off 
points.  I can't tell if I'm excited to hike or paranoid about missing 
my coffee.
I thought about this too.  The main problem (and one I'll have to 
experiment with) is how much I can roast at a time.  I don't intend to 
lug a wok around with me.  I'm figuring a small frying pan isn't going 
to provide me more than two days worth of coffee.  But we'll see.  I 
know, you feel every ounce, but still.
Thanks for the great ideas. 

5) From: Peter Barnes
John Abbott wrote:
That's exactly what I figured, 2 pounds for just myself for two weeks.  
Maybe a little less than that. 
And I figured you would pipe up with a few Centrals for me.  I knew you 
had talked about them before, but I don't usually get much diversity on 
my limited budget.  Thanks for the tips!

6) From: Lissa
On Thu, 2004-06-17 at 00:37, Peter Barnes wrote:
How decadent, to sip Arabic coffee while sitting on a mountain.
For variety, or if you boggle a roast, carry some cardamon pods.  Grind
the seeds (just a few, not the whole pod) with the coffee.  This is not
only traditional, it is very good.  And cardamon is very light.  It also
makes a nifty desert, if you mix it with rice, whole dried milk (Nestle
makes this, I've found it in Lebanese and Latino stores), sugar and
maybe raisins and slivered almonds.  I use evaporated milk, but whole
dried milk (not skim) should make a reasonable substitute.  You'll need
the calories.
I haven't done wok roasting, but I've cooked using camping pans, and
they tend to be of thin aluminium.  I've had trouble with hot spots and
uneven heating.  Perhaps some of the wok roasters can comment more
authoritatively, but I'm wondering how coffee roasted in a thin pan
would work.  You might want to try it well before you leave, in case you
need to come up with a plan B.
Chinese restaurant supply stores have small woks, but even a small wok
is going to be too heavy.  Ditto for carrying a small drum.  You might
be able to rig something out of heavier metal that would be lighter than
a wok, with shallow sides.  I'm thinking of something almost
griddle-like.  I vaguely remember seeing something like this in pictures
of Ethiopian and Bedouin coffee preparation.
If you can pull it off, it'll be the ultimate in hiking luxury!
Be well,
Why is Earth Day, today, also Lenin's birthday? 
Coincidence? Or does it signal the true intent of the 
national and worldwide environmental movement?
-- Alan Caruba, Fargo Forum, 4/22/97

7) From: Gene Smith
I had a look 'round the net for antique coffee roasters, thinking I had seen
something that might be useful...but, nada.  The thing about all the
antiques is that they were meant for 'home' use - which is to say, on a
stove.  Cheapness and durablity also made cast iron the favored material -
not a plus in your backpack.
However...I had a weird idea.  How about roasting small quantities in a
flour sifter?  You know, the kind that has a handle to rotate a wire bail
inside that rubs against a wire bottom?
I figure the light gauge of the materials would mean an early burnout...but
they're cheap and surely ought to last a camping trip or two. They are light
and hollow - not heavy to pack, and not bulky either because you can pack
stuff inside them.  Your coffee stash, for example.
They are not going to be natural heat-holders and would probably need some
sort of lid to keep the heat in.  On the other hand, if you could modify it
to work like those cans that are used for starting charcoal, you could
probably induce some pretty fierce airflow - and heat, too.
Anybody ever tried anything like this?
Gene Smith
riding the wild learning curve, in Houston

8) From: miKe mcKoffee
All I could think of is hand held flour sifters I know of are, well, hand
held with the handle very close to what would be the roast chamber. I'd be
less concerned about the light weight metal "burning out" than the hand that
holds it! Suspect you'd need some VERY heavy gloves... But a novel idea none
the less.
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer etc.http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htm

9) From: Steven Van Dyke
While I think a flour sifter might well work I see two disadvantages (ign=
the short life since that's not a problem here).
1) The handles are too short - you'll have to holding *both* hands pretty=
much in the fire - one for the sifter and one to 'turn the crank'.  Actua=
I have one sifter that's activated by squeezing the handle - you *might*
be able to rig up extensions for one like that.
2) No up/down agitation - true, the sifter mechanism will make the beans
at the bottom agitate well but what about the upper reaches?
I think you'd want something more like a ball on a stick - something you
can hold out over the fire and shake / twist to agitate the beans.  Those=
fireplace popcorn poppers are probably the best choice.  For hiking you'd=
want to find one where the handles come off or somesuch.  Since you only
need to roast enough for a day or two you don't need a large 'popper'. 
You could probably get someone with a welder to whip something up.  It's
just a box with threaded bits to attach a handle and a latch to keep it
closed.  Heavier is better for heat control, lighter is better for carryi=
 Since you probably want something about fist-sized you can afford a slig=
heavier metal.
You'll also need a way to cool the beans.  For the small amount you'll be=
roasting at a time a pair of strainers would do well, or something you ca=
spread them out on - maybe just a sheet of heavy aluminum foil or a chunk=
of a survival blanket.
This is a neat 'project' for us!  Especially since we get *you* as the gu=
pig to test it out. 
Let's see, a metal box around the size of a BigMac box, a handle to screw=
into a fitting, some survival blanket to spread the hot beans on while th=
cool and something to put the roasted beans in (probably just a ziplock
baggie or two).  Everything but the handles would fit inside the 'roaster=
 If this works out well there could be a product here.
Hey Ron, how about a 'drum on a stick'?
Steve :->http://www.cafepress.com/stevespics<- My little store of Impressionist">http://www.svandyke.com<- My simple websitehttp://www.cafepress.com/stevespics<- My little store of Impressionist
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10) From: Spencer W. Thomas
I find that most of the Ethiopian beans are good right after roasting.  
Yes, they get better with a little rest, but the varietal character 
comes through nicely for me even when I roast and brew the same morning. 

11) From: Lowe, David
I know that some on the list (not me... yet) have roasted over a fire =
using one of those campfire popcorn poppers. I haven't looked at them =
with an eye to backpacking, but I think they are relatively light.
Dave Lowe

12) From: prentice
Dunno about the coffee part, but if you're planning to do this in the summer,
you'd best start in Maine.  Pretty hot in Georgia in the summer.  ;)
Quoting Peter Barnes :

13) From: Peter Barnes
the plan for now is to start in georgia in may, and then head up to 
maine at the halfway point.  we'll see.
prentice wrote:

14) From: leslee berringer
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Hi Peter! (Responding to Peter's June 17th message sent at 12:11 pm)
Speaking from my limited experience, I find Yirg lot 4453 to be devine =
within 12 hours stretching to 3 days max for peak taste sensation!  Also =
the Harar horse lot 6979 to be magnif during about the same time period, =
but I liked 1st and 2nd days better than 3rd.   I have found the Harar =
to be extremely temp sensitive, even considerably more than Yirg and =
Peaberry, but if you get it just right you may halt your trip and just =
keep drinking.  I love this Harar.  The beans smelled so sweet right =
away, I could not believe it when the taste matched the smell, replete =
with aromatics.  What luck (was my second attempt, first Harar roast got =
away from me)!  Now to try to duplicate it.  This is all I know so far.  =
I have not delved into the darker roasts yet.  Afraid to oil up my =
grinder.  But for you I would think some of the ones SM says are good =
from City straight through to Full City+ would be handy as they would =
seemingly be the most error-proof, then all you need is someone else's =
input on which are great, even if cupped immediately.  But really this =
won't be necessary if you just roast your first day and every 2-3 days =
thereafter, and take 2-3 days worth with you of something that you have =
already roasted in a valve bag that is your favorite when you start out. =
 (Also do some checking to see what indigenous animals along the Trail, =
for example bears, like the smell of fresh coffee!  They love the smell =
of food yet may have evolved to anticipate an association between coffee =
and food.)  I think I would call my friendly Appalachian forest ranger, =
but I am a girl.  In fact I would get his cell phone number!
Have fun.  Something else I would like to vicariously enjoy, so please =
let us know all about your adventures, coffee and otherwise!

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