HomeRoast Digest


Topic: New list member tells all... (2 msgs / 80 lines)
1) From: Espressoperson
Hello,
 
I've been lurking here for two months and finally getting around to  posting. 
It took me awhile to feel comfortable with the list format; it's very  
different than the CoffeeGeek forum format where I typically hang out. Anyway,  here 
are key details about my coffee life:
 
In 1982 I bought an Olympia Cremina manual lever machine and have been  using 
it regularly to this day. I've had amazing increases in quality in the  last 
few years since becoming a coffeegeek. For example, when I got my mazzer  mini 
and started paying more attention to distributing grinds and proper tamping  
there were amazing improvements in taste and crema production.
 
I started roasting almost two years ago with a Freshroast Plus 8 from Sweet  
Maria's. Learned to get to 1st crack in 4 minutes, delay 2nd crack to 8 - 10  
minutes by riding the off/cool/on switch throughout the roast cycle. I'd still 
 be happy to use the freshroast but for the small output for time spent. So I 
got  a hottop last year. It roasts a week's worth (3 or 4 half pound batches) 
in 1.5  to 2 hours. And I just need to pay attention and really watch for a 
few minutes  critical minutes for each batch.
 
A typical roasting session would include: always monkey (I started with  
SweetMarias Monkey blend two years ago, planning to work my way through all of  
Tom's espresso blends. Well 2 years later and I'm still on Monkey. And now that  
I've got the Monkey espresso cups, I don't think I'll ever switch), always  
donkey, additional SO or blend (last Saturday Ethiopian Harrar), additional  
decaf (last Saturday Sumatra). I'm finding out I seem to prefer dry process low  
acid types but I sometimes throw in the occasional Kenyan or its like to test 
my  ever changing tastes. Not into my own blending yet (except when I have 
less than  250 g of one kind and reach for another bag of whatever to complete 
the batch);  that will be the next step on my coffee journey.
 
I now use a wood tamper made of striped New Guinea ebony, an incredibly  
beautiful, subtle, rich mix of deep brown and black grain patterns. Also lever  
handle and portafilter handle to match. And boiler knob and steam knob to match  
too! All this thanks to the ingenuity, skill, and artistry of Les of Thor  
Tampers. (Thanks again Les for the satisfaction I get every time I handle the  
machine to pull another shot)
 
I drink mostly espresso with a cappuccino to start the day and an Americano  
every now and then. When I'm on the road, most weekdays, French press  in my 
hotel room first thing in the morning, last thing at night. (This  week I saw 
the airport x-ray person with a puzzled look staring at what I  assumed was my 
suitcase. I volunteered "Coffee grinder? Electric Water kettle? I  like my 
coffee fresh." She smiled and said "Oh!? I guess that's what it is." and  did  
not stop me this time...:-).
 
While all the above gives you some idea of the kind of coffee person I am,  
perhaps what defines me best is this: I live 200 feet from a Starbucks but have 
 never been inside, and - godshot willing - never will!
 
MichaelB, aka espressoperson

2) From: Gary Townsend
Espressoperson  wrote: 
<Snip>
 
<Snip>
s 
<Snip>
Michael,
Thanks for sharing...I'm a Monkey Fiend, myself! 
As far as the *$'s goes...walk in, order a single shot of 
espresso....carefully watch the "barista's" face, and take a sip (it's not=
 
supposed to kill you) and hand it back to them. Give them appropriate 
comments, and have a look around the joint. Look at the prices ( they are=
 
very helpful when negotiating with your monthly budget ( fer instance the=
 
next order of green beans ) Now, after the experience..go home, make a REAL=
 
espresso...and thank the higher powers that there are alternatives to that=
 
particular scenario. 
BTW, 
My travel kit is within the tolerance of the airlines carryon baggage. I'd=
 
rather check in a laptop than deal without *real* coffee for even 1 day ;-)
Gary


HomeRoast Digest