Now I've gone and done it. Well, actually it was my boss that done it.
First off, a great big huge thank you to Sweet Maria's for exceeding
expectations yet again. You'll read why and how in a moment.
Lemme tell you a story....
A few years ago I got my wife a Christmas present. A FreshRoast
coffee roaster and a promise: You'll have the best, freshest coffee
imaginable from now on. She accused me of getting it really for me,
not for her and frankly she was right. Fortunately she's long since
That little FreshRoast did yeoman service for quite some time until I
got to the point of wanting bigger! Better! More! Enter the
Alpenroast. I loved that little roaster! It produced some of the best
tasting coffee I've ever had and kept us both very happy for a good
while. Until it died that is. Like so many other Alpenroasts, it
started cutting out during the roast resulting in, well, dreck.
I replaced the Alp with a Caffe Rosto, but that never did really
satisfy, nor did the iRoast which replaced that, though the iRoast
did well enough to keep us going for a time.
Eventually, regrettably, I stopped ordering more greens, buying the
adequate (surprisingly!) coffee from the local Smart-n-Final. It
wasn't great coffee, but it was usually at least good and quite fresh.
I did miss roasting though. I got my father hooked on home-roasting,
even helped my mom get him a new FreshRoast for Christmas last year,
but didn't get back into it myself. In retrospect, I really think I
was missing the marvelous coffee I used to get from the Alp.
Then I saw the Gene-Cafe at Sweet-Marias. It looked marvelous. It
looked like everything I'd hoped for. It was a tad more than I could
justify spending unless I did a bit of budgetting (never my strong
suit). So, there it was, the holy grail of my roasting dreams :-)
waiting for me to get my butt in gear and jump back on the horse.
Months go by, I periodically wax rhapsodic at work about the wonder
that is freshly roasted coffee, but did I get my butt in gear? Nope,
too busy with other stuff (where the heck were my priorities?).
Meanwhile, things are going very well at work. We've shipped our last
two projects on time, my boss has been extremely complementary about
my work. All is going quite well (the 5 minute commute in the Bay
Area can't be beat either!)
My boss had been hinting about a bonus, and said something cryptic
about wanting to get me something. I had no idea what he meant until
Tuesday. During our regular one-on-one meeting he flips his laptop
around to me and says: Here, pick one of these. It was Sweet-Maria's
and he was inviting me to pick a roaster! I was floored to say the
least, and selected my Gene-Cafe. Assuring him that UPS Ground would
get it here in no time (it's only across the bay after all!) the
order goes through. Then he informs me that since he's out of the
office for two week starting Friday, and since he wants to publicly
present me with it, if it doesn't arrive in time then I'll have to
wait till he gets back! Ack! :-) That's where Tom et al didn't let me
down. The roaster arrived at our dock before three o'clock the next
day. It actually took slightly longer for our Shipping/Receiving
folks to get it to Reception for pickup than it did for Sweet-Maria's
and UPS to deliver it here! (In fairness, they're swamped shipping
product out, so I really can't blame them).
So now I've got it! Wow! I still can't believe he did that either,
sure it's been a really good year overall, but.... wow.
Now I've got it home and in digging around the garage looking for my
scales I discovered a little over a pound of greens left over from
before. These beans are about a year and a half old but I figured it
would take me a few batches to get dialled in on how the new roaster
works so away we go!
My first batch: 90% Mexican Oaxaca, 10% Costa Rica Dota Terrazu
(roughly), 225gms roasted at 300 degrees for 5 minutes, then 465 to
finish. What a nice machine! It's so very much quieter than the fluid-
bed roasters and being able to watch the beans makes all the
difference from the Alp! After cooling and dumping I couldn't wait
and immediately brewed up a pot in the Technivorm. I'd forgotten how
immediately after roasting it can get a bit foamy in the basket but
no problem. First sip: Ahhhhh........ Remind me why I'd stopped
roasting? Better yet, if I begin to slow down on my roasting please
whack me upside the head! I'd totally forgotten what a good mouthfeel
was, or how the aftertaste can linger and linger and linger and... I
can still taste it and I finished my cup a good 30 minutes ago!
I can't wait to start _really_ experimenting with this machine. The
ability to control the complete profile from start to finish has me
itching to go. And the coffee's better than I remember too!
Between the eight pounds that came with, and the dozen pounds I
ordered last night in anticipation, I'm going to have a blast with
this (again), I can tell.
Hmmm.... what to try now. The Nicaraguan? Guatemala? Zimbabwe?
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