1:20 PM (39 minutes ago)
We have all been bombarded lately with Ads and articles touting the benefits of keeping your brain active doing teasers, questions, and puzzles. Many of us are willing to pay for the opportunity to participate in these brain games. Why not use our minds more to accomplish what has become routine in our automated society? Write a letter (this is a thing with actual paper and a manual writing instrument called a Pen) to a friend or loved one, calculate the distance of your next bike ride in your head counting the blocks and miles, create a meal like your Mother used to make where she only told you a pinch of this and a dash of that for seasoning (figure it out), and of course Roast and brew your own coffee.
You can outline your template for roasting, a Profile you might try and tweak to perfection.
Which bean to roast? How much? How fast? Change the heat or stay the course? Use a fan or adjust it? How dark to roast this bean? Which Crack is it in and when does it end? How long should it rest before trying a cup or try it over a few days? Should I blend this with another bean? Which one (s)? Different roasts?
How shall I brew this fresh coffee? Drip? Press? Pour over? Vacuum pot? How much to use? How to grind it? How fine to grind it?
Now analyze it and decide how and what to adjust the next time, if anything.
You have now exercised your mind, made a friend or Loved one's day, done your cardio with a sense of accomplishment, created a new one and probably recalled a fond memory as well eating too much (back to the bike), and enjoyed a great cup of Joe that you made with your own hands and mind.
Brewing delicious coffee really only requires these 5 things
Fresh Roasted (within 2 weeks) Specialty grade Coffee
Hot water preferably filtered to remove chlorine but retaining some minerals (no distilled water) at 198 degrees f to 202 degrees f.
A decent coffee grinder capable of grinding the desired particle size with little variation of pieces from that desired size.
A Brewer or devise that allows the hot water to pass through your ground coffee then separate the grounds from the coffee in about 4 minutes.
And, this basic bit of chemistry or physics knowledge:
The larger the particle size of your grounds the less surface area you will have exposed to the hot water and will therefore extract slightly less of the total flavor of the bean.
In terms of taste this generally means large size Course grind will be less bitter but weaker if using the same amount of a finer grind. The important thing to remember here is to use the proper Grind size (within a range) for the brew method you choose. Course Grinds are good for Press Pots (French Press) and should produce a rich round less bitter taste but may require more coffee per cup to reach the strength you like. Pour over through a filter and most standard home brewers work well with a medium grind you will want to experiment by changing the grind slightly one way or the other while using the same coffee and amount of coffee. With filters if you go too fine you will plug the pores in the filter and end up with weak or bitter coffee. If you try too course a grind your coffee will taste weak which can also be bitter because the coffee can't release enough of it's flavor so all your senses detect is the bitterness.
Bitterness is a sign of just plain Bad coffee, Stale coffee, Weak coffee (how much coffee with how much water), Improperly Ground coffee (very small particles in with a medium grind will plug a filter), Poorly brewed coffee (too fast or slow, too hot, left on a burner), and should not be confused with the bitter sweet taste of a Dark Roast coffee.
A good brewer simply delivers the proper temperature water evenly over Freshly ground coffee in 4 minutes.
Excellent and cheap methods of brewing a few cups are the French Press and Pour Over or Dripper, either one is available in Department stores from $3 to $50 on the high end. Ad a good Grinder $129 from our Grinders and Accessories and any method to boil water then pour just after boil stops.
Below Bodum French Press empty with plunger all the way down. About $20 - $50 depending on size.
Hario V60 Dripper (Pour Over) with filter and an "I Roasted This Coffee Mug". Plastic Drippers are available under $10, Hario Ceramics about $20 - $30.
Baratza Encore Coffee grinder with French Press
Medium Ground Fresh Coffee into Hario Dripper
Nesco Hot water Kettle pouring just below boiling water onto grounds in Pour Over Dripper, stay around middle pour slowly but under 4 minutes.
This is really good coffee!
In keeping with our keep it simple philosophy - A thought on Fresh Coffee
Coffee is an amazing little seed. When it is raw (Green) it yields and takes in very little aroma or flavor, it's basically inert.
Once we roast it, coffee becomes brittle and expels C02 gas and aromas for a limited time, usually about 2 to three weeks. That is fresh coffee! Beyond three weeks of roasting call it what you want but I wouldn't call it fresh.
Simple physics tells us once we grind coffee we increase surface area exponentially and those gasses and flavors escape proportionately in just minutes.
Fresh Coffee is Ground just before Brewing and Roasted within 3 Week of Brewing.
Not all Specialty coffee is Earth friendly but for the most part it is much more likely to be Earth friendly than large quantity commercial (many National Brands) coffees. Specialty coffee is grown to intentionally achieve a higher grade and better taste than the average which reduces the relative quantity that can be produced (as your standard rises quantity falls). Specialty coffee thanks to it's growing demand and Gourmet taste adventurous culture is also more likely to come from small Growers and exotic Counties of Origin.
So, just how does all this benefit good old Mother Earth!
Coffee can be a rather fragile plant, it becomes stressed if exposed to too much sun or not enough moisture and then will produce less fruit of lower quality.
However we know the more sun and nutrients a plant gets the faster it produces fruit, coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee cherry fruit.
To increase the quantity grown and reduce costs they simply cut down the forest, flatten the Earth, plant less tasty but more hardy varieties in straight rows so they can knock the fruit off the bush with a machine, and use fertilizers and pesticides. They can get a harvest in 6 months rather than about 9 months the natural way, that's 2 harvests per year vs one.
Naturally coffee prospers at very high altitudes where the sun is semi blocked by clouds or fog, temperatures are moderate, and often under the shade of taller trees. Forests and fruit groves provide an excellent environment for coffee if your main concern is flavor; trees provide shade that slows the fruit growth to allow richer flavors to develop, droppings from large trees and birds provide natural nutrients, birds and other animals provide natural pest control (they eat bugs). Small Growers and exotic Countries of Origin simply may not have the means to buy modern fertilizers and pesticides, or machines to do the work.
Specialty coffee Growers in their pursuit of flavor want the fruit to develop slowly, will maintain Heirloom varieties for taste, must pick the fruit by hand only when ripe at the peak of its' flavor. Coffee you buy in a coffee shop or from a Specialty Green coffee site (ok that would be us) is more likely to be Earth Friendly, we care about taste and the Earth that gives us this delightful drink.
Variety is the spice of Life!
Each Coffee Origin Country, Region, Varietal, and Processing Method provides a unique flavor, body, finish, and character without any other flavorings. Most National brand coffees come from one or two Countries, that we know of at least.
Home Roast Coffee currently offers Coffee from 24 unique coffee growing Regions each with it's own special characteristics.
YOU SAVE $ on delicious Coffee.
On Our site alone there are 17 Origin Coffees priced BELOW $7 per Lb that are all Specialty Grade which are better than much of what you will find in most Grocery or Department stores. Coffees of this Quality are generally found at your local Coffee Shop, high end Artisan Roasters, or Specialty Green Coffee websites like homeroastcoffee.com (us).
In most cases in Grocery, Department, or even Super stores a semi decent Bag of coffee will run $7 to $12 for a twelve ounce Bag. Yes look closely most store bag coffee comes in 12 ounces, that of course is only 3/4 of a pound.
Much better coffee available in your local Coffee Shop or from an Artisan Roaster (usually well worth it) will often cost over $9 per Lb.
When you roast your own coffee you do lose 2 or 3 ounces to moisture and separation of Chaff so you end up with 13 or 14 ounces per Lb.
You will also have shipping cost to get your raw coffee beans which you can minimize by ordering 4 to 5 Lbs, 10 to 11 Lbs, or 16 or more Lbs, which in most cases will put shipping cost around $1.05 to $1.27 per Lb, at homeroastcoffee.com 30 Lbs will usually get free shipping, contact us if you don't.
During March 2014 we even have a coupon code on our FB page for Free Shipping for orders of $75 or more, that's 12 or 13 Lbs of coffee.
So even if you buy only 5 Lbs of our Green Coffee at say $30.30 (Ave $6.06) ad $5.99 shipping, your net cost after roasting (net 14 oz/Lb) is $0.52 per oz.
The cheapest store bag coffee (by no means a comparable quality, only quantity) at $7 (12 oz) is $0.58 per oz.
Calculate the number of Lbs of Coffee you use in a year by that $1 savings (aprox) per Lb and I'll bet you can think of something better to spend it on than that old baggy store coffee.