Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.

Mark Twain

Remember: Coffee

From the coffee is good for you department…A study finds that drinking caffeinated coffee is an aid to memory retention in older adults, offering “…good news for older adults, and vindication for those of us who live with a coffeepot always at the...

Decaf stinks.

No, I don’t drink decaf. But Mom does, since the good doctor suggested it. Ever the good son, I suggested trying another doctor. Meanwhile, I picked up some “green” decaffeinated coffee beans and roasted a batch. I’m told it was good… and...

Holiday Blends

I recently recounted in some detail my adventures in roasting and blending coffees to give as gifts for the holidays. And, as it happened, I ended up with *two* blends that are gonna be wrapped up with little bows on ’em. The unexpected blend happened when I...

Hacking the Hearthware Gourmet

Yesterday I roasted nearly four pounds of coffee… in three ounce batches. Today I attacked my Hearthware Gourmet with a spoon [and a drill, and some electrical supply bits]. It’s now a 6 oz. roaster. I’ll put a picture essay up on Bloggle sometime...

You love ’em or you hate ’em…

Virtually nobody walks the middle of the road where it comes to flavored coffees. For some, flavored coffees are the very definition of Gourmet Coffee. For others, flavored coffees are nothing less than the bane of Specialty Coffee. How’d we get here? Since...

From the clarifications department…

Simon writes from the UK to suggest I clarify the prior post… to wit: what I described is an espresso macchiato, or an espresso marked, or stained, with milk. There is also a drink that’s comprised of the inverse… steamed milk marked with espresso,...

M-m-m-macchiato…

I ordered a macchiato at the in-boxstore-plus-supermarket Starbucks a while ago, and the PBTC steamed a largish pitcher of milk, pulled a double… and then consulted her book. “I’ve never done one of these before,” she said. “No...

Roaster Ghost

After just shy of 300 roast cycles [or 56 pounds of coffee] my Hearthware [Home Innovations] Gourmet roaster has given up the ghost. It would seem that the circuit board is no longer on speaking terms with the heating element. Hearthware responded to my email request...

FreshRoast Plus

Freshbeans has just released the FreshRoast Plus, a step up [it would seem] from the FreshRoast. While I’m having difficulty getting the nitty-gritty specifics, it appears that the capacity has been upgraded from 2oz to 3.5 oz [.5 oz more than the Hearthware...

Mocha-Java: Myth and Magic

Mocha-Java: Myth and Magic One of my favorite blends from a roaster I’d frequent was a Mocha-Java blend. So when I started roasting my own beans, some of the very first greens I roasted were samples of Yemen Mocha, and Java Blowan Estate. I was quick to blame my...

Back at the roaster…

Like so very many things in life, roasting coffee is both more meaningful and rewarding when you go about it with a goal in mind. It’s one thing to fling some of this bean and some of that into the roasting chamber. It’s something else again to fling your...

The Essentials of Brewing Great Coffee, Chapter 5

Time Ideally our coffee brew cycle will take 4 to 6 minutes. That’s the amount of time required to extract the good flavors from our coffee. Less than 4 minutes and our coffee will be underextracted. More than 6 minutes and – you guessed it – our...

The Essentials of Brewing Great Coffee, Chapter 4

The Proportion Now that we’ve established that our brewing equipment is sparkling clean, and we’re using good, hot water and coffee that’s been freshly roasted and ground, we need to look at the proportion of coffee to water. About 30% of the coffee...

The Essentials of Brewing Great Coffee, Chapter 3

The Coffee How fresh is your coffee? When was it roasted? If you roasted it yourself, you almost certainly know. [If you don’t roast your coffee and think you might like to, be sure to see our coffee roasting series.] If you purchased your whole bean coffee from...

The Essentials of Brewing Great Coffee, Chapter 2

The Water Does your tap water taste good? Do you drink it every day? Without making faces? Are there any little floaty things in it? Does it smell? It’s quite possible that your tap water passes every quality standard that’s ever been written, and still...

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