Category Archives: Espresso

Time to say goodbye to the coffee world

Well, if you didn’t already figure it out.  I have to C O N C E N T R A T E on some things that makes it so that I can’t be focused as I would prefer on the “Bean Chaser Blog.”

I appreciate friends like Jason Dominy, Jim Hoffman and crew, Mark Prince, Dan at HB, Chemically Imbalanced, Tonx, Shannon Hudgens, Kevin & Regina @ Crema Roasters,  Geoff Corey, Scott Conary, and I will even thank Nick Cho, and I can’t leave out the team at Octane and by name Tony.  The home roasting ability of George Holt.  Finally, I thank, the professional roasting of Intelligensia Roasters and Counter Culture Coffee.

There is no certian order to that list.  Some listed had a HUGE impact on my life and I will be forever thankful.  And there is some there that taught me a huge lesson on what not to do (I mean that good and bad).  I will have forgotten some, I guess.  It’s is unavoidable.  Some people I have there faces in my head and I can’t remember their names.

If I hadn’t found Mark Prince in a Google search for “French Press” this would have never been started and I hadn’t have ever messaged Tonx, I would have never found Hudge, and thus, I would have never had my first INCREDIBLE shot of espresso (single origin, mind you).  If I hadn’t found Hudge I wouldn’t have this massive two group Faema in my kitchen, which in the words of my brother-in-law “is the first and last thing you see in that house.”

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Only 15-20

Well if you don’t know who they are or who he (on the shirt) is I guess you could ask in the comments section.

This is idol worship, but I like it!

This is idol worship, but I like it!

Courtesy of Portafilter.net

“Making a run on” the in season from Intelly

Last week we ordered from Intelligentsia via their “in season” site.  I love this site, as it keeps even the most elementary student of coffee informed of what is in season AND the best information on brew temps and such.

We purchased a bag of their Itzamna, Guatemala and evidently people have made a “run” on Intelly for this coffee because they have taken it down from the purchase site, but it is still viewable on “in season.”  This is a rich coffee.  I have just utterly been amazed in the past year at Guatemala coffees.

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Espresso Test: This is a test

A friend of mine and I travelled yesterday up to Cary, NC to Crema Roasters to get a couple pounds of espresso.

Kevin gladly responded by saying, “You want some espresso I am working on?” Meaning it was going to be a test.

“Sure thing.  You got my attention”

  • Ethiopian Guji
  • Costa Rica La Pastora
  • Columbian Hvila
  • Brazil Pedre Grande
  • Sumatra Mandilin

Well if this is a test, please let me grade this with a “Oh, my word!

Look, I am not trying to toot my own horn, either.  But, Mark said the espresso tasted better out of my machine (Faema).  Kevin’s is a temp stable La Marzocco FB/80.  This almost has to be a temprature issue – IMHO.  I know that machine runs hot, almost 205.  I am running in the 199-201 range, according to everything Shannon and I discussed.  Ahh, alas I need a Scace of my own with a data logger.

Running into Helios Cafe in Raliegh and end up meeting important peeps!

rich_futrell_s Hmmm, I quickly with a rush blow into Helios Cafe in Raleigh to grab some Counter Culture whole bean for the press and some espresso to tide us over until the Square Mile comes in and “lo and behold” Rich Futrell is sitting there getting wired up on espresso Aficionado.

I had never met Rich, but dude was there and with the very limited time we had we were able to talk shop!! I wish I had much more time, but I had my sister’s family and mine in the Excursion waiting!

Good to meet you Rich and I hope we can run into each other again very soon!

While I was there I got a pound of Counter Culture’s Espresso Aficionado, Ada’s Finca Mauritania, & Kenya Kangocho (a personal CCC fav).

Can’t wait until the morning when I can get into this stuff.

Holiday Coffee & Espresso

latteartsnowman2

Well, it really is that time of year again.  I have heard all of my life that time flies faster and faster the older you get, but it seems like yesterday I was sweating my brains out in 100 degree heat!  Now, we have had a great month of November and late October in averaging in the high 50’s.  A bit odd, even for North Carolina this time of year.

So, what to do about Christmas?  Last year, it was my first Christmas with “the unit” hooked up in the house.  It was  a sprint to get it all hooked up as a 220v electric line had to be brought in from the service box, we had to plumb it for water coming in and out and finally, I had to get a couple hundred dollars of accessories like cups and such.  Finally, when I did get things going all I had was a Kitchen Aid Proline Grinder, which was suppose to work fine with espresso and probably would for the average setup, but quite frankly I was trained on a Mazzer (Jolly & Robur) and I just couldn’t see using that PL.  So, a Mini Mazzer was acquired.

Coffee wise, I ordered five pounds from Crema Coffee Roaster and I shot through that in about three days!  That is high volume for a house!  And to be honest with you, it wasn’t that great of espresso.  No fear my friends, it wasn’t Crema’s fault.  It was squarely my fault.

This year, I am still considering ordering three pounds from Crema, as I just spent through a three pound order that was fantastic.  But, I am keeping my options open.  I may just mix things up and go “West Coast” this year.  The only issue I have is not knowing what it should taste like and then not knowing if I am dialed in right.

What are you doing for the holidays with your coffee purchases?  Spicing things up a bit?  Staying with your stalwert coffee sources?

Basics for a new generation coffee business

The wife and I have been just plugging at an idea for a coffee kiosk business.  We have a plan in our head which we intend on putting on paper, but right now it is just in the air.  All we would be doing is sucking off of $B top.  We would be in a high foot traffic educational area and we would keep the menu as simple as possible.  A very, very constricted menu such as a espresso, Latte, cappuccino, with the usual soy and such variations and finally the drip/French press via only two single origins.  Nothing fancy and nothing to argue about.  It is a kiosk and the point is the student doesn’t have to drive four miles off campus between a set of classes to go to $B.  The concept further states that we “are not $B and thus we are different.”  Two flavors, which I don’t even want to offer, but we feel like there is some necessity for it, especially at first.  Hopefully, we will be able to offer at least two tables for chair seating and there is some benches all around this large enclosed rotunda area that we have our eyes upon; Thus we hope we can offer the espresso “for here” only.

Jim Hoffman has some spectacular reading going on over at his blog that, in his words, covers “quite a broad topic within coffee, that covers not only elements of brewing but sales, consumption, successes and failures and the challenges that lie ahead for anyone in the industry.”

The first topic is Trust, then Pricing, and finally Expectations.

I would have to say this is required reading, even for a customer.  I know that Miss Nikki and myself will be studying this short, but very helpful primer.