Tuesday, November 27, 2012
For a couple of days different regions were thought about for their distinct attributes. Once we decided what we were looking for things started moving pretty quickly. Through sample roasting and cuppings with traders at our different suppliers green beans were decided on. Roast profiles were experimented with, as well as percentages of parts. Lots of blind taste testing of the different experimental blends lead us to what we now have available.
The new Holiday Blend contains three different parts, Sulewasi, Burundi and Kenya. Each type of coffee is very distinct and brings those qualities to the cup. Sulewasi for body, Burundi for acidity and Kenya for a touch of fruit.
Try it as a pour-over at either of our locations. Take it home and make it the way I like it. Done up in a french press. This coffee is sweet enough on its own any way you make it. But it also blends well with milk and sugar.
A note from Maintenance:
Things require a certain amount of simple maintenance. We take care of our espresso machines scrupulously for instance. But the unsung workhorse, the grinder is sometimes overlooked. Until it needs help. Sure we vacuum them out and clean the outside and wash the hoppers at the end of the night, but that is about the extent of it.
Recently several have decided that they don't want to switch on anymore. During the holidays to boot. The main back up grinder as it turns out was having the same switch problems as the others. Causing a swap with what I call the "little" grinder, about two-thirds the size of the others. This little trooper was once used for single origin espresso and now has been called up to the big boys as it were. Filling in for the decaf, that became the main espresso grinder.
So two by two (just like the Ark) they go off for maintenance. Rockridge grinders this week and Downtown grinders next week. While they are out we are also having the burrs replaced. When these grinders get back from Pacifica (thats where the maintenance magic happens) they will be running like new. Ready for that morning espresso.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012
As you know we have been running for a few weeks now. Last time I left out news of the roaster thinking that I would dedicate an entire entry to our IR-7 and its travels.
Our little roaster has been a trouper. Coming out of the move with no scrapes, scratches or other damage. It started right up and took on its responsibilities of roasting tasty coffees from around the world for you.
With the new location comes new ways of doing things. The roaster is tucked into a space near the back door. This makes for good airflow and keeps me from being cooked. Along with this I have a variable speed exhaust fan that adds a layer of fine tuning that I did not have at the old location. I was adverse to the fan in the beginning but quickly came around. The more ways to tweak things is better. While the fan adds another aspect to keep an eye on, every layer of fine tuning that you add gives you more control over what the coffee is doing and what you are trying to achieve.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Enter the vault.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
(See previous posts for upcoming references.)
Chewbacca has now been flying solo for a while, roasting a mean bean and will be using this blog to sassily write about what is going on in the world of Bittersweeet coffee (and barely operable machinery in the warehouse).
I have to give much thanks to Ian for giving me the skills to do something I love. Roasting makes not only me happy but all the people who need to get their fix, I mean daily cup of coffee. So thanks Ian for the training and mentoring. You have been an invaluable asset to not only me but Bittersweet as well.
We will be holding public cuppings on Friday afternoons at two o'clock here at the cafe. I will be taking this opportunity to showcase one of the coffees that we are currently offering, while hopefully giving out some good information about each selection, teaching people how to cup, and why cupping is important.
On the shelves is a new Yemen Mocca Sanaani. This is a limited run so... come in while we have it! I know that many people will miss the Bali as one of our single origin offerings but the Yemen is a strong stand alone contender. Give it a try. This is a natural processed coffee and every one who has tried it has liked it very much, each for different reasons. Pretty good for being sun-dried and sorted on a Yemenese roof top!
Onward to the land of barely operable machinery...
Rebuilding steam wands seems straight forward enough, however, in the land of "barely operable machinery" this becomes a challenge like many others. These things have been the bane of my machine repairing experience since I took over the coffee program. There are only a handful of small parts but each one is apparently essential to the proper working of the steam wands and by that I mean not leaking, or spitting hot steam all over your hands. Unlike other projects where a left over bolt is no big deal, these things are picky.
After rebuilding a couple of wands I was getting rather good at it, or so I thought. They come apart easy enough and go back together easy enough, but in the end after installation and some high pressure steam, small leaking prevailed, proving that easy is not always the case. Espresso machines (I have learned) need constant love and care. Like a puppy they demand attention and if they don't get it they can become annoying in little ways. So the wands still puff out a little steam, minor in the grand scheme of things, but annoying none the less, and I only have one rebuild kit left so... wish me luck.
So there you have it my very first blog post ever. I am sure that you will be seeing more and maybe giggle while learning something along the way.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010