Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Winning Hearts, Minds, and Palates, One Cup At A Time

One of the nicest offshoots of roasting coffee at home is giving fresh-roasted beans to friends and family. These are the people who have had to listen to me verbalize "how fantastic" and "so delicious" for months, and giving them a taste of what I've been blathering about is quite satisfying. The general response has been exceedingly positive, for the obvious reason that this stuff is fantastic, and am slowly setting up a little family tree of roasters.
One colleague at work is already roasting, one is going to buy a roaster. My sister and I are in the midst of establishing a nice little intra-state commerce of coffee beans for homemade apricot jam. The Jess, of course, is my mega-super sidekick in all this, with her primary responsibility being to brew my pre-night call cuppa.
It's the funniest thing, and part of what makes this hobby so fun; even though she uses the exact same beans and equipment as me, the cups she makes turn out with subtle but distinct differences from mine. She has even taken a turn at the roaster, with a magnificent outcome. Come to think of it, I need her to roast some more of that crazy Yellow Bourbon varietal tonight.
The best one-liner to come of my early efforts at conversion was with my mother in law. As I handed her a bag of fresh beans, I asked her "do you take your coffee...awesome?"
She replied yesterday that she does.
The next step in my development as a roaster is definitely going to be refining my roasting profiles. Thus far, I've used the presets on my iRoast 2 with good success, but want to move into the more advanced roasting where temperature and timing are more strictly controlled. To hear the ace roasters at Sweet Maria's tell it, each bean peaks with a specific roasting pattern of temperature and time. Now that the palate is getting a bit more refined, that's going to be the next frontier.
If anyone would like to get a sample of roasted beans, please let me know, and if you ever have questions about getting started, getting beans, etc, I would love to be of assistance.

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