There is a method to my madness

I just added 2 more coffee brewing methods to my arsenal. That brings it to a total of 4. Some people might not agree that they all taste different but they all have their subtle nuances. Below is a description of each with what I consider to be their best qualities.

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French Press

This was the first upgrade from my high end drip coffee maker. Going from a drip system, I liked it because I was able to control the process better. You start to experience coffee at a whole new level, both visually and  in taste.

The process is as follows:

  1. Heat water in electric tea kettle
  2. Measure 3tsp of freshly ground coffee into carafe
  3. When water starts to boil, pour into carafe and stir
  4. Set timer for 4 minutes
  5. Replace lid with plunger in top position. Start timer
  6. When time expires, slowly lower plunger/sive
  7. Pour coffee into mug

Pour Over

Yet another step in the right direction. I was told about this method by a coworker. We both like really good coffee. Incidentally, he is indebted to me for life because I told him about the coffee shop/roaster that I wrote about in a previous blog. He said that on a visit to this shop, his wife accidentally ordered a pourover. And to this day, we’re glad she did. If you are on a budget, this is a good option to start enjoying flavorful coffee.

  1. Heat 500ml of water
  2. Place pour over device on mug and insert filter
  3. Measure out 30g of freshly ground coffee
  4. When the water is heated, slowly pour the water over the grounds (get it?)
  5. Let the water flow through the pour over device into the mug and enjoy

These last two I recently purchased so I’m still trying to rank them in my arsenal. I’m leaning toward the Chemex

AeroPress

This method is the most unique of the four. You use a plunger to force the water through the filter. It’s a smaller amount of coffee but it makes up for that in flavor.

  1. Assemble AeroPress
  2. Heat 240mL of wafer
  3. Measure 15g of freshly ground coffee into AeroPress
  4. Place filter into cap and wet slightly
  5. Pour in 100ml of water and stir for 30 seconds
  6. Pour in remaining water and let stand for 1:30 (total time)
  7. Place cap with filter on AeroPress
  8. Flip device over onto mug
  9. Press the plunger down (20 second duration) to push coffee into mug and enjoy

Chemex

So far this is my favorite method. The coffee that it produces comes out smooth and full bodied. I regret getting the small version of the tool but I can live with it. The filter is thicker that a regular coffee filter so it’s kind of a cross between a french press (steep) and a pour over. It’s made of glass like a french press so you really have to be careful with it.

  1. Heat 400ml of water (I have the small Chemex)
  2. Fold filter and place into carafe
  3. Measure out 25g of freshly ground coffee
  4. Pour 100ml of water into filter, wait 30 seconds
  5. Pour remaining water into filter and allow to flow into carafe
  6. Remove filter and swirl coffee a few times to mix
  7. Pour into mug and enjoy

There you have it, all the ways I enjoy coffee. As you can see, freshly ground coffee is common to all of them. Better yet, freshly roasted coffee is even better.

Why buy small batch roasted coffee?

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and said “give me your best 3 week old bread!!”? Have you ever said “I want a pre-packaged, stale chocolate chip cookie”? If you answered “no” to these questions, why would you buy old, stale coffee? The fact is, coffee starts to go stale once it’s removed from the roaster. The longer it sits in a bag, the more it loses its unique character.

Character, much like in humans, is what makes certain coffees stand out from others. Character is what true coffee aficionados look for in a cup of coffee. Aroma, acidity, body, flavor are all standard descriptors for coffee. They all can be tasted in freshly roasted coffee and they all are balanced. No one characteristic overpowers the other. If you have a coffee that lacks in any one of these characteristics, it’s probably dead.

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Like most people, I was only exposed to the big name coffees when I was growing up. My parents would buy big cans of ground coffee that they kept in the freezer so it would “stay fresh”. They would take solace in the fact that the can was vacuum packed. ***note: fresh coffee can’t be vacuum packed. It would explode.*** The coffee was bitter and because of the brewing method (I’ll have another post on that) had a burnt taste. I continued this tradition for a long time. Then one day, like most people, I had coffee at a commercial coffee shop. I thought I had found the holy grail of coffee. Little did i know I had a long way to go.

Fast forward to early last year (2015). I was suffering from some brain fog and an internet search was pointing the finger to it being a side effect of old coffee. Voodoo or not, I discovered the small batch coffee house. Little did I know, I had one right down the street from work. The first time I had freshly roasted coffee (drank it the same week it was roasted), things changed forever. Not only did the coffee taste better, I also appreciated the fact that I was able to talk to the person who was roasting my coffee. Directly supporting small businesses of this type make the products that you purchase more special compared to buying from faceless corporation.

So next time you decide to buy a bag of coffee, do yourself a favor…don’t  buy a bag of dead coffee. Instead buy a bag of freshly roasted coffee, YOU WILL NEVER GO BACK..

Why do we want to start a coffee roasting business?

I love coffee. I guess I can stop there and post this to twitter….

If you guys want the long story, here it goes. I was sitting at my desk after my wife had sent me a message that her contract at work wouldn’t be renewed. That same day we had been told at work that things weren’t going so well. We had recently had our third child. ***queue spinning room and hyperventilation***

Reality is we have it better than most and our lives are pretty awesome and unique. My wife works part- time from home so she can manage the house and kids. She also homeschools our two oldest (girl, 8 and boy, 4). My job is also really flexible when it comes to family, so I can be part of my kids lives too. Our little family is pretty tight, it is our priority and we are doing our best to raise these kids right.  BUT when you’re faced with a potential huge life change, a lot of stuff runs through your mind. Most of it isn’t good and THE WHAT IFs START BUILDING AND BUILDING.  

So on the way home I stopped to get some coffee to unwind a bit. This is my usual coffee shop when I want the good stuff and a good selection. I ordered my pour-over and handed the barista by card to take care of my $3 order. As I took my first sip, I thought to myself “I know coffee, I love coffee, I can do this and probably better”. On the drive home I made a mental list of what coffee based business I could start. I got home and told my wife “I want to start a coffee business”. Without hesitation, she agreed. She’s cool like that.

We spent the next few weeks investigating what we could do. We knew we had a little time to finalize the idea so we made sure we were ready to jump in.  When we put all the ideas on the table we figured that a small scale coffee roasting business was the right fit. The start up costs were low enough that we could cover it with an extra savings account my wife had started. Also, we realized our current skill sets and professional work experience would transfer over and be a big help in the start up.

So that’s it, Café Tres Estrellas (Three Star Coffee, one star for each of our kids) was born. We’ve been busy researching branding, social media, coffee roasting, coffee roasters, licensing, permitting, etc, etc, etc. We want to make sure we get this started right from the get go so we can focus on making really good, delicious coffee. No fancy flavors, just REALLY good coffee.

So we hope you stick around for the journey. Thanks for reading…and

Make Like Better…Drink Coffee

-Andres

First blog post

Thanks for stopping by! We are starting a small batch coffee roasting business and want to keep you up to date on all that’s going on. We are currently in the beginning stages of our start up and are excited to get things going.

This idea started when I was sitting in a local coffee shop and said “I can do that!”. Drinking coffee is one of my favorite things to do so it was easy for to convince myself that roasting coffee was right up my alley as well.

My wife and I would like to invite you to check back for all the goals (and setbacks) that we will have along the way. Along with our three kids (8, 4 and 10mo.) we are an entertaining bunch. I’m sure we’ll at least be good for a few laughs.

Make Life Better…Drink Coffee.