Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Waiting for a coffee tree

Its been a while since i planted my coffee berries now. The progress has indeed been tedious, with several ups and downs. One week i thought I had a tree coming up, though with when nothing happened into week two I investigated the "tree" further and found it to be a small green stone. The unborne tree has also done some other jests with me, like sending up grass or weed or other things to fool a idealist with no knowledge of gardening.

This weekend I said enough is enough and I decided to look into the progress thoroughly. I took the black and green box and started digging up the berries.

As you see the berries in the black box are completely rotten. These were the overdue berries. Project black box was quickly terminated and the whole box ended up in the garbage!

I had no high hopes for the green box with the ripe berries at this moment. I would suspect the overdue berries(that would naturally fall to the ground) to have the highest chance of success. Though I got surprised when I started digging around in the soil!

 This looks very much like a pair of roots to me! This is also the first time ever that I see the premature development of a coffee tree, which is interesting enough.

The green box was again covered with soil and placed in the sunshine with renewed enthusiasm.

 Hopefully, within a few weeks a new coffee tree is borne! (Though I suspect it will be a while yet until I am self sustained on coffee produced in Norway..)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Equipment is far from everything

This weekend I got quite surprised when I entered a bar in Trondheim and found they had a shiny Elektra Belle Epoque espresso machine. Seeing this, I had to invite my friends, sitting outside, for a espresso with the view of that classic masterpiece.

The Belle Epoque

We had high expectations when we were served our espresso. Perhaps this is one of the reasons we were a bit disappointed as the expectations were set to high. To be honest the espresso had similarities with the dispenser-espresso at work.

We observed that the grinder had around 1-2 kg of roasted beans in the hopper. As this was not a dedicated coffee shop these beans have probably stayed in that hopper for several days. I also deem it likely that the beans were roasted weeks ago. We did at least not smell the pleasant scent of a fresh roast in the bar.

My conclusion is that with enough money you can purchase any fancy coffee machine. Though no fancy coffee machine can make good coffee out of bad beans. Usually its better to put your money where it matters most. In this case it would be in the raw materials.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Smoked beans - No more

Finally I got my delivery from Sweet Maria's. I was a bit worried now that my bag of special smoke roasted beans were getting slimmer and slimmer. Picturing myself in the local grocery store buying pre-roasted beans... I am happy the awkward situation were avoided.

I try to buy beans from most places of the word. Also supporting some poor countries often give a pleasant cup and new experiences. (I guess most coffee countries are poor which justifies buying even more coffee). This time I bought following beans:

  • Costa Rica Cafetalera Herbazu
  • Costa Rica Finca La Ponderosa 100% Bourbon
  • Nicaragua Finca San Jose Java Longberry
  • Rwanda Gkongoro Nyarusiza
  • Tanzania Nyamtimbo Peaberry 
  • Timor FTO Maubesse 

The first beans for the roaster's heat were the ones from Timor.

The Timor beans got a Full City roast, taken just on the start of second crack. Here you see the beans cooling down after the roasting process. To have a good cooling system is important as it stops the roasting process sharply. Letting the beans cool in a pot allow them so prolong their internal roast process which is not always good for the end result.

I usually prefer to test my coffee with a simple french press. It allows you to enjoy the coffee for some time and also let you test the coffee at a wider spectrum of temperature. Some times the coffee shows different characteristics as it cools down a bit.

Tomorrow I will offer some of my friends at work a taste. I hope they will enjoy.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Two beans to destroy them all.

A few days ago I was roasting my beans as normally. However, the result was really disappointing. When the beans first came out of the roaster one of the first things that stroke me was the burned smell and excessive smoke. After tasting the coffee i soon figured this was not only the smell, the whole coffee had this burned aftertaste.

Further investigation of the roaster told the whole story about the end product.

The two beans seen on the picture were found in the drum after the roast was performed. They were actually almost glued to the drum and have certainly a longer history in the roaster then the beans I was preparing this evening. 
It is incredible that two small beans can destroy a whole batch consisting of thousands of beans!

Here the roaster have been properly cleaned and is now ready for new tasks. I am really looking forward to get my next shipment of beans. They are currently crossing the Atlantic while I have to settle with my smoke-roasted beans in the meantime..

Monday, May 24, 2010

Planting of coffee trees

Friday 21.05.2010 I planted my first coffee trees. I used 4 different berries, and I hope that at least one of them will once see the sun. In the green box I planted two ripe coffee berries, while in the black box two overdue berries is planted.

I am not sure if it is a type of coffee tree I have planted, but I will search for ways to identify this later on. (I know from eating some of the red berries that it is definitively not a peaberry.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The coffee story

Hi all,

This will be a blog where I post all the coffee experience I want to share with the world. I have been quite dedicated to coffee for several years. Two years ago I started importing coffee beans from around the world and roasting them at home. All just to get the best cup of coffee with no shortcuts taken. (Possible also the joy of going deep into a subject has been part of my motivation.)

I wish you all a clean cup for now.