Monday, November 29, 2010

cleanhotdry: Roasting

This is such a beautiful video on roasting, I felt compelled to repost this here. You will enjoy this video.

Roasting from John Giannakos on Vimeo.

Everything from cleanhotdry is always really well done. Some opinions expressed there are a bit different than mine, but I have never seen a blog with better presentation.

Lord, thank You for beauty and the ability to appreciate it. Keep my head deflated and on straight. Here we go. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cupping Burundi Kayanza Bwayi

A Preview
It was about time that I cupped this fantastic coffee. But, if I was going to cup it, I might as well do a bit of investigative sampling at the same time. So, I roasted this same varietal four different ways, do different roast levels: Full City @ 4'25", City+ @ 4', City @3'45", and City- @ 3'30". Pictures can be found on my Facebook page. I apologize for not posting the pictures here, but if you have terrible internet speed you feel my pain and share my burden. 

What's to come:

A first for me, both for roasting and tasting. India's seem to be very rare.

This is another first. Tanzania's are almost always sold as pea-berry, but there is no reason that a "flat-bean" cannot be equally exceptional. This ought to be a great learning experience. 

A solid varietal here. There are very few ways to lose with this coffee. This will be a sure thing in the midst of the other two "exotic" coffees. 
For those of you waiting for my capstone paper in the History department of the University of Missouri, I'll be posting that in the next month. Its title: The 17th Century British Coffee-House: "Penny Universities" or "Seminaries of Sedition"?

Lord, thank You for the great coffee and the ability to purchase and consume it. Bless those that have worked so hard to propagate this coffee and make it available for me. Keep my head deflated and on straight. Here we go. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010


pure terror
I wasn't going to participate.  I know, I know, it's a terrible thought.  I'm swamped with school work as it is, so why distract myself with something like Halloween and the pursuit of the right costume?  I had good intentions, but after speaking with my uncle, I was forced to change my mind.  He called me a "Fuddy-duddy."  What else could I do?!  You can't just get called a fuddy-duddy and take it!  I did make him help me brainstorm costume ideas.  His best help was, "What frightens you more than anything else in the world"?  That little bit of advice was all it took.

I dressed up as a cup of decaffeinated Starbucks Pike Place Roast, literally the most terrifying material item I can conceive of.  The problem with this sort of a costume is that even if you add subtleties like a coffee sleeve with special boxes checked off "disgusting," "terrifying," "lava hot," and "decaf," people still think you're a fan.  Take a look for yourself:
close-up of the front of the sleeve

reverse side of the parody sleeve
my thoughts, just for good measure
 As you can see, the costume was made to look very much like an actual Starbucks cup. Even with all of these small details clearly making the costume obviously anti-Starbucks in nature, I received at least 100, "Yeah! I love Starbucks!", to which I replied, "I hate you."

Overall, I'd say the festive evening went well.  Part of the agreement you have to sign before you can take your newborns home from the hospital is that you dress your entire family in a set of costumes that coordinate.  So, in order to bring the rest of the family in on the action, my daughter was a Sweet 'n Low and my son was an Equal packet.  My wife, Micalah, was the orchestrator of the coffee horror show, she was a Starbucks "barista." More photographic evidence:
too cute
without baby bodies inside...
coffee family of HORROR!
I figure, if we have any more kids for next year, he or she would take the role of raw sugar.  The costumes were a hit, even if for the wrong reason.  The Missourian newspaper snapped a couple shots of the family for their online publication of the best costumes in Missouri, so that's cool.  Plus, I won second prize in the church's chili cook-off (lost to the guy who has cooked for all the mission trips for longer than I've been alive).

Lord, thank You for the time to hang out with my family and extended family in Christ.  I'm sorry for inadvertently advertising for the supreme heresy, Starbucks. Forgive me of my ignorance. Keep my head deflated and on straight. Here we go.