liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
Life's been busy lately. A little odd, but very very full. Since the trip, I've been finishing off a novel with [personal profile] darkprism, getting into another one so that the end depression isn't quite as bad, and adjusting a lot of small things in my life to just make things better.

Eye improvements, knitting, a new keyboard, changing out the burrs of the butt grinder, building up my own weight set for the weight training program, and my first worn out pair of jeans! )
liralen: Finch Painting (Katrina)
Life's been busy lately. A little odd, but very very full. Since the trip, I've been finishing off a novel with [livejournal.com profile] demented_dee, getting into another one so that the end depression isn't quite as bad, and adjusting a lot of small things in my life to just make things better.

Eye improvements, knitting, a new keyboard, changing out the burrs of the butt grinder, building up my own weight set for the weight training program, and my first worn out pair of jeans! )
liralen: Finch Painting (Katrina)
Life's been busy lately. A little odd, but very very full. Since the trip, I've been finishing off a novel with [livejournal.com profile] darkprism, getting into another one so that the end depression isn't quite as bad, and adjusting a lot of small things in my life to just make things better.

Eye improvements, knitting, a new keyboard, changing out the burrs of the butt grinder, building up my own weight set for the weight training program, and my first worn out pair of jeans! )
liralen: Finch Painting (bat)

  1. It's free.
  2. It's not half bad if I brew it in my drip brewer...
  3. ... right when I want to drink it
  4. ... with actually *boiling* (at altitude that's just 203°) water
  5. and... the kicker... throw one of the Land 'o Lakes Mini Moos (uht half and half) in it.
  6. The uht taste isn't too bad in free coffee...

liralen: Finch Painting (bat)

  1. It's free.
  2. It's not half bad if I brew it in my drip brewer...
  3. ... right when I want to drink it
  4. ... with actually *boiling* (at altitude that's just 203°) water
  5. and... the kicker... throw one of the Land 'o Lakes Mini Moos (uht half and half) in it.
  6. The uht taste isn't too bad in free coffee...

liralen: Finch Painting (stort)
I can finally tell that I'm back on a more even keel, as I actually went and made an apple pie this last weekend just for the fun of doing it.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (stort)
I can finally tell that I'm back on a more even keel, as I actually went and made an apple pie this last weekend just for the fun of doing it.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (leaf)
Bought: For my birthday! :-) By my husband, arrived 10/10/05, bought from Sweet Maria's. I'd asked for a Kenyan coffee, just to see what the fuss is all about for Kenya AAs, but since he knows that I love peaberry coffees he bought it for me instead of one of the AA lots. The smaller berry often seems to equate to denser flavor and smoother qualities for me, though the Sweet Maria's guy says that the shape doesn't change the coffee qualities

Roasted: On Sunday (two days ago), Full City++, as I took it a few rattles into the second crack for a little bit of oil on the surface for both batches.

Brewed: 2 Tablespoons of beans in a whirly grinder. 8 ounces of boiling water (203° at altitude) through an unbleached paper filter.

Character: I love it. This is definitely not my usual bittersweet chocolate and burnt cream cuppa. This thing has bright, lively flavors but without, somehow, tasting at all soured. Grapefruit shading to licorice with a creamy body and quick, citrus finish. Surprised the heck out of me when I could not only drink it without milk, but actually liked it better that way! The scent of the beans confused me until I thought about licorice and spices and a little of citrus rind, like a curl of grapefruit rind in an espresso to cut the richness and balance it just right. With the wait of a couple of days, the body was dense and creamy and had this great coffee platform for the brightness.

Now I can see why some folks don't like Blue Mountain Jamaican coffee as much as this.

I doubt I could drink this all day, but for my single cup of the day it was a huge surprise and pleasure. I think I'll be trying more of the Kenyan coffees.

Rating: 10 of 10
liralen: Finch Painting (leaf)
Bought: For my birthday! :-) By my husband, arrived 10/10/05, bought from Sweet Maria's. I'd asked for a Kenyan coffee, just to see what the fuss is all about for Kenya AAs, but since he knows that I love peaberry coffees he bought it for me instead of one of the AA lots. The smaller berry often seems to equate to denser flavor and smoother qualities for me, though the Sweet Maria's guy says that the shape doesn't change the coffee qualities

Roasted: On Sunday (two days ago), Full City++, as I took it a few rattles into the second crack for a little bit of oil on the surface for both batches.

Brewed: 2 Tablespoons of beans in a whirly grinder. 8 ounces of boiling water (203° at altitude) through an unbleached paper filter.

Character: I love it. This is definitely not my usual bittersweet chocolate and burnt cream cuppa. This thing has bright, lively flavors but without, somehow, tasting at all soured. Grapefruit shading to licorice with a creamy body and quick, citrus finish. Surprised the heck out of me when I could not only drink it without milk, but actually liked it better that way! The scent of the beans confused me until I thought about licorice and spices and a little of citrus rind, like a curl of grapefruit rind in an espresso to cut the richness and balance it just right. With the wait of a couple of days, the body was dense and creamy and had this great coffee platform for the brightness.

Now I can see why some folks don't like Blue Mountain Jamaican coffee as much as this.

I doubt I could drink this all day, but for my single cup of the day it was a huge surprise and pleasure. I think I'll be trying more of the Kenyan coffees.

Rating: 10 of 10

Quality

Oct. 13th, 2005 01:40 pm
liralen: Finch Painting (leaf)
When I make coffee at work I put a rounded 2 tablespoons of coffee beans into my grinder. I gather up the grinder, the filter in its cone holder, my glass measuring cup, and my mug for the results.

I go to the break area, as I don't want to bother the folks around me with the grinder. I then get an exact eight ounces of water out of the coffee maker into my glass measuring cup. I put the cup into the microwave and hit "1" for a one minute heat. The water in the coffee maker isn't nearly hot enough for making good coffee because it usually takes anywhere from 30 seconds to a full minute for the water in the cup to actually boil.

While the water heats I grind the coffee (which I roasted within a week of this venture), and put the grinds into the paper filter. I set the cone on the mug. By this time the water is usually boiling (203° F) in the measuring cup. Since glass is an excellent heat insulator the water usually continues bubbling as I make my way to the filter. It is not superheated or it wouldn't be bubbling. No scalds for me.

I then gradually pour the water through the grounds, often pouring in different spots to push the grinds into the infusion and roughly keep it brewing for about 3-4 minutes. I don't pour all that much at a time.

Amusingly enough, I can taste the difference if I leave any of these steps out (water hot enough, grind right as I'm about to brew, brew for long enough).

When I was done this morning, a guy said, "For all that work, you should have brewed a whole pot." He thought a bit, "Hm. Unless that's the only cup you drink a day. Then it's worth doing to have one great cup of coffee."

Bingo, he got it. It is my only cup of coffee each day, usually. And it's perfect and completely enjoyable to the very bottom of the cup. For me the quality of it was far more important than the quantity or price in my time or my money, and my process showed that. I cannot drink the free coffee off the hot plate of the coffeemaker that doesn't make its water hot enough to actually brew even good coffee.

I realized, recently, that placing my value of quality over my valuation of my time or money or quantity is not something everyone understands. Maybe this will be a good example of how I am the way I am.

Quality

Oct. 13th, 2005 01:40 pm
liralen: Finch Painting (leaf)
When I make coffee at work I put a rounded 2 tablespoons of coffee beans into my grinder. I gather up the grinder, the filter in its cone holder, my glass measuring cup, and my mug for the results.

I go to the break area, as I don't want to bother the folks around me with the grinder. I then get an exact eight ounces of water out of the coffee maker into my glass measuring cup. I put the cup into the microwave and hit "1" for a one minute heat. The water in the coffee maker isn't nearly hot enough for making good coffee because it usually takes anywhere from 30 seconds to a full minute for the water in the cup to actually boil.

While the water heats I grind the coffee (which I roasted within a week of this venture), and put the grinds into the paper filter. I set the cone on the mug. By this time the water is usually boiling (203° F) in the measuring cup. Since glass is an excellent heat insulator the water usually continues bubbling as I make my way to the filter. It is not superheated or it wouldn't be bubbling. No scalds for me.

I then gradually pour the water through the grounds, often pouring in different spots to push the grinds into the infusion and roughly keep it brewing for about 3-4 minutes. I don't pour all that much at a time.

Amusingly enough, I can taste the difference if I leave any of these steps out (water hot enough, grind right as I'm about to brew, brew for long enough).

When I was done this morning, a guy said, "For all that work, you should have brewed a whole pot." He thought a bit, "Hm. Unless that's the only cup you drink a day. Then it's worth doing to have one great cup of coffee."

Bingo, he got it. It is my only cup of coffee each day, usually. And it's perfect and completely enjoyable to the very bottom of the cup. For me the quality of it was far more important than the quantity or price in my time or my money, and my process showed that. I cannot drink the free coffee off the hot plate of the coffeemaker that doesn't make its water hot enough to actually brew even good coffee.

I realized, recently, that placing my value of quality over my valuation of my time or money or quantity is not something everyone understands. Maybe this will be a good example of how I am the way I am.
liralen: Finch Painting (leaf)
... to realize that the mere fact that a coffee or tea is in a paper cup is something I can now taste.

I had to dig around in the common kitchen to find a ceramic cup in order to really enjoy the coffee from the k-cup critter installed there.

Yeesh.
liralen: Finch Painting (leaf)
... to realize that the mere fact that a coffee or tea is in a paper cup is something I can now taste.

I had to dig around in the common kitchen to find a ceramic cup in order to really enjoy the coffee from the k-cup critter installed there.

Yeesh.
liralen: Finch Painting (leaf)
Bought: From Blue Mountain Coffee, before I'd ever heard of Sweet Maria's. Yes, it's at a crazy expensive price at the moment. I think I paid around $35 for the 3 pounds, more than two years ago, rather than the $55 it's now at, but with the hurricanes going through there, the coffee crop for the last couple of years was very badly damaged and diminished.

Mavis Bank is one of the mills that collects coffee from the various growers and does the processing on it. They're the only mill that does it at altitude. They're likely one of the largest, taking in about 40% of the beans produced on the Blue Mountain. Roasted prices for the coffee now go on the order of $40 a pound. I'm actually rather impressed that Sweet Maria's tasted this last year's batch and decided it just wasn't good enough and aren't carrying it at all when the margins are so huge at the moment.

Roasted: This morning, five minutes before I ground and brewed it. I started at the "cool" setting for the FreshRoast and once the beans yellowed, I went to the medium heat setting. Half the beans I did at a City Roast, i.e. just at the end of 1st crack before it goes into second. The second half I did as a Vienna roast, well into 2nd crack so that the oils are on the surface. Having both gives me both roast characteristics and the bean characteristics, what there are of them.

Brewed: SwissGold one cup filter. 2 Tbs beans ground two notches finer than normal drip coffee, about 6 ounces of boiling water (203). At sea level you might want to let the water cool a little from 212 down to about 200.

Yeah. The big question. "Is it worth it?"

It really depends on what you want. Blue Mountain Coffee is smooth, mild, mild, mild, nearly creamy compared to nearly any other coffee. No acid, no bitterness even if roasted nearly to carbon, just smooth coffee flavor. It's got a nice, medium body, great aroma and fragrance both wet and dry, very little prominent acidity, and a very creamy, mild aftertaste or finish.

No flowers, no fruit, no earthy mustiness, no chocolate, no nuts or trees or...

Nearly no flavors other than the central concept of what coffee, alone, is. Completely undistracted, it can be, on one hand, extremely boring, and on the other, the essence of what coffee, alone, should be. Depends on your point of view.

At $10 a pound, pre-roasted, with about a 30% weight loss from roasting, it's quite well worth it. At $40 a pound... for me, it's a "No." I'd rather drink my Papua New Guinea or the Brazilian Cerrados or my Australian Mountain coffees than pay $40 for this. It's very nice, and I enjoy it a great deal, as you can see from my rating and I need to drink this stuff before it gets too much older. But I wouldn't buy more at these prices.

Rating: 9 of 10

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