Tuesday, February 07, 2012

How to make a perfect cup of coffee

Start with a cup of green coffee beans. Place them in an iron 10 inch pan and stir with a wooden paddle.

What? Do I hear whining out there? Are all you sissies still going to Starbucks for your already-roasted beans? Come on people. It's not that hard. Look, I'll even show you how.

The Process

Put about a cup or so of beans into the pan on high heat and begin to push the beans around with a wooden spoon or paddle. It's important to keep the beans moving so that they get an even roast. The beans will give off a sort of "earthy" aroma when first heating up. Then they'll begin to pop. Keep the wooden spoon moving.

Next, they will begin to smoke. Make sure the overhead stove fan is running. I also run a fan by the kitchen window to draw out the billowing smoke. (Your smoke alarms may go off too so you might want to remove the batteries while doing this.)

If they become too hot and smoky, you can remove them from the heat while continually stirring. After the smoke dissipates, you can place them back on the burner. Repeat until dark enough to your liking. I like my beans as black as the iron skillet. Your tastes may vary.

Finally, the beans will begin to ooze oils and take on the consistency of quicksand. Once their color is as black as night, I remove them from the burner and dump them into a one quart saucepan while stirring. I place the pan in a sink of ice water. This cools the beans and prevents them from overcooking.

After cooling, I place them in colander and shift them. To hasten the process I stand next to a floor fan and toss the beans in the air (not too high) so that the chaff is blow away. This leaves pure bitter-free beans behind.

Now comes the fun part:
  • Grind up a cup of beans
  • Place two scoops into a thermal French Press (Don't have one? Get one!)
  • Add about two cups of 200 degree water
  • Wait one minute
  • Stir the coffee
  • Let stand for about four minutes
  • Serve
How good are my home-roasted beans?  One of my friends who never drinks coffee because of it's bitter taste tried a small sample.  He was blown away.  Now he drinks everyday. It's that good.  I gave another friend a small bag to try.  Got a text from him the next morning:

"Dave, this is awesome.  It's so smooth.  This coffee kicks butt!"

Hmmmm...could be a good name for my roast: "Dave's Kick Butt Brew"

Where do I get green coffee beans?

I buy two pounds of Yunnan China green coffee beans for about $3.50. You don't live in China? Hmmm, well you can buy beans online or you could also check locally. You might be surprised to find a supplier in your area, or at least someone willing to sell you green, unroasted beans. Why? Because green beans keep their freshness longer. After they have been roasted the bean pops and begins to ooze oils that will eventually get too old to drink. That's why roasters will provide the date of the roast on the outside of the bag itself. Roast a few weeks at a time for the best taste.

Warning: Do the above at your own risk. I can't be responsible.  If you are not up to the task, go ahead and buy the already-roasted beans.  I won't tell anybody.

Retirement is one great big coffee break. -Author Unknown