Today my coffee shrine includes: Hearthware
Precision roaster, Hario
Super Technica vacuum pot brewer, Braun Burr Grinder, Braun
12-Cup Drip brewer, and a Rotel Espresso machine. I'm not doing
much with espresso these days mainly due to lack of time; This will change
when I've narrowed down my choices of green beans and roasts. When I fire
up the Rotel again I'll try everything I've roasted as espresso (more about
(Hey David, are you going to drink that coffee or soak your beard in it?)
Preview and/or order this book at: LucidCafe.com. It's also available from:
Tom of SM is always there to help when you just can't coax a good brew out of one of his coffees. They also have a listserver if you'd like to engage in some sophisticated discussions about coffee (minimal flaming in that group). There is also a digest of the listserver postings.
In the late 90's Starbucks came out with the worst tasting coffee I've ever had: Lighter Dimensions. It was a really bad example of what a medium-dark roast could be (their idea of a light roast). If you buy inferior green beans, you'll typically get the best result by roasting very dark. If you buy really good beans, you can roast them different degrees in order to emphasize different taste components. There are coffee drinkers who believe that the mass market coffee shops mask inferior beans with a very dark roast.
What I want from coffee is variety (e.g. several origin of beans, light to dark roasts, multiple brewing methods). Variety is one of the things that does not deliver. After The Coffee Connection left the planet (see below) it took me a long time to find great coffee; home roasting was the solution.
Post Mortem: When Starbucks announced they were opening in Boston, George did what any wise entrepreneur would have done, he sold out. I'd like to thank him for showing us that there is much more to coffee than can be found in even the most popular coffee venues.
Rebirth: This just in --- George Howell has recently setup a roasting operation in the very town I live! The local paper says they have cuppings on most Thursdays. Here's the link: www.TerroirCoffee.com
I wonder where Raymond Trevino is (formerly a buyer for CC), Raymond
taught me that "espresso is not a roast, not a bean, and not a blend of
beans, espresso is a method of brewing coffee". I just wish I could
use my card a few more times.
Woodstove and Wok Coffee Roasting
* Jamaica Blue Mountain, bought in a grocery store in Santa Cruz, CA in 1972 for the outrageous amount of $6/lb. This was the most balanced coffee I have ever had.
* Kenya AA Decaf, bought from Key West in Acton, MA in 1999 and roasted in the Hearthware Precision. Key West subsequently went out of business. I can drive over to their abandoned storefront, look in the window and see burlap sacks full of green beans, one of them probably containing the Kenya, but haven't found a way to get inside (legally).
Coffee Kid's Coffee LinksThis guy's coffee preferences are similar to mine:
Bill Wiltschko's Coffee Page