The Coffee Roasting on the Salish Sea

So yesterday I  was sitting online making my order for green coffee beans and thinking about this crappy cup of coffee I have to drink because we got so caught up in life we actually ran out of beans to roast!
 

It was all a “he said she said” thing about who and why we ran out.  I am pretty self centered about my morning ritual and am not happy that my day is starting off with a less than wonderful cup of coffee. On a Saturday no less

 
PLEASE NOTE 
Yes there is so much suffering in Haiti I struggling with tremendous grief anxiety and stres over what I am unable to do for these ever suffering human beings… I am sure I sound petty as hell and should not care about coffee and yes I am grateful a roof is over my head and I can complain and write about cofffee..but know I am not all that self centered I just needed a distraction from the agony  
  
so for me bitching about this awful cup of coffee
is trivial …but I beg you please donate now
Clinton Bush
  
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/01/clinton-and-bush-film-haiti-pu.html
  
here is the link to the American Red Cross
  
https://american.redcross.org/site/Donation2?4306.donation=form1&idb=1616251960&df_id=4306&JServSessionIdr004=bu5uhxbly3.app194a
  
if you can not donate cash give blood
 
and while I am at it how about a Hell of a mini rant?
 
…I curse Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh.I will not give them publicity on this tiny blog but to post this one video so people who listen to..and agree with ..Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson ..oh Hell Fox News
 
please take a good look at yourself
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5TE99sAbwM
 
because this is how WE see you
 
by posting anymore on the subject would mean I was sucked in
I am embarrassed and disgusted by this .
 
so now for a badly needed diversion
innnn through the nose …all the good thoughts in ..out through the mouth ..all the bad thoughts out …sigh …ok
now..
 
let’s talk about
 
COFFEE:
 
 
is to me the elixir of life
 
and a soothing vacation in a mug
 
I will start by saying it is a typical winter today on the Salish Sea. Just another one of those very short, dreary, wet, swampy, moldy, balmy days …he type of day that keeps people from moving here…no shock we love our coffee here huh?
 
It took many years and tons of coffee before I actually grew to find comfort in this weather ..now I love it ..it reminds me of my son and he loved this weather …
 
coffee is culture …
 
we are a crazy world of topless espresso drive through’s …Starbucks on every freaking corner ..people constantly running with paper cups residing in corrugated cardboard sleeves with lids and tiny plastic straws ..in a society full of sugar free skinny caramel CRAPiatos …run run run ..sucking “coffee drinks” through a straw??? and calling it “having a cup of coffee”
 
 
with this frenzy of growth in the coffee industry . where is a person to get to go sit down and have a wonderful cup of coffee?
 
for us it is our home ..the best place I can think of to have the perfect cup of coffee!
  
I have to say honestly ..or bitch honestly …I think people are separating themselves from “having a cup of coffee”.  How can you taste coffee through a tiny plastic straw? with a plastic lid? in a paper cup with so much crap in it???? I mean seriously a “pina colada latte” what the fk is that anyway???
  
You do not see your coffee!
 
 you do not smell your coffee
 
  you do not feel your coffee
 
you do not really taste it either
 
I do not get it ..
call it what you want ..
call me what you want ..
but ..
I beg you …
please do not
ask me to go “get a cup of coffee”
and have one of those things in your hand! 
at least do it some honor and take the lid off!
 
I was born into  a community of coffee lovers..my father said when I was little “learn to drink it black first then you will always know if you get a good cup of coffee or not” he was right! I did love to sip his with him and would shiver at the bitter..it was like eating baking chocolate to me ..something I also did! …I never drank milk …I drank warm milk with coffee in it growing up ..fact is it was the ONLY way I would drink milk ..in coffee ..my mother (I am sure)  drank lots of coffee while breastfeeding me
 
 and perhaps to some who know me this would  explain a hell of a lot!
 
I went from this community in New England to Florida where I learned to love cafe con leche and cafe colada 
..then to the Seattle area
..then to Panama
..then to the Mexican boarder 
..then then
 
..everywhere including Texas and Oklahoma I learned something about coffee …the latter taught me the secret of “cowboy” coffee over the campfire ..
 
coffee should be in a cup or mug made out of some form of ceramic or glass..you should see it ..smell it feel the warmth in your hands
 
 
my hands will risk the heat
 
my nose will smell the brew
 
my lips will feel
 
I will fully  taste the flavor
 
and feel the coffee
 
 
 I have to say we do have many wonderful local roasters in this area.   I can get a great cup of coffee..in a ceramic mug ..with friends … and it is usually $1.50/cup no refills or for .50 a refill
 
I have champagne taste on a microbrew budget ..so I had to find a way to be able to drink all the coffee I want made the way I wanted it ..just like cooking sometimes it is so much better for you and for your budget and your bitchiness  to  just DIY IT !!!
 
2 1/2 years ago we started roasting at home.
 
my husband is an inventor and he gets a little crazy sometimes but honestly ..that works to my behalf when it comes to a project like this! So what started as using a hand crank pot on the stove then rushing out the door in an insane frenzy to get the beans out before the smoke detectors go off …well now we have a motorized prototype to help us in our endeavors..we still have to stand by because it can walk off the stove ..and still also fly out the door because of smoke but considering home roasters cost several hundred dollars ..I do not complain!
 
so part one of my effort to maintain my sanity ..push my grief back a bit and take a “rest” not make and eat an entire pan of shortbread cookies or bake a cake (both crawl into my brain when I do not get enough sleep) 
 
I will  just talk about coffee for a while
 
 
Today it is about how we built our roaster  …so we could roast and drink the finest coffee I can imagine for a third what it costs at the roasters locally
for your best instruction I suggest you check out this link..they have a great section on DIY coffee roasters out of all kinds of contraptions and things you can pick up second hand or new ..lots of great info on the site and one of the places I get my green beans from
  
sweetmarias.com
 
 my goal is just to spark fellow coffee lovers to get back to basics here!

Taste your coffee 

 …sit down and drink it  

..take the damn lid off  

enjoy! 

 
Coffee roasting at my house
 
After months and months of us hand cranking coffee on top of the stove in a crank popcorn popper ..my husband who happens to be an inventor ..also a true lover of fine coffee ..had had it (he was the cranker all this time!!!) and built the following contraption
I will begin by telling you this is a “proof of concept” not an actual coffee roaster per se ..although I imagine if you check with us in five years we will still be using it!
For us this was easy  to pull off (ok for him it was difficult for me it was easy because I watched!)
we just happened to have two hand crank poppers and all this other stuff around to do it.
 you can skip the details but for some it might be interesting to see how I interpret what he did
 
So as you look at the photos here  (photos to be posted later)… you go
inside the black box with the red amp meter mounted on the top is a 4 amp 24 volt dc regulated power supply..this is controlled by a 5000 ohm potentiometer..my husband said that since the motor was only 4 amp 24 volt he had to step down the wall voltage from 110 volts ac ..so then he had the power go through a rectifier/regulator ..T..whatever he knows about that part I don’t …the rest I understand ..
there is a push button trigger at the end of the cord that runs out of the box and the gray box has a reverse switch so he can have crank go both ways …..he cut the last third of the wood piece on the handle of the popcorn popper…he cut the shaft right before the 90 degree bend to make a straight shaft to couple with the motor …then he took a scrap of brass put it in the lathe and drilled the center out so there was a hold slightly larger than the popcorn maker shaft and the motor shaft…then on the coupler (I HOPE HE READS THIS TO SEE I PAY ATTENTION!!!) he drilled and tapped two holes to accept 6-32 TPI Phillips head screws…then cut two 6-32 TPI screws so that when they were inserted in the coupler they would hit the wooden dowels that attached the wooden dowel to the handle …
 
four hose clamps a short piece of wood dowel and attached the dowel to the remaining wooden portion of the handle..the other two hose clamps abound the body of the motor to the dowel and
since the brass coupler will not flex he used a wooden dowel that acts like a shock absorber until he comes up with a rubber joint ..remember this is just “proof of concept”  (I have many of these in and around the house good old “proof of concepts”  ) …
Because of the additional length
 
(husband!!!!  I love you and thank you )
 
of the weight on the handle (IE pot would tip over when it cranked) he took a scrap piece of Lexan plastic made a “bi pod” (his words) out of it to hold up the pot level to the burner of the stove …because the slight flex in the coupler the whole thing started walking ..a damp piece of paper towel has fixed the problem!
 
that is it ..pure American Ingenuity at work …my husband is a brilliant man ..I have a semi- hand crafted coffee roaster it sits on the a gas stove ..you set a timer  flip a switch and voila’ off you go roasting your own coffee
 
this machine is wonderful, functional and works very hard..
I also have a husband who  is wonderful, functional and works very hard
  
So HE does the roasting ..and due to the nature of his brain he has it down to a science now..
 
he uses a special thermometer to get it just right..watches the color and the aroma of the beans ..he knows exactly when to stop while the  green beans morph into roasty toasty shades of brown
 
 I do help with the chafing..cooling and clean up ..and drink enough of the final product to make it worth all the trouble
 
my order is in and I am just waiting for my beans now …
 
I had to run out and go buy some Batdorfs and Bronsons because I could not stand other day of whatever the hell he was brewing for me ..I hope my beans come fast I can not afford this it was almost $14/lb!!!
 
sooo worth the contentment to take the extra effort..build a functional roaster and roast our own beans
 
..the plan now is to order a large stash and keep ahead of it!
 
…take care and please give to Haiti
 
 
 
 
 
PHOTOS WILL BE POSTED LATER
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING THIS BLOG
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Published in: on January 17, 2010 at 3:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

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