January 08, 2004

Fortune Elkins - who has a cool blog about Bread, Coffee, Chocolate, and Yoga - wants to know:

"forgive me ted, but i wanna hear about the coffee.
whose yrg? which costa rica estate? how are you brewing it?
if you will forgive me, the politics of this or that is dull -- but the coffee! that i wanna know!"

Gladly. I drink a lot of coffee, about a pound a week - it is my one remaining luxury.

I normally drink a roughly 50-50 blend of hi-test and decaff, and choose two varietals that talk together to form the blend. The sidebar shows my current brew - normally there are only two lines but I got silly and bought a mess of half-pounds last time I went coffee shopping.

I currently get my coffee from CoffeeWorks in Voorhees, NJ (no web page). It is a small coffee cafe with a tiny stage, a sandwhich menu, and the usual steam brewing gear. The waitstaff and barristas are local teenagers; some are competant, others are clueless, all are friendly. The owner is a cool lady - I think she does the roasting but I have never been there while the roaster was running.

They roast their own coffee, and they roast it frequently; I buy coffee about every other week, and it has always been roasted in the last few days.

I have no idea what estate they buy from. The Yirg were medium-small beans, roasted medium, with a thin white line at the seam between the two halves of the bean. I found it a little thin solo, but when blended it gave a nice winy undertone to the mixture. I had been blending it with a Guatamalan decaff - slightly chocolate taste, medium roast, strong taste towards the front of the mouth - and found the combination so good I drank it for a month. They were out of the Guat, so I switched the Costa Rican decaff.

I store beans in Rubbermaid containers in a dark cupboard. I grind with a Krups chopper, usually going 10 seconds by the clock for 7 scoops of beans. I use a pastry brush to clean the chopper after each use.

Those seven scoops go into a basic Braun drip coffeemaker (185 degrees in the carafe after brewing) with a Melitta brown paper filter. I add water to the 8 mark on the machine - about the 9 mark on the carafe, and brew. It makes about 7 1/2 "cups" by the carafe or some 30oz of coffee - Braun is good and adjusts its water levels to approximate the water absorbed by the grounds during brewing. I turn off the hot plate after brewing - burnt coffee is worse than cold coffee.

I drank my coffee black for 20 years until I had a bout of gastric reflux over the summer. (The blog started as an exercise and diet diary - the early months are boring.) I now blend my coffee half-and-half with skim milk. Sometimes, especially if I am using a darker roast, I heat the milk to thicken it .

Thats about it for coffee - I don't roast my own beans, I don't know the technical vocabulary to describe coffee tastes, I simply know what I like and make a lot of it.

J thinks my coffee is too strong.

Posted by Red Ted at January 8, 2004 09:26 AM | TrackBack