Fact: From the moment coffee is roasted, it begins to decay and loose flavor rapidly, remaining fresh from only ten days to a possible two weeks.
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Interesting… Think about how long your trusty tin has been in the refrigerator or cupboard, not including the time spent on the shelf at your favorite supermarket. I personally can’t remember the last time I bought coffee, having a giant 2lb/ pre-ground tub that suites my gluttonous needs and tight schedule. Until now, you see; I have tasted the good, and I realize that I have been settling. I have been mindlessly sipping without any notice and/or regards as to what I was consuming, coffee as a necessity, not a delicacy. Before this endevor I had no idea that coffee beans were an opaque green, or that they were harvested as the pits of coffee cherries.
I was introduced to the idea of freshly roasted coffee after a conversation with a fellow cook named Zac. He was excited about a new project that he was taking on in his home life. Zac was going to be freshly roasting some of the finest coffee beans available for friends and family. He had a simple idea and the longing to learn more about the rituals of roasting his own coffee beans.
Zac was excitedly buzzing around his garage explaining the fundamentals of coffee, as I took in every detail of his “Mirco-Roasting” operations. Plans for a future store are well underway and now he is simply fine tuning his technique. Zac has a Commercial Coffee Roaster, which he had already loaded with dark, aromatic beans. The smells had completely captured my attention, as I watched the beans bubble inside of the cylindrical roaster. With every breath drawn, I examine a wafting scent of rich chocolate and berries, mixed with embers to completely engulf the garage. As my eyes wander I see an old school pop corn popper, that had evidently been modified. Zac laughs embarrassedly as he confesses that he rigged the pop corn popper into a make-shift coffee roaster that he had made when roasting coffee was still an infant idea to him
He empties the roasted beans into a container. The beans are now technically drinkable but in the spirit of developing the best possible product the beans are left to de-gas for twenty four hours to develop flavor. After a thorough cleaning of all the parts and components of his dismantled roaster, I watch him reassemble and refill his roasting mechanism with a green version of a coffee bean, then start all over. The Coffee Roaster essentially works by heating the beans by producing a cyclone of hot air, keeping the beans moving until a desired roast is obtained. Outside of this very dim outline of roasting fresh beans, there are a million steps and techniques that vary and can effect the finished product.
Zac treats me to a “coffee tasting” in his home, where we taste several different beans and he tries to educate me on the benefits of drinking a fresh roast. There are grounds left in the cup for a coffee tasting and I am told that this is so the patron can taste the “bean” and what makes it special. The coffee is sharp and smoky, the initial flavor was accompanied by a natural sweetness. It was my first cup of fresh roasted coffee and the quality is simply unsurpassed.
Zac is in the beginning stages of discovering coffee, and all of it’s capabilities. I love his enthusiasm as he describes the different flavors and caffeine levels in the darker and lighter roasted beans. For a free sample of Zac’s own house blend of fresh roasted beans vistis his Web site at www.freshstartcoffeeroasters.com and join his mailing list.
I am excited and eager to see what lies ahead for this young “baristo.”