Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

On the other hand...

Bad: I woke up earlier than I had planned to this morning, because of someone banging on my door and ringing my doorbell.

Good: When I got to the door, I found the Big Brown Truck of Goodness driving away, having just left a Package of Happiness for me.

Bad: I was up, and would never get back to sleep.

Good: Now that I was up, I got to open my Package of Happiness.

Bad: This would lead to me making a mess, and getting involved in a minor project. It also feeds my addiction.

Good: But, yay! Feed my addiction!

Bad: This crap is costly.

Good: But, yay! I paid for it last week. Source is here.

Bad: That box looked awfully damned small for the $30 I spent having it sent to me.

Good: Did I mention that the Stuff. Is. Here?!?

Bad: Well, they over-taped it and over-sealed it and I'll be lucky if I don't cut a finger off getting to the...

Good: ...pound of Guatamalan Vista Hermosa Peaberry, pound of Mexican Malinal Washed, pound of Costa Rican BCT Dota Select, and pound of Hawaiian Kauai-Reserve green coffee beans.

Bad: Now I had to decide which to try first.

Good: This is a problem? Every coffee drinker should have such a dilemma.

Bad: After roasting, grinding, filtering, boiling, pouring, stirring, steeping, and pressing, it took me 26 minutes to finally have a cup of Guatamalan Vista Hermosa Peaberry coffee.

Good: But what a cuppa.


Bad: While moving the supposedly ziplocked bag of Guatamalan Vista Hermosa, I slung about a quarter lb of the hard little beans all over my hardwood kitchen floor. Which really needed to be swept. Wow. Look at how far those hard little beans will bounce. To the living room, even. Huh. I wouldn't have guessed.

Good: I could pick it all up, right?

Bad: The floor needs to be swept BADLY. And mopped. I'm not consuming this.

Good: The Black and Decker 7.2 V DustBuster is the first example of the DustBuster that I've ever seen that was worth a crap. And we just got one for Christmas. This thing is mighty powerful, and is a wet/dry vac, too. Impressive. The battery life is surprisingly long, as well.

Bad: Should I recycle the beans out of the dust chamber? Should I? No, of course not.

Good:
I made the right decision. Into the trash they went.

Bad:
There goes about $3.00 US and a good pot of coffee or two.

Good: I've got more.

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19 Comments:

At Thursday, January 10, 2008 12:56:00 PM, Blogger The Lily said...

You mentioned this earlier but what is peaberry?

 
At Thursday, January 10, 2008 1:14:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Much smaller bean version of the original. I first saw this a couple of years ago when my best friend went to Hawaii and sent me back some Kona Kaui peaberry. Supposedly makes for a more delecate flavor, I suppose because the chafe is thinner and more easily blown off, or something? I dunno. But it's definitely smaller. Check out this pic of the Guatamalan Vista Hermosa Peaberry against the bag of Mexican Malinal Washed beans (no, I wasn't going to open up the Mexican beans, and make still more mess.).

 
At Thursday, January 10, 2008 2:00:00 PM, Blogger Rabbit said...

Just pick up the beans, put them in a bowl and blow them off. If that doesn't make you happy, wash them.

Uh...you brew coffee with 195 degree water anyway, right?

Besides, no pathogens will withstand the pyrolysis process you're going to put them through. I'm glad you're discovering for yourself what I've been trying to tell you about the superior quality of Central American coffees.

Yes, I'm cheap, but I'm also pragmatic. I'd have roasted and used the dropped ones first.

Regards,
Rabbit.

 
At Thursday, January 10, 2008 2:24:00 PM, Anonymous Stingray said...

I've been thinking about trying the green & self-roasted approach for a while, but I've got way too many other projects going to pick up yet another method of Elaborate Caffeine Delivery. As tempting as your recent posts on the subject are, I've got to say the small version of that picture looks like something you'd see in an evidence locker next to a scale and some rolling papers. ;-)

(Oh, and be grateful you can get your water hot enough. Stuff boils at about 192ish here.)

 
At Thursday, January 10, 2008 3:20:00 PM, Anonymous LabRat said...

It's not so much an issue of pathogens as with all the nasty off-flavors that a bunch of random crud would bring to the party. If you're going to that much trouble for the right beans with the right roast with the right freshness brewed at just the right temperature to extract the good flavors and leave the bitter compounds in, then essence of Floor Scurf is not appreciated.

 
At Thursday, January 10, 2008 5:17:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

LabRat: glad you understand. These beans were too small and widely spread, and required sweeping and/or vacuuming to get picked up at any speed. I don't mind picking them singly and boiling them, but when one sweeps them or vacuums them into a common dust bin-- the flavor will be compromised. Yeah, I get that most pathogens will die at 195, but still... ew. I mean, most folks won't eat a sterilized cockroach, either.

StingRay-- longer steeping times and boiling water would do fine. Are you really that high, though? Usually you've got to get to about 10k' to get the boiling temp to drop 20 F. Of course pressure, ambient temp, humidity, etc all play a part in the upper calibration point for 100C.

 
At Thursday, January 10, 2008 8:24:00 PM, Blogger Breda said...

oh, Guatemalan is my absolutefavorite...and so hard to find.

 
At Thursday, January 10, 2008 8:35:00 PM, Blogger Rabbit said...

[cough]
Boiling water is too hot for good extraction and emulsification.[/coffeesnob]
That's why 195 degrees is suggested for the proper temperature of pressed coffee. Same for drip-brewed coffee.

That's why percolated coffee (boiled!) doesn't taste the same as the former methods.

Biologist that I am, yes, I've eaten my share of bugs, too. Live shrimp and oysers as well. Sea roaches tended to be a little too energetic, even after the first couple of crunches, though. I'm pretty sure they weren't sterile, though; lots of them were out on the jetty that day.

:D

Regards,
Rabbit.

 
At Thursday, January 10, 2008 9:20:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Well, Mr. Fancy Pants, I was talking about boiled water, but I suspect that by the time I've let the whistling die on my kettle, and pour it in a thin aerated stream into my French press, it's probably lost a few degrees.

And hell, StingRay and LabRat can't even get water to boil at a temp high enough to do harm, apparently.

What, precisely, occurs at above 195F? Starch conversion occurs at about 154F, IIRC.

 
At Thursday, January 10, 2008 9:22:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Oh, and Rabbit, I got the Guatamalan on your reccomendation, BTW.

 
At Thursday, January 10, 2008 9:47:00 PM, Anonymous Stingray said...

The official Los Alamos altitude is about 7200'. Right here, we're closer to 6800, but ambient humidity is usually measured here in units reserved for Egyptian tombs which doesn't help. We're also on the edge of a good-sized cliff, which brings barometric fun of its own to the party. With the lid down on the electric kettle, it can get to Close Enough range for the slow brewing, so I usually just go that route. Altitude here is weird in general; for pecan pie we actually have to adapt some elements of the recipie to methods tested in Breckenridge at 10k instead of a 7k recipie tested in Santa Fe.

As for the magic 195F number, I think that's more an issue of the mechanical forces of boiling than a thermal threshold, but I'd have to double check to make sure; this 'ol memory ain't what it used to be. I'll dig through my copy of "On Food and Cooking" and see if Mr. McGee hs anything to say about it, and maybe cross check with the coffee episode of Good Eats and report back.

Being prone to occasional fits of one-upsmanship, I may have to take up cupping now. ;)

 
At Thursday, January 10, 2008 10:03:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

[/Resisting urge to issue invite to cup self anytime]

 
At Thursday, January 10, 2008 10:19:00 PM, Anonymous Stingray said...

Looks like the brainbox was a bit rusty on this one. From "On Food and Cooking" p. 445:
"The ideal brewing temperature for any style of coffee is 190-200F; anything higher extracts bitter compounds too quickly."

If you're interested, I'll be happy to scan the whole section on coffee and tea and email it to you or something. Interesting stuff, and less dense than other parts of the book.

As for the cupping, maybe I'll just stick to controlled and detailed experiments on Labrats. For science, of course.

 
At Thursday, January 10, 2008 11:56:00 PM, Blogger phlegmfatale said...

I think you should have kept the beans, roasted them anyway and then used them as potpourri. Or put them in a little hankie under the air intake for your car A/C - air freshener?

 
At Friday, January 11, 2008 12:42:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

[/stifling urge to point out that good scientists use control/comparison groups as well as experimental groups]


Yeah, email me that-- I'm intrigued. Might as well know why...

 
At Friday, January 11, 2008 1:23:00 PM, Anonymous LabRat said...

Most scientists don't have to worry that their experimental subject has access to where they sleep and everything they eat and drink, as well as an extensive knowledge of anatomy and common toxins.

Stingray is babbling some nonsense about rescinding his grant being more reasonable, but he's not doing the typing, is he?

 
At Friday, January 11, 2008 1:50:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

That's exactly why I always keep my mouth shut, to keep myself out of such couple's banter. :)

 
At Friday, January 11, 2008 4:10:00 PM, Blogger Rabbit said...

Glad you tried the Guacamolian.

Good, ain't it?

Stingray gave you correct information on the rationale of temperature.

Labrat, I'll see your tetraethyl lead and raise you two barium acetates.

Regards,
Rabbit.

 
At Friday, January 11, 2008 9:53:00 PM, Blogger X_LA_Native said...

You mean there's an entirely DIFFERENT level of Coffee Geekery to aspire to?!?

.
It's going to be awhile 'til I'm worthy...

 

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