Too cute!
and I love stovetop coffee:

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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Caffeine & Weight Loss

Here's me thinking all this extra coffee might increase my metabolism! Bugger! Oh well, it won't stop me indulging in my morning espresso.

From Sugar - Aspartame and Saccharin - Symptoms & Awareness: "CAFFEINE AND WEIGHT LOSS"
Caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea, and soda, is a stimulant. It stimulates the adrenal glands to produce epinephrine.
Epinephrine, in turn, stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin, thus lowering the blood sugar level.
This, in turn, over stimulates the pancreas & the elevated insulin levels will not maximize fat burning, because insulin inhibits the release and utilization of stored body fat.
The nicotine found in tobacco stimulates epinephrine production in a similar manner."

Monday, January 30, 2006

Pod Coffee Makers

Two more yummy home roast espressos this morning. Considering I found it hard to wake up today, I've been busy: roasted my fifth batch (the others are running low), cleaned the house, taken my toddler to the park and added an article to the main site... and it's only mid-morning! Must be the caffeine!

More and more of my friends are buying Pod Coffee Makers. I would never buy one myself... especially after home roasting! I suppose they're fast and convenient - and if you like 'gadgets' you'll be sucked in. The truth is that they're still preground, stale coffee and will never reproduce the flavour, aroma or crema of a true espresso... no matter how good the marketing is. Anyhoo... since there seems to be so much interest in these, I've posted a new article about Pod Coffee Makers to the main site.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Roast Your Own - Any Way You Can!

This morning's espressos (x2) were superb! Near-perfect pours and wonderfully sweet flavours. I didn't roast any beans today. Will do again tomorrow.

Roast your own - any way you can! :-

Coffee connoisseurs are roasting their own


Coffee is on its way to becoming the "new wine."


Some "coffee geeks" on a Web site devoted to the practice swear by air popcorn poppers.

Murrill uses a rigged George Foreman rotisserie to roast his beans.

"I didn't even know that's what it was when I bought it on the Internet," said Murrill.

Regardless of its origins, Murrill says the roaster gives him the control to make a variety of strengths and blends.

Ceremoniously, at 4 p.m. every day, Murrill goes to the back of Roasters Coffee Bar, which is part of Village Gifts and Gallery, and puts a pound of green coffee beans into a basket affixed to a skewer intended for chicken. A modified switch rotates the basket for even roasting.

After about 15 minutes, the beans start to crackle and pop, sounding a lot like popcorn. A sweet wood-burning smell fills the air.

... Click here to read more.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Home Coffee Roasting Photos

Below are some pics taken during roasting sessions 2 and 3 on Wednesday morning... plus a pic of my new espresso machine and grinder.

Made a few espressos this morning... the nicest was from the last batch I roasted which is now two+ days old. As suggested by the guides I've been reading/following, the coffee certainly does develop body and tastes a whole lot better 2-3 days after roasting. The darker roast has a nice toasted caramel flavour - reminiscent of creme caramel... mmmm.

Home Coffee Roasting Home Coffee Roasting

Home Coffee Roasting Home Coffee Roasting

Home Coffee Roasting

Friday, January 27, 2006

Home Roasted Espresso - 2.5 Days Later

7:00am This morning I brewed an espresso from the first popcorn-popper batch roasted on Wednesday 25/1/06... less acidity and much more body than on the first day. My grind was a little too fine, so the pour was very tight, but the result was sweet & strong ~20ml and highly enjoyable (no over-extraction). I still think the overall flavour is a little flat - but this isn't a blend, so I don't expect any complexity. Also strange to note that the beans are not as fragrant as I expected them to be - and there hasn't been as much gas in the bag as I expected (perhaps due to the one-way valve bag I have used?).

That said, I just went out for brekky this morning (9am) and ordered a short black for comparisons sake. The cafe has a reasonable reputation for good coffee - but I'm proud to say that it was nowhere near as nice as my home-made, home-roasted espresso this morning.

I usually drink my coffee with milk, but I'm finding that the home-roasted coffee is so sweet (without sugar) and tastes better as a short-black. Good for the waistline!

The batch from yesterdays roasting session (the ones that I roasted a bit darker) smell fantastic today. The oils are visible this morning - tiny droplets on the surface of the bean. I can't wait to try them. I'll give it a go this afternoon.

Read more about espresso coffee here.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Popcorn Coffee Fireworks on Australia Day

Happy Australia Day!

As the country swarms to Australia's cities in preparation of a night of music and fireworks, I've spent this morning creating my own smoke - roasting up a fourth batch in the popcorn popper.

This time I left the butter dish on the top of the pop corn popper - to keep the heat a bit better. The roast time was more acceptable - 4mins to the first crack and about 7 minutes to the second crack. (Previous roasts took 10-11 mins to 2nd crack). I stopped the roast at about 7.5 minutes as the beans started 'tipping' (little circular chips flying off the bean). The beans were still dry in appearance, so I could have roasted a little longer to bring the oils to the surfce (I'm brewing espresso after all). Maybe I'll try that next time.

130g of green beens in yielded about 92g of roasted beans out... with about 10g falling out of the chute during the roast. Lots of smoke out too this time. Although the weight was less, the volume was about double.

Yesterday's first roast still tastes quite acidic and flat - I suspect this has a lot to do with the slow roast at low temps. I'll see how the flavours develop tomorrow.

For now, Happy Australia Day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Home Coffee Roasting With a Popcorn Popper

Last year (2005) I received an early Christmas present... the new Sunbeam EM6900 espresso machine and EM0480 burr grinder. These machines were developed with the help of World Barista Champion Paul Basset.

After spending most of December/January fine-tuning the machines and perfecting (I wish!) my espresso making technique I've been churning through bag after bag of beans. My budget has run dry and dictated the need to roast my own green beans. Green beans are about 1/3 to 1/2 the price of roasted beans. I've heard about Home roasting in an inexpensive popcorn popper - hmmmmm???....

Well, today I gave it a go! The results?... Wow!!! I roasted three small batches of Columbian Popyan. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the smoke and chaff weren't nearly as bad as I had anticipated. Cleanup was easy and the resulting coffee was exceptional.

I plan to post more about the popper and equipment I use. I filmed the second and third roasting sessions today, so wouldn't mind getting a couple of clips online... so stay tuned!

I've learned a stack since writing my first article about home coffee roasting - though the article is still a good outline.

If you are thinking about roasting your own green beans... just go for it. It's fun, easy, cheap and the coffee is better than any you can buy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hot Coffee - Simple Tips for Great Coffee at Home - Light Reading

From the bean to the cup, great tasting coffee depends on much more than just fresh coffee beans. The way you grind, brew and serve your coffee will have just as much impact on the final taste as the beans themselves. While specific methods for grinding, brewing and serving vary with coffee styles and coffee machines, there are a few simple rules to follow no matter how you make your cup.

This month's article sums it up in four simple tips: Be Clean, Be Generous, Be Water-Wise, Be Fresh. To read more check out this month's 'light reading' coffee break article - Hot Coffee - Simple Tips for Great Coffee at Home.