Thursday, August 18, 2011

Espresso is a harsh mistress

Are you thinking about having a shot of espresso? You should be! Espresso is quick, small, packed full of flavor, and when you sip you can hear a heavenly chorus in the distance, and you know the wonderful experience unfolding before you. At least, that's how it should be.

I am amazed and bewildered at what people have accepted as espresso. Bitter. Sour. Thin. Unpalatable. And it's usually because there is little respect or understanding for the ingredients being used.

Yes, espresso is a harsh mistress, fraught with eccentricities that make her either a delight or a beast. Dismiss her complex nature, and she'll bring hell upon you. But make no mistake, if you tame her, she will bring you pleasure beyond compare.

So the next time you are looking to have a shot of espresso, make sure that she is being treated with the respect she deserves. You will be kindly rewarded.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Roasting with a friend

I love to roast for the experimentation and for the discovery, but outside of that, it's fairly routine and mundane. I roast as needed, and that usually means Saturday or Sunday night plus one weekday. Most of the time I have a loose idea of what I will be roasting. We usually try to keep two or three different coffees plus one espresso for sale. It tends to be quiet while I roast because it's best to do it afterhours.

This week Yama, our white dog, wanted to come to the store to assist. Now of course he is not that familiar with the roaster, so I just let him guard the empty jute bags so that no one would try to sneak something inside them while he was on top.

Roasting, cooling, labeling, bagging was par for the course, but between every step, there was my friend looking for an answer as to why all those people are walking on the street at 11:30 at night, and why is it raining so much... and Hey! Where's my cookie? I didn't have any good answers for the first two, but sharing the cookie was easy.

Yama has yet to try his paw at the roaster, but it's the familiar pitter patter of his dancing paws, like the sound of cement raindrops cascading across the floor, and his excited laugh-like pant that made it a wonderful night of roasting.