Passion for Coffee

Passion for Coffee

I’m a self-admitted Coffee Snob. I’m very picky about my coffee, but I’m still developing a true sense of my flavor profile. I know what I don’t like and I know that only certain coffee shops really tend to serve coffee I truly like. While I can get by with coffee from a lot of different places, I really have to be somewhat desperate for a cup of coffee if I’m going to drink one from a Keurig or a Starbucks. Now, I don’t look down at anyone who drinks those coffees – in fact, I don’t care if you do or you don’t and I’m not creating a coffee snob club that only accepts people who drink Cuvee or Wild Gift (two local roasteries) or some other custom roasted coffee. You like what you like and as long as you enjoy it… more power to you. That just isn’t me, unfortunately.

I say, “Unfortunately,” because it would be easier to enjoy coffee from anywhere… but I don’t really consider it unfortunate because there’s so much to enjoy in a perfectly roasted, freshly ground, freshly brewed, cup of black coffee. The explosion of flavors is intense and I’m enamored of the experience of discovering coffee in all its subtleties. I would go so far as to say (this is very snobbish – that’s a warning), that those who do not enjoy a black cup of coffee are not truly experiencing coffee. Maybe you’ve never had a good cup of coffee or maybe you really only like the flavor of coffee when it’s diluted with sweetener and some sort of whitening product (be it dairy or non-dairy). But… I’d invite you to go on an exploration of fine coffee by going to a local roaster and experiencing a freshly ground cup of black coffee and have them explain what you’re tasting… it can be mesmerizing once you go down the road.

I’ve discovered that my favorite cup of coffee is from beans that I’ve roasted myself. I have a Behmor drum roaster and I experiment with it regularly. I’ve tried to find a decent source for local green beans, but I’ve struggled. Most of the beans I’ve sourced locally do not roast well. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re not truly single origin, so I get a muddled flavor or what. But, I’ve been unhappy with the green beans I’ve gotten anywhere except for Sweet Maria’s online. The downside of Sweet Maria’s is that they’re popular and the beans you bought this month will not be available next month. So, you’re constantly trying new things.

My setup is as follows:

  • Behmor 1600 Plus drum roaster
  • Rancilio Silvia with a PID
  • Breville BCG800XL Coffee Grinder (the weakest link in my set up)
  • Reverse Osmosis water system (all the water sent through the Rancilio comes from this system)

The Breville is truly the weakest link as I can tell that the grind is not as even as it needs to be. While it’s a far cry better than the old burr grinder I used to use (some Braun thingamabob), I can tell that I’m getting some channeling in my espresso brew, so I’ve started pricing out a better grinder. Hopefully I’ll be able to afford a new one this year. I’ve got my eye on the Mazzer Mini at the moment. Time will tell.

I’m going to start tracking my specific roasts and roast profiles and post my findings here.