Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!

It's been quite a year for us and we hope next year will be the same. I read the following on a message board and hope to remember it through the coming year.

None of us have enough power to change a world. Each of us has the
power to change our own lives. Walk the talk. Every day. Help
someone who has less than you do. Look to building community within
your apartment building, office, wherever you are right this minute.

We each have only the moment we are in. We lose that if we spend it
in fear and confusion regarding the future. Go hug someone. Turn
the compost pile. Give blood. Commit to one young person to help
them find joy. Sing. Stop worrying about the future, you know you
have no control over that. Concentrate on today.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Java Jive
I love java, sweet and hot
Whoops Mr. Moto, I'm a coffee pot
Shoot the pot and I'll pour me a shot
A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup

Sunday is coffee roasting day.
Rick has been roasting our coffee for 3 or 4 years and has it down to a science. As you'll see further down, he uses a souped up hot air corn popper as a roaster.
The picture above shows the green beans weighed out in 3 oz portions. These are Nicaraguan beans purchased online from Marlton Coffee.

This is the outdoor kitchen he built to have a good space to roast. It's quite a pungent process and roasting beans smell nothing like those ready to brew.

The beans are stirred almost continuously in the beginning because they are too heavy to be agitated by the hot air.

The beans just starting to turn. This is when you start to smell the roasting-something like burnt toast.

The white flakes seen outside the can is chaff-it flies around before first crack.

Then comes first crack....

and then second crack with the smoke rolling. We like a dark roast, somewhere between Vienna and Light French.

The finished product in the cooling pan. Now it smells good.

See the beautiful oiliness of the beans?
The roasted coffee then needs to sit for 4-12 hours in an open container to vent CO2. Then it's stored in an airtight ceramic canister on the counter-NOT in the fridge or freezer.

We grind the beans right before brewing. We brew by pouring hot water over the coffee in a cone filter (Melitta-type) which sits over a thermal carafe. We've had the same carafe set-up for about 12 years-it makes great coffee.

As I sit here typing I can smell the freshly roasted beans-
Mm-mmm good!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Nothing new with the house this week
. We've had some Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs stuff which needed attending and has caused us to stand back, take some time and evaluate our lives at this point.

And as the guys at HitchItch have said:

Sometimes we need to get knocked down, so when we get up, we have a better understanding of life around us.