Thursday, July 17, 2008

Monsooned Swoon

I'm not going to tease you, Coffee Mates. I'm throwing this picture right out there so you know my glorious coffee beans were delivered today. Whew! I feel much better now, thank you.

Most green coffee beans really are green -- of one shade or another. Not so the mighty Malabar, which has, I understand, something to do with the way they're cured during the monsoon season. And that's okay with me because it's that particular treatment that gives them the flavor I love.

Got to try a new (to me) way of roasting today, too. Over the years I've gone through two electric home roasting machines. Both were very good but I just wore 'em out. Since their collective demise, I've roasted beans both in a skillet, like our great grannies used to do, and I've roasted them in a pan in the oven. The beans turned out okay either way but the first required standing at the stove and stirring beans for a long time and the second was touchy about temperature. I caught my first pan of beans on fire and turned 'em into crispy critters.

I decided I wanted something a lot less expensive than the electric units and a bit more user-friendly than the last two methods. Believe it or not, a popular method of roasting coffee beans at home is to use the good old-fashioned stove-top Whirley-Pop. Yep, the same kettle you use to make popcorn, with the lid and the crank handle. And Sweet Maria's handles home roasting equipment as well as the beans. Such a deal.

Once I'd lugged the package upstairs, it sure didn't take me long to unpack the bag of beans and the Whirley-Pop. While I skimmed instructions and got everything set up, Ralph hopped in and out of the box, testing out the dimensions. Guess I'll have to leave it out awhile, until he gets thoroughly tired of it. Boys and their toys.

As you can see, it also didn't take me long to roast my first batch of Whirley-Pop coffee -- and I am quite pleased with it. Didn't take as long as the skillet method, nor did it produce as much smoke. (One makes good use of open windows and stove fans when home roasting coffee.) I also like the idea that I can roast a bigger volume of coffee than with the electric units. That saves some time and effort, let me tell you. While the roast isn't as even as what comes out of the electric units, that's not really a troubling result. You actually get a slightly more complex flavor with the mixed roast because each degree of roast brings out different aspects of that particular coffee's nature.

Okay, that's what one coffee expert claimed. With my peasant palate, I wouldn't know, to be perfectly honest. But it sounded so knowledgeable when I said it that it made me grin.

This made me grin, too. The first cup out of the pot. I didn't have the patience to wait a few hours for the coffee beans to settle a bit. Heck, I barely waited until they cooled to run them through the grinder and start a pot brewing. It seemed appropriate to sip and swoon from my old Nestle Co. world cup. Right about the middle of the map you can see India dangling down from the continent. That's the home of the Malabar coffee bean. You may file that under Information Overload. You never can tell when you need to know something like that.


Wendy said...

Oh, yum! Dee, that coffee looks so very, very good.

John Bailey said...

Happy quaffing, Dee!

~ Sil in Corea said...

Lordy, gal! You are one dyed-in-the-wool coffee gourmet, if I may mix my metaphors a bit. I'll bet it's great!

Hugs from Asia,
~ Sil in Corea

Dee said...

Wendy, yes, I'm happy to report the coffee is as good as it looks.

John, thank you. I think we've talked about it before but, don't you have one of these mugs also?

Sil, mix and match. It works. There truly is nothing quite as wonderful as coffee that is freshly roasted, ground and brewed.

Bonnie said...

For some reason Dee I don't recall ever getting a notify yesterday. Then again my brain is slowly frying.

Oh Wil would think the coffee wasn't strong enough. Of course he drinks that junk at Exxon that has been on all morning.