thelerner

TaoMeow on Coffee

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this thread seems to have lost some traction as of late, any thoughts on cold brewed coffee? i have a jug in the fridge right now that is steeping, it is very convenient. does this still possess the alkaloids and other beneficial compounds or do some of these need heat to activate?

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Hi Mantis,

 

I've never tried cold brewed coffee.  And, yes, far as I know, some of its phytochemicals need heat to be released, specifically kahweol and cafestol. These nutrients activate glutathione, which is the primary antioxidant in the cell.

 

In laboratory studies, kahweol has shown anti-inflammatory properties, and also stopped neovascularization (a process whereby many malignant tumors form their "private" blood supply network of new blood vessels and divert blood and nutrition from the body to the cancer.)  Both kahweol and cafestol have displayed anticancer properties.

 

If you haven't seen it, I posted stuff about coffee recently in another section -- WeiWuWei -- which is where I'm going to enter any and all new threads if I initiate them.  The only ones in other sections where I'm going to post are either my old ones should they get revisited, or the ones I haven't started.  Just FYI. :)

 

The thread is titled "What everyone should know about coffee."  

Edited by Taomeow
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Coffea liberica is one of my favorite variants. It has a grassy and earthy flavor upfront that blows your tongue away with blueberry on the back end. It's pretty damned hard to find a good liberica and when I got it from India it was about $23/lb unroasted.

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Coffea liberica is one of my favorite variants. It has a grassy and earthy flavor upfront that blows your tongue away with blueberry on the back end. It's pretty damned hard to find a good liberica and when I got it from India it was about $23/lb unroasted.

 

Sounds interesting.  :)

 

My latest thing is Chelelectu from Yirgacheffe, an Ethiopian heirloom coffee.  Also hard to find, and especially hard to find a good one -- I had two hits, two misses.  The misses were not really "bad" but not as fresh as the hits.  The hits were oily as sin and retained something I hadn't seen since the times/places long before mail orders, when someone would bring back coffee from a trip to Moscow (whoever went for whatever reason, I always asked for it) bought at the most famous coffee store in Russia's history.  To wit, a bright orange silverskin, a membrane in the middle of the bean. 

 

I didn't research but based on the taste it's a mocha harari, and people used to arabicas may find it a bit too complex with strong fruity-acidic-chocolate notes.   In my distant past spent among aficionados and even snobs of coffee, "70% arabica 30% harari" was repeated like a sacred mantra, and robustas from India were met with disdain, but I'm a connoisseur, not a snob, so I've broken some of the rules many times...  although some are still sacred.  :)

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Hmmm... from what I understand the Ethiopian coffees are still the arabica species but just a different varietal. Whereas robusta and liberica are different species in the same genus. Blending coffees is quite difficult at times. I'd say 5% is the maximum I'd ever want a robusta present in a blend for espresso only - it's kinda necessary for proper crema. I've experimented with blending liberica with arabica beans from Central America mainly. I find that the charred earth, and citrus of a dark roasted Guatemala really goes well with the liberica flavor profile in the background. However, the African varietals being the longest used beans and bushes known to man are a different story. Terroir and the various flavors each variant produces can be quite complex even if they are both harari there is still great variation. From what I've read and experimented with there are multiple kinds of beans used in the Harar area of Ethiopia. I have a number of friends from East Africa and I keep trying to get them to bring some green beans back.

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Oh oh a thread about the Gods answer to ambrosia! I wanna play!

 

Maybe it has been said but sambuca style liquors (especially those less sweet) kick serious butt in coffee. After a nice meal of course.

 

If anyone of you does the barista-machine style i can say that a sweeter and more rich brew comes from not compacting the fresh ground coffee before attaching the handle. (All the teachers say "press that thing into a hockey puck, making it more bitter and thin.) Letting the water outlet of the machine compress it for you changes the taste for the better imo. You'll need to run an empty handle after doing this to wash the powder out but totally worth it.

 

Now i can get back to reading the whole thing...

Edited by Rocky Lionmouth
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Hmmm... from what I understand the Ethiopian coffees are still the arabica species but just a different varietal.

 

It's more like comparing "cognac" to "wine" -- not about the raw material -- in both cases grapes -- but about the way they are processed.  Yes, it's true that they call both a varietal and a process "Harar," to make things a bit more confusing, but I'm referring to the outcome -- a harari coffee is not an arabica coffee anymore than cognac is a strong grape wine.  The process makes sure you wind up with two different outcomes.  So, I was talking the taste.  I don't know the biology of hundreds of varieties of coffee and their history and so on as well as I know the taste.  The taste of Chelelektu is harari with overtones of mocha.  Word. :D

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Do you roast your own Taomeow? I need to get back into it.

 

It must be great if you can do it yourself!  No, I don't roast my own -- I'm steampunk enough as it is, on a mission to cut down on my prehistoric ways (which I actually prefer for many purposes...)  I know and use, on occasion, a variety of cavewoman technologies...  so, I used to grind my coffee in a hand grinder, hang my own wild-picked herbs to dry in bundles in the shade, make cheese from scratch and fruit preserves and smoked fish and what not -- but I have to cut a few corners if I want more time left for my other pursuits.  Which I do.  So, no, I don't roast my own.  Must be quite something if the original product is of high quality.   Do you need special equipment for this?

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I've never had a sip of coffee....not for any particular reason. Just haven't.

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I've never had a sip of coffee....not for any particular reason. Just haven't.

 

Well, if you ever do, make sure you don't lose your coffee virginity to any which smooth operator that comes along.  Choose the source of your first sip the way you would choose your first kiss.  Got to be fresh as morning dew; hot, dark and sweet as a night of passion; and strong enough to walk on its own. :D

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It must be great if you can do it yourself!  No, I don't roast my own -- I'm steampunk enough as it is, on a mission to cut down on my prehistoric ways (which I actually prefer for many purposes...)  I know and use, on occasion, a variety of cavewoman technologies...  so, I used to grind my coffee in a hand grinder, hang my own wild-picked herbs to dry in bundles in the shade, make cheese from scratch and fruit preserves and smoked fish and what not -- but I have to cut a few corners if I want more time left for my other pursuits.  Which I do.  So, no, I don't roast my own.  Must be quite something if the original product is of high quality.   Do you need special equipment for this?

 

I have a wonderful Zassenhaus hand grinder that has quite consistent grind once I get it dialed in right.

 

To roast your own at a most basic level you will need the following:

 

1 Heat gun (ideally ceramic coil to avoid combustion of chaff)

1 Stainless steel pan (bigger pans will be harder to keep even heat, maybe 12" at most)

1 Wire mesh strainer (longer than deep, you're using it as a cooling bed)

1 Long whisk

 

Pour green coffee beans into pan and dial your heat gun up. I don't recall the temperature that is ideal but I set mine to about 3/4 strength and waved it around a bit at the pan. Once the beans start to change color slightly start stirring with the whisk. Your coffee will change from a green to yellow and then start to brown. At browning the coffee will start to crack kinda like popcorn. After the first crack is the lightest usable roast. If you stop here you will have a very light roast that allows for terroir to shine. Continue to roast and your beans will crack again - after second crack is considered dark roasts. Dark roasts are best for super acidic variants like many Central American beans and some very fruit forward beans will do well in a dark roast. Once you have reached the desired roast level pour the pan into the strainer and place it by a fan. After your beans have cooled wait three days for the beans to outgas and you are ready to drink your own fresh roasted coffee.

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Thank you, GtW.

 

What heat gun -- just something from a hardware store, or is there a special one?

The process you describe is very similar to roasting raw sunflower seeds, something I've done many times, but I've done this in a pan with a heat diffuser under it, stirring constantly.  Do you know of a reason this can't be done with coffee?  

heatdiffuser.jpg

Edited by Taomeow

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A heat gun can be found at any hardware store, the ceramic coil models typically start about $45 and go up. The reason I recommend the heat gun is because roasting coffee smells like burning grass and coffee. The smoke is not something you want inside your home and the silverskin chaff has to be disposed of some way. So much chaff comes off the beans in process with some varietals it's like little burning faeries all around you. Also this method involves a LOT of stirring.

 

This is a much easier method.

 

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This took long enough to find..  was on page 23 of search before I wised up and used advanced search, title only. 

 

Anyhow I saw a Ted talk about coffee.  How the great stuff was freshly roasted, and ground just before making.  Otherwise it's stale and a pale reflection of the magical real thing.

 

Imo the Ted author was exaggerating a bit, but it did inspire me to hunt down organic freshly roasted coffee, buy the whole beans and grind it myself.  Whole foods sells organic and lists the date of roasting.  The closest was 10/23 2 days ago, and I bought 4 oz of Italian Roast (I like my coffee like I like my hair, dark thick and oily), used my moth balled Haribo hand grinder to coarsely grind it.  Set the Kettle for 200 degrees, added the grind, put about 2 1/2 tablespoons into my french press then 10 oz of H2O, let it sit 4 minutes, plunged. 

 

anyhow damn fine cup of coffee.  worth staying up awake for.  Maybe this winter I'll keep this up.  Buy small batches of freshly roasted beans, grind them up as needed.  Keeping it small & real.  See if I get the full tonic affect the guy was talking about. 

Edited by thelerner
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Sounds like you had a really nice cup of coffee.  Almost sounds like some Turkish coffee I had many years ago.

 

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It's getting rare around these parts to find the turkish stuff.  That was one of TaoMeow's passions.  When its made in an cezve.  It's simple but time consuming.  It takes a person's full and constant attention to make.  I got my hands on some last summer, thick sweet spiced espresso drink. 

 

You'd think Starbucks would create some sort of bastardized version, but not yet. 

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I recently got some coffee from Tanzania- called "Peaberry Ruvuma."  It is really nice!  Creamy, rich, and earthy.  Dunno if it has anything to do with the "peaberry" type of bean.  I never heard of that before.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peaberry

 

I think coffee from Africa is my favorite.  Ethiopian, in particular, has that slightly blueberry taste which surprisingly goes great with the rest of the coffee flavors.  My speculations would suggest that since coffee originates from Africa, that the plants might be better adapted to the climate and soil there.  Of course, I also had really great coffee from other places, and the fresh stuff when I travelled in Guatemala was hard to beat!  Very nice chocolate taste (cacao is from there, anyway).

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Introducing my trusty cezve (aka jezve, ibrik, turka).  Over 30 years old and used every day, at least twice.  I've had many others over the years but keep coming back to this one.  You can't see it in the pic but after the widest point the bottom also tapers again at the same angle.  It's made in Armenia of something called "German silver" which does not have any silver (being really a copper-nickel-zinc alloy) yet looks indistinguishable from it (but does not tarnish like silver) and exhibits commendable thermal behavior.  Yet the main thing about it is its shape (very hard to find), with a drastic slope that forces the coffee (provided you didn't mess up the proportions) to form a grinds-foam "cork" on top, so the brew underneath it heats up to higher temperatures that in most other instances without any of the volatile goodies (the mind-bending aroma, antioxidant-rich oils, etc.) having a chance to escape.  It takes a while for the critical temperature inside the main body of the cezve to reach the top and overturn the "cork" with much finer, lighter-colored, yummier foam on the way toward escape -- that's the moment not to miss, you turn it off immediately as the finer foam rises, as soon as it submerges the coarser one completely -- not before and not after.  This way coffee never boils (it never should, not for a second) and, if you're careful, the foam never escapes.  (No one is this careful, but that's the goal.)  It is technically ready at this point, but if you want to be fully orthodox and get the most out of your brew prepared this way, you set it aside for 30 seconds, the foam drops down somewhat, you put it back on, it rises, you remove the cezve from heat promptly, and then repeat once again.   

 

This particular item I'm always on the lookout to find a backup for in case something happens to it, and have only seen its twin sister once, on ebay, from a seller of vintage goods in Armenia.  But he wanted something like $190 for it so I had to pass, especially considering that the bottom of my cezve has the price stamped into the metal (yup, they did it to every pot, fork, spoon and nearly everything else up until the breakup of the Soviet Union -- prices set by the government were supposed to be forever) and it clearly says, "Price 18 roubles."                       

 

51771402_1262249177247176_1270437049685508096_n-1.jpg.8ce00f1abe8446224c90629ee4026554.jpg

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My latest coffee find, isn't coffee.  Its the Airscape container.  I got the ceramic one.  Handle up, the top presses down, removing air from the container https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C4KTXQJ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Seems to be keeping the beans fresher, looks good too, like an adult cookie jar, for java junkies.   

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