My own personal Juan Valdez

May 24, 2009 · 1 comment

coffee roasting

It’s May. Which means that it is the 2-year anniversary of TFF. Yes, I’ve been rambling on, via keyboard, about food and life for 2 years. If I stop and think too hard about it, I’ll start to wonder what it is, exactly, that I do with my time. Which is precisely why I never, ever, stop to think very hard.

I thought it would be fitting to mark the occasion by bringing things full-circle. My very first post, on May 4, 2007, was about coffee. Primarily, about how much I can’t imagine life without it (well, more precisely, coffee with its yang-counterpart: half-n-half. When I had to go for 2 months without cream while nursing my dairy-allergic son, I considered therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder).

Little did I know, way back then. That, two years forward, I would be so insanely spoiled as to daily be drinking the freshest-roasted coffee possible. That my husband would get into his mind, via friends like Eric, that home-roasted coffee is both economical and delicious. Now granted — one could consider my birthday gift to him a gentle push in this direction (the necessary equipment: an old popcorn popper). But I didn’t twist his arm. Really.

So now, he purchases green coffee beans from a local roaster, and roasts coffee every week or so. He’s read a lot about it at this site, and heard the trials and errors of friends’ experiences. Once you shell out $50 for someone’s garage junk that you can now only find on ebay, you basically just put the beans in and let them roast. It doesn’t take long (about 6 minutes for a batch), but the batches have to be small (only 4 oz or so) and you have to roast outside (the smell and chaff are both a mess). I know it’s more complex than that: I’ve heard him go on about “first cracks” and other such nuances, but I see this as his thing, and employ a healthy dose of willing ignorance on the whole process. I just drink the coffee.

Man, it’s good coffee. A couple weeks ago, during our house-preparation marathon, Tim spent three days installing a brick walk in our front yard. He excavated, leveled a layer of sand, and then placed by hand about 950 bricks, cutting many to fit. The last day he worked on it, he spent the entire day bent over at the waist as he placed those bricks. He worked until the sun went down, and then came inside and said, “I’ve gotta roast coffee.” And he went out on the deck with his Westbend Poppery and some green beans, and came back in a half-hour later with a jar of lovely, dark, oily beans.

And this, friends, is why I married the man.

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