Now that Surly’s Coffee Bender has become the pinnacle of Coffee Stouts I’m on a quest for interesting and unique coffee beers. I picked up bottle of Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Brunch – an oatmeal stout with civet coffee.
I found this month’s Economics book club selection (my first Kindle purchase) an extra-ordinarily frustrating read mainly due to the Fox News-esque partisanship. Despite that, the sections on the incentives and implications of the Laffer Curve, Flat tax, Fair tax were thought-provoking and highly recommended.
The most inspiring cook book I’ve ever read – all about improvising in the kitchen and embracing the microorganisms around you. The recipes for Persimmon Cider Mead and fruit Kimchi sound pretty delicious.
Great book (like all the books in the Classic Beer Style Series) on the history and definition of Belgian ale. The key – don’t be afraid to use 20+% sugar and focus on flavor rather than strict tradition.
A deep dive into the history, brewing process, and recipes for some of my favorite Belgian beers – Afflighem Blond, Westmalle Trippel – and some of the American beers brewed in the same style. Stan Hieronymus makes a pretty good argument that it’s the Americans that are moving the style forward.
Fifty years ago, the Great Depression and WWII destroyed the careers of American architects – they switched from building to planning. Planning the new American cities, planning suburbia, planning for the war to be over and their careers to return.
THE vocabulary book on describing coffee’s taste. The biggest ‘a-ha’ for me: cooling removes the sweet and bitter aspects of coffee – but has no impact on the sour tastes. Big thanks to Sam Buchanan for loaning me his copy.
If you’re still looking for something delicious to give the fanatic coffee drinker in your life – I’m super excited to share that both Jeremy Raths, of The Roastery, and Andrew Kopplin, of Kopplin’s Coffee, are offering coffee subscriptions.
Kopplin’s Coffee of the Month Club subscription ($180) offers 1/2 lb. per month for 12 months of some of the most amazing coffees you’ve (I’ve) ever tasted. I’ve been ‘beta tasting’ Kopplin’s subscription this year and I’ve been blown away month after month (I’ve even recorded a few of my tastings). The only downside – it’s only a 1/2 lb. per month.
In both cases, I’d recommend picking up a good press pot or a Chemex, your regular drip coffee maker probably isn’t up to the task.
The 2007 Cup of Excellence winner that was completely devastated by near hurricane-strength winds in January. Pushing the next harvest out to 2010. In response to this tragedy, George Howell doubled the price of his last 70lbs and sent all the proceeds to aid the farms recovery:
“This is a farm which won 5th place, then 4th place, then 1st place in succession over the last three years in Cup of Excellence. Preliminary estimates indicate he will not have a crop until 2010! How does a farmer with less than 14 acres survive? The 3rd place and 4th place winners of last year’s Cup of Excellence are his neighbors, and all three use the same mill to strip their fruit and dry their beans. We have yet to hear about them. We want to help in a meaningful manner.”
“La MontaÃ±a is scheduled to be roasted on Monday, January 28. We will be offering this coffee, which in my opinion is the purest coffee expression we have, bar none, at $50 for eight ounces (versus the usual $27.95). Terroir Coffee will donate the entire price to Mr. Ochoa primarily and to the mill, his critical support, which may also be facing very bad times from these events. Not a penny will be spent on any bureaucracy. We have approximately 70 pounds of his coffee left. $50 dollars per half-pound would result in $7,700, if all is sold.”
Special thanks to Andrew Kopplin at Kopplin’s Coffee for putting this Cup of Excellence on my table and connecting the world economy.
Minneapolis area roasters. We have a date, June 30 a time 2pm and a location Black Sheep Coffee Cafe (705 Southview Blvd., South Saint Paul, MN (651) 554-0155)
For those of you who missed the early posts Peter Middlecamp the owner of Black Sheep is both a new shop owner and Barista competitor yet still placed 6th this year at the US championships. He is also a very nice guy. Here is the email Peter sent me today:
“Sounds great Jared. I’ll have some cupping samples and maybe some signature
beverage ideas for next year for you to try…
Timoth Tulloch, CEO and Roastmaster at Minnesota-based European Roasterie (EuroRoast.com), and I talk coffee technology, from brewing to packaging, and why he’s aggressively moving into the single-serve coffee pod program (declaring the Black & Decker Home Cafe the best pod brewer). We wrap up with the culture of specialty coffee and how independent coffee shops can win against Starbucks.
I’ve been really enjoying their Mulawi and the new theme song is by Jeremy Piller.
The little plastic hook holding the grinder lid down snapped and fell into the grinder basin. Without this hook, the grinder doesn’t grind and the water doesn’t get near the grinds. Basically, this fragile 1/4″ piece of plastic is the key to the coffee maker. Without it, no coffee.
Tom Roe owner of Betty’s Bikes and Buns and I talk motorcycles, community, and the best coffee in Minneapolis.
The First Crack podcast website has been recently redesigned. It now has episode voting courtesy of the Votio plugin from Asymptomatic.net. I want to thank First Crack subscriber Jonas Rullo for identifying and resolving a CSS issue with the new site. Thanks Jonas and good luck on your quest for a West Bend Poppery I.
“There is a marked decline in coffee’s flavor over the course of a week after roasting. If memory serves me correctly, something like 70% of the compounds responsible for coffee’s flavor are gone in that time, transformed into something far less pleasant.”
Here at First Crack central, we have 2 air-tight, light-proof containers. One for caff, one for decaf. Stored on the counter-top, never in the fridge.
This evening marks a week since I came down with that nasty something, and those containers haven’t been cracked open since. I’m a 100% – and a little nervous about the state of the beans.