After four years of nurturing, plus hours involved in harvesting, sorting, preparing and roasting, now it’s time for the ultimate in delayed gratification: 60 seconds of drinking!
By Stuart Hill
It is just like the way they say it in the movies: and now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. But first let’s have a bit of a re-cap to remind us how it all began…
In the beginning you had this romantic idea to bring the magic back into the experience of coffee drinking. You had bemoaned how commercialized the whole modern process had become.
You hadn’t just realized something needed doing, you went out of your way to put a stop to this disturbing regression. In fact, so dedicated had you become, that you religiously followed these several key steps to restore balance to your world and ensure you were back on the true path to coffee-lovers’ salvation:
Here is the path (as explained in Home Grown, Home Roasted Coffee):
- Wash & Dry
- Roast (or Store)
Now comes the most important — and arguably the most fulfilling — steps in this ancient ceremony.
No doubt the traditionalists would recommend a mortar and pestle, but some inventions can help improve the speed and quality (ie consistency) of your grinding process. There are many varieties of grinders on the market, however, regardless of which ones you use, the key is the ability to match the coarseness of your coffee to the device you plan to brew it in.
Essentially, this means that the more pressure used during the brewing process, the finer your grains need to be. Thus, a French press requires coarser grounds resembling dirt, while an espresso device should use something resembling grands of sand. Now, which one will you use…?
There is also a connection between the granularity of your coffee and the device you brew it in. Espresso machines are quick, driving steam under pressure through the ground coffee. Meanwhile, a French press, or even a Vietnamese style filter, soaks or drains water through the coffee at a slower pace. This can affect the strength and flavor of the final cup.
For me, a small espresso maker that sits on the stove is simple to use, offers the most consistent flavors and is reasonably easy to clean. You can get espresso makers in various sizes and even ones that boil milk during the steaming process to create cappuccinos.
The level of complexity is really up to you.
Now this really is the moment you’ve been waiting for. All those years waiting for your first significant crop. All that time spent during preparation. The nervous excitement of roasting your first batch of beans. It literally all boils down to a simple equation: 3 espressos = 50 beans x (20 minutes roasting + 30 seconds grinding + 3 minutes brewing).
And the end result:
Unique and unforgettable!
Actually the picture above is NOT an accurate representation of the results. The 3 espresso cups created from this year’s harvest offered a complex smokey flavor (due to fact they were roasted a bit too long) mixed with a slightly sour aftertaste.
Next year I will shorten the roasting time.
This picture is a better reflection: