Tag: coffee roasting

St. Eutychus Coffee Roastery now open for (more professional) business

Hey. Guess what. I sell roasted coffee. No doubt some of you know that. What you don’t know is two things.

I now have a snappy looking rubber stamp so my coffee bags are branded.

And also, you can now pay for the coffee as you order via Paypal. You don’t even have to have a Paypal account. Just a Credit Card. You can order from this page here. And I’m thinking I might even put the form in the sidebar on the front page.

Cool hey. I suggest you order away. You won’t regret it. Millions of people have already enjoyed coffee from St. Eutychus Coffee. And that’s the only exaggerated sentence in this post.

How to turn coffee cherries into coffee beans: Step 4

Continuing my series on the incredibly time consuming process of producing a cup of coffee from a pile of coffee cherries (part one, part two, part three)… this next step is the roast. In theory the easiest, and quickest, step in the procedure. In theory. Because nothing in this little game is as it seems.

I use a Behmor 4600 roaster for my beans – it’s a purpose built unit with a rotating basket and two heating elements. Normally it roasts 500gm of coffee in about 20 minutes.

First, I put my 410gms of coffee into the basket.

Then the basket in the roaster.

Then, I turned it on. All very straightforward. But nothing in this process has been as straightforward as it seems. Here’s a scrambled together video (shot on my phone) of the process. It tracks the time a little, it took much longer than expected, perhaps because I hadn’t allowed the beans to dry out quite enough, and perhaps because I kept opening the door of the roaster to shoot video.

This was the situation after the second roasting cycle…

I prefer the beans to be slightly darker, and more evenly roasted, so I put them on for another 15 minutes.

Now I’ve got to rest them for a couple of days before tasting the final product.

Coffee is fuel for the brain

Yet another study has come out linking coffee consumption with a life both healthy and wise…

Regular consumption of caffeine over the long-term has been linked to lower incidences of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease in humans and lesser memory dysfunction and neurodegeration in animals, write neuroscientists Alexandre de Mendonça of the University of Lisbon and Rodrigo A. Cunha of the University of Coimbra, both in Portugal, in this month’s issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Research.

The beneficial effects only appeared when caffeine was consumed in moderate amounts (the equivalent of up to 4 cups of coffee a day for humans) regularly over a long period of time, Cunha told Livescience.

Rather than improve memory, “caffeine prevents any deterioration of memory caused by insults you might be prone to,” Cunha said.

It’s not talking about things someone may have said about your mum there – but rather things that effect your brain.

Read about it here, or order some coffee from the St. Eutychus Roastery here.

XKCD on blogging

I like you readers. XKCD says I have to… they are a little cynical though, they think I want to make money out of blogging.
The Alt/title text of the image says: “I’m looking to virally monetize your eyeballs by selling them for transplants.”

I’m not out to make any dollars from blogging. In fact, it costs me money. But you can buy this shirt:

Or some coffee.

Coffee shop

I’ve been supplying a few people at college (and various friends and family members) with roasted coffee. I have decided to set up a little shop where you too can order these (cheap) quality fresh roasted beans. You can find the order form here. You can also, if you’re in Brisbane, book my machine and services for your functions, parties, or church events.

Coffee and ministry

I wrote about the sin of instant coffee a few weeks ago – if your church is still serving International Roast at morning tea and wondering why all the young people are heading down the road to the nearest espresso machine wielding pentecostal church – then I am here to help. Vicariously (or possibly directly).

The other night we trekked out to Ipswich to make coffee at a church function. We’ve done a few events around the traps and it is always pretty warmly received. We’re still trying to figure out how to cost our services. So if you’re someone responsible for putting on church events or budgeting for them I’d love to know what you think the provision of good coffee is worth… but if you’re running a church event and you have a machine available and you want to know about quantities then this is the post for you.

Neil Atwood from Ministry Grounds (in Sydney) has a 2 group machine he makes available for hire for events. In his paperwork on the hire page he gives the following quantities to help you budget for your event. They’re a pretty good yardstick. I tend to go with single shots rather than doubles – mostly because I do most of my events in the evening, and a lot of people don’t drink coffee at night. Hot chocolate tends to be twice as popular as coffee at these events.

We recommend that you built your event around serving double shot drinks. This is because: a) For most people it’s much easier to pull a good double shot than a single. b) The taste profile of a good double is usually much better than a single.
If a single is required (ie: someone requests a ‘weak coffee’) , you can use a double spout portafilter and let the output from one spout run into the drip tray.
On that basis, you will get approximately 50 double shots from each kilo of coffee. If you decide to serve singles, your will get double that quantity.
On the basis of using 8oz disposable cups (8oz = 240ml), using double espresso shots, and making a flat white or cappuccino/latte, you will need around 200ml of milk for each drink. That means you will need 10 litres of milk per 50 milk coffees served. If you are serving hot chocolates, you will need to allow around the same amount of milk per 8oz cup. You can use whatever milk you prefer, but most people can’t tell the difference between full cream and lite white!

If you’re a church in Brisbane looking to hire a coffee machine, beans, and a barista for an event fill out the contact form on my coffee page.

Six things that I’m loving about college

College life is pretty awesome. Other than the five things in that last post I’ve got no complaints. Here are my five favourite things about college at the moment.

  1. Studying with Robyn – my wife is very organised. She keeps me on my toes and keeps telling me to pay attention and to do my homework (I think this is because she’s a teacher).
  2. Conversations – the best part about college is that lunch time is full of interesting conversations. People do tend to spontaneously break out into conversations about baptism though. Which is odd.
  3. Classes – I’m enjoying our classes – even the languages – but particularly Bruce Winter’s pet subject “The Cross and the Clash of Cultures” (I’ve been planning to turn my lecture notes into posts – I just haven’t done that yet) and Old Testament with Leigh Trevaskis (I think he has a google alert set up) and Keith Birchley. Greek is my favourite language. So far.
  4. Church – I’m enjoying being “on staff” at a church and going along to team meetings. Preaching was fun too.
  5. Reading – I haven’t really started turning my readings into writings yet as far as essays go – but I’ve enjoyed ploughing through textbooks and journal articles trying to come up with a workable essay thesis.
  6. Morning Tea – the coffee is good. And supplied by me. At reasonable prices – if you’re interested in subscribing to my coffee roasting services let me know.

Stuff that happens in one minute

Have you ever wandered away from roasting coffee for just a minute only to look back and see your kitchen filling with putrid smelling smoke that brings about mild symptoms of asthma? No. Well I have. Just now. A lot can happen in a minute (or 6 minutes which truth be told was how long I had left for).

Here are just some of the amazing things that happen in a minute.

Roasting oven

Neil from Ministry Grounds has started importing Behmor Coffee Roasters. Based on the specs, and an email from Neil, this will be a much more efficient way to roast coffee than my current breadmaker/heatgun setup.

So I ordered one yesterday. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Also, for Townsville people, Robyn and I are making (and selling) coffee at Stable on the Strand this year. If you’re in the neighbourhood you should drop by and exchange your money for our coffee.

Raising dough

If you’re here for a post on breadmaking you’re in the wrong place. Robyn might do that later. The only thing I use a breadmaker for is roasting coffee… which tangentially leads into the point of this post.

Today is Robyn’s last day of teaching. Next month I’m giving up my job. We’re going to be poor uni students again which means stepping out of DINK time (double income no kids) into the great unknown of government supported poverty. We’re trying to come up with ways to earn money on the side. I am seriously investigating the possibility of upgrading my roasting capacity and flogging of roasted coffee to friends in Brisbane – if you’re interested in cheap, but quality, coffee beans – let me know.

Anyway, I’ve just read a couple of stories that had great ways to save (or make) money that I thought I’d share with you.

Frequent Flier programs are pretty much a license to print money for some US residents. They’ve cottoned on to this great scheme in courtesy of the Federal Mint. Now, this won’t work in Australia – I bought a $1 coin at our Mint for $2 when I was a young lad… I’m not sure what they cost now…

Here’s the scheme that has been cooked up in the states

At least several hundred mile-junkies discovered that a free shipping offer on presidential and Native American $1 coins, sold at face value by the U.S. Mint, amounted to printing free frequent-flier miles. Mileage lovers ordered more than $1 million in coins until the Mint started identifying them and cutting them off.

Coin buyers charged the purchases, sold in boxes of 250 coins, to a credit card that offers frequent-flier mile awards, then took the shipments straight to the bank. They then used the coins they deposited to pay their credit-card bills. Their only cost: the car trip to make the deposit.


BoingBoing reports on a guy who makes $45,000 a year cashing in discarded betting slips that are actually winners.

Mr. Leonardo, who is married with two teenagers, is hardly living on the fringes. He said that stooping brings him $100 to $300 a day, and more than $45,000 a year. Last month, he cashed in a winning ticket from bets made on races at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., for $8,040. His largest purse came in 2006, when he received $9,500 from a Pick 4 wager (choosing the winners of four consecutive races) at Retama Park Race Track in Selma, Tex.

Got any cool money making schemes for Bible College students? Share them in the comments…

Coffee roasting drill

Roasting coffee at home is fun. And it makes better coffee. Guaranteed. And as I’ve mentioned before it’s pretty easy to get green beans online – try Ministry Grounds – There’s a bit of a rule of thumb for most home roasters – from what I can gather – that the more elaborate your roasting set up (short of a commercial roaster) the better. There are a bunch of good ideas at coffeesnobs… But I haven’t seen one as elaborate as this:

There’s a free PDF set of instructions on offer from Make Magazine. Beautiful stuff. I might see if I can dig up some other novel roaster designs too.

Convergence coffee

Super-automatic coffee machines are not wildly appreciated in the “specialty” coffee world. There’s something nice about the manual coffee making process that appeals but this contraption is taking things to a whole new level. I guess you could call it a super-manual… It’s a coffee roaster, grinder and brewer in one beautifully gas filled unit.

Ignoring the problems with preparing your coffee immediately after roasting (due to beans needing to degas post roast), and you’ve got a beautiful and iconic piece of brewing technology.

Here are the directions…

“Take 50 green beans. Roast for 7 minutes for a medium roast, 9 minutes for a dark roast. Cool beans. Whilst grinding the cooled beans heat the water until air bubbles begin to pop. Place ground beans into water. Stir and brew for 4 minutes. Then pour and enjoy a cup of fresh perfect coffee.”

Here’s a video of the contraption in action.

I should mention that I spotted this marvel here

Sunday roast…

This one is mostly for those of you reading here in Townsville. Although little sister number 3 has already put her hand up for some hand delivered service on our next southern sojourn.

I have a few kilos worth of green beans, a new breadmaker, a new heatgun and four days of “leisure” time coming up – if anybody would like to purchase some roasted coffee for a fraction of the price you’ll pay in stores – let me know in the comments.

I’ll sell roasted beans for $5 per 250 grams (including a fancy zip lock bag) – and I’m happy to offer this as a regular service if you like them.

I will grind it for you if you like – but suggest if you want coffee pre-ground you get them in much smaller batches.

Weekend roast

I picked up a new breadmaker today from Cash Converters – it solves all my roasting problems by spinning right from the start. I roasted my first batch. I’m very excited. No more stirring by hand or spending ages waiting for a spin cycle to kick into gear. 

I also used the new heat gun I picked up while garage sailing the other week.

I really only wrote this so that I could use that title. It would have been more appropriate had I written it tomorrow.

Bean thinking

I was wondering how much someone who spends as much time as I do reading about coffee could learn from a three and a half hour coffee school. The answer – not much, and a lot. 

We took the three hour course at Coffee Dominion. It’s $75 and basically includes all you can drink coffee and three hours of hands on training.

The thing about coffee is that there’s an incredible amount of diversity in thinking and practice that it’s hard to nail down any one particular theory. 

For example – many people argue that tamping (the compacting of coffee in the filter basket) is not only essential – but must be done with 10kg of pressure. Other people argue that as long as the distribution and dosing of the coffee in the basket is even, tamping is irrelevant.

What really matters when it comes to making a coffee is consistency of method. That was hammered home tonight. As long as your dosing is consistent – that is the same amount of coffee in the basket, prepared the same way, and your tamping is consistent – the only variable is the grind. The grind will vary based on humidity and variables like type of bean, depth of roast and time since roasting. If your method is the same this is the only change you’ll need to make.

I disagreed with a little bit at the start, we had a sit down session where we were told that single origin coffee is no good for espresso. I like single origin espresso. That is one type of bean from one place. The argument is that espresso requires a dark roast, that diminishes the flavour profile from the bean – so to keep espresso interesting you need to mix a broader variety of flavours. I disagreed. I don’t mind espresso made from a light roasted bean. But that’s less than relevant in the broader scheme of things. 

The “cupping” was interesting. Cupping is the primary method bean buyers use when determining what beans to order. It’s basically hot water poured over ground coffee. It’s that simple. No plunge, no brewing, no steeping. It’s just coffee and hot water. The coffee forms a crust. You break the crust that it forms and sip the coffee. Then you figure out the flavour profile – it’s similar to wine tasting really. 

Milk frothing was interesting too – I struggle to get the texture right. The goal is to make “silk from milk” and to avoid big bubbles. 

We also got to look around Coffee Dominion – where all the behind the scenes magic happens. Including a little excursion into the roasting room. I’ll put pictures up shortly.

It was a good learning experience – and worth doing. We’ve even got certificates to show for it.