Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

About coffee.

Posted Wednesday, March 9, 2016, at 12:53 PM
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  • I've heard a lot about cold brew coffee, but never tried it. Do you use the same amount of grounds as if you are hot brewing?

    On a side note, thanks for the subliminal messaging. I was sitting here at home, working away, and pulled up t-g for a mental break when I saw your column. By the end, my eyelids were dropping and my brain was telling me "you need coffee". Just Love Coffee Roasters Yirgacheffe is on the menu for me - hot brewed.

    -- Posted by LeahTN79 on Wed, Mar 9, 2016, at 1:00 PM
  • woohoo...I no longer have the "u-search virus" thanks you "Malwarebytes" and "AVG"...A temp trial of "System Core" finished the kill!....those little boogers can keep you hunting for a fix!

    "Iced Coffee"...

    I'm an expert totally love the stuff! Leah it is the same strength, just chill it in the fridge before icing so it don't water it down! Yep, after the brew chill it down before adding anything including cream, ice, sugars, etc!...It's even delish on a hot afternoon if you need a pick up...I have been known to use dark espresso grind or add a shot and chill both before the mix...I will say I hate Columbian, it's bitter to me...But give me Arabica 100% and I'm a happy camper...

    BTW..Folgers and Maxwell House are processed so much for beans where they can buy them, and it makes me wonder why you don't see the type on the container...it's such a cheap anything blend, but it is the top sellers for every day use!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Mar 9, 2016, at 2:59 PM
  • Steve,

    When I was close to going into the coffee business I did quite a bit of research/experimentation on the best way to make iced coffee and concluded that the no heat method was much better....Smooth...Smooth...Smoooth....And it will last for ten days in the refrigerator easily.....I still do the French Press in the morning but Summer will be here after our three days of Spring and I will be joining you in the cold brewing......

    Good luck on the roasting in the pop-pop.......When I decided to start roasting coffee I started simple but it didn't take long to decide my time was worth more the what a good roaster would cost.....After all......It is what makes me HAPPY to get up in the morning.......That and homemade biscotti......

    It has been three years now and I recently bought a back-up roaster just in case........Can not go without being in charge of the entire process.......

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Wed, Mar 9, 2016, at 3:45 PM
  • Thanks for reading LeahTN79. So if I understand it correctly, you fell asleep reading my blog?

    Uhmmm, thanks?

    Now there is no way for me to pause for effect, but just kidding. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Mar 9, 2016, at 4:21 PM
  • Palindrome, I don't think we ever talked about your close call with a coffee shop. I sure did enjoy the time we had with ours. A "warm fuzzy" every morning we opened up.

    If I ever did it again, I would almost certainly have a roaster. What kind are you using? I would love to do that but I usually go big before I think so I was trying to behave with the popcorn popper this time.

    I have seen where some think they leave too strong an odor to do it inside and recommend doing it outside but I cannot imagine that unless the beans are burned. Your thoughts?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Mar 9, 2016, at 7:51 PM
  • It's yours Steve!

    I love iced coffee, sometimes with Baily's, but never tried a cold brew method. Will try this weekend....

    -- Posted by espoontoon on Thu, Mar 10, 2016, at 6:45 AM
  • Thanks espoontoon.

    I was in a rush this morning and ran the coffee through the metal mesh and decided to run it through the mesh again since it takes less time to pour through.

    There was only about a tablespoon of grounds at the very end of the pot, so I may not filter unless I know someone else who can't stand an occasional tidbit in the bottom of their cup.

    I am using up the rest of our commercially-ground coffee, so maybe a little larger grind will help that BUT (always a but) I have read that the smaller grind extracts more coffee, or maybe it just takes a little longer.

    I brew 12 hours now so adding a few hours would not be an issue. I guess the nomad travelers and cowboys who boiled their coffee had to get it in a hurry, but I see travel containers now that you can pack and brew while your traveling. If I time-travel, I will be sure to bring it up.

    Dadgum it! Someone walked on my keyboard and turned off the touch-pad blocker. I've been typing all over this post and since I usually never have to think about it, I started wondering what was going on. Now I know.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 10, 2016, at 7:29 AM
  • Steve,

    I use the FreshRoast SR500......It gets the best long term reviews by far....I prefer the manual over the computerized....If you search well you can find it with 8 pounds of beans thrown in for a better price than most places.......

    Yes, it does fill a portion of the house with the aroma of roasting coffee.....Something I LOVE........I roast mine very dark....A few notches before carbon.....The problem I have is with the smoke detector going off..... I no longer have a vent over the stove so I either open the kitchen door for a bit or stagger the roasting schedule to allow for what little smoke I create to dissipate....During the warm weather of course a window can be opened or the roaster can be moved outside for the roast....

    .Father's day is approaching.

    I have had three ideas for a coffee business.....I am still threatening to do one of them.........

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Thu, Mar 10, 2016, at 10:25 AM
  • HA Steve, not you, or your blog, but my brain knew if it told me I was tired, it would receive a nice steamy cup of coffee as a reward.

    I'll definitely have to look into this cold brewing method for the warmer months.

    -- Posted by LeahTN79 on Thu, Mar 10, 2016, at 10:47 AM
  • I forgot to steep the coffee beans last night. I never said anything to my mother-in-law but she did not finish her first cup of coffee this morning. Said it tasted "different" was was bitter.

    I had to admit my oversight and tomorrow's pot is brewing now.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Mar 12, 2016, at 7:39 PM
  • Steve,

    The smaller grind will probably not make more coffee, but due the larger total surface area, it should make it brew faster. Isn't there a coffee/tea store around there, so one could try different kinds of beans?

    I'm a tea man myself and none of that teabag stuff, either; haven't drank of cup of java in nearly 50 years. It would make me nauseous(?) whenever I drove long distances, so I gave it up. Haven't missed it!

    -- Posted by Tyger on Sat, Mar 12, 2016, at 7:56 PM
  • As usual, I forgot to mention something else. I think that one reason cold-brewed tastes "smoother" is that there is no heat to force all of the bitter oil in the bean; that is what gives it that back-bite. I don't think roasting drives out much, or if any, of the oil; I assume that is a combination of heat and water.

    -- Posted by Tyger on Sat, Mar 12, 2016, at 8:19 PM
  • How would cold brew do for tea? I have a wide variety of tea, mostly OLD oriental tea that gets bitter as well. I know some folks love sun-Brewed tea.

    Maybe it is similar to cold brewed? I feel another experiment coming on. Maybe I should say "taste" another experiment.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Mar 12, 2016, at 9:00 PM
  • I never tried sun-brewed tea; I can't wait that long, and what I've seen was in tea bags. Besides, I only do hot tea at home. If it is really OLD tea, I'm not surprised that it is bitter; I would think that it wouldn't have any flavor left.

    The best tea I've ever had, and the most expensive, is called Samovar, and you can't get it anymore; same with Georgian. What I go with now is Chardonnay Oolong, and if it stays around too long, the Chardonnay taste will disappear.

    -- Posted by Tyger on Sun, Mar 13, 2016, at 9:55 AM
  • It is definitely old tea, as in 20-50 years old, maybe even older, but it brews similar to current teas. I am going to try a cold brew today.

    Isn't the Chardonnay is an added flavor and I suppose evaporates over time?

    Going to do that brew right now.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Mar 13, 2016, at 10:29 AM
  • The longer coffee is roasted the more oil is forced from the bean. The amount of surface oil is one of the markers I look for when roasting as it is a measure of the strength of taste. The shiner and darker the bean the longer it has been roasted.

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Sun, Mar 13, 2016, at 10:43 AM
  • A video on using Fresh Roast Sr 500 shows that oil film nicely, but I am sure there are other videos.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Mar 13, 2016, at 11:31 AM
  • The Food Police now discourage sun tea, because it's possible for microorganisms to grow in the tea at those temperatures. You can (and I often do) make refrigerator tea, which is just like sun tea except it takes longer. You put family-size tea bags in a big jar or pitcher of water in the fridge overnight. It has a slightly milder flavor than the tea brewed with hot water, but it's still pleasant.

    -- Posted by jcarney on Sun, Mar 13, 2016, at 3:50 PM
  • Had not thought about that. Interesting.

    There are folks who brew their coffee in the fridge as well. Maybe that is why.

    I brewed some tea at room temperature today. Did well, but I don't know about bacteria. Usually only brew enough for one day anyway so..... I wonder. Some of that 40ish year old tea, by the way.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Mar 13, 2016, at 4:32 PM
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