"Espresso! My Espresso!"
An Ongoing Internet Novelette
by Randy Glass - Copyright 2004 - All rights reserved
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Accident, or Accidentally Happy?
I have sort of settled on a blend of late. I have gone through about 20 or more pounds of the stuff and really have grown fond of it:
Nothing particularly fancy in there (no estate identified stuff as far as I know). The Peruvian is organic, but that's about it. This blend has taken the place of one that was similar- substitute Colombian for the Brazilian and Guat for the Peruvian and you have my old blend (or just leave out the Guat). I never did like any of the Guat I tried, and I had some samples of some really nice stuff.
I have been roasting this stuff to just the beginning of active second- about thirty seconds or so into second I would guess. Since I have been roasting by ear (and not by eye or time) I can't really say more than that. I gave some of this to a fried who brews drip each morning, and has sampled a number of my coffees, and he said that this was his favorite by far.
Over the weekend I was swamped with work so I threw a batch of the above blend into the Hottop (in the garage) and set my stop watch to alert me about 17 minutes into the roast which gets me out there just as first is ending. The watch in my pocket evidently got hit on something and turned off, and since I was depending on my alarm to alert me, the roast slipped my mind and went on without me.
I sat down and felt the watch in my pocket. In a span of about .125 seconds my brain went, "Lump.. in pocket.. watch.. stopwatch... timing.... roast... coffee... OhmyGodtheCOFFEE!" I jumped up and ran out to the garage, and I opened the door to see the roast had finished and was in the cooling mode, being automatically stirred in the tray.
No hurry now. I walked over to the machine expecting to be forced to throw out half a pound of coffee. Thankfully, I roast about 20% more than the rated capacity of the machine which lowers the roast level for each setting. The beans seemed darker than normal, but smelled OK so I kept them.
After about three days rest I was using them and decided to give a taste of the straight espresso from the day's first pull. I pulled out the demitasse spoon and sampled from the stream. It was amazingly delicious. Smoother and with less bitterness than what I had been getting from the blend previously. I thought to myself, 'Accidents happen,' so I did the same with the second pull, and the same taste and smoothness!
Now, If I had only been there to actually know where in the roast these beans ejected so I could duplicate this roast! I suppose that is why everyone says that you should never leave a roaster unattended. That and the house burning down thing... Now we have two reasons.