Cold Grinds, Cool Beans...Mas Mocha

Portland center of coffee universe for a bit with SCAA show, international connections

by badbeard 22. April 2012 08:18

If Portland appears to be the center of the coffee universe on an average rainy day then the overwhelming presence of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) at the Convention Center must be considered Nirvana.  Such an intense assemblage of nearly 10,000 industry professionals, gearheads, manufacturers, competitive baristas, growers and gawkers forms its own universe for a spell, embracing all corners of the globe. Actually way too much to report on in one post, but one of the highlights was meeting the trio from Cafe Obscura from Sangenjaya district in North Tokyo, who stated their West Coast coffee  trek in San Diego and will end up in Vancouver, BC.  Hideaki Okamoto and gang met me last night in the Ace Hotel when I was way too tired to make much sense but it was amazing to share experience and try to explain a little about American ways and tastes.  Yesterday I had received a drop-in at the roastery (roasting coffee really does provide a lure) from a threesome from roaster Momos Coffee in Pusan, South Korea (thanks for the logo pencils!).  Encouraging to see allied associations of growers from Kenya, Ethiopia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Ecuador and Guatemala.  And my buds at imorters Royal Coffee in Emeryville and KPCI from India plus roastermaker US Roasters stood out among the whirring grinders, shot-pulling XCelsius and Slayer and and large-scale green bean conveyance systems.  Willa Wonka had nothing on these guys.



New stuff justin time for Spring

by badbeard 27. March 2012 01:03

Have been a little lax on the web posting.  Sadly announcing publicly the hard truth that my beloved dad, Jerry, passed away last week.  I owe much of my palate to him, and will soon have a special blend of my finest coffees in his honor.

Meanwhile, new arrivals all over the exceptional Kenya PB, a nice and affordable SO Brazil for 'spro, rocking Papua New Guinea, and reinforcements on the Ethiopian front from the excellent exporter Andulina. Enjoy!  Portland will be hosting the SCAA yearly main event in April and we will be blissfully be overrun with some serious geekiness in the coffee sector, as opposed to the usual geekiness in th coffee sector. Gentlefolks, start your Marzoccos!


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Food and Drink | The Grind | The Mill

Attempted reply to CoffeeGeek forum question, "why is my home roast so much better..."

by badbeard 1. January 2012 17:40

You should consider that most in the professional roasting community probably started out with a home roasting setup of some sort and moved "on" and "up" when they tired of the equipment breaking down (I certainly did) or of being unable to keep up with the demand from family, friends, customers.  Not to even mention the thermal stability and profiling flexibility of commercial equipment.

Unequivocally the most zealous roasters do it at home and should be rather happy with the potential, given the great green sources like Sweet Maria's.  I've been roasting for a long while commercially (on a 5 kg machine) and STILL buy from Sweet Maria's and its "satellite"  Thom Owen is one of my personal heroes in coffee, and if you saw the size of their operation you'd realize how many home roasters there must be out there.

On the supply/C market side, which is briefly touched on here, you might find importers or other roasters willing to sell you a full bag (60-70 kilos) at close to wholesale pricing (don't forget the additional cost of the logistics).  It's not unreasonable if you can get one packed in GrainPro for longer term storage, but this will presume you REALLY want a lot of that coffee.  SM and their tremendous variety and high-quality selections make so much more sense in the long run.

What I'm not agreeing with here is the notion that large lots are not in cases equally meritorious...some of the best coffees in the world are produced in large-scale quantities.  One person's fave "microlot" may not float someone else's boat, and subjectivity in coffee is everything.  Truth is that on the higher-end of the quality scale there is so little arabica coffee available compared to the overall amounts produced for the world market that we must have boots on the ground, so to speak.  Even among the pretigious importers there might be individual lots within a container of the same coffee which different traders consider differently, based on personal preference.  And origin is important in the equation...a container in Brazil might be considered a microlot in most cases!

The supply side is incredibly complex, dizzying.  We are lucky to be able to get great coffee AT ALL, much less at 8-9 bucks a lb. for something truly special.


Tabu Jamu bye-bye, give a brother a hug...

by badbeard 21. December 2011 14:21

This year's Sidikalang-Dairi Tabu Jamu is now history.  For those of you who want that taste profile and even sweeter, cleaner and more aromatic, please fear not the washed  Flores Ngura Bajawa.  A new origin for me and I really like it!  Not a dark roast, which one might attempt with this's too much fun!  Try finding it on a world map, that's entertaining as well....

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Food and Drink | The Grind

Nice review on Coffee Review, but the coffee has sold out!

by badbeard 20. December 2011 23:01

Always nice to get kudos from well-respected and impartial sources, especially industry-standard Coffee Review.  Assessment of the NOW SOLD OUT (boo-hoo, more next year!) Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Biloya Co-op here.

The entire December article on single-variety is very interesting. I lift this part, respectfully and self-servingly...


Ethiopia Heirloom Varieties

Aside from the Geisha, the world’s most distinctive coffees come from southern Ethiopia, where production is dominated by varieties only grown locally and with ancient roots in Ethiopia, the botanical home of Arabica. We debated whether to accept coffees from the Yirgacheffe and closely adjoining growing districts as “single variety” coffees. Strictly speaking, they probably are not; they probably are blends of very closely related local varieties. But given the way these coffees separate themselves in terms of cup profile from other coffees of the world based almost entirely on varietal character, we decided to include them. The Bad Beard Microroastery Organic Ethiopia Yirgacheffe (91) was the most characteristic because its wet processing revealed the startlingly clear spicy rose and lemon-lime aromatics and the light, silky mouthfeel associated with coffee from this region and its ancient varieties. As with the Geisha, many coffee drinkers will contend this coffee doesn’t taste like coffee. In fact, it suggests a floral black tea, though a very fine floral black tea and one that, well, also tastes like a fine coffee.


Thanks guys!  To all of you who enjoyed this coffee...well, we were lucky for a spell.  More goodies comin'....

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Food and Drink | The Grind

New exciting Decafs in for holidays...preorder for under the tree!

by badbeard 16. December 2011 15:24

First roasts and shipping (week of Dec.19) of newly arriving, exceptionally tasty Mountain Water Process (MWP) coffees from Oaxaca, Mexico and Timor will be Tuesday, Dec. 20.  I have added them to the offerings page but they WILL NOT ship of course until they have arrived at the roastery! Very different from each other but can't WAIT to make a heady blend of our Brazil with these two newbies as well.

 Pre-ship sampling has jazzed me, and will please you very particular decaf drinkers out there!

Happy Holidays from Santabeard

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Food and Drink | The Grind

Burundi disappearing act? Fear not!

by badbeard 11. November 2011 21:48

Well we're sad to see the last of the Burundi Gahahe skiddadle out the of our special coffees, and I know a lot of BB customers are bound to be disappointed.  ON the bright side a new Burundi offering from the Mumirwa Region  (located at the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the north on the country) will be appearing within the next 2-3 weeks.  Also arriving next week are two great offerings from Tanzania (Ruvuma AA) and Papua New Guinea (Kimel Estate peaberry), and will be available after Tuesday, Nov. 15.


Food and Drink | The Grind | The Mill

New Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Biloya Co-operative

by badbeard 3. October 2011 07:30

Very excited to be able to offer a this exclusive coffee.  The Biloya project represents some of the finest small-scale, hand-picked production in all of Ethiopia.  Our lighter roast highlights the floral aromatics and there is excellent body throughout, with a clean finish. I'm liking it as an SO espresso as well!


The Grind

Mysterious disappearances? Goodbyes due to old friends, alas, but some hellos...

by badbeard 29. September 2011 00:44
Nothing lasts forever, and some of you might be wondering why the ranks of Badbeard faves are thinning...well I'm working as fast as humanly possible to replenish stocks of our former standouts; Panama Hartmann Honey -process, Mexico Terruno Nayarita natural, all the Daterras, Harar, to name a few.  Most recent arrival to scream about is the exceptional Ethiopia Yirgacheffe wet process offering from the Biloya Co-operative in Gedeo district.  The look of this rather hand-selected harvest is fabulous...mostly smallish, intense (15 screen size), quaker-free, uniform.  Not surprisingly the flavor profile is a knockout

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The Grind

Special Panama Hartmann Honey ice cream recipe

by badbeard 22. August 2011 14:51

Many thanks to dear friend in California Dianna Morikawa for her throwdown to Ben & Jerry's with this amazing recipe for coffee ice cream using our beloved Panama Hartmann Estate honey-process. I'm going out to buy an ice cream maker NOW!!!!

Black Coffee Ice Cream (1 QT)
2.5 C whole milk
1 TBS + 2 tsp cornstarch
1.5 oz (3 TBS) cream cheese (softened)
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1.5 C heavy cream
3/4 C sugar
3 TBS light corn syrup
1/4 cup dark-roast coffee beans (coarsely ground)

Mix about 2 TBSs of milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make smooth slurry
Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a med. bowl until smooth
Fill a large bowl with ice and water

Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-QT saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 mins. Remove from the heat, add the coffee, and let steep for 5 mins.
Strain the milk mixture thru a sieve lined with a layer of cheesecloth. Squeeze the coffee in the cheesecloth to extract as much liquid as possible, then discard the grounds.
Return the cream mixture to the saucepan and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 min. Remove from heat.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-Gallon Ziplock freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 min.


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Food and Drink | The Grind