Mixed bag today. First the good news: the Jamaican Blue Mountain has arrived, along with the Cuban Crystal Mountain and the Guatemala Antigua. That's some killer coffees there. Bad news is the installation of the roaster was a failure. The way we tried to set it up actually drew back the exhaust from the roaster into the house... can you spell carbon monoxide? Not a good idea. So the opening of Crazy Goat is delayed until the roaster can be moved to a new location and installed properly. There won't be any coffee at the Sir Wil market this weekend. Oh well, better safe than pushing up daisies!
This puts a "this is for real" spin on everything. We just received delivery of 150 lbs. of green coffee. We have 5 lbs. each of Brazil Cerrado and Grade A Yemen Mokha, 10 lbs of Panama Boquete and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, 20 lb.s of Sulawesi Kalossi Celebes, Bali Grade A1 "Paradise Valley" and high-grown Nicaragua, and 30 lbs. of Costa Rican Tarrazu and Grade 1 Sumatra Mandehling.
And that's not all, we're still awaiting 20lbs. of Ethiopian Harrar (one of my faves) and 30lbs. each of Guatemala Antigua, and (drum roll) Grade A Cuban Crystal Mountain and top-of-the-line Jamaican Blue Mountain. Yeah, baby! Right in time for the Holidays. The Jamaican will be roasted on demand only as it is really expensive.
The perfect Christmas Blend is a tall order. It must be smooth enough for breakfast drinking, but bold enough for after dinner (or vice versa depeding on your taste). I think it should have nuts, chocolate, spices and fruits all in the same cup. And that's the difficulty: it's tough to get chocolate and spices together, or bold and smooth - bold usually means a tart mouthfeel. So I'm blending like a maniac trying to find something. I recently tried some Nicaragua roasted semi-dark, some Panama roasted really dark and Kenya roasted medium, and it was soooo close... but not quite. *sigh* back to the drawing board.
Photo by Julian Colton
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After roasting for over a year with a Behmor machine, we're moving up to a Sonofreso 2 lb. fluid bed roaster to kick off Crazy Goat Coffee Co.
Don't get me wrong, the Behmor is a marvelous roaster to fine tune your chops and learn about the smell, sounds, and look of coffee at various roasting stages. But the roaster's functions allow to roast at most 12 oz. (340g) of coffee beans at a time while maintaining control of the roast. The roasting and cooling cycle also takes about 30 minutes or so, which means we could roast about one and a half pounds an hour. The Sonofresco handles 2.8 pounds of green beans per batch, for about 2.3 pounds of finished roasted coffee. The whole cycle takes about 20 minutes, which bring hourly production up to 6 pounds.
Now comes the difficult part of finding a gas installer who is willing to install an appliance that is not a furnace, water heater, dryer or range.