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Arbol de Cafe Coffee Shop

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Post by merry Sun May 27, 2012 9:10 pm

I went by there today to get my usual supply of green coffee beans to roast, but they were closed. Anybody know their hours - they are just closed on Sundays I hope?

I seem to remember something about an attempt at kidnapping or extortion but that he was back and all was fine.

Merry


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Post by Grizzy Sun May 27, 2012 10:53 pm

No idea but tell me how you roast your coffee beans. Sounds fabulous!
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Post by merry Mon May 28, 2012 8:18 am

Roasting coffee is not difficult at all. At the most basic you can do it in a pan in your kitchen, progressively higher heat stirring the whole time; it is a lot like making popcorn but the hulls flake off and fly all over your house. And it gets very smoky, too. I think when kitchens moved indoors this became a lost art.

So it's better to do outside where the hulls and smoke can fly away. Ideally you would use a little propane stove outside, and a pan you will dedicate to coffee because it gets a high heat oil film on it that's hard to get away. Pour 1/3 cup of green beans in the pan and note the time. Put on medium heat and stir with a long wooden spoon (also dedicated to coffee) continually so they color evenly. Very soon the hulls start flaking off. When you hear a pop that's called the "1st Crack" and it's very important for when you are timing the roast because you want to make another roast just like it. Soon it's popping like popcorn and the popping slows. You are stirring like crazy and/or adjusting the heat to keep them cooking evenly without scorching. Anytime you change the heat, note the time for future use.

Now it becomes a matter of taste. Do you like light breakfast blend? Medium roast? Deep dark roast? For the first two just take off the stove and pour into a strainer and keep stirring till cool. For french or italian roast you will keep stirring until the "2nd Crack." It will repeat the whole popping and cracking process, and the fine oils will all be drawn to the surface. The entire process is a chemical reaction of many hundreds of chemicals, and it will drive you crazy trying to get the heat and stirring exactly right. Like golf.

There are many caveats, like don't have the heat too high or the oils cannot get drawn out and/or it will burn. A little smoky flavor is enticing, too much you have to trash the batch. That's why I say to start with a small amount.

You can pay hundreds or even thousands for home coffee roasters, but they only last about a year because the high heat just abuses them. I've owned several. A secret of many roasters is a used Westbend "The Poppery" hot air popcorn maker from the 1980's (I have one), it is I think 1200 watts and can get sufficiently hot to roast the coffee from start to finish. It cannot be a later model because they reduced the wattage. But here's the problem: Mexico's wattage fluctuates, so sometimes I can get a dark roast fast, even too fast like in 3 minutes; other times it languishes as a light roast for 15 minutes without a crack. SO I only use my Westbend outside until the hulls are all gone, then I throw open all my windows and doors, turn on the fan above the stove to high, and finish the roast with precision on my stove. :-)

A few tips: Mexico's coffee industry is highly protected, so it is almost impossible to get any beans other than domestic. Arbol de Cafe sells the same beans they roast, a high quality arabica-type bean. It is a little delicate for my french roast tastes, but I can work with it. The green beans are 57 pesos por kilo, and they puff up to about double in volume.

As I said different heats at different times will produce a different-tasting roast due to the little chemical explosions going off inside, so experiment with small batches and keep a log of what you did so you can reproduce it.

Merry <-- due to the elaborate caffeine delivery process she controls so precisely


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Post by Grizzy Mon May 28, 2012 8:42 am

Beer <- really a glass of fine dark roast with crema!

Thanks for the detailed instructions, it sounds daunting. If you see an explosion up in the hills I blew up the terrace bwa ha ha!
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Post by merry Mon May 28, 2012 9:14 am

Grizzy wrote: Beer <- really a glass of fine dark roast with crema!

Thanks for the detailed instructions, it sounds daunting. If you see an explosion up in the hills I blew up the terrace bwa ha ha!

The simple version is: make it like popcorn, but stir.

Merry

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Post by Intercasa Mon May 28, 2012 9:18 am

Always been closed Sundays.
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Post by Zedinmexico Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:51 am

The longer (darker) the roast generally the less Caffeine it has. So that deep
dark cup of french roast generally has less Caffeine than a gentle light roast
for those who pursue Caffeine. Roasting is a messy process and I suggest
you find an outdoor stove the first time you try it. Many of you have smelled
coffee roasting from the coffee shop near the square in Ajijic. It kinda smells
like a strong burning agricultural smell which gets stronger as one approaches
a french roast which is generally the darkest roast. Smoke from a deep french
roast can be quite abundant beware.

Z

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