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Freeze your beans? I wouldn't.

Be careful with what you read when articles claim things about "science". This article from the NYTimes is misleading at best. In reading the study, they primarily are concerned about the effect of bean temperature and grind consistency. While the study does make some references to possible applications in how we store coffee, they explicitly state:

The impact on taste and preference is not the focus of this study

And yet the NYTimes deduces that consumers should start freezing their beans in order to maximize the flavor of their coffee. This is not actually the application intended from the study, nor the conclusion they draw. The study actually is more focused on coffee shops that are grinding coffee all day long and the resulting need to constantly adjust the grind size as the grinders heat up from repeated use.

Consumers should not, in fact, start freezing their beans and grinding them directly. Frozen beans will wear out your burrs faster in your grinder, for starters. And keeping beans in your freezer increases the chance of having your beans absorb flavors from other items in your freezer. So unless you want your beans to taste like your freezer smells (not saying it smells bad, but it sure doesn't smell like you want coffee to taste) you better use airtight containers. But then also constantly opening and closing the airtight container to take out your daily beans means getting more air and moisture in the container, which can cause the beans internal structures to degrade over time. So you'll want to freeze individual containers for each day's use. Now it's starting to get really out of hand and probably far more work than its worth considering the average consumer only grinds one batch, maybe two a day and so your grinder will be cold when you start grinding anyway. The small potential gain in flavor really doesn't pay off, in my opinion.

And let's not even get started on non-espresso grinds. Actually, let's! Because that's what's really missing from this article. A super fine grind is really only desired in espresso. If you do a drip you don't want it powdery fine, and if you do French press you actually want a coarser grind. So unless you're doing espresso shots at home, cold beans and a finer grind won't actually help you get better tasting coffee.

Don't listen to "fads" about coffee. They're often quite misleading! Happy brewing, my friends!

nytimes.com/2016/…/17/science/coffee-freeze-beans-grind.html

Pi Day Sale!

Bend yer earholes, ye dry footed landlubbers; I do be reporting good news from the high seas! Tis been a plunderous year and we do be overflowing wit delicious dark magical beans!

We've also recently had word from the dastardly ol' scallywag Joro on his #monkeymonday report, and da scampering rascal got his little monkey paws on an entire pie! According to his rambling tale, it went quite well with his morning cup of jo.

In honor of the dishonorable monkey, we do hereby declare the next 3 days, 14 hours, and 59 minutes international Pie Day.... for no known reason. We just do be liking the ring o' da numbers... they be sounding all important and such... mayhaps we did hear it be said before somewhere...


So head on over to http://www.jororoco.com/coffee/ and don't forget to enter the discount code Pie for 15% off all coffee orders or yer a barnacle's uncle!

#piday

All orders placed will be roasted and shipped Monday, March 21

Holiday Samplers are now available!

Greetings and Happy Holidays!

We are excited to offer a new opportunity this year for all our customers. We've put together a Holiday Sampler with the intention of it being a perfect option for giving a gift to that coffee loving person in your life!

All orders for the Holiday Samplers will be pooled and roasted on the Sunday before Christmas and shipped out bright and early Monday morning, 12/21 with the intention of the package arriving right before Christmas! That way everyone can have delicious fresh roasted coffee for the Holidays.

We have two options:

The 1lb Sampler will provide 1/2lb of 2 varieties of your choosing (or Roaster's Choice if you don't want to pick) http://www.jororoco.com/coffee/holiday-1lb-sampler

The 2lb Sampler will give your coffee drinking recipient 4 1/2lb varieties! http://www.jororoco.com/coffee/holiday-2lb-sampler

 

So feel free to place your order at any time and trust that it will arrive just in time for the Holidays!

The Black Heart of Roasting Coffee

I would like to explain a little more about roasting coffee and why exactly it is that when you receive our coffee it might look different than the coffee most people are used to seeing. There are a lot of historical factors that play in to this, and I will touch on some of them slightly, but I will try to focus mostly on the roasting itself and why we roast the way we do.

New Ethiopian Coffee! (and other product updates)

Good news, coffee fans! We've brought in a new Ethiopian product. For many in the world of coffee snobbery, Ethiopian coffees are well regarded as the holy grail of beans. Walk into the Hipsterist coffee bar you can find and utter the words "Yirga Cheffe" and the skies will open, the clouds will part, and light will shine down on you as the angels sing your praises.

But for the rest of us, we're just interested in finding the best cup of coffee we can. I've sampled many different kinds of Ethiopian coffees and I feel that this coffee is a great option. It doesn't have the overpoweringly "winey" fruit flavor of many popular Ethiopians. It has more of a straight up "coffee" taste, with sweet fruity notes and a nice clean finish. I think you will like it, give it a try!

 

We've also pulled the Brazilian and Costa Rican coffees for now. We are watching the markets closely to find a suitable replacement. As soon as a good Costa Rican is available I'll be jumping on it for sure. Same for Brazilian, as those two were very excellent origins. But I am also throwing around some ideas for a Columbian or Rwandan. We'll see what I find! I can guarantee it'll be real tasty, whatever we get!

Coffee Inventory

Just a quick update for people keeping track, we've dropped the Costa Rican and Brazilian off the sampler orders because inventory is running low on the batches we have in stock. You can still get each of them by the pound, but no longer in the half pound sample packs. We should be getting new Brazilian soon, and hopefully Costa Rican not too long after that. But until then, we want to save what inventory we have left for the individual orders, so as to not tease people with a product in the sample pack that they may not have access to very soon.

 

We should also be getting our hands on some Colombian soon, and we've been keeping our eyes peeled for some good Rwandan. If you have a specific origin that you'd like to see that we don't offer please let us know so we can see what we can do.

A Clean Coffee Maker is a Happy One!

Today's log is just a very quick short note about maintenance on your coffee machine. This applies most directly to drip machines, but every form of coffee maker needs to be cleaned! This is an often overlooked step in the process. Most people, and understandably so, fall into the mentality that as long as they change their filters and clean their carafe then everything's fine!

 

But you'd be surprised!

 

First off, if you're like I used to be, you often go from empty carafe to fresh pots with as little transition as possible. When prepping the fresh pot you might just rinse out the carafe, and then use it to refill the reservoir on your machine. Over time, however, the small bits of residue in the carafe will start to gunk up your machine! This is no good! Eventually your coffee will start to get a sour, rancid taste. You'll find that with our premium gourmet coffee this will be far more noticeable simply because you expect such poignant flavor from our coffee, and any sourness will really stand out compared to other, overroasted coffee that doesn't taste that special to start with. But even if you do actually clean your carafe thoroughly or use a separate clean container to fill your reservoir with, you still should clean your coffee maker regularly.

 

Personally, I just run a full batch of 50/50 water/white vinegar through my machine once a month, and then run a couple 100% water batches to rinse it out. But I don't have hard water. If you have really hard water with lots of scaley, minerally deposits then you may want to get some descaling tablets to run through. You should be able to find them at most local stores that sell coffee machines and/or cleaning supplies. Otherwise, a quick internet search for descaling tablets will get you there. Anything that says it's good for coffee machines will do the trick.

So clean that coffee machine and lets get back to drinking fresh, delicious coffee!

What is Gourmet Coffee??

Using buzzwords like "gourmet" and "premium" are fairly non-descript in this day and age. You can go to any local store and find coffee labeled as gourmet, or premium, or probably both. Here, I wanted to explain why exactly we call our coffee gourmet, and why we think it's worth the price it costs you.

 

The first thing, and most important thing, about our coffee is that it is hand selected direct from the independent growers who produce it. We do not buy blended batches or generic bulk green beans. Our suppliers actually visit the farms and talk directly to the growers, and test the beans right then and there. They rate the beans based on their taste testing, and report back to us on what they recommend we get. So every bean you get has been hand selected for the best flavor profile from that region. Compare that to the <insert popular brand here>  you can find sold in most stores, and you will find that the majority of big label roasting companies buy beans in bulk from resellers that have blended sometimes hundreds of batches of green beans from multiple sources. While this gives them a much larger quantity of beans that will all have a similar flavor profile, it limits the uniqueness and character of the final product. We choose to go for what we consider a truly "premium" approach, and in doing so we buy smaller quantities directly from the growers. While it carries a higher price tag, we feel it is worth it when you taste what is supremely a delicious cup of coffee. Also to note, however, is that this means once our small batches of beans runs out it will not likely be replaced with an exact match. While we will always strive to keep beans in stock from all the popular regions, each batch we get might have slight variances in flavor. We'll keep you informed when current batches run out and when we are shifting to a new batch, and what that might mean to you in flavor differences.

 

I'll go in to further detail later about the economic benefits of this approach, but suffice it to say buying directly from the farmer is above and beyond the "fair trade" system. It cuts out the extra middlemen and transfers that profit directly to the growers so that they can afford to sell to us instead of giving in to corporate pressure and selling out to the big brands.

Shipping Options

Everyone will be curious how our shipping works, so we wanted to take a moment to explain them as clearly as possible.

 

We ship USPS Priority Mail. Everything will ship in a flat rate box, so we are restricted only by the size of the boxes. One pound ships for $5. Unfortunately, anything over a single pound requires the medium size flat rate box. This box can hold up to 8 pounds of coffee, so 2-8 pounds will ship for the same price: $10. The next size box can hold 16 pounds, so 9-16 is $15. If you are ordering more than 16 pounds please contact us for bulk pricing options.

 

We would also like to give the option to people local to the Eugene, OR area the option of picking up their coffee directly. This helps save everyone time and resources. Please note that to select this option you should have already contacted us and made arrangements to pick it up locally. Because of the limitations of our roasting schedule, we will not always have coffee on hand and need to work together to schedule a time and a pickup location when your coffee is roasted and ready. As local sales grow, we may be able to set up a more permanent pickup location. We are holding that as a hopeful opportunity in the future.

Brewing the best cup of coffee!

There is more to a cup of great coffee than simply buying the best beans. How you store the beans, how and when you grind them, and exactly how you brew them play almost as crucial a part in the overall process as your choice of beans. Here, we will help you learn a little bit about the brewing process as well as give some advice as to how you can develop a simple and easy method for getting it just right, every time.

I'll give you the abridged version first and then read on for the full explanation!

1. Store beans in a cool, dry place. Preferably in an airtight container if they will not be used within the first week.
2.Use a good quality burr grinder, and only grind immediately before brewing. Take note of the recommended coarseness of the grind for your preferred method of brewing.
3.Always use a minimum of 2tbsp of ground coffee per 6oz of water (or more accurately a 17.42:1 ratio of water to beans)
4.Brew with your water as close to 200 degrees fahrenheit as you can.

To start off, we'll talk a little bit about storing beans. Our beans come delivered in brown paper bags with tie-tins for closing the bag. This storage device is cheap and effective. It will keep your beans fresh easily for upwards of a week. If you do not plan on consuming your beans within a week of getting them, we encourage you to get some sort of air-tight container to extend the freshness of the beans. This can be as simple as a ziplock bag. Or, if you like getting fancy, there a multitude of glass or stainless steel canisters available with lids that have an airtight seal. I recommend getting one that will fit a full 1lb of coffee beans, as that just makes sense. Beyond that, simply keeping the beans out of direct sunlight (which the stainless steel canister helps tremendously with) and in a relatively cool/dry place will suffice in keeping them fresh. In a cupboard or on the counter away from any windows is perfect. This way you know every time you scoop out your beans, you're still getting great, fresh tasting beans!

Secondly, your next concern should be with your grind. As any coffee connoisseur will tell you, beans are their freshest immediately after grinding. While green beans stay fresh for years, and roasted beans stay fresh for weeks, ground beans stay fresh for mere minutes. Which is why we only sell wholebean coffee. You need to have a coffee grinder right there next to your brewing device so you can get the freshest tasting coffee there is! We cannot recommend enough getting a decent quality burr grinder. The cheap blade grinders will get the job done, but they give you no control over the type of grind, and result in a pulverised bean instead of a ground bean. This will affect the flavor of your coffee, generally negatively. But it isn't nearly the most important element of the process, so if you have a blade grinder don't feel like you have to rush out and get a new grinder simply because we said so. That being said, if you're getting a grinder anyway, it'll be worth the few dollars to get even a cheap burr grinder. They can be had at your local discount superstore of choice for probably $30-$40. If you want to double that price you can get yourself into a really high quality grinder, but you really won't notice much difference in the actual grind of your bean unless you are doing espresso (which is much more finely ground). Choose for yourself how much it is worth to you. The advantage to any burr grinder, and to a further extent the higher quality ones, is that you can control the level of grind. Depending on how you brew your coffee, you will want to adjust the grind accordingly. A drip machine, for example, uses a medium-to-fine grind. But if you use one of the metal reusable filters on your drip you will want to increase to the coarser side of a medium grind to prevent sediment filtering through into your cup. If you use a french press you will want an even coarser grind yet. Any burr grinder that you get should have descriptions for what level to set the grind for your chosen style of brewing. We can get into the science behind it at a later date, but there are specific reasons involving diffusion rates and surface area that play into why you want to alter your grind for these different types of brewing.

Finally, the last step in the process is the brewing. This is one of the most crucial and often overlooked aspects to making your coffee. The water to coffee ratio is a key element to getting the right flavor out of your cup. A highly scientific study using a refractometer (fancy device that measures the concentration of dissolved solids in a liquid) determined that the optimum ratio of water to coffee is 17.42 units of water to each unit of coffee. This is considered the golden standard for coffee brewing, which should be used as a starting point for everyone new to brewing their own coffee. From this point you can tailor your ratio to your own taste. I've found that I like it just slightly richer than this, so I use a tiny bit more coffee in my ratio. Also, if you are using a french press, you will probably find you like it slightly richer. But you'll just have to experiment on your own. If you need help converting this ratio, I like to use a ratio calculator like this to quickly tell me what amounts I need. Simply throw 17.42:1 on the left, then put however many oz of water you are planning to use and it'll tell you how many oz of coffee beans to use. For example, your standard 40oz drip coffee maker would require 2.296oz of coffee beans at minimum. Or you can just use the easy standard of 2tbsp per 6oz of water! That gets you pretty much right where you need to be, give or take. But using a scale is more accurate because depending on the roast, different beans will have different mass to volume ratios so measuring by volume is less accurate. Just be careful with relying on your coffee maker markings, because what they label as "cups" is a different measurement of ounces, not a true "cup" (8oz). Trust us on this,though; you don't want to skimp on your beans! Too weak of coffee will just simply never taste right. You are missing out on the full flavor of the beans if you don't use enough! You're paying a premium for gourmet coffee, you owe it to yourself to brew it so it tastes good!

Oh, and don't forget the final step: water temp. With most machines you have no control, so you just have to rely on what the manufacturer has dialed in on their machine. But if you have control, such as with a french press or pour over, you don't want the water to fully boil. You'll get optimum flavor from brewing at 200 degrees F. Stick to that if you can!

And most importantly, enjoy your coffee!