We here at Espresso Unplugged are constantly searching for ways to improve our coffee experience, just as we know you are too! The ideal brewing device is one thing, and favored coffee beans are another. But what about the way coffee beans are roasted?
Many people love roasting their own coffee beans. They like being able to control how dark they’re roasted, they like knowing their beans are as fresh as possible, and they like that green beans are less expensive than roasted beans!
If you’re new to the concept of roasting your own beans, you may not realize green beans can be kept, depending on conditions, for 1 to 3 years. In addition, green coffee beans are anywhere from 30% to 50% cheaper than roasted beans! Not only can you buy in bulk at a lower rate with less worry about spoilage, you can roast just what you need and just when you need it!
The process of roasting green beans is fairly straightforward. The beans are evenly heated until they start to change color. A yellowish hue suggests they’re cooking properly, and at this stage, they’ve reached Cinnamon Roast. Soon after, the ‘first crack’ is heard. This is when the beans have expanded enough to split their shell just a bit, and this is called New England Roast. A bit darker, and you’re at American Roast followed by City Roast.
Quite quickly, this stage is followed by the ‘second crack.’ Now your beans are at Full City Roast, which is perfect for espresso. Depending on your taste, you can stop here or continue on through Vienna, French, Italian, or Spanish Roast. Toward the end, though, you’ll be drinking a flat, watery brew more reminiscent of tar and charcoal than anything else!
There are a lot of factors that combine to produce a good roast. Chief among them are the evenness of roasting. If some beans are left uncooked, they contribute a mealy, grassy component, whereas overcooking some beans lends a burnt flavor.
Another factor is the removal of chaff, which is the residue of the beans’ skin after it’s cooked off. Although chaff is tasteless, too much of it can clog your coffeemaker and reduce your flavor. Also, dealing with the smoke from roasting your beans has to be dealt with. Although you can run a vent fan or roast outdoors, if the beans are roasted in a confined container, you will taste the smoke in your coffee.
Finally, it’s a good idea to let your roasted beans off-gas for 1 to 3 days before sealing them for storage. You can grind the just roasted beans if you like, but flavors develop and mellow with the off-gassing process.
What about you? Do you have a favorite method of roasting your coffee beans? We’d particularly like to hear about Unplugged roasting! Tell us your story, and we’ll pick from our favorites to win a porlex grinder.
Feeding your Grindripper is easy! Simply remove the top lid and fill the grinder with your favorite beans!
Care of your Grindripper is about as easy as feeding. Simply brush off the grounds from the ceramic blades and you’re done! However, you may wish to clean your Grindripper more thoroughly every once in a while, and for that, some disassembly is required.
Please refer to the diagram below for the proper assembly order of your Grindripper’s components.
- Travel Bag
- Top Lid
- Shaft, stainless steel
- Bushing, upper (large)
- Grinder Body
- Bushing, lower (small)
- Bias Spring
- Ceramic Blade, female, with 3 recesses
- Ceramic Blade, male
- Blade Base, plastic
- Adjusting Wheel
- Grinder Cap
- Filters, 50
- Dripper Funnel
- Ground Coffee Cellar Cap
- Ground Coffee Cellar
There has been some discussion about whether or not bisphenol A (BPA) or phthalates can be found in coffee produced from a Presso or a ROK. Presso Ltd, makers of the Presso and the ROK, have commissioned Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry tests that have proven definitively that neither BPA or phthalates are leached into coffee produced with either the Presso or the ROK!
Further, since April 19, 2013, BPA is no longer considered a developmental toxin by governmental bodies, and the chemical that once caused so much controversy can now be considered little more than a needless worry when products containing BPA are used in accordance with their directions. California, a leader in the environmental fight for material safety, has delisted BPA as a toxin. Their published list of toxins can be found at http://www.oehha.org/prop65/prop65_list/files/041913P65list.pdf, and the filed court order delisting BPA can be seen at http://oehha.ca.gov/prop65/law/pdf_zip/041913PIOrderBPA.pdf.
We hope this puts the matter to rest, and we look forward to continuing to serve your espresso needs with these fine products!
Eggnog Chai Tea Latte
words and pictures Wendy Robinson
Eggnog Chai Tea Latte
I've had my Presso for two months. While I have enjoyed every delicious espresso and Americano I've made with it, I wanted to experiment a little bit and try something different.
With that in mind I picked up a bag of loose leaf Chai Tea from a local tea shop, keen to put the Presso to a new test...
I'm no barista and certainly have never made tea any way outside of the usual steeping a bag in a cup. When I use the steeping method I either remove the bag too soon and get weak tea or I forget the bag in the cup and end up with bitter tea. It occurred to me that if I ground up the loose leaf tea with a coffee grinder just like I would with espresso beans, I might just be able to press out Concentrated Chai from the Presso and add hot water for a good flavoured cup of tea. I'm happy to say that after some trial and error, I managed to do just that.
Now as I never like to do anything "ordinary" if there's possibly a more exciting way, I thought I'd take it a step further and introduce some egg nog into the mix to add a little flavour and holiday spirit. So, if you're an egg nog fan like I am, you'll love this. If you're not, well, I am sure you could do similar using milk or just add hot water to your chai for regular tea.
1) Find a good quality loose leaf chai tea blend. I like the Yerba Mate for it's lack of caffeine. I also find it less bitter than black tea.
2) Grind up your tea in a conventional coffee grinder. This was one of the original attempts. I later found that a more concentrated flavour could be achieved with a finer grind (just like coffee), but this still made for a tasty drink.
3) fill the portafilter to the "single shot" line and pack it down with the tamper. Don't pack it down too hard though as that just causes water absorption and seals the portafilter basket, causing a big mess when you remove it. Just make it flat and even. The top should sit just below the single shot line.
4) Time for the eggnog! I filled my cup about 1/3 before pressing the shot of chai.
5) Now time to add some hot water. I filled it to about here:
6) Operate the Presso like you would for an espresso. Slowly lift the arms up and when the water is released from the top resevoir, start pressing down with even pressure on both arms. I have found with tea that you need to press for a bit, then release some air by letting go and then press again. Repeat until all the water has filtered through the grounds. You'll want to wait a little bit and then do one last press to get the extra moisture (and the most concentrated mix) out.
What you get as a result is a very pretty layer of chai on top of the egg nog as shown:
7) I think that much concentrated egg nog and chai would be a good recipe for a stomach ache, so I top the cup up to almost the top with boiling water to lighten it up a bit (also keeps the drink hot).
8) Now just stir with a spoon and voila! A delicious and spicy egg nog chai latte made in your own home with your Presso.
For a spicier and less of a thick drink, fill the cup 1/4 full with egg nog and grind your chai almost to powder, then top up with hot water to the 3/4 mark.
This was so fun and with such a good result that I can't wait to try other tea and mix combinations.
"I've been enjoying getting repeats of lovely crema from my Presso. On Wednesday, I took it in my backpack, and made drinks for friends. They couldn't believe that the quality of delicious espresso shots were extracted from such a seemingly simple "gadget". [Grin] :o)"
Visit the official Presso Page on facebook. Come on we would love you to join the presso party.
Early this year. we were able to be part of Great Granny Joyce's 3 day, 90th birthday, by presenting her with a Presso as a present, along with our friends the Allens and Mowbrays.
Joyce was so chuffed with her gift and the picture below shows her in full flight doing the presso thing. Joyce Irving, most senior Presso user in the world!