company - education - coffee

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New equipment arriving soon

The open house went over very well and we are working on a few little projects this week before we set longer hours at the shop starting next week. Even with the damp weather, in store sales have been brisk and we want to say thanks for all the local support!

LM GB5, originally uploaded by coffeedirtdog.

We have a new shipment of equipment arriving soon. It is available for pre order to be shipped on arrival next week. Browse the shopping cart and check out what's available. We will

A lot of people have been asking for a method guide for pour over and I promise we will get something up here soon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Let it rest

Noted something I had seen also at the shop, the SOMA needs a good amount of rest to calm down and then it really shines. While I still try my best to keep the coffees as fresh as possible, I have found this particular coffee really pops after a 10-12 day rest in the bag unopened.

If you are going to pull it after day 3, keep it tight and avoid channeling but until it degasses a bit after opening the bag, it can be a little harder to work with. I opened a bag on day two that was giving me fits but recently was really enjoying two roasts that were 12 and 15 days off roast right out of the bag.

As to that, we sent out some coffees today for the MANE barista jam and for the PACA spro down. The barista Jam has a competition gong where you are given descriptors and you have thre shots to get the most out of the coffee. Should be interesting to see how they handle our espresso.

We have Syphons in stock again, TCA-2 and are a week away from a full shipment of Hario product. (for overseas orders, please contact before ordering) Local readers are going to see a lot of this product in the more reputable cafes. Hand mills, pour over equipment, you name it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Open house: Sunday June 21st 12-6pm

The finishing touches are going into the bar and I intend to have some extra roasts on hand for this weekend. With that positive note, we welcome everyone to come out Sunday and sample some coffees and check out our new space. We will be serving Soma espresso and Kiandu for non espresso type coffees (Ben C will be doing Syphon brews).

169 Mass ave
Arlington, MA 02474

Free coffee and a chance to check out our new coffee bar are as good an excuse as any to drop by! See you there-

Saturday, June 13, 2009

'Full Immersion' Cold Brewers

We have 8 cup cold brewers at the shop which are quite refreshing in the summer heat.

For our coffees, we recommend 1g of coffee per 10ml water. A drip grind to almost a Syphon grind works best. Use cold filtered water and steep for 12-18 hours. For darker roasts, a shorter steep time of 8 hours can work well and some lighter roasts may need more steep time up to 24 hours.

Cold brew is very smooth and rewarding when compared to the many alternative iced coffee methods. It mellows out roast note and balances acidity while yielding a highly caffeinated cup. Full immersion cold brewing is quite easy to do and requires a few simple steps.

Load the ground coffee into the nylon filter. Add cold water. Steep for ~12 hours. Remove the nylon filter and coffee once a desired taste is achieved. Cold brew will continue to age and change over the next few days after initial brewing. It is important to note the change and plan to consume the coffee in the first week. We recommend the day 3 through 5 window after brewing as having the most complexity.

It also works for cold brewing tea as well, but rinse well or it will taste a bit like coffee. For teas, a heavier dose than you would normally use is preferable. Use loose leaf teas and tisane of your choosing. We recommend whole leaf teas like a dark Oolong or anything with clean and unbroken whole leaves for the best experience. Unlike hot brewed teas that are then iced, cold brew will stay clear and not become cloudy.

We have more Syphons on the way and a new shipment of equipment coming soon.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Building out the bar

Finished up some details at the shop today. Need one more day to be done and then I can focus on the smaller projects.

One of the side projects was to get my old grinder back in shape so we broke it down and Ben C. stripped the paint, a little base coat, and some new color (finished paint job to be featured with some photos of the bar later). I think we will eventually get to the other 4 grinders but this one was travel weary and just plain ugly having had it for a while now.

The bar top took me a few tries to get it down to the right tint. Had to strip it down and redo the whole thing to get the right match but I am happy with the current color.

I figure we can have the machine up and running once the bar top is hardened enough for the equipment to set on it. Tough business taking on all these projects and working a normal job. I really do enjoy it though. Strangely, there is a sense of satisfaction in being tired and covered in paint at the end of the night. Truth is nobody truly appreciates the details until they do them themselves for their own benefit.

Details are important though. With all the national roasters in town recently scouting for victims, you'd think Boston was the next big thing in coffee. Maybe, but Boston is a funny place. Locals are fiercely loyal to established businesses. As a new roaster, I have learned that you have to stay around long enough to get entrenched and then people will begin to give you a chance. After you have been around for a while, you are established and nobody around here roots against a familiar haunt. I'm not sure how roasters in other shipping zones will fare coming into town but who really can say? There are some large shops now locally who are shipping in roasts from out of region but how sustainable is that long term? I believe that in a few years the larger coffee community will someday see an explosion of true micro roasters that will break the string of Regional turned National roasters we have seen in the last few years.

Part of our own business model right now is to begin a movement towards zero waste and we started by using as much reused material as possible in building out the kiosk. We already recycle as much material as we can and have more compost than we know what to do with but I am talking more about the build out as a starting point for a more aggressive stance. It's not something you would see on our print materials or something we will market because roasting is not a very efficient use of resources to begin with but it's on my mind as we move forward. We paid more for VOC free paints but the upside is they were full spectrum and that was worth it on many points. On the other end were the oak counters that took us a while to get cut and mounted, then stained properly. Luckily there is a local reclaimed wood outfit just off Alewife Pkwy and we were able to get some really unique and charactered pieces of Oak. It was a bit tough matching them up but I am pleased with the hours put in. For smaller projects like the standing counter, I salvaged an old kitchen table left behind by the previous tenants. After some cutting, planing, and a little sanding, it's set for service. I even went as far as to cut up some of the pallets that had hard wood to use as fly board under counter and some shelving.

The remodel moves to the office areas next but it will return late summer to the front to work on benches outside and taking down the air conditioning system for a more efficient one. We are measured for a bike rack out front to be installed soon. Something we volunteered for on our block but is really obviously necessary. I seriously wonder if the construction will ever stop or just have brief intervals.