Posted by Al Dar Arch On January 3, 2015
The roastery is where it all happens, we have this funky warehouse in Al Quoz, fitted out with an espresso bar, a brew bar, coffee sacks stacked around a living wall, a mezzanine fitted out with comfy sofas, great sound system and wifi. But the heart and soul of it all, is the roasting room. We are completely smitten with our 18kg Coffee Tool roaster ~ she sits between our trusty old Probat and our Dietrich sample roaster. Open 7 days a week from 8am to 5pm, we welcome visitors and are happy to help you find the coffee that best suits your palette and brewing method.
While we offer an espresso based menu, we really enjoy working from our brew bar using Siphons, V60’s, Cemex, and Aeropress, to prepare beautiful single origin brewed coffee, that really allows you to experience the amazing flavours and characteristics of our origins.
All our team are approachable and empowered and will help you find a coffee you love, so please don’t be shy, we like spending time sampling and talking coffee.
Posted by Al Dar Arch On May 9, 2016
The beans you select ultimately define your taste preferences and if flavor is the top of your list, you will want to choose an Arabica coffee bean. To be very simplistic, a good bean is generally uniform in shape and color. You will find that these normally roast evenly and without many “clinkers” or bad beans.
If you are just beginning, you should ask other home-roasters what they have had luck with. From experience, Colombian and Costa Rican coffees along with many Guatemalans roast pretty easily. Sumatra coffees roast nicely, but you need to hold the faith that the imperfections will work out in the roasting process.
Now that everything is together, you should plug your “roaster” in and pour your beans in. You should immediately begin stirring the coffee beans.
As you are stirring, you will notice the coffee beans turn from a green to a light brown and will continually darken. Also part of the bean called chaff will begin blowing off the bean. Keep stirring until the beans move on their own in an upward direction(not just in a circular one). This will take about a minute. At this time, you will hear a series of small “cracking” noises. This is what is known as the first crack. This will soon subside.
Now, monitor the coffee beans and watch for the color of bean you desire. Pay attention to the smells as well. If you let your roast continue long enough, you will notice a second series of cracks. This is known as (you guessed it) the second crack. Little tiny black chips will start blowing off the bean during this phase. To achieve a full city roast, you should normally stop at the beginning of this series of cracks.
If you would like the darker roast of a typical Espresso blend or a French or Vienna roast, you should keep the beans roasting. You will notice the beans becoming shiny and a thicker cloud of smoke coming from the roast chamber. The sheen comes from the oils of the bean, which are coming to the surface.
The main objective of the cooling process is to stop the roasting dead in its tracks as fast as possible. Simply dump the coffee beans into your cooling pan which will allow the beans to lie in a single layer. Using a pan with holes, such as a metal colander, will aid this. If you live in a hot climate, you might consider using a light mist of water from a spray bottle.
Once the roasted coffee beans have cooled, they should be stored properly in an airtight container.
Posted by Al Dar Arch On May 8, 2016
Roasting your own coffee gives you virtually unlimited possibilities in your quest for making the perfect cup. You are able to make espresso roasts or bring your beans to a nice full city roast. You can blend your different roasted beans or blend them before roasting. It’s up to you. Do you want to be able to drink five varieties a week without having your coffee go stale? Since you roast only what you need, you can do this with ease. In a nutshell, you’ll be able drinking better coffee for less money.
Green coffee will store well for over a year without loss in character whereas a roasted coffee will be best consumed within a week or two. Buying your beans green will allow you to make larger purchases without worrying about the beans going bad.
Roasting coffee in a popcorn popper can be a messy venture. During the roasting process, pieces of green coffee called chaff will blow off while producing a great amount of smoke. While the smoke smells great initially, it will find its way into everything in your homestead and once stale it stinks. In the beginning, the easiest course of action is to find a place to roast outside such as a garage, porch or balcony. Along the way, you may upgrade your equipment to devices such as the Hearthware iRoast2 with a built-in chaff filter or the HotTop with a built in smoke filter.
First, you will want to purchase a roaster. Basically, you want a device that will heat the beans to at least 400 degrees F and be able to do this in an even manner. You may be thinking of your oven and while that will work, it is somewhat difficult to visually gage the roast level and usually will set off your smoke detector if you don’t have good air filtration. It also produces scorched beans since one side of them is in constant contact with the hot metal of the sheet pan.
A good device to start with a West Bend Poppery II. For a tutorial on roasting coffee using the original Poppery see the tutorial Roasting Coffee in a Popcorn Popper. This little hot air popcorn popper makes a great coffee roaster. The reason this is a good unit is that it that allows for good visual inspection of the roast level and it actually moves the beans around in a circular fashion which prevents scorching. The hot air blowing the beans around is commonly referred to as fluid-bed roasting. The Poppery II are often available at thrift stores for a few bucks.
After you get a roaster, you should have a cooling pan, a stirrer, and a scale. For the cooling pan, you want something that will allow a mass of hot beans to cool as quickly as possible. I use an aluminum pasta strainer. The holes let air through for more rapid cooling. You may also use a simple cookie sheet.
Even though the popper rotates the beans, you will still need something to help stir beans and even to pull samples out for closer inspection. For stirring use a wooden spoon. Make certain it is wooden or you could get an electrical shock.
A measuring device for coffee would be best done with a scale. You can use an inexpensive food scale found almost anywhere like Wal-Mart or Target. Some of the newer digital scales offer excellent taring features and give you better gage resolution than the really cheap analog types. The primary reason for measuring by weight over volume is that your popper can only move so much weight at a time and you will find that different beans have different densities. The only way to get consistent results is to measure the coffee by weight. For the West Bend, 4 oz. is your target weight.
Click here to read about how to roast your own coffee.
Posted by Al Dar Arch On March 3, 2016
It becomes a challenge for us to sort out the best espresso makers in 2016 for the home user since most espresso makers have met the epitome of providing the best. We’re caught in a cross path here, but however, we have to keep an open mind and a genuine heart to respect the fact that the quality of an espresso cup relies on the impression on our taste buds. We love what most of the espresso machines in 2016 have achieved, but we have our hearts inclined to the Breville espresso machines.
We took a detailed observance on the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Machine. It is an espresso machine that comes with a professional outlook and performance for home and office setups. The only ‘but’ that comes along is the price tag since it will seek deeper into your pocket. However, passions and delicacies are our best addiction, and once you know what you are after, you won’t feel the pinch.
For you to get this marvel, then you have to cough a stunning $600 on the espresso machine. The espresso machine meets your requirements and actually supersedes your expectations. The fact behind this espresso machine that draws our hearts is the similarity it has to the professional machines that we have. The machine does not only make espresso but has a tank that holds the coffee beans for grinding in real time and adds them to the filter without tamping it down.
The machine does give you what you expect and purchased as it does have what is referred to as the purge feature meaning that it has self-regulation of the temperatures of the water so no chances of burning the drink. The machine also has more controls that are easy to use, and this gives it the irresistible aura; the espresso machine is easy to use providing a master blended taste that even a novice would tell. All the machine needs are some love; keep it clean and enjoy the best there is about coffee.