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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Good to the Last Drop - Guest Post

My friends in Thailand have been growing coffee and have harvested, roasted, brewed and drank their first crop. What follows is the story of that process (as told by my friends via an email) and accompanying pictures (cropped to protect both the innocent and guilty):

We really didn't know how to get the hard part off the outside of the coffee. We started shucking them by hand, and then found that a mortar and pestle works great! In the tray, you see the beans after they are taken out of the cherry and dried. They are like rice, with a hard outside shell that needs to be removed.

We thought of just giving up and drinking the Maxwell House if it was going to be this slow and difficult. But it's quite fast with the mortar and pestle once you get the hang of it. This picture still shows the beans before shucking, and you can see we are trying to open them by hand. Yeah, by next Christmas!

OK, so we finally got some shucked - abo
ut one cup full. What you see in the bowl is the green beans, with the hard part removed and as much of the silverskin removed as we could figure out how. We did a much better job removing the silverskin on the second batch. The wok is hot and ready for roasting!

Anyone for a little stir fried coffee? I think we're going to sell our coffee as "Organic, Shade Grown, Wok-Roasted Coffee."

The beans are starting to brown.
They go through two phases. At first, they just sit there and you wonder why you are even standing there. Will it ever start? Your arm gets tired from keeping them moving. Then, they start to crackle and you think, AHA! But now, the crackle and the steam first time around is just the last of the water coming out of the bean. The crackling and the steam stops, and they just sit there again.... Eventually, they start to brown, and then they crackle a little before they start billowing great clouds of coffee-smelling smoke. Aaaaaaaah... cook until desired color. I like Dark French or Italian...

And, there they are! One cup of green beans makes about 2 cups of cooked beans. They're a bit like popcorn.

Here's the first brewed pot.

And the satisfied drinker.


Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Drinking a vanilla spice flavored coffee from DD and reading this post. Life does not get better than this, Birdie. I wish I could just dive into your post and be able to smell and taste the coffee! Cheers, my fellow javaphile!

October 27, 2006 4:45 AM  
Blogger Mayden's Voyage said...

Oh- this was GREAT! Being in someones kitchen on the other side of the world- roasting coffee! I LOVE it!
I spent a fair amount of time with the women folk on my trip- I went to their markets, to their grocery stores...I too sat in their kitchens- helped cook as well :). I wanted to FEEL what it was like to be them (as best I could).
The area of Kunming is also known for it's coffee- but wow is it strong! I drank their coffee and their tea, but I have to admit that I brought my own along (English Breakfast) for my morning ritual :)
Yours was a true cultural experience- It made my day to read this~ you make me want to go back- soon! :)

October 27, 2006 7:20 AM  
Blogger /t. said...

Shade Grown,
Wok-Roasted Coffee."

throw in

and i'm ready to order -- wonderful post, bird! now, where's my coffee mug...


October 27, 2006 9:12 AM  
Blogger Little Lamb said...

I'd like some of that coffee in the pictures please. I bet tastes better than store bought.

October 27, 2006 5:06 PM  
Blogger Peaches said...

Wish we had smell-o-blog!!!!

October 28, 2006 8:46 PM  
Blogger boneman said...

I'm with peaches. I love the smell of grinding the beans first off in the morning.
It IS the first "cup of coffee" only, it's in my mind.

Then again, the pix almost do the trick.
SMELL-O-BLOG! For those who don't mind smellin' what ya got!

Y'know, considerin' that I can clear a room by takin' off m'socks, I think it's probably OK that there ain't "smell-o-blog" eh?

October 29, 2006 6:46 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

hey there boneman - nice to see you.

to all: you may notice that a comment has been deleted. i delete it beacuse it was one of those spam comments soliciting business to the commenter's own website and had nothing to do with the post.

comment on!

October 30, 2006 12:16 PM  
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