[Photo Cred: Julie Johnson of Vine Images]

We are still trying to adjust to our “new normal” of sleep since Kase has been born, that’s for sure!

Kase is pretty kind to us most nights, although, Chels might have something to say about that. There are many days that we are walking around like the living dead.

"Maybe we should be zombies for Halloween, hun.”

Coffee has been added to our routine in a BIG way. If coffee via I.V. was possible, we might consider it at this point!

I’ve liked coffee since the first time I tried it. I used to take sips of my grandad’s coffee when we were visiting him and my nana as a young boy; I thought it was so cool that I got to drink coffee like my grandad! My mom eventually started letting me have my own cup when we were visiting with them– although, I’m pretty sure it was mostly milk. Annnnd…is ‘Nescafe Instant’ really coffee? Not really. But let’s just call it my “gateway coffee”.

As I got older and started to drink coffee regularly, my palate for coffee consisted of only strong and weak. What I have been learning about coffee is that I actually couldn’t have been more wrong. Coffee is just as complex as wine. Just as grapes from different parts of the world produce varying types of wine, the same goes for coffee. Beans from different regions and elevations, as well as the level of roasting and various extraction methods all produce varying cups of coffee.

Did you know that coffee grows on a tree covered in cherries? Inside each cherry are only one or two coffee beans and believe it or not, one tree only produces about a pound to a pound and a half of green coffee beans each season!

The cherries have to be picked and hulled and the beans have to be processed and roasted before they are ready for your coffee maker.

Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine who had bought some green coffee beans to roast in his ‘Air Pop’ popcorn maker. This got me really excited and I immediately started reading about home roasting coffee and all the ways that it can be done.

I quickly learned that there’s a pretty big scene for roasting coffee at home.

The most common method of DIY roasting is using popcorn makers! People roast coffee in Air Poppers, Whirly Pops, and Easy Pops. There are also a growing number of home roasters that you can buy specifically for roasting coffee which can handle up to a pound at a time.

I dug out my ‘Cuisinart Easy Pop’ and headed down to Vintage Coffee Roasters in Hamilton, Ontario in search of some green beans. The owner, Jesslyn, was happy to sell me some and even gave me some pro tips on roasting at home!

Coffee beans go through two phases during roasting: the first crack and the second crack. Finishing a roast at first crack will produce a light roast. Light roasts are brighter and higher in acidity than darker roasts. These roasts generally have more fruity and floral tasting notes. The characteristics of the coffee beans and their origins are most pronounced in lighter roasts.

Moving past first crack will produce medium roasts. The flavours in medium roasts start to caramelize and can bring out lots of berry, citrus, floral or fruity tasting notes and produce a less acidic more balanced roast with medium body.

Once the coffee beans reach second crack they are now considered to be in dark roast territory. At this point, the coffee beans reach full caramelization and develop chocolatey, bittersweet and burnt tasting notes. Dark roasts have lower acidity and fuller body than light roasts. In this stage the beans lose their original characteristics and flavour profiles. Many coffee connoisseurs consider dark roast to be burnt garbage, compared to the likeness of a well done steak.

But when it really comes down to it, it’s’ all a matter of taste.

What’s your roast?

Light? Medium? Dark?

It’s time to weigh the beans.

Grind the beans. It’s smells amazing!

Boil the water.

Bloom the beans.

Almost done!!

I’m pretty sure our favourite roast at the moment is WHATEVER is readily available! Maybe once Kase is sleeping through the nights we’ll be more picky again. Personally, my favourite is a well balanced medium roast.

Bring on the JAVA!

Thanks so much for stopping by this week! If you’re up to the challenge why not try roasting some coffee beans yourself! Below are instructions on how I roasted mine. If not, be sure to stop by Vintage Coffee Roasters or any of Hamilton’s other fine coffee roastery’s and cafe’s and enjoy some delicious java from freshly roasted beans!

-Vintage Coffee Roasters

-Cannon Coffee Co.

-Detour Cafe

-Mulberry Coffee House

Have a wonderful week!

Peace & Love, Jonny Aps