Liveblog: BarCampCHS5 Session 1 – Coffee

The consensus of the room is that Irish Coffee would be the ideal coffee giveaway. 😉

Speaker: Brad Mallett Coastal Coffee Roasters

Coffee grows between the Tropics.
Mythology and History of coffee
Caldee (sp) a goat herder who took his goats to escape some trouble. He fell asleep in a coffee plant area and woke up to see his goats prancing around.

Trade began, but if you wanted to take the tree away, people would kill & maim for it.

Europeans took some & try to grow it, but the frost killed it.  Whelp, we want it & can’t grow it.  But a Frenchman took it on a ship over to the New World so they could grow it here but be controlled by a European country.  

2 main types: Robusta and Arabica.  

Robusta – cheaper and harsher. 
Arabica – richer flavor, grown at high altitudes.  

Volcanic soil can add rich, good flavors to coffee.  These are lower in acidity and are prized.

Colombia ISN’T the biggest coffee producer.  It’s Brazil.  34% market share. We drink something like 400 million cups a day. [Ok, this number may be wrong. I’m a bit distracted. 🙂 ]

Bad parts of coffee:
We have exploited the cultures and countries who produce coffee. The growers work their butts off and get very little pay for the coffee.

Attempts to make this better: Fair Trade. There’s a rift in Fair Trade right now. But that’s only just one way to try to be fair.

Rainbow (something) – They’re trying to educate the farmer to make the farm more efficient and use less chemicals. We pay a premium to get fair coffee. Trying to go organic is well intentioned, but we need to be careful to make sure that we find a way to be organic without frustration.

Shade grown and bird friendly.

Balzac Brothers – on Fulton St in Charleston have a small coffee company. They have gone for almost 100 years to buy coffee. They buy for big companies, but they help the little guy, too. They have capital, so they can make the trades.

How Does Trading Work?
Trader: I’d like to buy your coffee for 30 cents a pound. It gets put into 150 pound bags, and those go in larger containers. The trader gets it through the port. Small shops work with the importer to buy it a bag or two at a time. A good thing about being in Charleston is that they can go directly to the warehouse & pick it up.

You know that giant Piggly Wiggly warehouse? SBUX’s warehouse is right behind it. They move out several tractor trailer trucks a day to be taken to the SE roasting facitlity. SMall places are on 1 bag a day kind of consumption.

To roast the beans, they go into a roaster that uses infrared to be fuel efficient. These beans look green when they go in. They lose weight in roasting process. The process he uses takes 15-20 minutes on their machine.  

Differences Between Light & Dark Roast
Light roasting = less time. Espresso roast = longer.  

Light is more caffeinated than dark roast. The green form is highest in caffeine, but it tastes like crap. Roasting changes the composition of the bean. The more you roast it, the bigger the beans get and the less caffeine they have.

The Italians invented it…you use more coffee and put it under higher pressure to create it. It tastes stronger because you’re extracting more coffee.

There’s Swiss water and mountain water process. These are a chemical free and more natural way. There’s another way to do it that involves dumping chemicals into it.

Good quality of coffee in green form should be good for about a year.

People with really refined coffee palates can taste the difference between the start of the crop and the end in the year.

What about mycotoxins on coffee? All coffee has some mold on it; could that be a factor in how to roast it? Well, can it survive at that roasting and brewing temp?

Why don’t you do Keurig? The machines can’t get up to 200 degrees. You’re also paying 30-50 bucks a pound for Keurig. Pour over is going to taste better and is cheaper, even than green, eco-friendly fairly traded coffee.

Chaff – the waste coffee that come out of the process. This is good stuff for worm farmers and for landscapers.

He does give a hat tip to people who use their own cups: unless it’s BUBBA from the gas station, you only get charged for a small cup.

BYOB – bring your own coffee bag for ground coffee and get a dollar off.

Cat Poop Coffee party – if you haven’t had this expensive coffee, you should try it at least once, as long as it’s been prepared properly.

How do you change the flavor? A lot of it is based on where it’s grown.

How do you pick which coffee to buy? Everyone will send you samples of green coffee.

43 Families sold at Royal Hardware in MTP is mission work coffee and is roasted in the speaker’s shop. This is how you should be doing it–it’s relationship based business that is eco and people friendly.

Some people medically can’t handle caffeine. As far as addiction goes? If you’re otherwise healthy, having caffeine from this natural form is perhaps not as bad as from soda, for example. There are some significant health benefits from drinking a bit of coffee each day. Milk and sugar? Milk can help replace calcium in your bones. [Watch the sugar, folks – A]

Instant coffee? It’s not even real coffee given the difference in how it’s processed and prepared.

He only uses Arabica. Yay, good coffee.

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