Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Well, here we are. 33 today.

I wanted to say something profound about turning this old, or even something about a year of coffee snobbery.

Though, I really don't have anything to say. It is mostly just a time to be glad and thankful to reach 33, and be glad to the luxuries of modern life.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Why I should have a Quadcopter of my own.

DJI PHANTOM FIREWORKS from Gasper C on Vimeo.

Need I say more?

Really, sorry its basically been a coffee link dump. I really haven't had a lot of cool finds aside from online. I'm working through the old coffee now. I can't stand the idea of wasting stuff.

Friday, April 18, 2014

From Fruit To Bean

Here is a nice little article that goes into some detail about the different methods of processing coffee before it goes to market, and eventually a roaster. Their pictures are nice and informative.

It never really occurred to me how much this process creates the flavor profile.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Robusta to Get Its Due?

Over at Daily Coffee News, they have an article today about Uganda attempting to ramp up and improve Robusta coffee to the level of Arabica.

Given the heartiness of Robusta in comparison to Arabica, and the fact it will grow in more places, I have to agree with the idea.

However, will the snobs accept it?

Alas, check out the article. Its worth a read, even if it is a small indicator towards our changing world.

Will all Arabicas be treated like Blue Mountain or Kona in a decade or two of global warming?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Coffee Blending For the Home Roaster (

I came across this in my feed tonight. When I was roasting, I think I came across a lot of these recommendations by accident.

It is good to have a little validation on those counts.

Coffee Blending For the Home Roaster (

Thursday, April 10, 2014


In Chicago

I came across this in my news feeds today. Really, it sounds like a cool idea, and I do like a Con.

Basically, the idea is a consumer facing coffee convention for coffee lovers, and people generally interested in coffee beyond their morning fix. It is like the ones for comics and general geekery, but for coffee.

Unfortunately, it is this weekend, and in Chicago.

They are going to do this in more cities. Hopefully, might be something to add to the Con schedule for 2015.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Project Endure

Getting Students in the Mountains

And I do not mean the Mountains of Madness, which was probably closer to my own high school experience. 

While we were prowling around the Farmer's Market at City Market in Indy, we came across a group selling granola. 

It was a couple high school students, promoting and raising money for their group, Project Endure

From the promotional material, and what they discussed, they use adventure trips as a means of teaching leadership and responsibility. (Though, I often wonder about these groups, since the type of students who gravitate towards these programs are the ones who already received this message.)

Still, its a noble effort. There is value in getting out of your environment, to experience new things. the more a person sees of the world, and experiences the little differences, they realize those differences between people really are not that different. Our motivations and needs are mostly the same. 

We just seek to meet those needs differently. 

I was looking for something profound, but there really isn't anything profound. But it seems profound at 17. 

Well anyway, its good granola, and at the time we bought the jar, that was what I was focused on. Its so much better than the stuff you buy in the store.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Harvest Cafe Coffee - Guatemalan Santa Rosa

An Indianapolis Best

This weekend, we made an early morning trip to the Indianapolis City Market to catch the Saturday morning Winter Farmer's Market. (During the regular growing season, its moving to the week days, which is incredibly inconvenient right now.)

I was not sure what we were going to find before even the Spring vegetables had come in. I was cranky, and it was early.

Harvest Cafe Coffee Roasters had a table set up, with coffee for sale. They are a local roaster on the other side of town from where we live. Consequently, I had not heard of them before that morning. We bought a couple cups, because the caffeine monkey was hitting my back hard.

Luckily, the coffee they had on tap was the absolute perfect wake up coffee.

One of the biggest aspects coffee snobs get into is having the absolute freshest possible pot. Since they were just selling off a table, they had a big vat of it, in one of the containers usually reserved the for Gatorade pour over the winning coach at the Super Bowl. I was not quite awake enough for this little detail to settle in.

However, it was full of a recently roasted batch of Guatemalan coffee. After the first few sips, it was as if a light came back on. Even though the drip was a couple hours old, it still held together its characteristics.

Once the cup was nearly empty, we bought a pound.

Since, I have made a couple Presses, an espresso shot, and I tried it in the Electric Santos.

Still, it is an ideal coffee for a morning French Press. Its bold, but not bitter. It is a very smooth coffee. The simpler the extraction, the better. There is a slight spiciness in the back that reminds me of a nice black pepper.

This really is a rainy day coffee to keep you going when all you want to do is sleep.

Harvest Cafe Roasters does sell to the public, and they do ship. They also open their rotisserie for tours, and if you call ahead you can pick up your order. According to the guy I was speaking with, they also sell green beans for home roasters.

Eventually, I plan on checking them out on the East side of Indianapolis. In the meantime, I highly recommend this coffee and this overall brand.

I also plan to have a bit more about out trip.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


A Nespresso Alternative

I have been working on this review off and on for a while. After doing some investigating online, I came across a few competitors to Nespresso, using compatible capsules to their most popular machines. 

After all, I do like Nespresso's coffees, and their blends are amazing. The new single origin Bukeela is definitely something to try.  But, honestly, Nespresso is expensive, and I do not always like buying a big load all at one time. 

From reviews, and availability, I decided to give Hi-Line coffee a shot. They are a New York based coffee company that seems committed to quality coffee and sustainability. (Of course, what small coffee company isn't?) 

However, they are a small company with few people working for them rather than the biggest food company in the world. Accountability for making a solid product is much higher with Hi-Line, and it shows in their coffees.

I have made several orders in an effort to really be certain I like their coffees. Generally, I do. When compared with Illy, Lavazza, or even Nespresso, the espressos from Hi-Line truly are in their category. 

There are some differences, of course. Instead of being a aluminum pod, there's are recyclable plastic with a foil cover. They are well tamped, and a substantial amount of coffee in the pod. These pods are compatible with most machines, including my Pixie. They will work with most machines, except for some of the newer (and mostly discontinued) U's, and VertuoLine. Hi-Line is meant for home use, and the commercial Nespresso machines are not even discussed. 

I find the coffees, particularly the medium to light roasts fit American palates. They certainly work better with my own except for a couple exceptions in Nespresso's selections of coffee.

However, one of the better things with Hi-Line is the fact they have a smaller, more focused selection. Hopefully, they will build on it over time, but for now there is just 12 coffees to chose from. However, that is probably closer to the average with most smaller coffee companies. 

As for price, the coffee is $0.50 per capsule, sold mostly in sleeves of ten. Shipping, no matter how many you order is just $5.00. They're shipping may not be guaranteed two day shipping like Nespresso, but my deliveries have been coming fast enough. I will order on a Friday, and have the coffee from the Postal Service by Wednesday, just in time to make a cup for work.