For the Love of Coffee, Cigars, Wine, & Great Food!

Posts tagged “Coffee Roasting

Live Coffee Roasting Demonstration in Tampa!

LIVE and in-person, we’re going to show you how to roast your OWN quality coffeehouse beans for a fraction of the cost! Live demos, piping hot coffee samples, and yes – GIVEAWAYS! Stop by and check out our live coffee roasting demonstration!

Which coffees would you like to see demonstrated and to sample? Peek at our offerings, pick your fave, then post it in the comment box below! Jitterz Offerings

Date: 6/10/2011

Time: 7pm – 11pm

Address: 108 S. 12th Street at Channelside | Tampa, FL

This event is hosted by the Tampa Etsy Craft Party. Visit the Tampa Etsy Craft Party page:

Visit the Official Etsy Craft Party 2011 Meetup Page:

*Photo Credit: Gevon Knox*


Don’t Screw Up My Mocha!

What’s Mocha-Java? I like chocolate – is it chocolate?? Well, I explain exactly how we got to start using the terms Mocha and Java. Ever have something so great get screwed up? Take a look below, and I will tell you exactly what happened.

Don’t forget to check out our coffee tips for much more! Click here for Jitterz’ Coffee Tip of the Day. Photo Credit: Gevon Servo

Surprise Coffee From BaristaOnDutY

So I’ve been reviewing some Vietnamese coffees from, and I was excited to see that there was a surprise coffee for me to review – no label or anything. So I’ve decided instead of testing it and telling you about it, we should find out the surprise together. c(_) Cheers! *Clank*

I am going to play with this in the roaster and give you a full review soon!

Suggested Preparation: Wait & See!


My Trip to Ethiopia

Home roasting can be fun, and you can experience the joy of fresh roasted coffee every day! I will teach you the equipment you can use, information about various coffee regions, and yes…that aficionado terminology.

So this video is split in two (sorry, it’s 15 mins and I can’t have more than 10 mins on YouTube). Anyhoo, here is the second video – chaff & bagging your fresh roast.

When roasting, it is very important to have the proper equipment, store the coffee immediately, and let it rest to experience its best characteristics! In about 5 to 15 minutes, you will be done with a full bag of coffee – enjoy! Great coffee moments start at home!


Green Coffee/Green Beans: The green or yellow colored coffee seed of the harvested fruit. The appearance of coffee prior to roasting.

Dry Processed: The unwashed or natural coffee, the original method of processing coffee. Fruit is picked from the tree, hand sorted for ripe, unripe, and defective beans, then laid to dry in the sun or on raised screens. Dry processed coffees generally have more body, less acidity, and more rustic flavors. Refer to my other post about the fruit of the tree.

First Crack: At this stage, coffee becomes acceptable to drink.  Occurs between 390 and 410 degrees F. Has a very loud cracking or popping sound. Rapid expansion of the coffee seed, water and CO2 fracture leading to the liberation of moisture from the coffee in the form of steam. Roast levels: City & City+

Second Crack: Faster, more shallow cracking. Occurs around 440 to 450 degrees F. Cellular matrix of bean begins to break down resulting in the emergence of oils to the surface of the bean. Roast Levels: Full City (on the verge of 2nd crack), Full City+, Vienna/Light French (and no, French Roast is NOT a flavor!)

Degassing: Also known as resting. Immediately after roast, coffee emits CO2 in large amounts and prevents water infusion or good extraction (ie, it hurts your brew, and it just won’t taste as good). Letting it rest for about 12 to 24 hours allows you to experience coffee’s best qualities and characteristics at its prime.

Click here for more info on the different roast levels!

Helpful Links & Roasting Tools

Sweet Marias

Five Things You Should Know About Coffee

My Love-Hate, On Again-Off Again Relationship With Starbucks

Soooo, where do I begin? I guess I can say my infatuation with coffee (funny, I almost wrote a hashtag in front of #coffee) started some time in late high school/early college – right about the time of the commercialized birth of Starbucks accompanied by raging hormones of the influential college atmosphere…

Growing up, my mother had always been the coffee fanatic; my father, less convinced that there was “much ado” about it. I was more like my father and was not halfway concerned about lapping up that brown drink. I recall my sister coming home with a Starbucks frappuccino that was loaded with chunks of brownie. I was crazy about sweets, so I jumped on the bandwagon. Thus began the basis for my addiction. As Starbucks sprung up on just about every unclaimed piece of land, I was given several options: one in my neighborhood, one in the core of my college campus, one on the way to work – oh and of course, on my way home from work, hit the one in my ‘hood again. I schooled myself on the newest “terminology” from tall to venti and skinny to whipped, and was drinking everything from warm apple cider to triple shots of espresso (Ma’am, do you know this comes with a shot? Yes*DUH*, please add another…)

A few years into my “Starbucks Habit,” I had applied about three times (all rejected); all of the Baristas at each shop knew my name, preferred drink, and my fave treat (Oreo Dream Pie); and just about every gift I received and gave was coffee-related, most of which were gifts from Starbucks. I began to influence people around me with my coffee habit, turning non-coffee drinkers into avid coffee drinkers who eventually turned their mugs down to “office coffee” and who began to help fuel my habit. As all addicts do, I denied that I had a problem, hid my Starbucks purchases from my parents, and became a walking, talking billboard for Starbucks.

After going through a bag of old receipts and discovering that I was spending almost $400 a month on Starbucks – OUCH – I decided to “scale back” on my coffee habit by only purchasing Maxwell House and Starbucks from the grocery store. I still completely indulged into coffee and the lifestyle, yet had never been truly educated about the beauty and history of it. I just knew that decent coffee came from my mother’s kitchen and that Starbucks coffee *at the time* gave me warm fuzzy feelings. I had a great supporter, who one day in passing told me that the greatest coffee experience I could have was to taste fresh roasted coffee. I thought about it and at first took it a bit lightly…until about 5 years ago when I cheated on Starbucks with Peets :-o. Instead of shipping some of my friends marketing/brochure samples, Peets accidentally shipped an oversupply of coffee. EXACTLY. This opened up a whole new discussion of what “good coffee” actually is, and ever since, I have purposed in my heart to embrace coffee’s history and to educate others about what coffee actually is…and I vowed to never return to Starbucks…

Since then, I’ve become a home coffee roaster, launched a coffee club, have been researching coffee’s history, influenced my friends to only get coffee from me, and have found my Signature Blend (for purposes of protecting the writer, the name/blend qualities will not be revealed J). It has been an incredible journey that anticipates the rebirth of the coffee house and the education of the general coffee consumer.  As every true coffee man or coffee roaster has their own internal (and external) battle with SBUX vs local coffee shop vs fresh roasted coffee, we may occasionally visit SBUX and get busted in the act.

Ethiopia’s Dictator Revokes Coffee Licenses of Major Exporters

Ethiopia’s dictator revokes coffee licenses of major exporters

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (APA) – Ethiopia’s dictatorial regime led by accused war criminal Meles Zenawi on Wednesday revoked the coffee export licenses for six major export companies and shut down another 88 coffee supplier unions with warehouses stocked with coffee.

The decision was made after the government accused a number of exporters and coffee suppliers of hoarding.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also revoked the international coffee standard certification for the six companies.

“These companies cause big economic damage to the country which has resulted in the decline of the country’s coffee earnings this year,” said the ministry.

The major exporters of Ethiopian coffee affected by the decision are Mulege, S. Sara, Legesse Sherefa and Kemal Abdela.

The dispute between the government and the coffee exporters started when Ethiopia introduced last year a new electronic commodity exchange.

The Ethiopian Commodity Exchange was set up to replace a murky auction system that was often abused by market players.

Some exporters have been reluctant to sell their beans through the country\’s new electronic commodity exchange which began trading in December, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told parliament last week where he urged the exporters to immediately start selling their stocks. The ministry accused the exporters and coffee suppliers union of creating the coffee shortage in the local market, resulting in price increase in the country in the past few weeks.

Coffee accounted for about 60 percent of Ethiopia’s foreign exchange revenue in the 2007/2008 season when Ethiopia earned more than $525 million from exporting 170,888 tones of Arabica coffee.

Ethiopia, the birth place of coffee, is Africa\’s biggest coffee producer.

Some 15 million smallholder farmers grow coffee in Ethiopia, mostly in the misty forested highlands of its western and southwestern regions.


U.S. coffee importers and roasters are worried that a new auction system in Ethiopia makes it almost impossible for them to buy coffee from the particular farmers whose beans they want.

Seattle Times business reporter

U.S. coffee importers and roasters are worried that a new auction system in Ethiopia makes it almost impossible for them to buy coffee from the particular farmers whose beans they want.

The system, overseen by the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, mixes coffee beans from different growers before selling them for export.

That’s a big deal to specialty roasters who prefer beans from certain growers and processors, and sometimes have worked with them to improve quality.

During a visit to the Ethiopian exchange in February, one Seattle coffee importer became concerned about how the new system would work.

“We spent a whole day going through the phases of grief — anger, denial and acceptance — just trying to get our arms around what’s going on,” said Craig Holt, owner of Atlas Coffee Importers.

The new auction system and its implications are poorly understood, Holt and others said.

What they know for sure is that they’re unable to order many of the coffees they want.

Some have had trouble getting any coffee from Ethiopia, although it is not clear whether the new auction system is to blame.

Royal Coffee, an importer based in Oakland, Calif., has not received shipments from Ethiopia that ordinarily would have arrived by now.

“There seems to be a wrench in the gears,” president Robert Fulmer wrote on the company’s blog. “To say there is confusion and chaos in Ethiopia is an understatement.”

Last week, Ethiopia closed the warehouses of six of its largest exporters, accusing them of hoarding coffee and contributing to a shortage of foreign currency.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the government plans to start exporting beans itself.



The changes haven’t affected Starbucks, a spokeswoman said. The company buys coffee through the exchange and from cooperative unions and estates, which are allowed to sell directly.

The U.S. imports 12 to 15 million pounds of Ethiopian coffee annually, less than 5 percent of that nation’s total coffee exports. Japan is the largest importer of Ethiopian coffee, taking about 66 million pounds a year, according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

Ethiopia’s new exchange estimates that specialty coffee, which is high-end coffee for which consumers pay a premium, represents about 3.7 percent of its coffee exports. Specialty coffee includes coffee bought by importers and roasters who have relationships with certain coffee growers.

The exchange said in a December paper on specialty coffee that it can hone its contract specifications to reflect geographic criteria and other refinements. For further traceability, “the direct channel by which growers can directly export coffee can be used,” the paper said.

Victrola Coffee Roasters in Seattle is among those counting on it.

Coffee buyer and head roaster Perry Hook is excited about a shipment of 2008 Ethiopia Natural Yirgacheffe Beloya beans that he just bought from the importer Ninety Plus Coffee.

He doesn’t have much hope of getting anything so specialized from this year’s crop.

“We’ll still buy Ethiopian coffee, because they have some of the best coffee in the world,” Hook said. “It’s the specialty ones that can be tied back to specific producing areas and handled in specific ways that we’re not going to get [this year]. We’re just going to hope something happens down the road and that in 2010 we can get these kinds of coffee again.”

Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or