The Holiday Blend is Back!

in Brewing Coffee, Buying Coffee, Coffee Gifts, Coffee News, Coffees of the World

holidayblend2The holidays just wouldn’t be the same to me if I didn’t start every day enjoying a cup of coffee with family or friends.  It’s as ingrained a tradition for me as opening gifts on Christmas morning.

Last year, our Holiday Blend was a big success.  I couldn’t roast it fast enough, and the feedback was amazing.

But there were developments in the last year that made me worry as we approached this holiday season.  Two of the ingredients of last year’s Holiday Blend each became unavailable as they’re not grown in enough supply that a coffee roaster can always count on there being inventory.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been evaluating many different blend combinations and possibilities for this year’s Holiday Blend, using the coffee cupping process.  You can see just one of the cupping forms in the image to the left.  Each possibility was evaluated, and described in terms of its flavor characteristics.  I wanted to capture as many flavors as I associate with the holidays, namely chocolate, spice, a full body, and a natural sweetness.  In short, it had to be a coffee as good as or better than last year’s Holiday Blend!

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And behold…the Holiday Blend from the Make Good Coffee Co.!

A combination of dark-roasted South American beans to give the coffee a full body and chocolate flavor, with medium-roasted Central American beans for a touch of acidity, or “spice” on the end.  The coffee also has a natural berry sweetness perfectly balanced in the blend so not to be overwhelmed by the dark-roasted beans.

The Holiday Blend is shipping this Friday, December 2, 2016.  Get some for the coffee-loving person in your life.  Or, get some for yourself so you can be the star of the holiday party.  Or, just get some for yourself!

Check out: Make Good Coffee Co. Roastery Store
How to order: Holiday Blend

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Make Good Coffee Co.!

Introducing…Joshua Bean Coffee™ Decaf!

in Brewing Coffee, Buying Coffee, Coffee News

jbandcuppingformsI’ve said for years that I feel decaf coffee drinkers are even more appreciative of coffee’s flavor.  I can’t tell if people think I’m joking when I say it, because we all know that right after the coffee’s flavor, we all love the caffeine.

Decaf coffee drinkers like coffee so much, that they drink it entirely for the flavor.  Or, they’ve learned how social it can be to enjoy coffee with others, and don’t want to miss out.

I wanted to put care into how I roasted my decaf, and bring out its flavor.

220px-MayorbeanAnd so, I give you the Joshua Bean Coffee™ Decaf! This coffee was grown in Brazil, the world’s biggest grower of coffee.  I roast it to a medium-dark so that its body is properly developed, with a natural sweetness like berries.

Just like its caffeinated brother, the Joshua Bean Coffee™ Decaf is named after San Diego’s first mayor.  His name was actually Bean!

For the full-caffeine coffee drinker, you might still enjoy this coffee when it’s late and you’d like the taste of coffee.  It’s nighttime as I type this, and I’m enjoying a cup of the Joshua Bean Coffee™ Decaf.

Learn more about Joshua Bean Coffee™ Decaf.
Visit the Make Good Coffee Co. Roastery Store.

How much caffeine is in a tablespoon of ground coffee?

in Brewing Coffee, Buying Coffee, Coffee News

Question:

“I’ve been wondering how much caffeine is in a tablespoon of ground coffee (the actual grounds) but I can’t seem to find it on Google. Please help if you can.” – John

Answer:

coffeemoleculeExcellent question, John!

I have a hard time answering coffee questions without geeking out, so this is sure to be longer than what you anticipated as an answer :).

Let’s get the chemistry out of the way.  Caffeine, as well as another alkaloid named trigonelline, account for 1% of the weight of green, unroasted coffee.  As an aside, did you know that the coffee plant produces caffeine as a defense against insects?

Green, unroasted coffee is dense and heavy with moisture, which is expelled from the coffee bean as it’s roasted.  The amount of weight that the coffee bean loses as it’s being roasted varies, but let’s go with 15% of its weight as a good round number.

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This is where the debate starts about whether or not different-roasted coffees contain different amounts of caffeine.  Many years ago, it was my understanding that dark-roasted coffees contained more caffeine.  I wasn’t alone, as I recall many people at the time equating a “strong coffee” with being dark-roasted.  Further on, I started hearing that the roasting process itself burns off trace amounts of caffeine, which would mean that the darker the roast, the LOWER the caffeine.

But wait, there are a couple other ways to look at it!  I’ve been told even more recently that the roaster never reaches a high enough temperature to burn caffeine, therefore caffeine content is THE SAME between a medium-roasted and dark-roasted coffee.  To make matters worse, if the previous statement is true and coffee loses more weight the darker it’s roasted, then we’re back to the understanding that a dark-roasted coffee loses more weight but keeps the same amount of caffeine.  That would mean it indeed has HIGHER caffeine, all other things being equal.

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Sorry for the tangent.  Let’s just assume that 15% of the coffee’s weight in moisture is expelled in the roasting process, and that the caffeine content stays constant.  That would mean that caffeine would go from 1% of the coffee’s composition to about 1.2%.

According to convertunits.com, one tablespoon equals 15 grams.  1.2% of 15 grams is 180 mg.

I invite people to double-check my math, and I am always more than happy to admit when I am wrong.  I checked myself by looking online, and found it universally accepted that one metric cup of coffee contains around 95 mg of caffeine – ironic that number is exactly half of what I came up with above.

Saturday mornings at the Scripps Ranch Farmers Market

in Brewing Coffee, Buying Coffee, Coffee and You, Coffee News

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I’m so excited to announce that the Make Good Coffee Co. will be live every Saturday morning at the Scripps Ranch Farmers Market in San Diego, California!

There are approximately 50 farmers markets in San Diego County, and in a period of a few weeks, I visited easily more than half of them.  We have great markets across the County and throughout the week, but the one that I liked the best is in Scripps Ranch.

I was ecstatic when the owners of the market let me know that they not only had a spot available, but were excited to welcome a coffee roaster as one of their new vendors.

Local certified and 100% organic produce, plants and flowers, arts and crafts, even live music!  And of course, I’ll be bringing the whole line-up of coffees every Saturday morning.

If you live in San Diego or are visiting over a weekend, make sure you visit…

Scripps Ranch Farmers Market
10380 Spring Canyon Rd
San Diego (Scripps Ranch)
CA 92131
Open every Saturday, year around, rain or shine from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm

Colombia Excelso is here!

in Buying Coffee, Coffee News, Coffees of the World

IMG_0846Why Colombia Excelso?  I wanted to add a coffee to the line that everybody would like.  Think of it like Pearl Jam’s album Ten…you can put it on for a mixed crowd and everybody likes it (unless they don’t like music).

I’m pleased to announce the latest coffee from the Make Good Coffee Co.…our Colombia Excelso!  The coffee that you can put on that everybody will like.

While not the world’s largest producer of coffee, Colombia is one of the most recognized, particularly because of the iconic Juan Valdez character.  Colombian coffees have a universal reputation for delivering a rich taste, a balanced overall flavor, a lighter acidity, and a full body.  It’s a great coffee that everybody can agree on.

The Excelso designation makes reference to the size of the bean, with excelso beans being slightly smaller than Colombia Supremo beans.  Now, you have an icebreaker to use when you serve this coffee :).

colombiaIt was a lot of fun getting this coffee and roasting it eight ways to Sunday until I was happy with the final product.  I’m roasting it a medium-dark to develop as much of its flavor as possible without giving it a burnt taste.

Click here to order some Colombia Excelso.
Click here to visit the Make Good Coffee Co. Store.

We can put two bags of coffee in the USPS Flat Rate Envelope, so the flat rate cost gets split over two bags of coffee instead of one.  Enjoy!  Make good coffee.

The Make Good Coffee Co. roastery is now open!

in Brewing Coffee, Buying Coffee, Coffee and You, Coffee Gear, Coffee News, Coffees of the World

logoI am so excited to announce that the Make Good Coffee Co. roastery is now open!

Check out the Online Store here.

If you’ve been visiting the site these past several months, you know it’s been an ongoing adventure to get the coffee roaster installed and operational in San Diego, California.  Last month, the roaster went live, and I’ve spent the last several weeks perfecting the first three coffees that I’ll be selling.

10376148_10155256870375177_4878548440044086558_nPanama Boquete – Medium Roast

This year, we went on a coffee origin trip through Costa Rica and Panama, taking us into Panama’s green mountain highlands.  We toured coffee farms, and met with the farmers and field workers.  Going to coffee origin is an incredible experience that helps you appreciate the beverage we all love.

My Panama Boquete coffee is roasted medium to take advantage of the natural brightness of a Central American coffee.  When a coffee is roasted too dark, it loses some of the uniqueness.  To maintain this coffee’s natural acidity, I roast it to a medium color.  You can expect flavor notes of berry and other fruit, and some milk chocolate flavor.

Check out: Make Good Coffee Co. Online Store
Learn more: Panama Boquete – Medium Roast

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Malawi AA – Dark Roast

Dark roasted coffee has a nice smoky taste that so many coffee lovers like in their cup.

We are excited that our Dark Roast Coffee is a Malawi AA coffee. The east African country of Malawi has a long coffee tradition, dating back to when the British planted coffee seeds in its green northern provinces in the late 19th century. To ensure a strict standard of quality, the “AA” means that it meets the highest standard before it’s exported.

You can expect a medium acidity and good sweetness in this coffee, with notes of citrus, berry, and some chocolate.

Check out: Make Good Coffee Co. Online Store
Learn more: Malawi AA – Dark Roast

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Marc’s Premium Coffee – Sumatra Toba Peaberry

I’m excited about all three of these coffees, but I’m the most excited about this premium Sumatra Toba Peaberry coffee.

Sumatra is the largest island entirely in Indonesia, and this coffee is grown alongside Lake Toba.  Toba is the site of the world’s largest volcanic activity in the last 25 million years, and it is the world’s largest volcanic lake.  Volcanic soil contains some of the best nutrients to grow coffee, and it’s reflected in the coffee’s flavor.  Peaberry coffee is a special type of coffee bean where there is only one oval shaped bean in each cherry, rather than two joined beans.

Long story short: it’s a very special coffee.  I’ve spent weeks perfecting how to roast it for an optimum flavor experience.  I roast it to a medium-dark roast, to mute some of the strong acidity that is natural to this coffee, while developing strong berry and spicy flavor, and a nice body.  Did I mention that this is a very special coffee?!

Check out: Make Good Coffee Co. Online Store
Learn more: Sumatra Toba Peaberry – Marc’s Premium

12049489_10156128384500177_8242157211232445900_nShipping from the Make Good Coffee. Co. Online Store to US addresses is a flat 5.70, using the US Postal Service Flat Rate Padded Envelope.  I’m not trying to make money from shipping, so I’m passing on the exact USPS cost.  I encourage you to buy two pounds at a time, in order to split this flat rate shipping cost, over the cost of the two pounds of coffee.  While two pounds of coffee is more than I would normally suggest you buy at one time, this coffee will have been roasted days before you order it, so it will be as fresh as you can find coffee.  Also, it gives you two varieties of coffee to have in the kitchen, which I always like having for variety in my own home.

Check out the Make Good Coffee Co. Online Store.  This website has always grown from the feedback of people who visit, so always feel free to let me know what you think of the coffees that I’m offering, or what you would like to see.

Make Good Coffee Co. roastery opening!

in Brewing Coffee, Buying Coffee, Coffee and You, Coffee Gear, Coffee News, Coffee Travel, Coffees of the World, Serving Coffee, Storing Coffee

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I’m so happy to finally announce that the Make Good Coffee Co. roastery is now open, and the online store will go live on November 9th, shipping throughout North America.

After blogging about coffee, traveling to coffee growing countries, and meeting and interviewing coffee roasters for almost ten years, I’m so excited to finally open my own roastery based out of San Diego, California.

There are two things I want to accomplish with this roastery, and both of them are behind the word Good in Make Good Coffee.

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“Good” should mean a quality cup of coffee that you look forward to making for yourself.  I go to bed thinking about how good the coffee is going to be when I wake up.  My goal is to know coffee roasting as well as it can be known.  I want to make the best coffee I can make, and never stop pursuing that goal.

“Good” should also mean that we can do good when we buy coffee.  In the coffee supply chain, there is nobody that works harder or makes the least for themselves than coffee farmers.  Many are dedicated to providing the best coffee, and if we help them remain sustainable by providing them with a fair price, then we help families and communities.  And in return, we continue getting the best coffee from them.  In my coffee travels, I’ve seen schools and health care facilities built in coffee communities that have been allowed to prosper.

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I’ve spent the year roasting coffee, from the Boot Coffee course in San Francisco last December, to home roasting all my own (and friends’) coffee, and reading as much as I can.  I can recite the owner’s manual for my roaster.  I’ve spent the last several weeks perfecting my first three coffees.  They will be:

– Medium Roast Panama coffee
– Dark Roast Malawi AA coffee
– Marc’s Premium: Sumatra Peaberry coffee

Come visit the Make Good Coffee Co. Store on November 9th, shipping throughout North America!  Take the Coffee Quiz that asks you a few questions about what you’re looking for, and recommends a coffee based on your choices.  And start making good coffee!

 

Coffee and erectile dysfunction, a “short” history

in Buying Coffee, Coffee and You, Coffee News

dysfunctionI don’t make up these headlines.  The “big” news this week was a new study revealing that coffee may be a beneficial to men suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED).  Don’t believe me?…

Read: Coffee May Perk Up More Than Men’s Brains: It Could Stave Off Erectile Dysfunction (Forbes)

In “short” (I’ll stop with the quotes now), a new study published in the PLOS ONE journal surveyed 3,700 men regarding their diet and physical activity.  When they ran correlations, they found that men were 39-42% less likely to suffer from ED if they consumed a certain amount of coffee each day, corresponding to 2-3 cups.

To explain the finding, the study’s authors propose that caffeine is known to relax arteries and increase blood flow, which both contribute to reducing ED.  Check out the Forbes article above for more detailed information.  In fact, enjoy the article over a coffee :).

I gave this blog post a general title instead of only focusing on this latest news, because it isn’t the first time I’ve heard coffee related to erectile dysfunction.

womenspetition

By the 17th Century in London, England, coffeehouses had exploded.  There were more than 2,000 of them in the city, occupying more space than any other trade.  Different from the tavern, this was a place for energetic and often intellectual chatter, where people could sit for hours listening and contributing to all manner of conversation.  In fact, Lloyd’s of London started as a coffeehouse owned by Edward Lloyd that catered to seafarers and merchants.  Underwriters met there to offer insurance, and Lloyd’s of London was born.

Women were excluded from this sub-culture, whereas they were welcome in taverns.  In 1674 in an effort to battle the coffeehouses that excluded them, The Womens Petition Against Coffee complained that this sinister “coffee” beverage was responsible for causing erectile dysfunction in their husbands.  The Petition accused men of using coffeehouses to sober up after a day of drinking at the taverns, and returning home impotent.

In 1675, King Charles II decreed that coffeehouses would be systematically shut down.  Within a week and what seemed like the monarchy possibly being overthrown, the edict was overturned and coffeehouses lived on.  The Womens Petition lost its voice, and caffeine wasn’t again widely related to erectile function or dysfunction again.

The Make Good Coffee Co.

in Brewing Coffee, Buying Coffee, Coffee News

11088567_10155354604320177_7501788383911123885_nI couldn’t be more excited to share the news with you!

For nine years, I’ve been blogging about coffee here on MakeGoodCoffee.com.  In fact, I was blogging before I knew what the word meant.

When I started this website, the goal was simple: write about how to make better coffee at home.  I love coffee and it’s been a regular part of my life for more years than not.  I knew that by writing about coffee, it would put me in touch with people who knew way more about it, and that would make me smarter.  By continually sharing what I learned, my coffee game would improve, and hopefully yours would too.

Inevitably, this coffee adventure put me in touch with one of the groups of people who make coffee a reality for us.  The people to whom coffee is a craft.  The coffee roaster.  In all of my travels, I would find the local coffee roaster, set up an interview, learn about him, and learn about what makes great coffee great.

Nine years later, I’m ready to open my own coffee roastery and share my passion for coffee, and all that I’ve learned.

coolingbinThe Make Good Coffee Co. will be based in San Diego, California.  I have a lot of work ahead of me, and I can’t wait!  The roastery will serve the San Diego coffee market from my retail shop, and I will make all of my coffees available to all of you no matter where you live, right here over the website.  Stay tuned!

I have always enjoyed turning an interest into a passion.  Coffee roasting will be no exception.  In fact, I expect I will devote more of myself to this craft than I have to anything else.  My goal is nothing short of being the best roaster in San Diego, and I will stop at nothing to continue learning and improving.  I want to know coffee roasting as well as it can be known.

There is lots more news to come.  If you’ve been coming to the website in the last nine years, I hopefully don’t need to tell you how exciting this is for me.  The next chapter is beginning, and it will be the best one yet!

 

Warning Before Visiting a Coffee Farm

in Buying Coffee, Coffee and You, Coffee News

roastmag1In 2013, I was very fortunate to get published in Roast Magazine.  David Cook, owner of the Fire Roasted Coffee Company, and I traveled to Hawaii and saw firsthand just how much the borer beetle was devastating and impacting coffee growing on Hawaii’s Big Island.

When we returned home, Roast Magazine agreed to let us tell the story of what we saw, and how it could affect the coffee world.

Read: Check out our article in Roast Magazine
Read: Roast Magazine article

roastmag2

I was recently approached by Terri Moats of the University of Hawaii Kauai Agricultural Research Center.  Terri had read my article in Roast Magazine, and asked me to keep up awareness of the problem.  Terri reiterated that Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) is a serious threat to Hawaii’s coffee farms.  The University of Hawaii CTAHR (College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources) have a project to educate visitors and local residents about the importance of “clean visits” when touring Big Island and Oahu coffee farms.

Terri asked me to publish the following letter by CTAHR entomologist,  Dr. Russell Messing, which was recently printed in West Hawaii Today newspaper.

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Help protect Hawaii coffee

Kona coffee is world-renowned. Local farmers have rightfully earned an outstanding reputation for producing a top quality product. This helps attract thousands of tourists annually; farm tours (in addition to wholesale and retail coffee sales) all contribute substantially to west Hawaii’s economy.

It is less well known that more than half the coffee acreage in the state is grown on other islands (Kauai, Maui, Molokai and Oahu). Big Island growers work hard to manage the damaging invasive beetle called the coffee berry borer (CBB). So far Kauai, Maui and Molokai remain free from this pest, while CBB was recently found on a single farm on Oahu.

Visiting tourists are naturally curious to see how coffee is grown, and often stop to take photos and touch, smell, and sometimes pick coffee berries from the tree. A casually picked coffee berry may harbor (unseen) tiny beetles inside its seeds – if the berry or even a single seed is deliberately or inadvertently carried away, the CBB infestation can spread. A short plane ride could place these pests in close proximity to CBB-free coffee farms (beetles can live happily inside seeds for months at a time). Most entomologists agree that this is the manner by which CBB will eventually reach the other islands.

We all want visitors to enjoy their farm tours, and to appreciate the fine coffee that is grown in the Islands. But, please, try to dissuade visitors from touching, handling or picking coffee berries in the field. Help protect coffee farms on the other islands from this damaging invasive species.

Terri Moats
email: tlmoats@hawaii.edu

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