That's right - "Home Roaster", but I'll get to that in a minute. Here's another photo for Evan. He came over to watch me pull the shot and he proclaimed "Daddy there's an animal on your 'spresso machine". 10 minutes before that he proclaimed that, both he and Keegan were playing slap-hand, throwing a bit of breakfast around (Keegan) and generally enjoying themselves.
Now, to the "Home Roaster" thing. For those of you who have been following the blog (all three of you, haha) you will know I have only been roasting for a few months. I have a guesstimate of somewhere around 120-130 roasts to date. I started off with what I suspect is typical of first time roasters and that's relying on someone elses green bean espresso blend. It served me well, then I started roasting single origin or estate offerings, pulling pure shots or french pressing them. Focusing on a singular bean allowed me to better understand not only the roasting process but more importantly what is "typical" of a particular regional profile. It was during this roasting period that I probably learned the most about coffee in the shortest amount of time. From here my confidence started to build, I got "daring" and started to combine two unique beans in a ratio that I felt would offer a great combined espresso profile based on my understanding of them as standalone's. A good example of an exciting breakthrough understanding for me would be the Brazilan Fazenda Cachoiera Yellow Bourbon and Royal's Ethiopian Harar Horse in a Brazil 2 part to Ethiopian 1 part blend. I liked it. I had learned that blend and "designed" it based on knowledge, not luck. Now I wanted to start pushing my (limited) blending envelope. Which brings me to today.
The shot I pulled this morning as you can see by the label is a pretty interesting blend. So interesting in fact that after I banged the spent puck into the bang-box the amazing chocolate and spice notes wafting out of it enticed me to hang around and get a photo of it. It was a long journey to get to this point today. I had to first of all start to understand what profile should be typical of a "Name brand" region and the other tricky part was getting that really good representation of profile "Name brand". A good example of this is the Yemen Ismaili Hirazi in this particular blend; I understand what it should offer based on a lot of reading and also the feedback from the cuppers of this Hirazi Lot. But with all that said I still let my nose and palate confirm. This last statement is quite important to me, I trust the guys I get this from, in that the green is world-class but ultimately the proof is in the cup. And that's where I am today, realizing that through a period of time and process I am finally sourcing, blending, roasting and drinking world-class espresso in my own kitchen. This realization isn't just based on pride in being able to execute on knowledge and connections, its mainly based on tasting that world-class shot for 15 minutes after it was consumed while rolling a soccer ball around a kitchen floor with a 1 year-old. It's a satisfiying experience when a personal goal all comes together. As for the coffee journey, I suspect I still have 97% unknown territory ahead of me - in other words, compared to some I don't really know that much. Time to go and learn another 1%.