Fume-filled weekend? No, not those kind of fumes. We are finally getting rid of the nasty paint scheme from the former owners and I'm painting the study "Sundried Tomato". The study isn't that large (maybe 150 sq ft) but the french doors have to stayed closed to keep the boys out. Which means I get to enjoy the Volatile Organic Compounds just blasting off the fresh paint into a confined space. Can you spell pounding headache. Once I get the second coat on tomorrow it will look pretty sharp and the new office furniture goes in sometime next week.

On other fume-filled news... I roasted four batches this morning, hitting a milestone on the Hottop as I blew past roast number 50. I got some great beans from Greg (BW) at the GCBC (see links) it was really hard to decide what to roast. I am contemplating a couple of the "harder to get beans" so until I decide how far to roast them I figured I would whip up some beans whose characteristics I am generally familiar with or already have some endpoint references from out there on the forums.

Here's a very cool story and the deciding factor on purchasing three pounds of the Guatemala Trapichitos. This isn't a typical bean for me as it isn't specific to my espresso blends but I just couldn't resist the story. Fortunately the cupper's notes (whom I trust emphatically) support a very high score so it is a win/win.

From the "Atlas Coffee Importers" site:

"In 1989, Guatemala's 36-year civil war ended. After many years spent hiding in the rugged mountains of west-central Guatemala, a group of Ixil Indians returned to their village to find that their ownership of the land was not recognized by the new government. After five years, a collective of 80 families was able to purchase a meager 25 acres of land--not enough to sustain them, but enough to sustain hope. In 2000, with help from the Agros Foundation, the collective was able to purchase a much larger, 635-acre tract to raise bananas, lemons, oranges, and coffee. Thus was the Trapichitos community born.

The goal of Trapichitos' coffee project is to produce coffee of the highest quality in order to earn a reasonable return on their hard work. The natural environment of Trapichitos make this a possibility, since the community (and its coffee plantings) sit above 4,600 ft.; the people of Trapichitos make it a reality by planting only Bourbon and Typica coffee trees, and meticulously caring for the coffee from seedling to mill. The coffee is passive organic, hand-picked, hand sorted for defect, and sun dried on raised wooden racks. After the villagers have done the initial sorting (without the benefit of any machinery), the coffee is loaded onto burros, taken down to trucks, and whisked off to a cooperative mill in Guatemala City for final processing and export.

The bourbon beans are meticulously processed and sorted, and the resulting cup is beautifully nuanced, with a delicate smoky tone and medium to light body. The price for the coffee was set by the coffee growers themselves, and is paid to them directly."

If you don't appreciate the coffee after reading that, you really should switch to Folger's.

Next batch up was the Brazil Daterra Farms Yellow Espresso Blend, I have roasted a few Daterra's and have been told that this one is Very Good. Taken approx 15 seconds into the first signs of second crack and I am looking forward to it as a single origin shot and blending it with... Some Dry Processed Yirgacheffe roasted to the first signs of second crack. I chomped on a bean still hot from the roaster and it should prove to be a very interesting blender several days from now (more on that when I start pulling it).

Last roast of the day was a 50/50 split of some Sumatra Grade 1 SWP decaf and some Mexican Chiapas WP decaf. 15 seconds past first signs of second crack and tasting both beans hot from the roaster showed interesting differences. They both had excellent reviews in the cupper's notes (for decafs) and I think this combo should make for nice evening latte's.

On other news, the big ride on Thursday evening worked out really well. From start to finish it was 2.5 hours of solid riding. I had forgotten how crushing Cox Hill can be after you come off Jumpingpound Ridge. The last 1000 feet of downhill was in the twilight so the halogen beam came in pretty handy. One of the guys who decided lights weren't required was forced to eat a bit of humble pie while working on a flat tire in the pitch black at 10:30pm. The mockery commenced when he arrived in the parking lot 30mins after the main body had finished the ride. How many beers is that now, pal?

Edit on a Sunday afternoon: I am drinking the Trapichitos 30hrs post-roast. Coffee is such a fascinating thing, I taste things in coffee that are hard to get anywhere else as a combination effect. I roasted this Guatemalan six seconds past the first sign of second crack (might sound confusing to non-coffee roasters). I get a medium body and medium acidity, perhaps a bit of sparkle. In a very hot cup I right away get sweet cigar smoke with a hint of molasses. As the cup cools there is movement towards a tart apple but ever so slight, with more cooling a bit more apple and berry note - very little but enough to sit in the back of your mind. Throughout, the finish lingers and remains as a sweet cigar-like note. Wow.