I was at the Bean three days this week. It's starting to feel like a second home, and I like it. Roasted and bagged on Thursday while the puppets played onstage. Then Saturday Lu and I were in there early to fill up some Bunn's with delicious brew, bag a few more beans and then head over to Foodworks II for a late-morning tasting. Met some great customers and sold a bunch of Yirgacheffe and Guatemalan bags. It was a lot of fun to tell them about the shop, about how and why we roast the beans the way we do, and invite them to stop by say hello. Lu was selling bags left and right. No one got away without being specifically directed to exactly the coffee they were looking for, and they were psyched to have our help.
Learning to describe the taste of the coffee properly is challenging but fun. To educate myself I keep taking little sips of each brew, trying hard to identify the flavors and differences. By the time I'm done with a tasting, the fresh caffeine has filled me with superpowers and I go out of the place through the window and then run down the block with my car on my back. I feel as though I have 'been shot out of a cannon' as my brother likes to say.
I've also enjoyed learning to identify the beans on sight. Some have a lighter crease, others are uniformly dark, while still others have a larger variation in size within a batch. There is so much to learn about coffee that doing this work isn't just fun with lots of potential, I also feel like I'm expanding my understanding of the world. Until Bean & Leaf I had no idea that oil was the only thing humans love more than coffee.
We roasted a batch not-quite-to-French today for espresso. According to this guide it was probably a Vienna roast. It was the first time I've roasted into second crack, and I was shocked at how quickly the beans went black and oily. Those are getting brewed tomorrow as part of my assault on the tastebuds of coffeelovers throughout the state of Connecticut.