Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Conditions Are Perfect

New beans for the roaster. They are special and unique and deserve my undivided attention. Tomorrow I'm going to spend the day with our three new offerings and see if I can discern their each perfect roast. I've got a good handle on the Tanzania at this point. Sidamo is close but needs a slight bit of tuning. A tiny bit slower and slightly longer could bring out the beauty of this bean. If not I have other methods for success. Costa Rica will be a new adventure tomorrow. I believe second batch will provide the perfect conditions for this virgin spin.

To any of our loyal customers, if you would like to comment or review our humble store feel free to give us a review on Google, or provide a write-up on Yelp! We are here to serve you the most delicious coffee and tea possible, so please let us know how we're doing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bean Seed

The search is on. I have 1 goal and 1 goal only for the next 2 months. Find a coffeeshop to take our beans. Find 2 even. 10! But let's start with 1. Anywhere in CT we can send fresh beans practically overnight to keep another coffeehouse stocked full of fresh, fantastic coffee.

The bean is actually the seed of the coffee tree. Time to plant some new Beans in other nearby towns. If you ever have a cup of coffee you hate, tell us about it. If you hear of a shop going in around town, let us know. If your local shop doesn't have organic and fair-trade coffee bother them about until they do!

It's gardening season. We need to grow!

Friday, May 16, 2008


Another busy weekend coming up for Bean & Leaf. On Saturday morning from 9:30am - 1:30pm I will be at the Whitneyville Food Center offering tastings. I think tomorrow will be Yirgacheffe and Brazil, unless of course our new green beans arrive and I get roasting tonight.

Sunday is a full day of work on our super-secret Bean project that is finally nearing completion. When we roll out this creation people are going to step back in awe and then jump up and down with delight. We can't wait to finish and roll this baby out!

At the shop itself, on Saturday night Bob Anderson is performing and then on Sunday at 2pm is open mic poetry. I will get up there one of these days, but unfortunately for Sunday I'm already booked.

The photo above is also from Chris & Missy's trip to Brazil. That shot is from above and shows how the beans are dried after being picked. The got that shot riding in the copter you see to the right!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Barcodes and Brazil

ShopRite in Manchester now carries Bean & Leaf. Gotta get the font right on the barcodes and then we are good to go. I had no idea, but it turns out that the barcode font is kinda like Windings. Each number is transformed into a thin bar just like Windings turns letters into crazy graphical images. But even before we could put those barcodes on our bags, we had to purchase the actual number allotments from a national barcode organizer and purveyor.

I had no idea barcoding was so complex and interconnected, between all different stores and a national database. But obviously, it makes sense. How else could it possibly work? So much of the world is like that. Apparently complex and intricate but then suddenly totally obvious when you look at it from the correct perspective. Take coffee beans themselves. Until you see a roaster in action the fact of the roasted bean is somewhat difficult to envision. What it looked like before roasting. The color of the fruit and the shape of the tree it is grown on.

After all, by the time you buy the coffee off the shelf in a supermarket it sits cold and brown within air-tight, decorated packaging. But to achieve that deep chocolate brown or bright and oily sultry sheen, those seeds-of-the-coffee-fruit must be toasted perfectly. Sometime stop by and buy a bag that's still warm from the roaster.

Chris and Missy got to see the life of a bean from start to finish. That's a rare treat. I step in when the beans are already dried, bagged, shipped and sitting on the shelves in our shop. That's when I load them into the roaster and cook them up for griding. Chris & Missy saw the very trees these amazing seeds came from. These pictures are from that trip.

Breaking My Fast (Drive North)

The breakfast I look forward to
every time I drive eye ninety-five north:

Coffee barely cooled from Diedre Diedrich into
an espresso perfectly pressure pulled
with a buttered muffin hot from toasting
as the studious study computers
and one another
in the brightly roasting light
of morning in the Bean.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Organic Growth

May is already spiraling out of control. On Wednesday I roasted more than I ever have in one sitting (standing), and already there is more to do. Despite the weather, I have roads to travel and deliveries to make tomorrow. From Hamden to Hartford and then back down to New London I will be out there in a car filled with coffee spreading our beans far and wide.

After that there's more to bag for early next week, espresso to blend, new coffees to roast and so much to taste as we start into this summer season. The perfect ice-coffee is near at hand. A machine for traveling and brewing all wrapped into one is nearly completion. Restaurants and coffeeshops throughout CT are starting to serve our coffee and a thousand different farmer's markets are out there for us tap.

I can feel my brain stretching and expanding as I find new accounts and make new contacts. Between the New Haven Chamber, GreenDrinks, a local business leads group and the current purveyors of Bean & Leaf bags, I feel like I am being tossed like a bean in the roasting drum. But I can take the heat. I love it, actually. I love finding more people that enjoy what we have to offer and are eager to help us to grow. It is spring, after all, and we are flourishing like a vine, out of control.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Double Whammy

This coming Saturday is both the Fairfield Earth Day Celebration, and an attempt at the World's Largest Coffee Break. I will be involved with both, hopefully at the same time!

Here's a few different takes on the perfect espresso. My favorite kind is the next one, preferably from beans I personally roasted.