an espresso lover's blog

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Lots of coffee related stuff happening lately. A week ago I went to Stavanger to visit a coffee roaster called "Stavanger kaffebrenneri", both to get to know the people working there and to learn more about roasting and about the roasters they sell. I've been checking out the coffee roasting scene for some time now, trying to get a job or some kind of training, but it is has been fruitless. There are so few small roasters left that the only way in is luck or the right connections. Now I'm considering to maybe open my own coffee bar and preferably a small roasting operation within it. It is a big decision to make. Getting into the business means a big economic investment, 2-3 years of hard work before earning money and sort of to say goodbye to the computer scene that I am a part of as well (Msc in Computer Science). Well, I'll spend some time resarching the matter and see what I come up with.

The visit in Stavanger was very nice. We roasted lots of coffee on the 15kg capacity roaster they had installed. It worked nicely and produced a remarkably even roast. Alpenrost can't compete with it. What really surprised me was the way one has to adjust the gas heater to keep a certain temperature at the different stages of the roast. Too high temperature and one zooms too fast through cracks and even maybe scorch the outside of the beans. Too low and you maybe won't get any crack at all. It is very hands on and lets each operator find their personal way of roasting. I really liked being able to see the beans and to use the small removable spoon thing to drag out some beans to look at them closely. Another cool thing was the option of roasting as little as 1 kg in it and still being able to see the beans move through the small window on the front. The 2 kg roaster in the series looks cool. Seems perfect for roasting for the coffee bars own consumption and for customers.

Yesterday I went to Hamar and worked as a barista during a convention. 300 people were gathered and most of them wanted coffee. Luckily I got some assistance from a local coffee bar owner. It really got busy at times, but I had a great time making lots of coffee. The machine we used was a Rancilio Epoca and a semi-automatic Rancilio MD50 grinder. Coffee was Ottolina Classica. The espresso poured nicely, milk was spot on and my latte art worked fine too. After cleaning up I was totally worn out. Almost fell asleep riding the train back into downtown Oslo.

6/03/2003 07:16:00 PM  

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