How Kahlua Roasts Its Coffee

NOTCOT has a great gallery of images and video from the Kahlua coffee roasting and grinding operations. I have been playing with roasting small batches of coffee at home, so I’m pretty excited to see how such a large volume operation works.

You can see the whole gallery of the roasting process at NOTCOT’s Kahlua Part II: Coffee Roasting/Making. Also take a look at Kahlua Bean to Bottle Part I, where you can see what a raw coffee bean looks like.

Roasting Coffee at Home

First Coffee Roasting 7

I just tried roasting my first batch of green coffee beans at home using a heat gun and a mixing bowl.

One guide on how to do it is here:

Overall, I roasted the beans way too dark, but it was my first time. I’m very excited about the future. With the help of my buddy Carlos, I was able to document the process. Check out the photos on my Flickr account below.

Coffee roasting photos:


Making Coffee

aero_press_04This morning I went to the Post Office and picked up an box with my new AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker. I’ve had a lot of fun with my Bialetti Mukka Express for the last year or so. All of these coffee producing gizmos are at the intersection of my gadget geekness and coffee obsessions. There is also something purely delightful to me about manual production and simple tools. I feel like it puts me closer to the process, and more in control of the results.

I also have a couple burr grinders for grinding coffee. One is electric and quick to use, but I really love taking the time to hand grind my beans with the Tre Spade grinder I have from this site. There’s just something about feeling the blades shaving down the beans, and doing it without plugging something into the wall, that I really savor.

Back to the Aeropress. Over time I have kept running across mentions of the product. I’ve heard that it is similar in principle to the Clover Coffee Machine, but costs $26 instead of $11,000. While I have been enjoying my Mukka Express, it DOES require a range to use (unless you get the version with an electric hotplate) so I’ve been looking for something novel to produce coffee at my desk at work. I finally found a way to justify my curiosity and pulled the trigger on the Aeropress this week.

I’ve only brewed three cups from it so far, but I’m already impressed. The product has been very rich and strong while remaining smooth without bitterness. The great thing about such a manual process is that there are plenty of elements to tweak and experiment with. Over time I know I’ll find all of the tweaks that work best for me. When I mentioned that I had ordered the product on Twitter I got a great link from Lawrence Ingraham (@lawpower) pointing me to some alternative brewing methods for the Aeropress. I’ll certainly be giving them a shot soon.

Of course, as much as I love what I’ve mentioned already, I would be completely lost in joy if I could get a setup like Tom Metcalfe’s beautiful coffee roaster, grinder, brewer product concept.

What kitchen gadgets are you in love with? What tasks do you prefer to accomplish manually instead of plugging something in to do it for you?

WMF Coffee Pad

I’ve been researching Coffee Makers for a product design studio project I’m working on (shameless portfolio plug), and I ran across the WMF Coffee Pad. “Charming” is the word that pops into my head first, I’m really in love with the design. The use of color to highlight the form of the mug does a great job at putting focus on the item we associate with coffee the most, while letting the machine itself visually fall into the background. It doesn’t seem like an extremely small machine (from the photos) but the visual impact happens where it counts, and I think as a consequence it comes across smaller than it is. Although, I know the white background in the photos from the website are contributing to that effect.

The WMF Coffee Pad won a Red Dot award in 2007. See a lot more information at the official product page.