Proudly powered by Weebly
My alarm wakes me out of deep sleep; the echoing tune of “Coffee” by Sylvan Esso beckons me to make that first step out of bed. My first thought, “Why do I do this?” Eventually I drag my feet up to the bathroom and gaze at my hair all askew while I brush my teeth - it's just going to have to do. I throw on a t-shirt, pants, and my shop shoes (a black pair of All-star Converse) on. I check my clock again; it’s 4:36 am. I quickly pour some cereal in a bowl and awaken my home espresso machine – hoping that its moans don’t wake the other sleeping beauties in the apartment. I shove some food in my mouth and hurry out the door. I check my phone again, its 5:01 am. The question again comes to my head, “Why do I do this?”
I scurry to my car as the frigid air chases after me – the morning is eerie and all too quiet for northern Virginia. As soon as I’m in my car, I turn on the Indie Dance Pandora station my old co-worker, DJ, and I used to jam to in the mornings. My eyes hardly open at the wee hour of 5 am, I pull up to the shop, settled in on historic Church St. Behind its doors lies a Hometown Roaster shop that will see familiar, old, and new faces today – and every other day of the year.
Sitting at the roaster, my desk or behind the counter, I get asked all sorts of questions by our inquisitive customers. Here are a few:
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THAT BIG YELLOW GRINDER?
I smile and explain that it is actually not a grinder, but a coffee roaster and what we do with it is profile roast every bean that we sell.
DO YOU ROAST ONLY BY SMELL?
I love that roasting is a total sensory experience. We use sight, smell, taste, touch and sound. We carefully watch the beans waiting for the first sign of yellowing (the beginning of the chemical reaction that starts to develop flavors). We smell for that point the beans smell grassy. We listen – minutes after yellowing we hear “first crack” – that exothermic reaction when the beans fully release moisture…. we smell again…. we look at the beans…. a bit wrinkly as they begin to expand. Understanding the chemistry behind flavor development is important, but utilizing our 5 senses makes it an incredibly satisfying personal experience.
HOW SHOULD I STORE MY BEANS? IN THE FREEZER?