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  1. Recently, Busboy started a provocative thread inspired by the experience of being an American Abroad during a grueling heat wave: The French and Ice. He commented on reactions to his family's requests for ice in their drinks and the scarcity of ice-making machines they took for granted back home. It made me think about other distinctions between the foodways of European and U.S. natives, and in particular, the way we take our coffee. We all drink Italian-style coffees now, if in paper cups at inappropriate hours of the day. However, I for one, never put sugar in my cappuccino or the coffee I make at home. The few times I've been a guest of Turkish friends or little old ladies who go through lots of effort to make a special, highly sweetened coffee involving vigorous stirring of lots of sugar, I could barely drink it without making a face. In Italian bars, you sometimes get looked at funny if you ignore the sugar while sipping your coffee. Hell, even if you don't stir it into your freshly squeezed juice. It seems as if everyone else there always reaches for the sugar. Is this in fact another American peculiarity?
  2. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters just introduced a new beverage called "Double Bean Elixir" organic coffee soda. I saw it at a beverage trade show yesterday in Albany, NY. There are five varieties: Original, Vanilla, Almond, Hazelnut, and Mocha. Ingredients: sparkling filtered water, Fair Trade Certified Green Mountain organic coffee, organic evaporated cane juice, natural flavor. I tried the Original, Hazelnut and Vanilla. I really liked the Original and Hazelnut, even though I generally dislike flavored coffees. They were light and sparkling, not overpowering, with a distinct coffee taste. I did not like Vanilla because it overpowered the coffee flavor. I don't have information on pricing yet. Has anybody tried these? I'd be interested in other opinions. My only other comment is that I really don't care much about "organic" or "Fair Trade" ingredients in soda and think this is just a marketing ploy. Edited to say I meant to post this in the soft drink forum. Host may want to move it.
  3. I need some advice and a little help. I have been asked to help open a small coffee bar in an art gallery. The owners of the gallery would like a place like the two famous espresso bars in Rome. So the concept is to be focused on everything italian. The espresso we could be selling is illy. After a little reading here, it seems to me that I might find a better product than what illy has. What espresso should I also be looking at, that is Italian ? I have also been having some difficulty in finding out any info on espresso bars in Italy that I can look at or what they sell. Where else can I look ?
  4. I had an experience this morning that just about threw me off of my feed. I went to my local cafe to get some coffee as I'm out of grounds at home. When I got there, at about 7:05 a.m., they did not have coffee made. No problem. I will just order an Americano and be on my merry way. So, the barrista goes and fiddles with the pods (I knew I was in trouble here) and then could not get the grouphead to attach to the outlet. Barrista then says, "!@#$$^@#%$! We got a new espresso machine and I don't know how to use it!" ??? Who gets a new espresso maker without showing their employees how to use it (either that, or said employee was on brain-break). Here's the rub, they make a durn good cup of coffee, even if it is sometimes in a dirty cup. I just needed to vent. Oh, they did end up giving me a large brewed gratis for my time and patience. But, as a former barrista, I am professionally offended.
  5. Click Here for Caffeine-Fired Price Reduction Frenzy Info! "First shots fired in latte price war Last updated Jul 27 2005 01:08 PM PDT CBC News Small independent cafes across Vancouver are taking on Starbucks, offering $2 lattes in an effort to win over customers from the industry giant. Mike and Theresa Triggiano who helped start the price war, say business has been brisk at their Yaletown cafe thanks to their sandwich board on the sidewalk offering the cheaper coffees. "Mike just came up with the idea, and thought let's start promoting ourselves," says Theresa Triggiano. "I think people are getting tired of paying too much for their lattes " A few blocks away at the Cafe d'Azur ....." Please see article for remaing text. Edited for clarity and to conform to site policy as requested by Mod
  6. I don't know what started me thinking along this line. But, I started today. I have two questions about press-pots that really cooked my noodle, and I think I have one of them answered (but not very satisfactorily). 1: Why do we press press-pots instead of lifting? 2: Why aren't there press-pots with finer filters? Here's the deal that makes me think it's worth my time to worry about. I really like press-pot coffee. The flavor is top-notch, but I don't have the scratch to spend on a grinder to do it justice. So I end up with more sludge than I can handle. Question 2 would address that. Also, in previous press-pots, I've noticed blow-outs from pressing too hard, etc. Lifting, depending on how speedily done, could take care of that. The ancillaries are that I work in an engineering college, and I think it would be really slick to take a couple independent study credits, and design, build, and possibly market/patent a different kind of press pot. So, I'm curious, why do we press pots of coffee the way we do? And, second, if you could change a press-pot, how would you change it and why?
  7. There's a movement of sorts in the coffee and espresso business - not news to aficionado's or cognoscenti but some of us in the hinterlands (me!) are slow getting exposed to such things. The growing emphasis in recent years on recognizing the value of single varietals vs. blends in drip coffee has evolved into recognizing the importance of the terroir concept. This notion seems to have gained popularity in relation to wine but is equally applicable to coffee varietals. For example... in any given year there may be beans or even a specific lot of beans from a particular estate (or even a section of that estate) that have unique and desirable characteristics. Rather than getting shipped off to the growers co-op and getting lumped in/mixed with beans from other growers, subsequently to be sold under a generic varietal name (e.g. Guatemala Antigua or Ethiopian Yirgacheffe), these better lots are more increasingly becoming available in their undiluted form. Parallel to this development is a growing interest in appreciating the subtleties of such beans by producing espresso shots from a single varietal. There is a long standing tradition of using specially created blends for espresso. Various beans are combined to achieve certain characteristics that may include chocolaty undertones, fruitiness, floral notes, redolence of spices, a certain desirable bitterness etc. More recently there's been a move towards producing espresso from single varietals. If, as Caffe Vivace's David Schomer states it, "espresso should taste the way good coffee smells", we might expect to see enhanced and noticeably distinct characteristics by getting the essence of a single bean in concentrated form. Having read of these trends but being immersed in a cocoon of constant work (both my day job and my coffee job) and routine, I had not gotten around to trying Single Origin Shots. Last week, prompted by a desire to use up some of the beans in my home green bean stash, I dug out my little 1/2 lb electric Alpenroast drum roaster and did up a batch of Ethiopian Harrar and also some Yemeni Moka Ismaili. I had fully intended to roast some additional varieties and do an espresso blend but when the weekend arrived and I had a rare Saturday morning at home with no obligations attendant... I turned on the espresso machine and settled in with a good book to enjoy a few shots. In another happy accident, I found the only milk on hand to be spoiled but had a full container of fresh half 'n half. Rather than making a short cappuccino as is my wont.... I decided to foam some half 'n half and make a breve machiatto. That is... a double espresso shot topped with a bit of half 'n half foam. Wow. I'm sure that not all varietals will be as appealing in this format but the Ethiopian blew me away. The "blueberry flavor notes" that others describe from this bean but have thus far eluded my less-than-silver-palate were overwhelmingly abundant. Likewise, the sort of winey, spicy wildness of the Yemeni bean was also very distinct. If you have an espresso machine and have been happily pulling shots with blends -try some SOS for a pleasant surprise.
  8. A couple years ago, my husband bought me a Cuisinart Grind & Brew coffeemaker. The thing made great coffee - but what a serious pain in the ass to clean up. I really hated that thing. I bitched about it constantly. Then last Christmas I got a Hamilton Beach Brewstation Brewstation The kind where you put your cup in to get the nectar. Yeah! Happiness! Then one morning I put my cup up and it would not stop giving me coffee. Coffee all over the counter and onto the floor. EEEK! Reese diagnosed that a coffee ground had become stuck in the delivery apparatus and cleaned it out. Voila - all fixed. Ha! Instead it was leaking, every brew cycle. It got to where I'd put a paper towel under it every time I made coffee. 8%$*!$##!! :angry: Last month for my birthday, Reese surprised me with a Mr. Coffee. Simple, easy, works like a charm. But then we noticed a small problem. The plastic holder where you put the ground coffee in (swing out, coffee in - swing in to brew) wouldn't close completely. It wouldn't latch right for some reason so by the time it finishes brewing the brew holder thingy starts to swing out. This morning, not awake, make coffee, sit down on computer. Here the beeper, go look for coffee and see coffee all over the counter and almost to the floor. Sigh. Even worse, the circuit board switcher thing got wet and the on/off switch doesn't work now. (all the buttons on the right side) But I did get coffee this morning. I used the delay brew button on the left, switched the time to a couple minutes later and prayed. Does anyone else have these issues or is it just me? Any suggestions for a new coffee maker? Help!!!
  9. Kathleen Purvis had an article in today's Charlotte Observer announcing that the Specialty Coffee Assoc of America will be holding their 2006 conference in Charlotte! The Charlotte Observer You must subscribe to see the article. Other exciting news for Charlotte - Counter Culture's regional sales manager David Haddock is opening a "coffee classroom" next month where they will give free coffee training and cuppings. Things are looking brighter in the Carolina's!
  10. Anyone else tried the new Starbucks Chantico? I was at a drive through last night waiting for my standard raspberry mocha and saw the ad. The barista told me it was a "thick, rich hot chocolate" and he was pretty correct. It was both thick and had a dark chocolate flavor, served in a fairly tiny cup-- smaller than a tall coffee. I liked it, and will probably experiment with adding a flavored shot. Neil
  11. I am dubiously the "coffee guy" at my employer. We have several coffee drinkers, but only a couple (me included) who complain whilst drinking plonk. So, here's my question: what coffee maker would you recommend. The requirements: no grinder -> we're pretty much stuck brewing Folgers Either an automatic shut-off or vacuum thermos to brew into "sneak a cup" feature Quick brew time Brews at proper temperature Not too expensive ~12 cup drip Does anyone have recommendations off the top of their head?
  12. I was nosing around on the Trung Nguyen Coffee web site today and stumbled across this info on their new Legendee Blend For those unfamiliar with it, "Kopi Luwak" coffee (sometimes spelled Luwat) is thought by some to be total hype and others consider it to be real. In various parts of Southeast Asia and Indonesia an animal, in some cases the civet cat and in others said to be a variety of fox, eats ripened coffee cherries that have fallen on the ground and excretes the inedible part - the coffee bean itself. The various enzymes that are part of the animal's digestive system are supposed to affect the bean in some way that produces a tantalizing and unusual flavor in the roasted and brewed beans. There's unquestionably plenty of fake cat-poop coffee sold in various places because the high price of the beans (it is the world's most expensive coffee) leaves it open to such practices. Trung Nguyen is the "Vietnamese Starbucks" with over 400 franchised locations serving their coffee. I've had their regular coffee in iced form with condensed milk here in the US and found it to be excellent. The "Legendee" coffee, also referred to as Fox-Legend coffee, references that story and describes using Two questions: 1) By chance have any of you tried it? 2) If there is a chemist among us... what enzymes or substances would be used?
  13. In a "SERVICE" thread in DC/DelMarVa forum Bux asked the following question Here's a place to start... Specialty Coffee Association 2005 Barista Competition press release Most of the pertinent details providing a high level overview are available there. I'll start by commenting on the question of In a word - no. The reason being that the highest quality espresso and espresso based drinks being prepared and served around the world today are coming from independent cafes and coffeehouses. I have yet to hear of a restaurant, even one operating at the highest levels of price and quality, that offers truly outstanding world-class espresso. Perhaps the two are mutually exclusive without some fundamental shifts in attituide and perception occurring? There is sometimes a tendency here at eG to discuss the coffee/espresso experience in the context of fine dining. Wouldn't it seem that the only way a true world-class barista experience could be delivered in a fine dining setting would be if a separate espresso/coffee lounge was provided that guests to could retire to after their meal? I should think that the noise of milk steaming, the on/off of the espresso machine's pump and many other factors would preclude having the actual espresso prep area within the dining room. Additionally, we might consider the issues of presentation and speed of serving. Straight espresso itself is a fragile drink with a short window of time in which to truly appreciate its wonders. Properly made milk based drinks such as a tradtional cappuccino or even specialty drinks typically are best served within no more than a minute or two (literally) of their preparation. On a separate note.... apart from encouraging young people to pursue careers and providing an incentive for skills development... do the Barista Competitions serve a higher purpose? Are they at present or could they, properly publicized and promoted, become an important vehicle for educating the public about the exciting changes that have taken place in espresso culture just within the past few years? If so how might this be accomplished?
  14. My 3-4 year old Capresso has started leaking water and its warming plate has become unsightly due to covering having been scraped off. It has made pretty good coffee but I don't think I want another Capresso. I paid about $180 for it. I want a 10 or 12 cup drip, automatic timing feature nice but not necessary, gold filter preferred, and hot brewing temperature very important. I occasionally make a 4 cup pot, so some adjustment for smaller pot would be good. I grind my beans in a separate Capresso burr grinder which is still grinding well. I would prefer to pay in the $80-$130 range for the coffeemaker. I am suspicious of the Krups and Braun top sellers that their brewing temp is not up there where it should be. I have heard some mention that Kitchenaid makes a good coffeemaker. Any brand and specific model suggestions appreciated. Will not consider Mr. Coffee or any of that ilk. Thanks for your help!
  15. http://www.slate.com/id/2110848/ Interesting, but flawed from a coffeegeek point of view. No mention of which grinder the reviewer used, nor of the importance of the grind in the results. Also interesting to find somebody who liked a FrancisFrancis machine... I remember only running across less than favorable reviews when I was last hunting for a machine. I do agree that the NEspresso system is high quality, based on my few encounters with it.
  16. An interesting comment appeared in a recent thread about decaf coffee In light of my decided inclination towards coffee and espresso rather than other beverages, I'm curious to see how people feel about that statement in this context. A truly excellent espresso shot will have characteristics that are described by some aficionado's as sweet and although that sweetness is only relative when compared to sugary substances, a distinct lack of bitterness can also be the hallmark of a great shot. I stress "can be" in light of the fact that an element of bitterness is a desirable part of the flavor profile for some blenders and roasters. So... in your opinion how true is the opening statement and why? Is a good espresso described as sweet by virtue of its lack of bitterness or because there are subtle sweetness elements present that are derived from the caramelization of sugars in the roasting process and the ability of the barista to extract those characteristics? Or are such characteristics totally dependent on the experience of the taster? (i.e. is the taster in question someone who has enough experience with and appreciation of espresso to detect such subtleties). It seems reasonable to state that most people can agree as to whether a given food item is sweet, salty, sour or bitter. Is it really that much different for beverages, in particular coffee or espresso? I know of many people who are experienced in fine dining and able to appreciate great subtleties and nuances in food items yet seem some oblivious to the subtleties offered by various single varietal coffees and differing roast profiles. These are folks who consider all plain black coffee to be bitter and assume that it requires sugar. Is it because they haven't been exposed to truly excellent coffee or is it just subjective? Is it just a matter of personal interest (e.g. they're more interested in the food and wine experience than in coffee or espresso) or is there truly something more subjective about the physical experience of consuming and appreciating the flavor profiles of beverages?
  17. Here's one person's experience at Bouchon.
  18. A recent question posted here by Geetha about Indian coffee has left me very curious. It appears that although much of India is traditionally a tea drinking culture, there is a strong tradition of coffee drinking in Southern India. Thus far I've found only this information about the brewing device Indian Coffee Filter The description indicates that the "davras" is a two part stainless steel assembly with a mushroom shaped filter in the upper portion. The lower portion is used to collect the brewed coffee. It's unclear to me whether the entire davras sits on a heat source and pushes boiling water up and then down through the filter (as with moka coffee or American stove top and electric percolators) or whether it's simply some sort of drip device. Can any of you shed light on this? I also found reference to the desired coffee types as "Arabica from the Chikmanglur and Nilgiris mountain ranges and Robusta grown in the lower, more humid areas of Malabar, Salem, Coorg, etc.". India is known for growing some of the world's best Robusta coffee but very little of it makes it to the US market. Suggestions (these came from a variety of sources) also include roasting to a fairly dark level, even with the Robusta beans (which are not typically roasted extremely dark as it increases their bitterness). Here in the US I can obtain Kappie Royale Robusta, Coelho's Gold Monsooned Malabar AA, Pearl Mountain Peaberry, Mysore "Nuggets" and perhaps one or two other varieties. Is South Indian style coffee best made from a blend, as is often the case with espresso coffee, or do people typically make it from a coffee of a single varietal origin? To add to the confusion.... some people recommend that for those in the US market wishing to duplicate the characteristics of South Indian drip coffee, it is advised to used roasted chicory mixed with the coffee in a ratio of 30% chicory to 70% coffee. Apparently the chicory-coffee blend has been popular in South India for quiet some time but many discerning Indian coffee drinkers are now advising to just use 100% coffee with no chicory. India produces some very high quality coffee and I can see the wisdom of dispensing with the chicory. Finally... there is the question of the milk. Is it scalded on the stovetop by boiling or is simply heating it to the simmering point sufficient? I have seen reference to a technique whereby one pours the "decoction" (the concentrated brewed coffee that has collected in the bottom of the davras after dripping through) into a cup or glass and then adding the heated milk with sugar. the mixture is then poured back and forth between two glasses until a certain frothiness is achieved. Is this procedure typical and does it impart a better mouthfeel quality to the milk by introducing air or in your opinion is it really just for show? (not that there's anything wrong with that).
  19. Hi everyone! I have been having a problem with my at-home coffee for a while now and I figured you could put it to rest. I live with my boyfriend and he has a regular 12-cup Proctor-Silex coffeemaker, the kind you have to put a filter in. It is nothing special but it gets the job done. He just bought it last year and we use it pretty much every day. We grind our own coffee that's roasted weekly for us by a friend of ours. Now, I usually put on about 4 or 5 cups of coffee and drink them over a period of an hour or so while looking at eGullet My boyfriend, who gets up early for his 1st shift job, makes a whole pot and takes it to the newspaper with him in a big carafe to share with the people who work there. By the time I have reached my 3rd or 4th cup, I have a weird SCUM floating on my coffee. It does not affect the taste of the coffee (I am heathen, and don't mind slightly "burned" coffee flavor). If I stick my finger in the cup, the scum doesn't separate, it just moves off to one side to make room for my finger. After a while, the scum will start to break up into little floaties which disperse themselves throughout the cup. It is very disturbing. Is it because of the continued heat applied to the coffee? Or is it this particular coffee? The first time I noticed it, I cleaned the coffee maker, and I have cleaned it regularly since, but the scum doesn't go away. My boyfriend doesn't get the scum when he takes the coffee to work in the carafe, and I have noticed that when we run out of good beans and have to buy something shitty to last a few days we don't get the scum either. Or is it something totally unrelated, like I don't know how to wash my coffee mugs correctly? Sorry for the long post, but I am really sick of the phantom scum. Thanks.
  20. The Matsuya method was developed by Matsuya Coffee in Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, Japan to make clear, flavorful coffee free from astringent, harsh, and other unpleasant tastes. Matsuya Coffee's website (Japanese only): http://www.matsuya-coffee.com/ What distinguishes this method from others is that you first make coffee with half the required amount of water and then add the other half to make complete coffee. Assume that you want 600-cc (20-oz) coffee, then you first make coffee with 300-cc of water and then add another 300-cc of water to the coffee. The following is a translation of part of the page, "Mastering the Matsuya drip method", of Flavor coffee's website. http://www.flavorcoffee.co.jp/2f/2f-6.html *** Mastering the Matsuya drip method The way you make coffee makes such a difference. Do you think that coffee must be fresh? The degradation rate differs greatly depending on the coffee extraction technique. Explanation of the photo: A: Extracted three days ago with the Matsuya method B: Extracted three days ago with an auto drip maker C: Extracted two hours ago with the Matsuya method D: Extracted two hours ago with an auto drip maker Remark: The type of coffee beans used is Kilimanjaro. Glasses B and D glow whitish because they reflect diffusely the light of the fluorescent tube from above. This is due to the turbidity of coffee. An auto drip maker produces coffee that becomes turbid in about 30 minutes. If properly hand-dripped, coffee does not become turbid for two to three WEEKS. Properly extracted coffee is slow in degradation. The kind of coffee that you can drink when it's hot but cannot drink when it has cooled because it tastes bad is the one that also tastes bad when it's hot, but because it's hot, your tongue cannot sense the taste. When the coffee has cooled, your tongue is sensitive, making you feel it taste bad. Basically, good coffee also tastes good when it has cooled. When coffee has cooled, you will feel its acidity more. This is why iced coffee is made from deep roasted beans with less acidity. We feel cold coffee taste better when it's bitter than when it's tart. I'm going to tell you how to make coffee with the Matsuya method. Coffee made with the Matsuya paper drip method remains clear for a long time. It does not lose it flavor over time. It does not become turbid over time. I'm going to tell you such a professional way of making coffee. You need the following items: Matsuya dripper for five Matsuya paper filter for five 600-cc (20-oz) drip pot Kono server for five *** In my next post, I'm going to provide step-by-step instructions on how to make coffee with the Matsuya method.
  21. Here in Birmingham, folks where all in a tizzy when we got our first Startbucks. 5 million local locations later, including 2 with drive-thru service, a wide-eyed, highly caffeinated city asks the scalding question: Is all this Starbucking a good thing? I mean, after all, there are other options, right? Most cities, yes. But here in the Ham options are limited. You can get a good cup of coffee, but inconsistency reigns at local coffee houses and what you experience is largely a product of who happens to be scheduled. Oh the agony of walking several blocks only to see that today's barrista is one the bad list. Ok, this might be a small exageration. Fine. But we were all wishing for a Starbucks in Birmingham and now we have them everywhere. So, are we happy? Sure. But what about the rest of the country? Is Starbucks good for the coffee world or the evil java empire?
  22. Just when I thought I had settled on coffee equipment, someone threw a wrench into my plans. I was orginially going to go with the automatic Fetco 31AAP as recommended by a number of people. A highly respected source, a previous Fetco diehard, is now recommending this Bunn. Actually, the Bunn he recommends the CDBCF 35, but it's not shown - the only difference is the amps and it's 240V. It seems a bit larger than my needs - the Fetco 1.5L should be fine. However, according to this source -- okay, Terroir -- making less than a full pot does not detract from the quality? True? Another thing stated contradictory to other statements - I was under the impression that the better/more efficient the brewer, the less coffee you needed. According to Terroir, not so. He claims the recommended amt. of coffee is about 3.9 ounces per half gallon of water. If my arithmetic is correct, that comes out to close to the standard formula I see for home brew - 7 grams per 5 oz. coffee. Thoughts?
  23. I just stumbled across an interesting article at the Roasters Guild web site (the Roasters Guild is a part of SCAA, the Specialty Coffee Association of America). Coffee and Wine: The Industries and their Common Denominators It's brief but offers good insight. I'm not a drinker of alcoholic beverages and therefore can't speak from the position of a wine enthusiast. I do, however, believe that the conclusions drawn seem valid. The article offers hope that coffee appreciation can continue to be developed and elevated to the point where we can break out of the commodity mentality that has pervaded the industry for so many years (and, tragically, made it difficult for most small growers to earn more than a basic subsistence income). On a related note, the Illy company of Italy has been influential in raising the bar of quality for growers in Brazil, long one of the world's leading producers. By paying a higher price and also establishing an annual competetion with a cash prize, they've encouraged growers to focus on quality rather than quantity. It's a slow process but a technique (paying higher than commodity prices) that has already seen success in the area of food products (e.g. heirloom vegetable varieties, "antique" apples, Niman Ranch pork etc). Here's a piece about the annual competition that Illy sponsors - its a bit of fluff to some extent as this is their own press release but it does offer worthwhile information. Illy's Brasil Prize Competition
  24. Whenever I make coffee in my vintage Silex vacuum pot, I swear that I can detect a slight rubbery taste in the coffee. It comes from the rubber gasket, it smells like a new automobile tire whenever the pot is action. Have any of you ever had this experience? Should I wash the gasket thoroughly with anything? Though it is in perfect shape, I know it is quite old (around 30 to 40 years old); I am hesitant to clean it thoroughly because it might crack. Thanks!
  25. Thought I'd venture a thread that is not oft discussed on Coffeegeek and doesn't seem (at least recently) to have been fleshed out here... Yes - I'm perfectionist about many things; I've got my modes of making coffee down. But I ain't getting to roasting (this statement will result in many a good natured flame at CG - and orig post goes OT into waxing poetic about homeroasting); don't have the time, don't have the place - I can't afford to get obsessive about yet another thing. My wife will disown me... So I am willing to pay for good roasting. Good roasting as defined by great bean knowledge, 'crack' precision, accurate dating and the rest of the art that goes into cooking the bean. I've got a pretty good roaster in my little nabe (Montclair, NJ) - and I know that buying local's a good thing 'cause coffee fades quickly. But I get my espresso from... St. Louis. I swear by Barry Jarrett's "Espresso Taliaferro" and at $8.95 - this is worth sending away for. In fact, Barry's quite the roasting maven... http://www.rileys-coffee.com/DarkRoasts.htm Anyone know of other master roasters that make paying the shipping worth it?
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