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Archive for August, 2012

The Importance of Proper Coffee Roasting, Or, Why Fresh Roasted Coffee, LLC, Stinks

by on Aug.16, 2012, under coffee, Kitchen, product review, Uncategorized

As readers know, I am a coffee enthusiast.  I roast my own beans and have several espresso machines, including one of the finest manual levers ever made, the Olympia Cremina. I sometimes like to purchase commercially roasted beans in order to gauge my roasting skills. I recently ran across a website purporting to offer roasted coffee beans at decent prices, Fresh Roasted Coffee, LLc, operating out of Selinsgrove, PA.  Since it wasn’t clear from the website whether the beans were actually fresh roasted (more than about two or three weeks and it becomes stale), I emailed the site and received a reply that the beans were shipped within 5 days of roasting, an acceptable amount. Based on that response, I ordered three bags of different varieties of coffee.  I should have noticed at the outset, though, that one of the varieties advertised, a Papua New Guinea single origin, was a “limited edition dark roast.”  This should have been a clue to me that the proprietors of this site didn’t know what they were doing.  You see, it’s a common misconception, fostered mostly by Starbucks, that dark roasts are for espresso, when in fact this is completely not the case.  Most high end espresso roasters roast much much lighter than a dark roast.  The reason for lighter roasting is that roasting too dark produces a monotonic flavor that masks all the subtleties of fine coffee beans, and this is most pronounced with espresso, which is an extremely demanding beverage.  The reason Starbucks overroasts their beans is because the beans basically will continue to taste the same over quite a long period of time, thus allowing transport and storage, and of course sacrificing the flavor as well.  This is why Starbucks is generally avoided by espresso aficionados, because their espresso is simply terrible.  Well, at any rate, when the beans arrived and I opened the bags, my heart sank. All three varieties were covered in oil, which is the primary sign of overroasting.  From their appearance, I suspected that none of these beans would be suitable for espresso, and I was correct; none of the varieties produced drinkable espresso.  I found this to be a valuable lesson:  don’t do business with unknown vendors who may or may not know what they are doing. Certainly I will never order from Fresh Roasted Coffee, LLC, again.  I did offer them the opportunity to refund my purchase price, but they ignored my email.

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A Tale of Bacon, and the Bankruptcy of the Nutrition Establishment

by on Aug.11, 2012, under Body Health, Cooking, food

I did something the other day that I’ve actually never done before:  I bought some bacon. Bacon has never been in my house, because I swallowed the conventional low-fat, high carb diet advice whole for years, and bacon was always something to avoid. To follow that advice, I came to accept certain concepts as gospel truth:  that eating fat would make you fat, and more specifically, that eating foods high in saturated fat would cause health problems (many), elevated trygliceride levels and eventually heart disease, that all calories are the same and that weight could be lost by adopting a calorie-restricted diet and exercise.

I know now that none of those things are true.

I won’t go into all the references I’ve read discussing the science of nutrition and the twisted road taken to reach dietary recommendations by the government, and the poorly researched studies such recommendations were based on, but they are certainly out there if you care to find them.  My conclusion, after much study, is that the conventional dietary and nutritional advice is based on bad science, political influence of the industrial food complex, and a curious reluctance to admit mistakes.  Further, I believe that the dietary and nutrition establishment, including the governmental agencies, are morally and intellectually bankrupt and have no credibility whatsoever regarding what anyone should eat. I believe that there is so much more individuality in humans physiological response to diet that it makes no sense to make blanket recommendations.

I made a three egg omelet today for lunch and had it with a side of bacon; it was delicious and I am confident that it will not hurt my body. I have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to certain foods, and today was a good start. I am not afraid of fat anymore, and I embrace animal protein, since it has certain minerals and nutrients that are not available in a vegetarian diet. Furthermore, there is an element of satiety that occurs in eating protein and fat that is not present in a high carb diet, which I believe is essential to maintaining an ideal weight.

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