Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

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On the Gripping Hand...

I seem to be buying things again. It's not the job, I'm pretty sure. I think it's just emotional fallout from the election, but I'm buying things again for comfort or maybe just to prove to myself that I can affect change on some other part of reality than just my own. Or something. Maybe "Retail Therapy" is closer than is comfortable. Some of that therapy was probably due to KNOWING in my heart of hearts that I'm not doing the month novel thingy... (I can never remember the acronym).

I purposefully stayed away from the Farmer's Market this week because I could feel the urge.

You guys know about the freezer and the dishwasher. I also bought all the Iron Wok Jan after the ones my sister bought me a Christmas ago. They are, at least, mostly safe for Jet to steal and read. I also bought a pound of chestnut flour to make chestnut puree with so that I can have crepes with chestnut cream in them. I also bought two pounds of big chestnuts along with a chestnut knife (boo, specialists! But, hey, it's sometimes good to have a special tool for something as weird as peeling chestnuts). I also bought four quarter pound bags of green coffee beans from Sweet Maria's and a pound bag of the decaf Sumantra.

I've been roasting the coffee beans all week, four tablespoons at a time in our little air roaster and the results have been gratifying. For all that I really enjoy Coffee Jones' coffees, there's something visceral about getting little green beans into the roaster, and having to adjust the amount of heat they get, how much time they get it, and going by sound, smell, and sight to really roast the beans and make them exactly what I want. I now have some feel for the difference between first and second crack with all the variety of beans that I have, each behaves a little differently. Roasting decaf is an astonishingly strange process, with little chaff, much darker coloring, and different odors, but the results are well worth it compared to Sanka or Folders. I can now drink a decaf that doesn't make me wonder if a dish towel was dipped in some hot water!

The Brazilian is lively, smooth and wonderful.

My Mexican Oxaca "Pluma Hidalgo" is smooth, chocolaty, with an interesting tart fruitiness that doesn't turn into acid, especially with a darker roast that doesn't quite hit Vienna (city+), not quite oily, but on the verge of being truly dark.

It amazes me that I can now taste the carbon in a Starbuck's cup, and I know what it means when the roast takes over the characteristics of the bean.

I guess this is my full-blown perfectionism in practice at a level of detail that sometimes exasperates and bemuses others. I had one lady engineer at work peer at me while I waxed poetic about my process and she said, "You know... some of us just care if it has caffeine or not and that's about it..."

I grinned. "Yeah. I know."

But I care about a whole lot more. Mmmm... fanaticism at work.

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