She spent this year playing with her new (they were actually her mum’s) Fisher Price Little People, hanging out with Vic, Aunt Lindsay, Modryb Sonia, and all the other wonderful people who vend around us.
Her favourite thing to do was stand on the cooler and “help” me sell coffee. Other things she enjoyed include:
Playing in the wagon
Hanging out with Vic, Lindsay, S. M. Carrière, Madona Skaff, and Grannie.
This year has been extremely busy. I’m trying not to fall into old patterns of stress and overwork but it feels hard to avoid sometimes.
I’m surviving and I’ll be okay.
The past few weeks I’ve written a Ghostship story for July. You’ll get the next instalment in the Sun Speaker Series while we recover from the arrival of baby Pegasus.
Beyond that, I’m going to try and push to continue writing the novels that are calling me. I have two on the go and little to show for my writing this year. But I’m going to start… today even. I hope.
I do have an outline for another novel, which is awesome, but it’ll be a while before I get to it.
I’ve been frantically roasting coffee. I’m roasting almost 150 lbs this year which is more than we’ve ever had before. We’ll have 17 flavours available for Ottawa Comic Con.
I’m loving the new roaster and the new method is working great. I’m still getting used to getting the perfect roast, but overall I’m extremely happy with it.
I have the edits for A Case of Synchronicity and will work on those this week. I’m still waiting on the second round of edits for Everdome but they should be here soon.
I’ve been playing very few games. Haven’t touched Lego Incredibles in a few months. With most weekends dedicated to roasting, I don’t have as much time.
I have been playing Elder Scroll Blades on my phone. It’s an extremely beautiful game. It’s also repetitive and nearly impossible to do anything without paying. There are chests you can never encounter in the game but you can buy. Overall, it’s very much a micro-payment play-to-win style game.
Preparations for the baby are in full swing. We have a room, it has a bed, we have decorations, and a GIANT pile of clothing.
I got my tattoo this weekend. (More on that in another post.)
Things are feeling more real. I think after comic con, I’m going to quickly transition to impatiently waiting.
So in an eggshell (Easter joke intended) things are going well and I’m busy.
Now lets get to writing… after some breakfast and coffee.
I’ve been asked a few times what makes a great cup of coffee and how do you brew it. Making hot coffee is simple, just pour hot water on ground coffee beans and you have coffee.
Let’s get more in depth, shall we? I’m going to stick to drip and submersion methods. Nothing against Turkish or Espresso coffee, but I’d like to keep this short.
Choosing your Coffee
The coffee you choose is extremely personal to your tastes. I recommend JenEric Coffee.
What you want is coffee that has been roasted within the past month or two and sealed. My preferred sweet spot is a week after roasting. The flavour has settled and you get the smoothness of great coffee.
What you buy will depend on the amount of work and the strength you like in your coffee.
These make fantastic and flavourful coffee, but get a little more bitter and less smoothness in the actual coffee.
Most french press are the same; get one made out of glass and that holds the amount of coffee you like to drink. Don’t get one too big or too small.
I don’t recommend the travel mugs with french press built in. the longer your coffee is submerged, the more bitter it’ll get.
Use hot water and submerge your ground coffee (coarse or you’ll get an unfun surprise.) Leave them in between 3-6 minutes and then pour. I usually forget mine for upwards of 10 minutes and it’s ok but around 15 it gets bitter.
These are the standard home coffee makers, and they make okay coffee. I like Sunbeam and President’s Choice for the cheap end and Hamilton Beach, Mr Coffee, and Black + Decker for the mid range.
All you need is a coffee maker that makes coffee. Avoid all the bells and whistles; they just take power away from heating the water.
I’ve been complaining about capacity for the past few years. We used to roast with the fantastic Behmor 1600+ Coffee Roaster, two of them. They are great but lack in capacity. Doing roughly 1.5lbs each every 45 minutes.
To give you an idea, for a medium convention we’d roast 40-60 lbs of coffee. that would take us roughly 16-20 hours of roasting. It was getting to be too much work. Taking 4 days or more to roast for a large convention like Ottawa Comiccon was tedious.
I looked into all kinds of options and discovered RK Drums. They custom-build roaster drums, turning motors, and a whole lot of other awesome stuff. We took the plunge with last years profits and two weekends ago I spent a long day building a bbq and modifying it for coffee roasting with equipment from RK Drums.
Isn’t it pretty?
The first roast came out a little burnt and smoky, but this past weekend I spent 5 hours roasting and I’m confident the coffee will be up to our high standards.
This coming weekend at Geek Market we are debuting the newest JenEric Coffee flavour:
Atomo Coffee sounds like something from a science fiction story. Coffee that isn’t from coffee beans. It’s the lab grown meat of coffee.
My biggest worry with this sort of thing is allergies. I have a severe intolerance to coconut oil and milk, along with IBS, so I try to be very careful.
Here’s what they say:
Atomo will not have any allergen components or materials that impact metabolic disorders.
For the insoluble, non-volatile portion of the molecular grounds, we are still exploring many options and targeting an upcycled play that would take the byproduct of a current commercial operation and add value to it by using it as the carrier matrix for our flavor and mouthfeel compounds – essentially the proteins, carbohydrates and oil components you can expect from coffee grounds. Some examples of that would be watermelon seeds or sunflower seeds husks. Much of what we are doing at this stage is still proprietary as we have a good journey ahead to optimize the perfect molecular coffee that can be enjoyed as your daily ritual. All compounds and strategies will be shared as they evolve and are optimized.