On January, 2014

Browsing all posts on January, 2014

  • January 20, 2014
  • By Chuck Jones
  • Comments Off on French Press Demystified
  • in Blog

French Press Demystified

shutterstock_23975737There are so many ways to brew coffee. Old-school percolators (which actually deliver a great cup of coffee), automatic drip, single pour, single-serve, moka pots and espresso machines that can cost thousands of dollars. To me, that's a lot of money that would be far better spent on fresh, just-roasted coffee.

You see, in my opinion there is nothing better to deliver the truest essences and full flavors of fresh-roasted coffee than the French press.

The reason is simple: there is no filtration process. None. All of the natural oils that give your coffee its flavor stay in the brew and don't get filtered out.

And it's easy. Grind your coffee coarse, put it in the press and pour water that has cooled a few degrees off boiling directly onto it. Stir with a wooden spoon to get good contact between water and coffee. Let steep for 3-5 minutes, press and pour.

A common misconception about French press coffee is it's really strong. Not necessarily so. It can be. But remember: French press is a brewing method and, in many ways, it is the method that gives you, the home barista, the most control. This morning, I'm enjoying a cup of Chuck's Roast Rare, brewed in a press for just under 3 minutes. It is light, bright and yet full of rich, nutty undertones. It isn't thick or chewy. It could be - with a darker roast and a finer grind. But the press allows me to have total control on the coffee I want.

For more information, check out this short article by Mark Ramos.

There's not much to a French press. You can get a very serviceable model that will last you for years for $25. Since there are no filters, the press is a green and sustainable option. If you don't have one, why not give French press a whirl.



  • January 3, 2014
  • By Chuck Jones
  • Comments Off on Second Harvest!
  • in Blog

Second Harvest!

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 4.28.03 PMToday, we made our first donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.

Soon, some families across the region who may not be as fortunate as others will be enjoying the same good, just-roasted coffee that you've been drinking.

Thanks for every single order that makes this possible!


  • January 3, 2014
  • By Chuck Jones
  • Comments Off on Suspended Coffees
  • in Blog

Suspended Coffees

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 10.13.47 AM

I am constantly torn by the plight of those who have far less than me. Less food. Less warmth. Less love.

Sometimes, it seems to be a hill that is too steep to climb. But I'm always reminded of something I heard once: Just because you can't do everything doesn't mean you shouldn't do something. That's one of the driving forces behind Chuck's Roast commitment to donating coffee to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

But here's another idea. It's called Suspended Coffee, and they describe it better than I could:

Every once in a while an idea comes along with the potential to truly make the world a better place. Suspended Coffee is one of those ideas.

First, it’s simple. You walk into a coffee shop and instead of buying just one cup of coffee, you buy two, or more. You buy one for yourself and one for someone in need.

Second, it’s direct. You do not need to worry if your money is going to actually help someone or just to take care of a charity organization and its overhead and expenses. You also do not need to worry whether or not your recipient will use your gift to buy alcohol or drugs. You can directly control which food or beverage you would like to donate.

Third, it’s win-win. You not only support a person in need, you also support your local business and all its employees. Your money does not go to another state, country or continent. It stays right in the neighborhood where it was spent.

Lastly, it can be used for more than just coffee. You could buy a hot bowl of nourishing soup, a filling sandwich, water, fruit, bread, or a full meal. Suspended coffee’s simplicity makes it easy to duplicate with other food items.

What's more human than providing a warm cup of coffee - and just some warmth - to someone not as fortunate as you? I can't wait to suspend some coffee, or a meal, next time I have the chance.

  • January 1, 2014
  • By Chuck Jones
  • Comments Off on Low-Tech Goodness
  • in Blog

Low-Tech Goodness

shutterstock_40543399I'm as guilty as the next guy about wanting the newest, biggest, techiest piece of gear.

But there's a lot to be said about simplicity. And there's not much simpler than a moka pot. This stovetop espresso maker doesn't have all the bells and whistles of its countertop cousins. Who's kidding who? It has not a single bell or whistle. It is three pieces - a water reservoir, a filter and a pot.

In the end, it's simplicity is its appeal. Fill the reservoir with water, place loosely packed, fine- to medium-grind coffee in the filter, screw on the pot and heat it over medium heat until all of the water has distilled, travelled through the filter and into the pot.

I know many purists - I being one - who prefer this method. It won't give you 8 or 9 atmospheres of pressure that the big machines will. But it'll deliver the extra texture, body and emulsion that gives espresso its unique flavor. And at a cost of under $30 for a 6-cup maker, I find the $100s left in my pocket very, very delicious.