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Memorial Day, 2016

In the PBS series "The Civil War," Ken Burns presents a letter of Sullivan Ballou, a Union Army soldier from Rhode Island, written to his wife, Sarah. It is arguably the most beautiful of all love letters, written by what appears to be a regular guy to the woman who is the love of his life. (To read the entire letter, click here.)


Sullivan Ballou (1829-1861)

I never served in the armed forces of the United States, and obviously have not lost my life in defense of this country. But I can relate to the prospect of losing someone I love in defense of a higher cause. Ballou's letter captures what I believe would be the sentiment of the millions who have. I know it would be mine. The passage I remember most is this: "But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the brightest day and in the darkest night—amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours—always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by."

To all who lost their lives in the service of this country, I pay you homage this Memorial Day weekend. Your sacrifice is my harvest.

A nice, cold tumbler of coffee!

Iced_CoffeeI love a hot cup of coffee or two in the morning - year-round, hot or cold.

But as summer days heat up, I like my drinks to cool down. And there's nothing better to me than iced coffee.

Many coffee shops simply don't know how to make good iced coffee. I've seen it happen, and I'm pretty sure you have, too. A barista takes a shot or two of hot espresso, pours it over ice, splashes some water over it and hands it over.

That is nothing more than watered down mess.

The secret is starting with cold press coffee concentrate. And it's easy to make.

  1. Grind 12-14 tablespoons of dark roast coffee, medium-fine. (Medium fine in a french press? Trust me. I'll address that later.)
  2. In a french press, put the coffee and 32 oz of cold water (filtered or tap). Stir well, cover and let sit for 12-14 hours. (Do not press yet.)
  3. After 12-14 hours, press the coffee. Then, poke 4 or 5 pinholes in a paper filter, put the filter in your autodrip coffee maker and the empty pot underneath. Pour the coffee through the filter. (Medium fine coffee leaves some residue - but it gives you much more flavor in your concentrate. The paper filter process takes that sediment out.)
  4. Transfer the coffee concentrate to another glass container with a lid. Put it in your refrigerator.
  5. You're all set! When you want a cold coffee drink, pour the concentrate in a glass, along with equal amounts of milk, half-and-half, water, or any combination. If you want it sweetened at all, use some simple syrup.

Something to know about cold-press concentrate: it will stay fresh for a couple of weeks! The heat process of making coffee is what causes old coffee to go stale. Your cold-press concentrate will last a long time.

COMING SOON: More recipes for your cold-press concentrate!

FREE EkoBrew K-Cup with Chuck’s Roast Sampler!

300Here's an offer for all K-Cup users.

Order a Chuck's Roast Sampler - one of each of my roasts - and I'll give you an EkoBrew Reusable Filter FREE! Make it Ground Chuck's and I'll give you the grind I believe is perfect for your K-cup coffee maker.

You see, few weeks ago, I found myself doing some work in an office with a Keurig coffee maker. So, I decided to see how Chuck's Roast would taste in a reusable filter. To my surprise, I thought it wasn't bad. I was using my standard grind and, after a little experimenting, I arrived at a good amount of coffee to use.

Then, I started playing with the grind. Too coarse, the coffee just flowed through and didn't pick up much flavor. Too fine, the water flowed too slowly and actually backed up in the coffee maker. But a grind that was right between medium and fine and I hit on an acceptable cup!

So, I decided it was time to convert some K-cup enthusiasts to Chuck's Roast.

The EkoBrew is a nimble little filter. It's not quite as convenient as the normal K-cups. But Chuck's Roast is just a better coffee than what those K-cups contain - fresher, tastier. And the footprint you leave on the environment is far less, not to mention a much, much lower cost per cup.

Why not give Chuck's Roast in a K-cup a try! Click here, visit the Chuck's Roast Coffee Shop and buy your sampler TODAY!

Sunblock you can drink!



Researchers from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health and the Yale School of Public Health found that the more coffee people drank, the lower their melanoma risk.

Read the entire article here.

The 49¢ Frappéchucko

fakéccinoHappy Summer everyone!

Even though I drink coffee year-round, it doesn't surprise me when someone says, I don't drink as much coffee in the summer. It's just too hot.

What does surprise me is when some of those same people (you know who you are!) will drop Fourbucks for a frozen coffee drink at an overpriced coffee retailer (you know who that is!).

Why not make your own...with Chuck's Roast...at home...for less than 49¢ each?

I call it a Frappéchucko. It's really good, and really easy. Do these first two steps in the morning. Or, If you have any Chuck's Roast leftover after your morning coffee binge (I doubt you will, but who knows!), you can skip steps one and two by pouring whatever coffee you have at the end of the day into your glass container and putting it into the refrigerator before you go to bed.

  1. Make a pot of Chuck's Roast Coffee (whatever brewing method you normally use.) Just make the coffee about 20% stronger than you normally would (a little more coffee, or a little less water). I use a french press, and instead of a 4 minute steep, I let it go 7 or 8 minutes. Or, make 4 oz. of espresso.
  2. Pour into a glass container and let it cool naturally to room temperature.

Now, the recipe.

  1. Pour 4 oz. of your coffee, 2-3 oz. of chocolate syrup, 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla syrup, 4 oz. of milk and 3 cups of crushed ice into a blender. (If you don't have vanilla syrup, substitute a scoop of vanilla ice cream and 1/2 tsp of sugar.)
  2. Blend, then blend some more. Make sure it's just pure slush all the way through.
  3. Pour into a chilled, tall 12 oz. glass. Or, cut your calories in half, make a friend and pour into two 6 oz. glasses.
  4. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. (Sometimes I do this, and sometimes I don't.)
  5. Stick a straw in it and slurp.

If you're so inclined, you can substitute 1 1/2 oz. of cream de cacao for the chocolate syrup.

Either way, you will have a summer drink that is delicious. And, it won't break the budget like, well, you know who.

Need some Chuck's Roast to get started? Visit our Coffee Shop by clicking here.




Rwandan Half-Caf Prime Cut

geography-of-rwanda0Here's another Prime Cut!

I was able to get a small supply of coffee from Rwanda. Rwanda is a small country in central Africa, known more for its civil war in the 90s than its location in the heart of that coffee-growing region of the world.

My prime cut is a blend of Jomba Vunga and a Kanzu Swiss-water-process (SWP) decaf. Like most coffees from Africa, this has an earthy flavor, with some subtle apple notes and a hint of mulling spices. Even with its earthy flavor, it has a surprisingly clean feel - not bright, but clean.

I prefer to brew the sample a little on the light side - 11 cups of water instead of 10, which allows for the flavor but accentuates the clean mouth feel.

This is delicious coffee, but what else would you expect from Chuck's Roast! I don't have a lot, but you'll get a 2 oz. sample FREE with every order over $30 (3 bags), while supplies last. Hurry!

Click HERE to start your order.

It’s Not Always About Coffee

The Chuck's Roast family exists because we're a bunch of people who love coffee. Nothing wrong with that. But I want it to be about more than just coffee. I'd love to know that we can share life in some small way, even though we're spread across 21 states and counting.

So, here's a post from a blog that I love - Marc and Angel Hack Life. The blog is always thought-provoking. This post is entitled 12 Things You Should Start Making Time For Again. It is worth 10 minutes to read, and another 10 minutes to think about. Trust me, caffeinados!

When’s enough enough?

shutterstock_45166024I make coffee so many ways. French press is probably my favorite, but I make at least one pot of auto drip a day. I have a Bialetti Moka Express that makes excellent espresso. (So many people say expresso instead of espresso, it's interesting to me that Bialetti chose Express as a word in its product name. But that's another post for another day.) I haven't bought into any of the methods that require $1000 pieces of equipment because, well, I like to travel, and I haven't found them to produce a better cup than far less expensive options. (Again, another post for another time.)

For each method, I have my preferred amount of coffee, just as I have my preferred grind and roast. Most of us do. We want our coffee to be a reliable friend, something we can count on day in and day out.

But I love to play with my recipes sometimes. You'd be surprised at how the same coffee can have a different flavor with a bit less coffee, or a bit more. No other change.

Here's my challenge to you: experiment with different amounts of coffee. If you normally brew 6 cups with 6 tablespoons of coffee, give it one tablespoon fewer, or one tablespoon more tomorrow and see what you think.

This morning I'm having Chuck's Roast Medium in my French press. I used about 1/3 less coffee than I would normally use. It still has the core Medium flavor. But, it's a little brighter, with a slightly nuttier flavor. I don't know - I may have a new go-to recipe.

Buy a Chuck's Roast Sampler. Use a couple of different methods and a couple of different amounts and it will be like having 20 different coffees from which to choose!

When will Chuck’s Roast have single-cups?

Single-cup coffee brewing has gone crazy in the United States. It's estimated that 25% of all coffee brewed at home is now single-cup. Keurig and Green Mountain Coffee get credit for an idea that's time had obviously come.

So, I get asked quite often, "when will Chuck's Roast have K-cups?" The short answer is, "probably never." Two reasons why.

If you're a fan of Chuck's Roast (or just a visitor to this blog), you already know I'm no coffee snob. I don't hang around coffee snobs, and I didn't start Chuck's Roast for coffee snobs. I started it for people who love the taste of good, fresh-roasted coffee. A single-cup machine will actually kick out a decent cup of coffee - particularly if you're in a hurry to get out the door. Because of the amount of processing, the coffee's not that fresh. But it's very convenient - and sometimes, that's really important.

My first reason for not offering single cups has to do with waste. With a french press, espresso machine or percolator, there's no waste except coffee grounds (which are biodegradable and a great addition to any compost bin). If you use a gold mesh filter in an auto drip, again, no waste except the grounds. Even if you use a paper filter, it's biodegradable, too. 4 cups, 6 cups or 12 - it doesn't matter. Very little waste is generated. With a single-cup system, there is a piece of aluminum foil (recyclable) and a plastic cup (not recyclable) for each cup. It's something to think about, especially if single-cup brewing reaches 50% of the home coffee market as some experts predict.

ekobrew_homepagegraphicMy second reason is cost. I want Chuck's Roast to be a good coffee at a good value. 50¢ or 75¢ a cup is pretty steep.

Still, I want single-cup folks to have a chance to enjoy Chuck's Roast, too. So I found the best deal I could on a reusable single-cup filter. It's called an Ekobrew, and you can read about it by clicking here. Great compliment to any single-cup system. Very eco-friendly (no cups left behind). And the amount of Chuck's Roast you'd use will be nowhere near 50¢ worth. If you're convinced, you can purchase your own at Amazon.com for under $10 by clicking here.

Another idea is to reuse your single-cups. You can do that, too. Click here to read how.

C'mon, single-cup brewers. Join the Chuck's Roast revolution!

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