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Chuck’s Roast Prime Cuts

photoWhen I launched Chuck's Roast, I wanted to offer five different coffee roasts that coffee lovers could count on for a great cup of coffee 24/7/365. Rare, Medium, Well-Done, Blackened and Extra Lean do that. If you like one, you know it'll be the same bag to bag.

Now comes my first Prime Cut!

I love micro-roasting. Microlots are coffee beans from small, distinct areas of the world, sometimes down to the farm of one single coffee grower. (Think of the difference between North Carolina apples and an apple you picked on Joe Smith's farm.) As a practitioner of the local food movement (in a non-coffee growing area of the world), it's just cool to think that I can help support a specific micro-area (or grower) by purchasing that coffee and distributing it to other coffee lovers.

That's what Chuck's Roast Prime Cuts are. My first is a very nice Brazil Fazenda do Sertao Catuai. This is a single varietal coffee from Fazendo do Sertao, the farm of Nazareth Dias Pereira. It is located in Carmo de Minas. This is an excellent coffee with classic nutty Brazil roast tone (hazelnut, macadamia) turning more toward cocoa in the medium roast that I've finished it.

From time to time, I plan to have full 12 oz. bags of my Prime Cuts for sale. But not this one. Instead, I'm offering a 2 oz. (10-cup) Ground Chuck's sample for all orders over $20 (while supplies last). Place your order by visiting the Chuck's Roast Coffee Shop. But you'd better hurry. I don't have a lot. (That's why it's called a microlot!)

On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone’s Irish!

irish_coffeeI'm the human equivalent of the quarter horse. I'm 1/4 Scottish (mother's father), 1/4 English (father's mother), 1/4 Welsh (father's father), and 1/4 Irish (mother's mother.) Even so, my family didn't grow up drinking whisky (that's the Scot coming out in me!).

So, imagine my surprise the first time I had an Irish coffee. Didn't expect that! The pedigree of a drink is sometimes tough to come by. But not so much with Irish Coffee. According to Chow:

The story behind this immensely popular beverage is that Irish bartender Joe Sheridan created the rejuvenating brew during World War II to greet weary Yankee travelers arriving by seaplane in the wee hours of the morning. Interestingly, the Irish drank whiskey in tea, but Sheridan apparently knew the American palate and had the wherewithal to substitute coffee.

It's an absolutely delicious drink. Warm going in, warm going down. As Chow writes, The best Irish coffee should be treated no differently than the naked brew. Use high-quality, freshly ground and brewed beans, and always whip your heavy cream without sugar right before serving.

With St. Patricks Day only 10 days away, I thought I'd give you the ever-so-simple recipe for Irish Coffee, and a gentle Irish reminder that if you want to enjoy one with a really great coffee, you'd better visit the Chuck's Roast Coffee Shop and place an order today.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 ounces freshly brewed Chuck's Roast Coffee
  • 1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Dollop of freshly whipped cream
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Combine the coffee, whiskey, and sugar in a hot Irish coffee mug; then float whipped cream on top.

Enjoy!

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.

 

 

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!

 

Suspended Coffees

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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.

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.

Ingenuity!

This is great.

http://feedly.com/k/19unB4b

In Defense of Auto Drip

shutterstock_123478006

There are a dozen or so methods for brewing coffee. I use a lot of them - for different tastes and moods.

Mostly, I use an auto drip coffee maker. Some people look down on the auto drip. Not me. Here are three reasons why.

  1. It's easy. Grind your coffee, pour in the water and set to brew. That's about it. You can go about your business. Walk the dog, take a shower, read a book. Whatever. Come back and your coffee is ready.
  2. It's predictable. Put the same amount of the same coffee, ground the same, with the same amount of the same water and you'll pretty much have the same cup of coffee - day in and day out. There's something to be said for same when it comes to coffee you like. Other methods have a few more variables that can impact the flavor - positively or negatively.
  3. It's flexible. Like your coffee stronger? Use a bit more coffee. Like it a little less bold? Use less coffee. You'll get the feel - and can change it (again, predictably) as much as you like.

I love my auto drip coffee maker.

How This All Got Started

I enjoy a good cup of coffee. I started really enjoying coffee probably about the same time you did - in the early 2000s when Starbucks, Peet's, Caribou and a few other companies started putting pleasant, easy-to-visit coffee houses on almost every corner of the United States. Coffee became hip, and I jumped on the bandwagon.

But in 2005, my life as a coffee drinker changed forever. On a cross-country road trip, I was served a cup of coffee at a local bakery in Bisbee, Arizona. Boldly, I proclaimed, this is the best coffee I've ever had in my life. My wife Aprill, quite use to my almost constant use of hyperbole, said, yeah? But, it was. I offered her a taste and she agreed. For many years, I've ordered coffee from Old Bisbee Roasters, and you should, too. But just once! Read on.

In 2009, I started roasting coffee myself. And in 2013, I decided I wanted to stop extolling the virtues of fresh-roasted coffee and deliver my own, unique brand of coffee. Chuck's Roast was born!

At Chuck's Roast, we use only superior beans from the finest coffee-growing regions of the world: central and south America, Africa and south Asia. We roast each bean the way it should be roasted, based on its origin and its unique flavor characteristics. We blend our roasts for maximum flavor. Finally, we deliver it fresh—within 7 days of the day it was roasted. The result is good coffee...coffee that will make you want another cup. Coffee that will make you love your mornings.

Visit our Coffee Shop and read about all of our products. Buy a bag or two. Brew it the way you like to brew coffee, and drink it. Drink it all. Then, if Chuck's Roast isn't everything I promised you it would be, send me an email at refund@chucksroast.com and I'll give you your money back. No questions asked. But if it is good coffee, and it makes you love your morning, come back for more! We roast fresh coffee every Monday!

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How do you like my coffee?

I won't know if you don't write.

I want you to enjoy my coffee, and I want us to be friends. Nothing would make me happier than to create a new community of people who love good coffee. If there's anything I can do to improve Chuck's Roast , please let me know. Use this contact form. I want to hear from you!