Let’s have coffee, friend? That’s basically what the title means. You see, I am venturing into a new hobby. Just last week, I got started on something that I’ve been thinking about doing for a few months now. I am grinding and brewing my own coffee at home. I am mostly grinding specialty beans. Right now, a friend of mine has gotten me started on this. He has been doing this for a couple of years now, and has been gently pushing me to do it too. The difference is that he also roasts the beans himself. He buys green coffee beans, roasts them, grinds them and brews them.
My friend is Bobby Timonera. We’ve been friends for years now, already into our second decade of friendship. Bobby resides in Iligan City. He is a former journalist, and a professional photographer. Bobby has a relatively new blogging venture too, called Kape Ta Bay, where he talks about his experience in making his coffee.
About 2 weeks ago, Bobby e-mailed me and made me an offer. If I would pay for beans, he would roast them for me, and send them to me. From there, I would handle the grinding and making the coffee. The offer sounded pretty good for me, so I said – let’s do it!
Bobby told me that I had to go buy a grinder and a French Press before he would send me any beans, so I did it. Feyma went to a local store here in Davao and bought me a cheap French Press – it’s a Chinese knock-off, just P170, about $3.50 or so. It’s a small french press that makes just a single cup of coffee. A couple days later I went shopping and found a small coffee grinder for about $10, and bought that. While I was standing in line to pay for my grinder, I texted Bobby and told him that I had all the supplies, so he could ship the coffee.
Bobby sent me about a pound (I think) of roasted beans. These beans are a Red Sea blend. A mixture of beans grown in Yemen and Ethiopia. Nicely roasted by Bobby. Within an hour of receipt of the beans, I was ready to go. I read a few websites about how to grind the coffee and how to use the french press, since I had no idea. Looked pretty straight forward, though.
I made the first cup. Watery.
I made a second cup. Better, but still not strong enough.
Third cup was a charm! Very strong, very rich, very tasty! Better than any cup of coffee I ever got in a coffee shop! Wow, this was coffee!
Bobby is coming to Davao later this week, and he is going to teach me how to roast the green beans. Yes, I love the coffee so much, I’ve decided to go all the way and do the whole process myself. I’ll roast, grind and brew, and then I’ll enjoy a super cup of coffee!
The hardest part about getting into this new hobby is finding the things needed here in the Philippines. Every step of the way, you have to search and search to find the things you need. Bobby tells me that you can’t really buy a good roaster here in the Philippines. You have to do it in a regular cooking pot, or in a popcorn popper. It works, but it is not ideal. The grinder that I have is not the right kind, but it is all I can find. I want to find a French Press that makes 3 or 4 cups of coffee, or better yet, an Aeropress (a different kind of coffee making device), but they are hard to find here. The worst part is the beans themselves. Finding good coffee beans in the Philippines is difficult. Most of the beans grown here are not really super quality. Bobby has been searching for good Philippine Beans for years now, and still has not found them. Bobby has been ordering green beans from overseas, and I suppose I will do that too. I want to find a local supplier, though, it’s just easier. We’ll see if I can find anything.
This is not just about drinking a good cup of coffee. It’s a hobby. It’s a search for the beans that are enjoyable. It’s for something fun to get involved in. I’m looking forward to getting more deeply into the hobby, learning about it, and enjoying some delicious coffee too!
Thanks for getting me into this, Bobby!