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Nate Hrobak

Caribou Roastmaster since 2003
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Coffee: Just add water

Posted by Nate Hrobak

June 30, 2010 15:27 PM

Coffee's modern time line started sometime in the mid 1500s, which was probably when someone figured out how to roast the seeds of a coffee tree and mix them with water. From that point, coffee consumption grew in fits and starts. Political and religious leaders didn't know what to do with it. Was it the devil's drink, inciting dissention, or was it heaven sent to keep the drowsy masses alert and receptive? Sometimes condemned, sometimes lauded, coffee was almost always a hot topic of conversation.

Even though coffee has been around for several hundred years, it is still a relatively young product as compared to other staples in our lives. Take milk for example. Milk has been around since the very first day, whenever that was, by design. We've had milk at our disposal for millennia. At some point in milk's journey from teat to cup, some enterprising soul managed to figure out that if stirred for a really long time, butter is the resulting product. And then there's yogurt, sour cream, curds, whey, cheeses, and everything that uses those byproducts ad infinitum, etc, etc...

Then we go back to coffee. What we've figured out with coffee is that we can roast it and mix it with water. Granted, some of the vehicles used to introduce water are pretty innovative, but it still feels like there's something more amazing about itself that coffee will reveal once we finally perfect the addition of water.

Maybe I'm imagining too much of this little bean that I love so much, but maybe not. Tinkerers in the coffee world have been busy figuring out golden ratios of extraction, mastering the perfect grind, controlling temperature, time and pressure; in short, perfecting what we already know how to do. Once that perfection is achieved, we'll be back at the bottom of a long learning curve, making coffee into something else beautiful and good. The future is out there, we just have to wait for it to come around again.

Nate

Nate Hrobak

Caribou Roastmaster since 2003
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SAD?

Posted by Nate Hrobak

February 26, 2010 14:14 PM

Every year Seasonal Affective Disorder (whose meaning is summed up in its acronym: SAD) reasserts itself on my psyche. As winter wears on, simultaneously wearing on everyone's nerves, with the exception of the unique group of people who engage in outdoor wintertime activities, It seems as though the world will never be warm again.

On a positive note, along with the weather-related funk, mid to late winter also brings some great coffees. Coffee, like any other agricultural product, has peaks and valleys in its harvest, and subsequently, its quality and freshness. We're finally working our way through last year's crop of coffee, which is starting to seem a tad lackluster. At the same time, we're starting to receive newly harvested coffee that practically sings with nice fresh notes; clean and sparkling - just like the spring that is sure to arrive any day now.

This bright note in an otherwise windy and cold reality has become one of my life's little pleasures. I hope you enjoy some of the bright and juicy coffee flavors that will be finding their way onto our shelves now, and in the coming months.

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Nate Hrobak

Caribou Roastmaster since 2003
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Caribou Roastmaster since 2005
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Caribou Roastmaster since 1995
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