Small Update | Life

If you have any interest in wardrobes I’m trying to document how often I actually wear the items in my closet. I’ve added a page called What I Wore for all things relating to that project.


Time | Life

I took a random break from the blog. Didn’t realize it had been over a month. Not much has happened. I’ve been watching lots of hockey and roasting coffee weekly. I’m over my goal in coffee sales. So that is a big check in the plus column.

I’ve started tracking how often I wear clothing. The plan is to help me get rid of some items I don’t wear. There must be things I don’t wear often enough to keep.

I’m also thinking of downsizing my books. I have close to a full bookcase to myself. I need to make room for new additions. There must be a few books I’m not going to re-read.

My husband has decided he needs an office outside the house. Mostly a storage unit with power & room for tables to set up the vintage computers. We don’t have much room here to have them set up for use. Or even enough space to work on them. We haven’t done any legwork yet but there are some good looking spaces for rent. The price per square foot is a little high but I think it’s in our budget.

The last piece of news is I’m hoping to win an Underwood 3 bank portable typewriter. I just got outbid but there’s nearly a week left so I will bid again when it’s almost over. My birthday is later in the month so I plan to splurge a little. The posting claims all the functions seem to work. The platen looks scratched funny but I can work around that.

I was eyeing some mustard colored clogs but they’re sold out. A nearly 100 year old typewriter seems like a better investment. If I lose that I might buy a Fellow Stagg XF pour-over dripper. It seems too cute not to pick up. But my french press works fine and I don’t really need it.

Fumbling Along | Roasting


Today I brewed roast #29. My efforts didn’t turn out the way I wanted. It was a City roast. A really good one, but not the Full City I was hoping for. So I headed straight to the roaster today to do another roast.

I thought I had it all figured out. I hit P2 at first crack for a little heat, then gradually went P3, P4, and ended on P5 for 1:15. That was clearly too long. I was in 2nd crack. I hit Cool and about a minute later I got the over heat error. I turned the roaster off and waited for minute. I was able to hit cool and it went just fine from there. I had dark-ish smoke too. Not enough to set off any alarms but annoying all the same.

I only roasted a half pound today. If it’s too dark I can mix the two roasts together and try it. If it’s all wrong I’ll just tell my co-worker it will be another day or two. That isn’t ideal in my mind. I told her Monday and she dropped off money already.

I learned a lot over December. I tried to apply it all at once to these roasts and might have done too many things at once. So I’ll be taking a step backward and trying to keep it simple. Also no highest heat (P5) on this bean I guess.

Update | Roasting

For the holidays I sold four bags of coffee at work. Two of my co-workers loved it so much they asked if I would sell them more. Today one of them them put in an order. She even kept the valve bag and made sure to drop it off for refill. That saves me $.80 or so.

The biggest thing is this gets me close to my goal. I want to bring in $100 selling coffee. That is what the 20 lbs of Mexican Chiapas cost me. I also sold two scarves at the same craft fair so my total is $92. The scarves brought in $30 and cost about $10 (plus time) to make. One more bag of coffee and I’ll reach my goal!

I’m already picking out which beans to buy next. I’ll build a 20lb box from Sonofresco. I need at least one African in the mix. One of my good friends mentioned he likes African and Asian coffees. I’ll surprise him with a roast once I get some. I’ll also get a Colombian. Anything Colombian was my go-to before I discovered Mexican beans and started roasting my own.

I made 12 order forms for the craft fair. They were so handy that I’m still using them. Mostly it’s a reminder of what I need to make. And they were super fun to make. Anytime I can find everyday uses for my typewriters is a win!

I also have a spreadsheet listing customers and what I sold them. So notes about how many ounces, which bean, the roast number, and how much they paid.

Milo is our cat. I name everything after him. So the scarf tags said Milo Knits and the coffee is Milo Roasts. The original lead time was one week so I could make multiple roasts and taste them before distributing. For regular roasting I just need 48 hours before grinding. Monday I will grind and deliver.

For today’s roast I tried to get close to what I originally sold her. I’ve learned a lot through holiday roasting. Mostly that I was roasting darker than I needed. This should be more of a true Full City and hopefully taste even better than the original. I went longer with no heat (P1) during first crack and went up to high heat (P5) for the last 45 seconds. I’ll taste it tomorrow.

Happy New Years | Life


This morning I celebrated with a second cup of coffee. Tonight we are keeping it simple. It was crackers, cheese, and sliced meats for dinner. We’ll probably watch a movie later. I’m thinking some classic computer film.

2017 turned out okay. Hopefully 2018 will be as good or better.

My goals for next year are:

  • Roast more coffee.
  • Read more books.
  • Shoot more film.
  • Write more posts about typewriters and film cameras.

New Years Roasts | Coffee

Since we’re approaching New Years I’ve given that name to the next round of gift roasts. I have four people on my list. Two roasts I need to get in the mail. One of those is ground. The other two are local. One ground and one whole bean.

Both of the ground are for drip grind. As long as I don’t overload my Kitchenaid grinder it does a good job. I need to clean my grinder but I’ve been lazy. So I guess I’ll make that a resolution for the new year.

Yesterday I started playing with bracketing. Partly because I want to reproduce the coffee I gave my co-workers without just roasting too dark. Also I want to find the sweet spot for this bean. I’ve gotten plenty of good roasts but I think the magic might be beyond what I’ve been roasting to.

I’ve been roasting in manual mode on P4. I hit C when first crack happens, then P1 for 35 seconds, P3 for 35 seconds and back to P4 for the remaining time. It is important to note that I wait till I hear “solid” first crack to hit C. Sometimes one random bean will crack and 30+ seconds later I hear multiple beans. I ignore the random first one. FYI I’ve found that everyone on the internet seems to have a different opinion on that.

For roast #27 I added 15 seconds. Roast #28 I added 30 seconds. We’ll taste brew them tomorrow and see if there was much difference.

It occurs to me now I should have done 12 days of Christmas roasting. Doing 12 roasts before Epiphany might be hard though. My Behmor says to wait one hour between doing roasts. I should plan ahead for next year and buy 12 different beans I guess.

Roasting Update | Coffee


Consistency is somewhat hard! I jumped in with two feet when I found a really good roast. The problem was then repeating it 4 times.
We have an annual craft fair at work. The past few years I’ve knitted things. This year I had 4 scarves ready. I also told myself if I got a good roast I’d try to sell coffee. The morning a day before the fair I tasted the latest roast #16 and deemed it great. That night I used my Remington 24 typewriter to make order forms.
I gave myself a week to deliver beans. So this Thursday was the deadline. I was only really worried about delivering a good roast. But on top of that I sold it as a City+ roast. I’ve been getting more like a Full City or Full City+.
The up side is this is leading me to document more. I downloaded an app to track how long my total roast is. I wish I had done this for roast #16 that I’m trying to match. I have an approximate time but not exact enough to repeat.
I did two half pound roasts on Sunday & Monday. I tried the first two Monday morning. I feel like I tried them too soon. Waiting for at least 12 hours would have been better. Anyway, they were okay. Not as good as #16 though.

The second two roasts turned out good. They are very similar. I am glad I started with a simple, seemingly forgiving bean. I’ve been enjoying it by itself but I read it’s a good bean to blend with. So I’ll probably try that at some point.
I had a minor hiccup Tuesday night. Somehow a roast overheated. So I lost half a pound of beans. Most of them were a light brown color but, some dark, and a few were mostly green still. I did an empty roast after that to clear things out. Then a regular half pound roast. It went fine but I was extra cautious and turned the heat down when I thought it might get too hot. That added time before first crack. So I’ll see if it affected the taste too much. Hopefully the results are still good. So I have five bags of beans ready. The four I sold and one extra.
I technically charged a lot. Six ounces of coffee for $10 or $12 for ground. It’s a small amount for a one time holiday purchase but I’m sure they wouldn’t continually buy at that price.
My only goal with this was to sell enough to make back the cost of 20lbs of beans. That is $100. My husband jokes that I’ll start a business. That isn’t in my plan. Mostly because I don’t have to roaster for that. And now I’m realizing how hard it would be. I don’t mind variances in my roast but customers would expect something close to the same each time.
All my worries might have been for nothing. The roasts all tasted about the same. Hopefully it’s enjoyable to my coworkers. If this goes well maybe they will inspire other people to try it.