Saturday, May 20, 2006


The key for me to being organized, like many people, is to come up with a plan of attack to begin with and stick to it. It also doesn't hurt to be super obsessed about said thing.

I have officially done 9 roasts in my fresh roast. I now have an excel spreadsheet with important roasting data, notes about the roasting and notes about how it tasted. I also have the same information in a binder but with a little more detail. The spreadsheet is so I can sort the data if necessary, the binder because I know myself and I know that I process information better when I can flip through something physically. I think I perfected my roast sheet, and am feeling very smug. I can bet in a couple weeks it'll all change, but I feel good so far. My binder is separated by coffee, in alphabetical order, with an index of what is represented in front. I'm also sorting my roasting by batch number.

I'm feeling a little guilty though. After reading through the coffeegeek forums, I'm now coveting a Stir Crazy, Convection Oven set up. I read the forums before and couldn't figure out what a SC/CO was, but now I see it could be an answer if I want to have longer roast times and bigger batches as gifts.

My twin sister's birthday gift to me, is on its way, and shortly I'll be the proud owner of a Capresso Infinity grinder. My Braun is not so good, produces a fairly even grind but mixed. The grind I want but an additional third of my beans ends up as powder. The waste of the powder is starting to bother me and the new grinder is going to be very welcome. I've started to strain my grinds to get rid of the powder, so now I don't end up with sludgey coffee in my french press. At the same time, the waste is really showing.

On the knitting front, at knitting group on Wednesday I pretty much finished the second half of the beaded purse. I grafted it last night and started to sew it up. Hopefully I can finish it today so it can go into the case and I can be done with it for now. It'll still need a liner, but that can wait. The important part is done. I don't know what I'll work on next. hmmm :)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Birthdays and Coffee

This past Wednesday was my birthday. I've been telling people that I think once I hit 30, I stopped being excited about my birthday, and definitely am more apprehensive about telling my age. I feel old, even if I don't look old. My only wish is that I look as if I'm out of college instead of in highschool. I know looking young is a blessing, but sometimes it's just a pain in the ass! I used to teach near a highschool at around 3pm just as they were getting out. I once overheard a woman say to another woman that Patty didn't work before 3 because she had to go to school. Not that I want to go back to highschool, but it would certainly be nice to not have as much responsibility that I do more than 10 years later!

But onto the good stuff. I have many memories of regional coffees through college. India Monsooned Malabar reminds me of a time I spent in Scotland, while Costa Rican La Minita reminds me of Coffee Connection in Boston, years before Starbucks bought them out. Doing a little research on replacement parts for my french press, I found that you can buy a personal coffee roaster for under $100, and I was so excited. I miss those coffees that I have not been able to find roasted in years and they were all available green (unroasted) .

My Fresh Roast Plus 8 arrived on Monday and within an hour I already had it out and was roasting. I wanted to have fresh roasted coffee on my birthday, and doing a lot of research learned that coffee needed to rest before it was brewed so received it just in time. I did a sample roast of a Colombian coffee and a Costa Rican. I was in for a little shock, I naively did not realize that roasting coffee smells like you are burning wet hay. The whole house smelled.

This is a picture of my first roast and the difference in volume of unroasted verses roasted. The picture is a little dark, and I roasted a little dark because I'm used to Peet's coffee, but since that roast I'm going lighter.

I have a lot to learn about roasting, but have already done 4 batches and am pleased with my results so far.

On the knitting front, I'm working on a beaded evening bag, and had to rip it out, but it'll be worth it. The pattern is my own design and it just needed some tweaking, the width I envisioned just wasn't proportionate to the handles, so had to make it a little wider. I'm also making a baby hat to look like an acorn. I made one before, and of course can't find my notes for it, so am starting from the beginning again. Oh well, at least it's just a hat!

Saturday, May 06, 2006


My husband and I went to Scottsdale for a couple days. He had some business to do out there, and I decided to tag along with him. I only had to cancel 1 drop-in class to go, so it was a good opportunity to get out of town. We had not been on a vacation together since our first anniversary that did not involve family or friends going with us.

First impression was, HOT! Yes Los Angeles has its very fair share of heat, but it was just the beginning of May and I was already sticky. However, other than that, we felt that people were very friendly. It definitely had a different feel than Los Angeles which was a nice change.

My husband very graciously went with me to a bead shop and a yarn store. Scottsdale Bead Supply was small compared to where I get supplies here in Los Angeles, however they had a huge selection of beads. The beads went from floor to ceiling and was well organized for a small space. They are currently building a new space and looks like it will be a lot larger. If we go out there again, I will be curious to see how it looks. I'm currently on a severe beading diet, but I could have easily spent some money there. They had a great selection of silver and semi-precious beads.

We also went to Arizona Knitting and Needlepoint. From the outside it looked like this little tiny house, and I didn't expect much from it. But the house was very long and it was filled with yarn, including lots hanging from the ceilings. They had a great selection of basics, which is always nice to see, as well as standard novelties. I was impressed by their Ironstone collection too, I don't think I've seen that much Showstopper and Pizzazz in one place! Since I had knit most of a baby hat on the way to Scottsdale, I picked up some yarn for more baby hats to knit on the way back. Just some cotton classic, since that is my standard for baby hats. It knits up nicely and wears well.

The trip overall was not as successful as we had expected mostly because the hotel was just awful. Smoke filled with a sleazy looking massage parlor next to it. However, we were glad to get out of town and see something new.

Monday, May 01, 2006


My name is Patty and I'm not sure why I'm doing a blog. I've always thought of them as kind of silly but at the same time was a little envious of those that had the organizational skills to have them! So I'm going to see if I have the persistance to do this.

What is spurring this blog is my love of two things, and by the name of the blog that is kind of obvious. Since highschool I've had an obsession of coffee that only got worse when I worked in a coffee shop during college. We were such geeks at the store that we would test one another on where a coffee was from by smell. It wasn't a quality store by any means, but we had fun and it was a good experience.

Knitting is a hobby that has turned into a job. I teach knitting at two different stores in the Southern California area. I'm in a little bit of a rut with knitting because I don't have much time to actually knit for myself. So in the time I give myself, I bead. But calling the blog: coffeeandknittingandbeading would just be a little much.

So if you decide to read my ramblings, it'll not be a pure knitting blog, but more about all the hobbies I don't have time for. It will be a little bit of knitting, some beading, and talk about coffee with food mixed into it.