Monthly Archives: February 2010

Saturday News And Views

Here we are again. It’s another Saturday afternoon at the store in Downtown Cornwall and I’m waiting for 4 oclock to come so I can go home. There was a heavy snowfall this morning and by heavy I mean wet not necessarily a large quantity. The sun is shining now and I hope that all that slushy stuff will be gone by the time I get home.

BIG NEWS….. I seem to have started another carreer, that of a journalist. I have now had one whole story published. If you check out the story at the other end of this link you will see what I mean. It helps that I own a small interest in the digital newspaper and there was no real journalist available.

Not such big news……..

I would like to mention that, once again, I did not win the big lottery last night. If I had you wouldn’t be reading anything from me for quite a while. I would be on my way to the happiest place in Canada, the OLG office on Bloor St in Toronto. Ahh, now that is where dreams are really made.

Oh, a quick observation from the front of the store, a couple of senior ladies just walked by and one of them had her tongue sticking out while she walked. I don’t mean she stuck her tongue out but she was walking with her tongue out. It seemed a little strange…and it wasn’t a pretty tongue….kind of old and wrinkled….it was a little freaky! After she walked by the wind suddenly picked up and my spinning sign suddenly went into overdrive. It is bouncing down the sidewalk after her. I better go catch it.

OK, I’m back. There are a lot of weird things in Cornwall but then maybe it’s just me. I have been told I am weird, among other adjectives. Some of the stories that I’ve written have caused some people to ask what I have been smoking to which I reply the only smoke I inhale is from my coffee roaster. I have sold some coffee just on that statement alone.

Now it’s raining outside and my sign is starting to dance again. I’ll finish off this post now and go chase it down.

Basic Brewing

After two posts I have come to realize that I can’t help but engage in SSP (shameless self promotion). Just the act of creating a blog is SSP so I am not going to appologize any more for it but I will acknowledge any blatant use of it.

As indicated in the category selection I am going to talk about coffee. So, today, I am going to talk about making coffee. If you don’t really care about brewing your own then you should take this time to go grab a cup of Timmies or Starbucks or whatever your favourite caffeine source is. For the rest of you (if there are actually anyone reading this) I am going to outline some basics concepts of home brewing.

There are three basic components of making a pot of coffee; the coffee, the brewing device (coffee maker) and the water. The simplest one to explain is the water. Basically, if you won’t drink the water then don’t use it to make your coffee with it. Personally I wouldn’t use distilled water because it extracts far too much flavour out of the coffee, including all the nasty sour straw flavours that you get from cheap under roasted coffees found in certain coffee chains.

The type of coffee maker dictates how you grind the coffee. If you use an electric drip machine then the coffee should be ground so that a full pot is brewed in 4 -6 minutes. Espresso makers use espresso grind, percolators use a coarse grind, vacuum pots use extra coarse, french press uses medium coarse and manual drips use fine grind.

OK, so now comes the SSP, the coffee. In my humble opinion the coffee is the most critical part of the three items I mentioned. the coffee should be a good quality specialty arabica bean, fresh roasted, fresh ground and the right grind size. Oh yeah, I almost forgot about quantity. Always use enough coffee to brew a decent pot. The coffee industry experts recommend 1 to 2 coffee spoons per 6 oz cup and a coffee spoon is 2 tablespoons. Never try to skimp on the coffee. It will just taste sour and straw-like. A strong pot of coffee can always be diluted with hot water after it’s brewed. There is nothing you can do with weak coffee.

The absolutely best coffee is that which you roast yourself at home and then grind just before you make a pot. I do know someone who actually gets up early in the morning to roast his coffee in his oven for his breakfast. While I think that is a high dedication to the ideal of fresh roasted, but not even I would do that. However, I think that anything over two weeks old is not fresh and I won’t sell you it as fresh.

So there you have it, my first coffee category post. If you have any questions I will try to answer them. If anyone is actually reading this please make a comment. Please drop me a life line.

Street Level View

The first thing I am going to talk about is the store where my coffee outlet is located. Its on Pitt St in Cornwall between Second and Third Street, just a few stores north of Riley’s Bakery. If you are from Cornwall then you know Riley’s. It has been an institution for 40 or more years and still is. Riley’s actually has a facebook fan club. Can you believe that, an actual fan club. Anyway, my point is that the location is terrific, to get lunch and to watch people.

I’m fortunate to have been offered space in the Island Ink-Jet And Laser Toner store by Stan and Cliff Stock. If you look in the window of my first picture, the gremlin posing there is actually Cliff Stork. They were setting up an internet cafe and they wanted me to be the cafe part. I have been in the store for about 4 months now and business is growing slowly. The best part of the location is the people, those who come into the store and even those who just walk by. They come in all sizes and shapes. They go by in suits, work cloths and some in thirft store cloths. Being close to the Provincial courts and the Cornwall police station we see a lot of uniforms. Most of the uniforms are going in to Rileys to pick up snacks or lunches.

Next door to us we have Dempster’s Frameworks on the north and Celtic Treasures on the south. Paul Dempster likes my coffee and comes in to buy beans regularly. The Celtic Treasures people don’t seem to like coffee, or should I say my coffee, but then I don’t ever remember them trying it. Stormont Stationers are also between us and Rileys and they like my coffee.

So much for my promise to not shamelessly promote myself. I’ll try harder next time.

Hello world!

Hello there everyone! This is Reg Coffey writing his first blog. I have just come back from a “Breakfast Connections” meeting here in Cornwall and the topic of discussion was blogging using WordPress. Alyssa Blais was the presenter and she did such a good job that I was inspired.

Being an investor in the Cornwall Free News, I should be familiar with the program and process since the paper is probably one of the biggest users of WordPress in the area. However my participation in the business has been more of an investor than journalist or administrator, but my goal here is to change that.

My main topic of discussion is going to be, of coarse, coffee. I will try to stay away from shamless self-promotion but my topics will cover the area of coffee culture, that is drinking coffee, coffee beans, coffee growing, coffee culture, the politics of coffee, coffee promotion, the statistics of coffee drinking, etc. This is my chosen profession and my passion. I may have started this career later in life but I have jumped in with both feet.

I will also include some of my weekly observations on what is happening in the Cornwall DBIA. I am fortunate to have an outlet on Pitt St, just two stores north of Riley’s Bakery. There is always something interesting happening on the street even if it is just¬†another great soup from Rileys.

So, here it is, my first blog. I will be adding to it on (hopefully) a weekly basis, that is if Jamie lets me.