Blog of Ian Callahan and exciting new specialty espresso and brewed coffee bar, Bar 9


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How to brew without power?!

Just a bit of an update before I post some exciting news. Everything was all set to go ahead with a 'soft' opening, followed by the official opening a week later. This is, however, before the power blew out last Sunday.
We didn't just blow a fuse either - we messed up the etsa box good and proper. Consequently there was no power that day which posed two problems. 1) how were we to have a coffee. And 2) how were we to get power back to the site and get the cafe open.
So to address the first problem, we had a butane burner for heating water (thanks to the syphons) and about a dozen or so ways of brewing coffee without the need of a pump or anything else electrical. However, there was no way to grind the coffee. No hand grinder, and obviously no way to power the usual grinders.
Discouraged though not defeated we put our thinking caps on. Anya has the brilliant idea of bagging up some coffee and beating it with a stick (there was no hammer handy). And I grabbed a pair of pliers and proceeded to 'crack' each bean, one at a time, until there was enough to make a cup of coffee. We then brewed the stick beaten coffee in a plunger and the pliered coffee in the Aeropress.

I'm not sure which one I preferred but I can honestly say that both cups were decent. Sure, no spectacular elixir mimicking the nectar of the gods, but still an entirely palatable cup of coffee. Just goes to show you that good stuff in (great quality coffee) mixed with a basic understanding of how to brew, equates to good stuff out.

This then leads to the second problem, no power and how that's going to effect the opening. Fortunately the sparky came out early the next day and got things up and running. Unfortunately I have to selectively power the site until an upgrade of the entire electrics of the site can occur (looking at about a month).
Fortunately with a few tweaks here and there I've been able to salvage together just enough power to get the grinders, coffee machine, fridge, dishwasher and hot water running. IE/ I have (just) enough power to make coffee. Which leads me to my next exciting piece of news.

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