Nimbus for Mayor of Louisville

So, Nimbus Couzin is runnng for Mayor of Louisville....

Here's an interview on AM talk radio...shortly after the Hannity Show....


Stay tuned for more details...



Kiddo photos

My two sons, Leone and Rain...


More Photos from Ray's and Louisville

I'm so far behind on posting all the cool photos that I have, so I'm just going to start tossing 'em out there. Of course Louisville just got through our big ICE STORM for the year. Our awning survived (unlike last year). I was out there at two AM knocking ice off of it to try to reduce the weight.

So here ya go....Ice, sledding, bluegrass, big bags of coffee, etc.....



Green Convene and Congressman Yarmuth

Ray's provided coffee for the Green Convene this weekend - it went well....there was a reception last night, and the event today. After lugging up another big tub of coffee at eight something in the morning, I saw my local Congressman, John Yarmuth. He wasn't busy, so we chatted for about fifteen minutes. I felt a little guilty grilling him so much. He didn't have to be here at an eco-friendly conference, and he was heading off to a Town Hall meeting, so I tried not to be too tough on him.
Here's what I wrote to my peeps describing the meeting with Yarmuth:
"I was lugging big five gallon containers up to the Green Convene, a local "eco" conference that we are helping with, and pretty much first in line for coffee is our local rep. I called him Mayor Abramson by mistake. (they do actually look alike). He laughed and said the mayor is about a foot taller. But I got to talk to him for about fifteen minutes mostly one on one. Deanna, an employee of mine, was there too. I grilled him on Gaza (he initially said Israel had no choice, but I pushed him, and he said they had to do "something." I got him to use the word disproportionate, and he said maybe they should have gone after the tunnels to Egypt) and Israeli Palestinian peace processes (he admitted that he doesn't know what will work) and Afghanistan (he doesn't think adding troops will work, and that it is a mistake). And his upcoming priorities (he said after the economic stimulus plan it is Single payer healthcare - he's a co-sponsor of the Bill). we'll see if this photobucket link works: http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h309/nimbusbeer/yarmuth%20feb%2009/nimbuswithyarmuth2.jpg "


Blog from Gaza

At Ray's we support Peace and Social Justice. For all.

One of our own Louisville Peace activists in on the Gaza border and blogging


Ray's strongly condemns Israeli military action in Gaza and we demand an immediate unconditional ceasefire from both sides, as well as an opening of borders.

We urge you to call your elected representatives (yarmuth, mcconnell, bunning, etc) and voice your outrage. They have all stated their support for Israel's right to defend itself, but the disproportionate slaughter of civilians cannot be called defense. It is better described as state sponsored terror by Israel with US weapons.

Also, write to Obama, and urge him to speak out immediately and to act decisively against these types of actions, that are pretending to be a "war on terror." This terrorism upon the people of Gaza differs little from Bush. A war on terror can be used to justify a variety of atrocities, please let Obama know that we do not approve of continuing the "war on terror," and do not approve of his silence over the Gaza situation. Encourage him to take decisive action, rather than simply more of the coddling of Israel that we have seen. Perhaps cutting off funding to Israel would make a difference. Of course it would! Whether the diplomacy is behind the doors or not, Obama needs to be told the views of his constituants. Us. (as in, we, the people)

We'll be celebrating the end of the Bush era, and the start of Obama's hard work Tuesday all day at Ray's!! Big screen coverage of the inauguration, drink specials, etc....Party!!!



More New Food Options at Ray's!!!


We've now added more hot food options at Ray's!

We're now serving hot Grilled Cheese and Avocado sandwiches at Rays! With tomatoes. Yummy. We can do straight grilled cheese as well. Our veggie soup has been going really really well, so we're just trying to figure out what will be next to add.

I'm really thinking about a good tofu scramble on the menu. I think it might actually happen!


Freshly Roasted Coffee - Why it is important/Chemistry

Hey ya'll,

My friend Greg - a great home roaster, and chemist - wrote this up for me regarding chemical changes that occur to coffee shortly after roasting.

I've always pointed out that the flavor changes for several days, often fairly significantly. This post attempts to shed some light on the chemistry behind it. Yay!

There are several complex processes at work after roasting that result in the development, and eventual degradation of flavor. It is not only oxidation, far from it, in fact. Oxidation is (mostly) responsible for the eventual degradation of flavor. Many processes result in the development of flavor. I will try to describe these a bit, but I will have to simplify things a lot to do so... A reasonably stable green coffee bean is roasted, which is kind of like having a little revolution within the bean. All kinds of irreversible oxidations take place, as well as some reductions and some dehydrations. Some compounds bond together, as in the caramelization of sugars, while other larger molecules are fractured. The pieces of the fractured molecules are typically quite a bit more reactive/unstable than they were in their original state. After this turmoil, it takes time for things to settle down. It is these reactions, that occur between these newly-formed, less stable compounds that cause the development of most coffee flavor.

1) Carbon dioxide (CO2) is gradually released from the beans. This predominantly comes from the decarboxylation of chlorogenic and other organic acids. Some is created during the roast, but trapped within the cellular structure until it slowly leaches out. Some of the decarboxylation occurs over time. The pH changes as CO2 is lost, which causes other reactions to commence (or cease), as well as changing their relative reaction rates. The amount of CO2 coming from each process, roasting and post-roast reactions, will proportionally vary with the degree of roast. This is a facet that favors some aging, as the flavor improves as the CO2 goes away.

2) Many of the fruity flavors that 'grow in' come from organic acids and esters. Some of these form from aldehyde-like compounds that were created during the roast, and take a bit of time to develop. Some form from decarboxylated acids. Sometimes you will even see this happen in the cup when very freshly roasted coffee is brewed, and the cup gets fruitier as it cools. Some of these acids and esters cannot form while there is a lot of CO2 or associated pressure present, so again, this process requires some aging.

3) I think of the body growing in as analogous to Jello or gravy solidifying. There are lots of little pieces and tidbits of hydrophobic molecules that gradually combine to form 'fatty' and 'oily' compounds that give coffee its body. This also happens over time and is dependent on the amount of initial reactants available as well as their environment. This is a process that favors a little aging, and is one more reason that the degree of roast influences the amount of time it takes for coffee to 'peak'.

4) Many of the compounds that are the most aromatic and flavorful are also volatile or semi-volatile. Like CO2, these will gradually leave the bean by evaporation. So this is a process that mostly favors freshness of roast, although some of these do form after roasting so there is a small aging factor, too.

5) Oils and fatty compounds begin to taste rancid as they get oxidized. While keeping oxygen away from your roasted coffee is the goal, there is some oxygen and other oxidizing material still entrained in the roasted beans, so gradually the oils will deteriorate even if you practice good prophylaxis and isolate your roasted beans from air using vacuum and valve bags. So this is a process that, again, favors freshness of roast.

6) Oxygen is a very small molecule, and no matter how rigorous your attempts to isolate your beans from it, it is going to gradually get in there. Reactions occur based on 'molar ratios', where a 'mole' is a specific number of molecules. A mole of oxygen gas molecules weighs about 32 grams, and each molecule can oxidize two other molecules (which, themselves, may go on to oxidize further molecules). A mole of of tasty coffee flavorant will be mostly be between 110 and 240 grams, depending on the specific flavor. So a relatively small amount of oxygen can ruin a much larger amount of coffee. Not only that, but the human palate is rather sensitive to some of the oxidized flavors, so in some cases a few parts per million can produce a significant off-flavor.

All that drivel was just basically to say, 'your coffee is eventually going to go South, drink it before it does'.When you have hundreds of competing reactions, things like the rate of CO2 loss can make a difference in the eventual flavor profile. Also the storage temperature of roasted coffee can make a difference in the rate of these reactions. I don't know that this has been extensively studied, at least in the primary literature. Many compounds in roasted coffee are light-sensitive, as well, so if you have them in a mason jar on the counter they are going to taste different than if you keep them in a dark cabinet.


Robusta is in the house! Now through Saturday approx.

Yes, most specialty coffees are from the arabica coffee strain. The Robusta strains have higher caffeine (significantly higher), produce more crema (nice for espresso blends), but are often lower quality (boo hoo).

This is a good one! Try it out if you come by soon. Only 15 pounds total available, so do or die.

It is Blupet Estate AA Sitara Robusta from India! From the karnataka Indian Plantation. . Thanks Greg (from GCBC) for distributing this one...

Cheers you coffee geeks!


Here is some background on this coffee:

Karnataka Plantation Coffees is the premier importer of Indian coffee for the US (IMO). They have given beans their own grading system based on size and quality, and Ujwala (the beautiful owner of the business) is very well-connected over in India. These robustas are high-grown and washed, and treated like arabica throughout the process resulting in a very clean product. Their Sitara (Bright Star) AA grade robustas made a big splash this year, getting notice for their unprecedented quality and potential as a SO coffee. I have tried the Sethamuran Estate regular and peaberry, which are both very palatable as straight robusta. As a SO espresso, this bean won a barista competition, and if you can handle going into warp drive (2.5 to 4x the amount of caffeine as arabica) it is quite tasty. From the Karnataka website:
Sitara - (bright star) - is the crème-de la crème of the Robusta harvest far surpassing the Kaapi Royale. Connoisseurs in the Italian & American market have much admired the individuality of this washed blue-green coffee with bold beans & minimal defects.