Posts by Nick Van Slett

  1. Dirty Roaster? Clean It Up.

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    It was nearly May. I was getting close to completing my first year as a specialty coffee roaster here at Ferris, and I was gaining some confidence that I was doing things right for our customers based on the feedback we were given.

    We were increasing our production volume in our small batch specialty coffee line and I was getting a lot of time on the roaster. I had recently been noticing that my roaster was having a hard time igniting the pilot, and I figured it was just a malfunction on the machines behalf. When Sam and I contacted Diedrich, the tech told us it was a problem with the airflow. I routinely cleaned the area under the drum and the chaff collection bin, so I was baffled. How could it be my fault? I do... continue reading →

  2. Follow the Beat of Your Own Roasting Drum

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    Character. In its original use in the Greek language, this word was used to denote a stamping tool, something that would give shape or form to an idea, and over time, its definition morphed into meaning “distinguishing qualities”.

    Why the etymology, right?

    We can learn a lot about how we see the world through how we perceive the world around us, and how we choose to communicate in it. Part of the challenge to describing character may be attributed to the intrinsic subjectivity of any description we offer.

    Yet another challenge is in the available knowledge of any particular subject matter. The more variables involved, the more likely we are able to perceive distinguishing qualities between items that are seemingly the same—even identical twins have minds of their own.

    Botany may help us to understand a how... continue reading →