Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Mass(Woods)Hole Post

If you ever find yourself down on Cape Cod in the winter, you did something right. There is nothing like some salty air in the middle of January to make your mind at ease. Make your way over to Woods Hole and stop in at Pie in the Sky, the greatest local bakery and coffee shop I have yet to find, but I'm a little biased.

You will see no talls or ventis on this menu, just smalls and large for iced and throw in a medium and jumbo for hot. In the summer, I wake up and head out for a run along the beach, and it always ends at Pie in the Sky. It has become a family tradition... running to eat.  My parents are huge cyclists and they will ride to Pie in the Sky, and along with my brother and sister we all meet up at the end for some food and coffee. (I am definitely one of those live to eat, not eat to live type of people.)

While iced coffee (or iced chai -- they have the best!!) is my usual in the summer, this cold January day called for something a bit warmer. I got a small coffee and chose "Erik's Experiment Ethiopian." It wasn't half bad. Then I ordered a signature popover (also my usual in the summer, but this time instead of plain, I had it filled with roast beef, cheese, and all the goods).

I have been on the hunt for a good DC popover for quite a while. And if someone comes back at this telling me to try BLT, I have, and they are terrible compared to these pups. Flaky on the outside, gooey on the inside, sheer bliss all around.

Sitting, overlooking the harbor, I saw these test tubes filled with coffee beans. I have never noticed them before, probably because during the summer I always sit outside. Next to the tubes was this sign:

The Chemistry of Roasting Coffee

If you can make a batch of cookies ... or ... Grill a cheeseburger, then you already understand what happens to coffee when it roasts.

It's all about adding the right amount of heat at the right rate.

This array of samples was taken from our roaster. (the big, shiny red thing right next to you)

The illustrate the development of our dark roast in 1 minute intervals.

A few years ago there was a real problem in town. The owner of Pie in the Sky got caught (though I don't know if caught is the right word because he wasn't really trying to hide it) roasting coffee beans out of his own house in Woods Hole. It was only a problem when some neighbors complained that the town smelt like coffee all the time. I wish I could have traded places with the complainers, since all I usually smell  is DC sewage. Regardless, it ended up being a violation of restaurant codes and was all settled amicably in the end. I mean, it is Cape Cod.

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