Meet Kaitryn – Haitian coffee home roaster

meet kaitryn singing rooster

Meet Kaitryn Olson, Singing Rooster’s new summer publicity intern and burgeoning home roaster. Kaitryn is studying economics and mathematics at the University of Wisconsin. Kaitryn met Molly (head rooster) at a spring UW symposium and wanted more! We’re thrilled to have her as part of the team. She’s smart, curious, and understands the world belongs to everybody.

On her first week at Singing Rooster, she began learning about home roasting and brewing Haitian coffee; here’s her personal account of a week at Singing Rooster.

I recently got to experience first hand many different ways to make coffee. I even experienced the process of coffee beans roasting in a compact roaster that slowly turned as the beans changed in color from green to gold to brown. Coffee beans start out green, and they smell a lot like hay. Roasting is a process of slowly removing the 11% moisture content from the beans. Many make the mistake of thinking roasting coffee smells great – it doesn’t. During roasting, I got a distinct burning chocolate chip cookie essence. It’s after roasting, during the degassing process, that coffee smells excellent. For true coffee lovers, roasting your own coffee is exhilarating.  

Want to try your hand at home roasting? Give Singing Rooster’s Haitian green a try. We offer several choices from across Haiti and even have a home roaster’s pack.

I let my freshly roasted beans degas a full 24 hours before using them. You can use them earlier, but a fuller flavor develops if beans are allowed to rest for a period after roasting. Using roasted beans for espresso need 2-3 days of resting because it reveals a smoother cup. I discovered that’s why most coffee bags have a small valve on them (to allow gas to escape during resting). If your bag of coffee doesn’t have a valve – be weary — the coffee went into the package already degassed, in other words, old.

The following day, I made several cups of coffee using different techniques: an aeropress, a french press, and a drip brew. To make coffee with an Aeropress, the beans are finely ground. Then I put the coffee into the chamber and poured in some almost boiling water. Once the water sat for a few seconds, I started pressing into a cup. The coffee from an Aeropress was dark, bitter and incredibly flavorful.

french press haiti coffeeThe French press, in my opinion, was an easier way to make coffee. I did not grind the beans as much – a press likes a coarser ground. If I would have ground the beans as much as I did with the Aeropress, that would have made for a muddier coffee. So when trying the french press at home, if you prefer a muddier cup of coffee, (more coffee grounds in your cup) then grind beans finer. The French press made coffee that was lighter than the Aeropress, but still had the dark, delicious coffee taste.

The drip brew coffee was made with finely ground beans. This coffee was the lightest in body, but it had a delicate citrusy taste.    

I personally liked the French press coffee the best; I encourage you to try different ways of making coffee at home.

What’s your favorite way of preparing Haitian coffee?