Spill the beans? What next?

October 11, 2011

Yesterday morning I had a little accident while making my first cup of the day. Everything started out normally as I got out my coffee and various bits of gear I intended to use to grind and brew it (scale, scoop, brush, Eva Solo). However, when I moved to measure out my coffee—Velton’s Nicaragua Santa Gema—by scooping it from the 8-oz. Ball jar I had it in, I fumbled somehow. The good news is that I caught the Ball jar. Score! No glass everywhere is always a win in my book. The bad news? By the time I'd caught it, the jar was empty, and about 80 grams of beans were scattered across my tile kitchen floor. The photo below will give you an idea of the general picture if you multiply the beanage by a factor of 10.

Before you read on, what would you do in this situation? Save the coffee or toss it?

I opted for the former. After all, the floor had been fairly recently cleaned, and the “5-second rule” really only applies to food that you *eat* rather than to ingredients [especially dry ingredients] that you prepare (at least in my opinion). Plus, in the back of my mind I could hear my wife’s gentle voice chiding me for being wasteful if I even thought about tossing something that she’d consider “perfectly good.”

My approach was to sweep the beans into a pile using a broom, collect them with a stiff piece of card stock, and then sift them in a colander before going through and picking out any remaining non-coffee bits. I found and discarded two pieces of straw (possibly from the broom) and a sticker folded in half that my son must have peeled off of a toy car. Best not to grind those. Otherwise, the beans looked good, so I poured them back into the Ball jar. Consider that problem solved!

Postscript: the coffee tasted fine. And I did throw away 5 or 6 straggler beans that I discovered later on under the toaster. Shhhh! Don’t tell, please.



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