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byproxy
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PostMon Mar 08, 2010 9:20 am 
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Is this possible yet? The VIA that Starbucks sells is great, but pricey. Wondered if there was a a DIY yet for this kind of coffee?
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Dante
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PostMon Mar 08, 2010 9:47 am 
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Interesting idea.  You might try experimenting with a blender.  They'll powder things pretty fine.

Starbucks' process is patent pending.  I know you can find patents on the US Patent Office website, and they can be interesting to read (at least if you're a freak like me).  I don't know if you can search patent applications, though.
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Mar 08, 2010 9:53 am 
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Most aplications are published after a year now, here is the info:

United States Patent Application  20100009039
Kind Code A1
Robinson; Urano A. ;   et al. January 14, 2010
BEVERAGES WITH ENHANCED FLAVORS AND AROMAS AND METHOD OF MAKING SAME

Abstract

The present embodiments generally relate to beverages with enhanced flavors and aromas and method of making same. Some embodiments of the present disclosure are directed to soluble coffee and methods of making soluble coffee with improvements in such qualities as taste and aroma.

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Dante
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PostMon Mar 08, 2010 10:01 am 
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Thanks Mal.

Freezing the beans to solidify the oils (to minimize clumping) and then atomizing in a blender might be worth a try.
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byproxy
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PostMon Mar 08, 2010 10:39 am 
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hmmm... guess it's time to experiment!!!

i wonder if a 3 step process would be best:

1) freeze
2) fine grind in coffee grinder
3) "micro grind" in blender

thoughts?
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pimaCanyon
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PostMon Mar 08, 2010 10:50 am 
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begs a question:  Why do you want to micro grind your coffee?

I believe Starbucks Via is instant coffee, no?  Coffee that's been brewed up, then frozen, then dried.  The coffee (liquid) is frozen and then dried, not the beans.  The beans were ground prior to making the coffee, but the beans do not end up in the coffee.  So there are no beans per se in the Starbucks instant.

Am I missing what you're after here?

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byproxy
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PostMon Mar 08, 2010 11:01 am 
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ya...

via isn't instant. my understanding is that it's regular, unbrewed, coffee. it's simply ground so fine that it dissolves in the hot water like instant. makes for a great cup of joe.
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Dante
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PostMon Mar 08, 2010 11:02 am 
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Yep, Via is microgrind coffee--not traditional (brewed and dehydrated) instant.

"How would you describe the Starbucks microgrind process?

Microgrind is a process of taking fresh roasted coffee and grinding it so fine that we preserve the flavor and the freshness, the oils, everything that makes fresh roasted coffee so exquisite and so rich and we grind it in such a way that we're preserving all of those flavors."

Here's another quote from Starbucks:

"This is not instant coffee as you know it. This is rich, flavorful Starbucks© coffee in an instant.


Starbucks has found a way to offer a truly great cup of coffee that you can prepare by just adding water. Other instant coffees taste flat and lifeless. Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew is different – it's full-bodied and flavorful, just like the Starbucks© coffee you know and love.

It's made with the highest-quality, ethically sourced 100% arabica beans. The magic is in a proprietary, all-natural process that we spent years perfecting. We microgrind the coffee in a way that preserves all of their essential oils and flavor. No other coffee company takes this step, and it makes all the difference."
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pimaCanyon
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PostMon Mar 08, 2010 12:18 pm 
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Dante wrote:
Yep, Via is microgrind coffee--not traditional (brewed and dehydrated) instant.

"How would you describe the Starbucks microgrind process?

Microgrind is a process of taking fresh roasted coffee and grinding it so fine that we preserve the flavor and the freshness, the oils, everything that makes fresh roasted coffee so exquisite and so rich and we grind it in such a way that we're preserving all of those flavors."

Here's another quote from Starbucks:

"This is not instant coffee as you know it. This is rich, flavorful Starbucks© coffee in an instant.


Starbucks has found a way to offer a truly great cup of coffee that you can prepare by just adding water. Other instant coffees taste flat and lifeless. Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew is different – it's full-bodied and flavorful, just like the Starbucks© coffee you know and love.

It's made with the highest-quality, ethically sourced 100% arabica beans. The magic is in a proprietary, all-natural process that we spent years perfecting. We microgrind the coffee in a way that preserves all of their essential oils and flavor. No other coffee company takes this step, and it makes all the difference."

wow!  my bad, sorry I should have googled it before posting!

But this is interesting.  I can see now what you're trying to do.  What's strange is that the little packets of Via are way smaller than the amount of coffee you'd use when brewing up a cup with traditional methods (using 2 Tablespoons per cup).

One obvious question: Because Via uses much less coffee than traditional brewing methods, does it have only a fraction of the caffeine in a drip brewed cup?

Some folks have home flour mills.  I believe the Champion Juicer has an attachment you can use to grind wheat berries into flour.  I would think that that kind of mill could grind coffee beans into flour.  Freezing the beans first would be a good idea because I would guess that grinding something that fine would heat it up a bit.

Good luck!  Let us know if you hit on something that works!

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byproxy
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PostMon Mar 08, 2010 1:19 pm 
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i didn't think about the flower mill thing. great idea!!! (not that i have a flower mill to test with. lol).

it is a tiny amount of coffee. i'm assuming because it's microground (flour is a good way to think of it i guess) that maybe more fits in a smaller space?

i do know that one package is only good for 8oz of coffee... which means you need at least two for a "real" cup of coffee. LOL which in turn means a 2+ dollar cup of coffee based on current pricing. which is why i'm trying to find a DIY way of making the stuff.

i'll mess around and see what i can come up with. thanks!
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pimaCanyon
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PostMon Mar 08, 2010 3:21 pm 
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byproxy wrote:
i didn't think about the flower mill thing. great idea!!! (not that i have a flower mill to test with. lol).

yeah, I don't have a mill either.  I have thought of getting one due to the fact that the germ oils in grain tend to go rancid pretty quickly after the grain is milled.  Plus, I bet home made bread would taste even better if made from flour you grind yourself the same day you bake the bread.

I guess I'm too cheap though.  The mill attachment for the Champion juicer is pricey.  And up until recently I was not eating much bread.  That's changed and I'm now baking my own, so maybe I considered a mill attachment again.  If I get one, I'll try it on coffee beans and see what happens.

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Lono
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PostMon Mar 08, 2010 7:39 pm 
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I'm skeptical on the microgrind preserving the coffee's oils etc.  Oils begin to break down right after roasting, regardless of grind or what you might do to try to preserve them (freezing etc).  I can see what VIA's trying to get at, its just that you are starting with Starbucks, roasting moderately okay beans to hell, then creating a packaged instant coffee product.  You can do better with your own beans roasted and then ground however you want them within a few days.
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marzsit
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PostTue Mar 09, 2010 5:35 am 
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a mortar and pestle, like this, might do a better job than a blender.
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byproxy
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PostTue Mar 09, 2010 7:56 am 
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Lono wrote:
I'm skeptical on the microgrind preserving the coffee's oils etc.  Oils begin to break down right after roasting, regardless of grind or what you might do to try to preserve them (freezing etc).  I can see what VIA's trying to get at, its just that you are starting with Starbucks, roasting moderately okay beans to hell, then creating a packaged instant coffee product.  You can do better with your own beans roasted and then ground however you want them within a few days.

besides finding a cheaper alternative to via... i think that's kind of the point of the DIY attempt. using whatever beans you like best would be awesome. i'm with you though for sure. i don't detest starbucks and drink it if there's no other option readily available, but certainly prefer other brands of coffee.
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pimaCanyon
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PostTue Mar 09, 2010 8:15 am 
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marzsit wrote:
a mortar and pestle, like this, might do a better job than a blender.

That would be worth a try.  You could grind them in a coffee grinder first and then finish them off in the mortar.

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