A Brief Guide on Coffee Roasting

Roasting coffee transforms the chemical and physical properties of green coffee beans into roasted coffee products. The roasting process is what produces the characteristic flavor of coffee by causing the green coffee beans to expand and to change in color, taste, smell, and density. Unroasted beans contain similar acids, protein, and caffeine as those that have been roasted, but lack the taste. Heat must be applied for the Maillard and other chemical reactions to occur.

As green coffee is more stable than roasted, the roasting process tends to take place close to where it will be consumed. This reduces the time that roasted coffee spends in distribution, giving the consumer a longer shelf life. The vast majority of coffee is roasted commercially on a large scale, but some coffee drinkers roast coffee at home in order to have more control over the freshness and flavor profile of the beans.

The Process

The coffee roasting process follows coffee processing and precedes coffee brewing. It consists essentially of sorting, roasting, cooling, and packaging but can also include grinding in larger scale roasting houses. In larger operations, bags of green coffee beans are hand or machine-opened, dumped into a hopper, and screened to remove debris.

Some coffee drinkers roast coffee at home in order to have more control over the freshness and flavor profile of the beans.

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An Ode to Stereophonic Sound

Stereophonic sound or, more commonly, stereo, is a method of sound reproduction that creates an illusion of directionality and audible perspective. This is usually achieved by using two or more independent audio channels through a configuration of two or more loudspeakers in such a way as to create the impression of sound heard from various directions, as in natural hearing. Thus the term “stereophonic” applies to so-called “quadraphonic” and “surround-sound” systems as well as the more common two-channel, two-speaker systems. It is often contrasted with monophonic, or “mono” sound, where audio is in the form of one channel, often centered in the sound field. Stereo sound is now common in entertainment systems such as broadcast radio and TV, recorded music and the cinema.

How It Works

Stereo sound systems can be divided into two forms: The first is “true” or “natural” stereo in which a live sound is captured, with any natural reverberation or ambience present, by an array of microphones. The signal is then reproduced over multiple loudspeakers to recreate, as closely as possible, the live sound.

Secondly “artificial” or “pan-pot” stereo, in which a single-channel (mono) sound is reproduced over multiple loudspeakers. By varying the relative amplitude of the signal sent to each speaker an artificial direction can be suggested. The control which is used to vary this relative amplitude of the signal is known as a “pan-pot”. By combining multiple “pan-potted” mono signals together, a complete, yet entirely artificial, sound field can be created.

Stereophonic sound attempts to create an illusion of location for various sound sources within the original recording.

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Dieter Rams 10 Principles of Design

Rams began studies in architecture and interior decoration at Wiesbaden School of Art in 1947. Soon after in 1948, he took a break from studying to gain practical experience and conclude his carpentry apprenticeship. He resumed studies at Wiesbaden School of Art in 1948 and graduated with honours in 1953 after which he began working for Frankfurt based architect Otto Apel. In 1955, he was recruited to Braun as an architect and an interior designer. In addition, in 1961, he became the Chief Design Officer at Braun until 1995.

Rams introduced the idea of sustainable development and of obsolescence being a crime in design in the 1970s. Accordingly he asked himself the question: is my design good design? The answer formed his now celebrated ten principles.

Good design:

  1. Is innovative – The possibilities for progression are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for original designs. But imaginative design always develops in tandem with improving technology, and can never be an end in itself.
  2. Makes a product useful – A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic criteria. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could detract from it.
  3. Is aesthetic – The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
  4. Makes a product understandable – It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user’s intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.
  5. Is unobtrusive – Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.
  6. Is honest – It does not make a product appear more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.
  7. Is long-lasting – It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.
  8. Is thorough down to the last detail – Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.
  9. Is environmentally friendly – Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.
  10. Is as little design as possible – Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

A Design Philosophy

Philosophy of design is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of design. The field is defined by an interest in a set of problems, or an interest in central or foundational concerns in design. In addition to these central problems for design as a whole, many philosophers of design consider these problems as they apply to particular disciplines (e.g. philosophy of art). Although most practitioners are philosophers, several prominent designers and artists have contributed to the field. Graphic design has seen many changes and influences. But foundations remain the same. Society heavily pressures graphic design to assimilate to the era. The history or foundation for graphic design has influence from what was depicted to the author during that time. The foundation of letters, that can be designed specifically for communication.

The History

The field needs more depth, in a sense graphic design needs to find itself, all while evolving at the same time. It’s debatable how the background of graphic design needs to be shared. There’s the discussion of different designers, and their notable works. Portrayals of how the physical art has changed and been inspired by past all while embracing the future.

Graphic Design as a field is young. There is not enough information about how it came to be. There is subtle information about society accepting messages being put in front of them. There’s not enough information given to design students about where the concept for graphic design comes from, or at least an understanding about the original forms of communications that used more than words, or why typography has such a large impact.

Herman Miller’s Design Philosophy

In the 1948 Herman Miller sales catalog, George Nelson laid out his view of the company’s design philosophy. These five simple statements echoed the education that Gilbert Rohde had provided for the company in the preceding decades.

  1. What you make is important.
  2. Design is an integral part of the business.
  3. The product must be honest.
  4. You decide what you will make.
  5. There is a market for good design.

This simple set of statements has defined a company’s product philosophy for many, many years. It’s no coincidence that Herman Miller has remained a contemporary, sustainable, design-driven business.