What you didn’t know about coffee: Asher Yaron at TEDxUbud

What you didn’t know about coffee: Asher Yaron at TEDxUbud


Translator: Jenny Lam-Chowdhury
Reviewer: Emma Gon Who drank coffee this morning? Yes! You, and hundreds of millions
of others like you around the world. Which makes coffee arguably
the most important discovery in the history of humankind. Today, coffee is the second largest
traded commodity in the world, second only to crude oil. It’s the second
most popular drink in the world. Water is number one — And it’s been credited with
ushering in the age of enlightenment. Yet, 95% of the roasted coffee
in the world is 100% old, stale and dead. Coffee once roasted
is a fresh, living food, and loses its vitality,
and dies in about a week. And it doesn’t matter
if it’s vacuum sealed, nitrogen flushed, or any other fancy
packaging process, nothing can prevent its death. And storing it in
the refrigerator or freezer, does more harm than good. So, there are varying legends of
how coffee was first discovered. What we do know,
is that coffee’s early uses held a mystical and spiritual
importance among many cultures. Initially, coffee was
prepared and consumed as part of religious ceremonies. Monks used it to stay awake at night
during long time of prayer, and to attain higher
states of consciousness. They were drinking coffee
prepared like this. So we’ve evolved. From a handful of spiritual seekers
consuming this beverage to today, where hundreds of millions of people,
like yourselves, all around the world, drink coffee every morning. In our desire to make this special drink
available to the masses, we’ve sacrificed
quality for quantity. It’s my mission to recapture the mystical powerful effects
of fresh roasted coffee, and make them available
to the masses. Are you ready for the age
of enlightenment 2.0? (Audience) Yeah!
Asher Yaron: All right! This… is the branch
of an arabica coffee tree grown here in Bali. The cherries on this tree
have seeds inside. Coffee beans — they’re not beans,
they are seeds. They are seeds of
the coffee cherries. Over 90% of these seeds — these cherries have two seeds
— they are the females, and only 5-10% have
one seed — the male. Once roasted,
they taste different. One is more bitter than the other — but that’s a whole another talk,
we’re not going to get into that. (Laughter) These cherries are, actually,
a sweet, edible fruit. Here, try it! Now, once these seeds are separated
from the fruit, they’re dried. Look like these. Once they’re properly dried, they can be
stored for months, even years. But, once roasted,
they have a very short life span, and need to be consumed
within a week to obtain the maximum amount
of potency and freshness from them. Roasted coffee is a fresh food, and should be treated that way. Now, during the roasting process there are over 1500 chemical
reactions that take place. Just think about
that for a minute. We don’t have a minute… Let’s
think about that for 10 seconds. 1500 different chemical reactions! The seeds are completely transformed from their dried, green, inert state, to their alive, fresh roasted state, where they can be assimilated
by our bodies. The seeds have become in this process a pharmacological resource that can benefit
our human brains and bodies in ways we have not even
begun to discover. Now, let’s take a look
at some coffee roasters. This is a one-kilo roaster. For those of you who are
metrically challenged, that’s 2.2 pounds. Cost: 6,000 dollars! Three-kilo roaster, 6.6 pounds,
for the metrically challenged — 13,000 dollars. And a five-kilo roaster…
18,000 dollars Folks, technology for roasting
coffee — It’s pretty simple. You just need heat. Tin roasting pan… 75 cents? Indigenous coffee cultures around the world
they roast their coffee like this. Their focus in on freshness,
and immediate consumption. Commercial coffee cultures roast their coffee like this. Their focus is on marketing,
packaging, and shelf-life. One produces coffee
that is alive, vital, potent. The other produces coffee that sits
on the shelves for weeks and months, and is old, stale and dead. Now, roasting coffee is
a lot like making popcorn. You heat up the seeds,
and after a while, they smoke and
pop, or crack. There are actually two cracks. When the louder second crack
is just beginning, turn off the heat,
you start the cooling process. Not a lot of mystery here. Takes a little practice to know
when to turn off the heat. But, if you can make popcorn
without burning it, then you can roast coffee. After the coffee
is roasted and cooled, it goes through a period
that it needs to settle. So, it takes a while
for the beans to settle, even though they’ve been cooled. But this time period
is several hours. Not days, not weeks… like some
of the mass coffee producers claim. My own tests had determined
a peak potency time for espresso — of 11 hours after roasting. And a maximum
freshness cut off date of 7 days after roasting. Let’s take a look at some
recent studies that have come out about the benefits of coffee
— which there are many. (Imitates error sound) That’s not. These studies…
what are they studying? They’re studying
old, dead, stale coffee! Or people who drink
old, stale, dead coffee! I have not seen
a single study that has used coffee within a few days of roasting,
let alone its peak time, or within 24 hours. I can tell you from
my own experience, and how it feels in my body
— and tests are done for myself, there are so many
more health benefits that have not even
been discovered yet. Not even touched. Yet, these reports are showing
that coffee has a lot of health benefits. It’s the number one source
of antioxidants in the US diet. A study just came out
in the last week, that showed that people
who drank coffee tended to live longer. There is a lot more
to discover about coffee, even though it’s been
around for so long. I have been on a 10-year quest
for the perfect cup of coffee. Didn’t even know what that tasted like,
because I’d never had it before. I just knew, somehow,
it was out there. I tried everything. In the beginning, I focused my efforts
on upgrading my coffee making equipment, thinking that was the answer. After several years,
not much progress, and acquiring an Italian espresso
machine and a burr grinder, didn’t know what else to try. It didn’t even occur to me that the roasted coffee I was using
made the difference. Because everything I tried, in its vacuum sealed,
space-age packaging, all tasted the same. It was consistent. Now I know, it was consistently
old, stale and dead — but at the time I didn’t know it. Then one day, some friends
gave me a gift. It looked like this — They said it was
fresh roasted coffee, that they roasted at home, in their hot air popcorn popper. I had not idea what they were
talking about at the time. But the next morning I decided,
“I’ve tried everything else, I’ll give it a try.” As soon as I took
that first sip, I knew immediately — This wass what
I’d been searching for! All in the sudden, a lighting bolt
came out of the sky, I was surrounded by white light, angels,
courts of white angels! (Laughter) Not really. But, my life changed
in that moment. And like all home roasters, I started to look around my house
ways to roast coffee. Home roasters, we are
an innovative, wacky bunch. We turn ordinary household appliances
into coffee roasters — Hairdryers, heat guns,
hot air popcorn poppers, some smoke out their roommates
using a pan on the stove — I looked around my house, I re-discovered my outdoor
barbecue grill. (Laughter) I acquired a one-pound drum
and a chicken rotisserie skewer, and a motor that turn that drum
three revolutions a minute. (Laughter) My first batches
were very uneven — some seeds roasted
very dark, some very light, but still, because it was fresh
it was the best coffee I had ever had! So I was really encouraged. I upgraded… got a bigger drum,
got a bigger motor — (Laughter) and I was in business. Until today, I have created an affordable, portable,
energy-efficient roaster, that produces
an excellent result. And throughout my discovery process
I’ve just had one question — How can I create
the best of both worlds? How can I have the best, freshest coffee,
and supply to the masses? My answer is in creating
a coffee roaster that every cafe in the world
can afford and have access to. This is precisely
what I’ve done. This… is the My Roast! (Audience) Yeah!
(Applause) It is a two-kilo roaster, also comes in a five-kilo model, made entirely of stainless steel, and uses 1/10 the electricity
of other similar size roasters. The seeds go into this drum, this motor turns the drum
seventy revolutions a minute. I’ve created this roaster
for a fraction of a cost of some of the commercial roasters
you’ve seen — about a tenth of the cost. Remember, if you can make popcorn
without burning it, then you can roast coffee. And the technology
for roasting coffee is pretty simple —
you just need heat. I’m creating a coffee university,
here in Bali. It’s going to teach
everything about coffee — from the cherry to the cup, growing, harvesting, processing,
roasting, and barista training. The age of coffee enlightenment
has begun! (Applause) It’s time for a revolution, and a reinvention of the way we grow, process
and prepare our food. Nature has given us
the gift of super-foods, that not only sustain our life, but enhance and energize
the life force within us, so that we can operate efficiently,
effectively, and powerfully. Fresh roasted organic arabica coffee
enhances my ability to focus my thoughts and attention
to create and manifest my dreams. I believe it is a powerful super-food
when consumed fresh, that can help humankind
do the same. But, please,
don’t take my word for it, don’t listen to what
any experts are saying. You must try it out
for yourself, come to your own conclusions. Now is the time to wake up, and smell the fresh roasted coffee!
(Laughter) Thank you.
(Applause)