Cocoa-Like Stone …


If I focus myself enough and not take it too fast, I can easily spot stones while sorting out cacao defects. I know I need to. First, I never want to feed myself and my customers with ground stones. Second, it may affect flavor. Render the product inedible in extreme cases. Third, it damages equipment.

What if a stone was missed during the selection process? My two old and inefficient grinders almost always tell me. Grinding nibs included with a stone or two produces a sudden cracking sound for few seconds. Luckily, it became part of the liquor. In case too hard, the annoying sound won’t stop. Grinding process should be halted. Disassemble the machine and look for the hard to find stone among the partially ground nibs. A waste of time, quality reduction and possible machine damage.

Stones are small in most cases and pass through the three layer sorting screens that I am using. Larger ones are easy to spot. So, no more worries. However, sometimes, the culprits disguises themselves as cacao beans. Rare case and happened only twice.

For this second time, I had free time to get picture and post it here.


Its shape resembles cocoa beans but the green shade made me suspicious, so I looked closer. It is a hard stone that perhaps do damage my current grinder.

Gallbladder Stones Removal with Herbs(Apple Juice)

I am intrigued on Neil T Serrano post on Facebook. It has gone viral that it reached 12,880 likes and 78,768 shares (by the time of publishing this). It is about gallblader stones removal using herbs. More specifically, gallbladder stone removal using apple juice, Epsom salt, drinking water, olive oil and lemon juice.

This is the routine.

Drink one glass (250 ml) 100% apple juice four times a day for five days. Drink one on each: breakfast, lunch, dinner and before going to bed. Eat normally.

Skip dinner on the sixth day. Take a teaspoon of Epson salt (magnesium sulphate) with a glass of water at 6 pm. Repeat at 8 pm for purging purpose. It helps flush out all solid stuff. It also opens gallbladder ducts. Drink a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice (half and half glass). Oil lubricates the stones to ease passage. Lemon juice juice helps extract the stones out from gallbladder ducts. The next morning, there will be green objects in your poo.

Follow the time exactly. Eat regular meals for five days and do a short fasting on the sixth day, 3 pm to 6 pm.

You may see Neil full post for questions.

Now, my question! Have anyone of you there tried this? What do you think? What are its benefits on you?

What Defects Do This Coffee Have?


Are you roasting and brewing your own coffee? If yes, then, perhaps you wanna do a periodic check on quality. Wipe the table clean, turn on the light with a decent amount of brightness, unpack that bean of yours, sit and start inspecting one by one.

It is a long and hard work. I suggest you do it only once in a while. Check if your seller is paying attention to their quality control operations. Find another seller if found negative.

These were sorted out from one kilogram of green robusta beans. From what brand and source? It is a secret.

black stones insect damaged hulls crackedBlack beans. Only four black beans! I felt amazed for a few seconds. The sorters were very attentive to black beans. They know very well of its bad affect to overall quality. Maybe it was a coincidence that this particular batch had very few black. The amount of next defect types, as shown in the picture, was telling me it was poorly sorted.

Cracked beans. The fault of coffee hulling machine and over-drying. Too low moisture content makes the bean brittle. It has a higher tendency to crack during hulling operation specially if the gap is set too close. There is nothing wrong with including cracked beans except for the fact that they roast faster contributing to unevenly roasted batch. Still bad in the end.

Insect damaged beans. I can tolerate these defects. They are hard too see. The inspector needs to look to every bean very thoroughly. Hold every bean, turn it around to see presence of holes. This slows down the selection process by more than ten folds. Wait! It is their job. It should be done slowly and nicely. Quality can compensate for slow expensive labor.

Whole beans. Again, coffee huller fault. Hulls roast faster than beans and will surely get burnt before the beans are done. Burnt flavor!

Stones. These are unforgivable. These are foreign materials, not edible, and should not be part of. They are easily seen and therefore could be sorted out easily. Removing small stones is a lot easier with sieve sets.

The beans I got is not of premium quality but still an export quality beans, based on the regulation “green robusta beans for export should not have more than 150 defects per 300 grams”.

I think the figure 150 is too many. If a single defect is enough to make a cup bad, then how about 150. Worst of the worst? When it comes to cacao beans, we are trying to sort out every single defect we can find.

The Misadventures of Stones in Rice

Stones are eaten accidentally with steamed rice. A sudden loud and earth breaking explosion occurs in mouth while silently enjoying the dinner. Even soldiers or terrorist will experience shock when a piece of small stone collided between his upper and lower jaws.

I used to complain to mom every time a piece of crunchy hard stone cross my mouth. It always give me shock, headache and lost of appetite. Good if it’s broken, too bad if not. It needs a slow chewing to find and spit out a damn hard rock.

Mom’s reply. She can’t do anything about it. A whole day sorting out stones is not enough.

In restaurants, a stone in rice is a big shame. Just one incident is enough to drive the customer away. I have never experienced it in such places though. Maybe they have a strict policy on rice quality.

I am not familiar with rice postharvest operations and the following are just guesses.

Dust, hulls, leaves and straw pieces are removed by wind.  Blowing air enough to drive away those contaminants but retain rice grains.

Large stones by means of wire mesh. Letting rice grains to pass through while retaining larger particles.

A computer eye. Passing the rice grains in small tube one by one in a fast phase. Any discolored object are treated as contaminant and tossed out.  I am not sure if this kind of equipment exist.

During transport and retail, some stones are accidentally added to rice.

If the rice on table still have few small stones, blame it on inadequate cleaning operations and rough handling and not to soil where the rice grows.

broken concrete pieces on hand