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Kuromame Coffee from Nori Sugie, chef and coffee roaster. Plus watch for Kuromame cafe.

March 29, 2010 | 10:30 am

Kuromame Noriyuki Sugie, consulting chef of Breadbar, has started roasting coffee under his own label -- Kuromame (which means black bean in Japanese). The coffee is available through his website, www.ironnori.com, in Italian dark roast, moderately dark roast espresso, medium roast and light roast.

"Roasting coffee is a natural extension for a chef interested in expanding his or her culinary skills," Sugie says. "The complexity of coffee's aroma, flavor and chemistry presents a great challenge and an exciting opportunity for creativity."

Sugie says he selects the highest grade of Arabica green beans that are currently roasted in Nevada, using the "kinetic function method" created by Reno-based roasting-equipment producer Agtron.  

"Roasting with a scientific approach is a lot like understanding the techniques for seasoning and cooking food," Sugie says. "Controlling the process based on the chemistry being developed makes an enormous difference in the end result."

Sugie says he would like to roast coffee in Los Angeles, "but it could be awhile before we can establish that." But, meanwhile, he is working on finding a place for Kuromame's first cafe. Stay tuned.

Kuromame Coffee, order at www.ironnori.com or e-mail chefnori@yahoo.com or call (646) 339-8886.

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: Betty Hallock

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