Following a three week countertop exposure of Kona BBotE at room temperature in sealed bottles, the verdict is in: Black Blood of the Earth can survive shipping without prohibitive cold packaging. I did testing with both air in the headspace of the bottle and with carbon dioxide. A future test with nitrogen may need to be done.
The first noticed change in flavor of the air headspace happened in the first 24hrs, which I attribute to the difference in mouth feel between cold and hot beverage. The warm BBotE was similar in flavor to what I am accustomed to when adding one part BBotE to three parts hot water from magical Japanese hot water machine in the breakroom at work. Flavor was consistent thereafter from 2-10 days. At 12 days, I noticed a slight tannic note sneaking in. By 18 days, the flavor had become distinctly “tangy” even when added to hot water. This stayed consistent thereafter.
The carbon dioxide head space had a similar flavor progression, but off the bat had a minor carbonic bite from the dissolved CO2 in solution. The “tangy” character was less at the 18 day mark, but still there.
Interesting to note: at no time did either trial bottle develop mold. This is a corroboration of the observation while evaporating samples for caffeine content analysis that, even while standing open to fume hood air for three weeks, none of the BBotE samples moldered.
In other interesting news, it is possible that I have identified the chemicals responsible for creating “butt cofffee” flavor. You know, the horrible taste from burnt, long ignored coffee. The likely culprits that are known to be present in coffee beans are thiols (well known in chemistry labs for their fishy aroma) and putrescine. Yes, putrescine as in “the smell of corpses”. Really, putrescence is a decay product from the breakdown of proteins, which is something that happens to all living things, including coffee beans and people (special thanks to the Funranium Labs Staff Mortician for explaining this). Of course, heat will accelerate this process which is why being a coroner on the east coast during the summer sucks so very, very much. The same goes for overheated and then ignored coffee. Just beacuse you stopped heating and walked away doesn’t mean the protein breakdown stopped.
At the request of one astute reader, I performed a 48hr BBotE preparation of Sulawesi beans. Sulawesi is well known for making a very pleasant smelling, rich, and low acid hot coffee. Sadly, these characteristics made a somewhat weak BBotE. Perhaps it needed more time to draw more out of the beans, but the defining description from the test panel was “bland but drinkable”. I may try some longer term preparation another day in the interest of science. The aroma of the beans themselves is so delightful that I know something wonderful is hiding in them.
I would like to also welcome Test Subject Puppeteer to the ranks of the BBotE cohort. After approximately 1.5oz each of Kona and Kenya BBotE, in straight and vodka mixed formats, he declared “I feel alert…actually, I feel really competent”. It was as if he had consumed the elixir from Egg Shen’s gourd. He felt kind of invincible. This may explain the later attempts make his mummy puppet dance on the bar while standing on a folding chair. Following a near mishap, he decided it more prudent to instead stand on the table and dance with his puppet. At 2am, he rode his bike from West Hollywood to his home in Koreatown and went to sleep, at his own chosing, not because he was tired. His remaining BBotE supply is now being rationed for a future night of exceptional productivity.
Test Subject Censorian gives this self-assessment:
“4:00am: drank ~1 oz of batch 031510-1-3. Effects were subtle but noticeable. (I was staying up all night in order to get to work on time.) In 22 minutes I went from groggy zombie hell to efficient focused web surf(land). I had five tabs open, all dedicated to different aspects of the California Aqueduct and Los Angeles Aqueduct intersection. At 6:00am I was comparing two different topographical maps of the area around the St. Francis Dam. By 7:00 am, I felt the effects declining, and opted for a Diet Rock Star, rather than waste BBotE on such menial work. At 7:30am I left, feeling quiet but functional, for my first training day at the U.S. Census Bureau.”
In the meantime, keep watching here, the Etsy store, or the Funranium Labs facebook page for the official announcement that Black Blood of the Earth is available for shipping. It won’t be long now…