Dwight Martin–Advice for Coffee Lovers

What is your name? Any nicknames?
Dwight A. Martin III (People in school also knew me as Pete; my family called me Petey.)

What do you do for a living?
I work as an Air Medical Communications Specialist. (A lot of people call it Dispatcher–I work with Air Ambulance service in Missouri). I have worked overseas in Saudi Arabia doing the same kind of work. I owned a small coffee shop in Topeka, Kansas for a while. I also served in the US Army Reserves in my early adult years.

How old are you?
I am 49, at least until this November.

Where do you live?
Lawrence, Kansas.

Where can we find you on the internet?
I have Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, and a blog at .https://flightwatch67blog.wordpress.com/

Thanks! I might also mention your YouTube channel, which has some wonderful videos about your adventures. You can find it here

Your favorite meal would be?
Any meal with my family. I love all food, I especially love to try cuisines from other cultures.

The most interesting place you’ve visited?
I love to travel, so I have been to a lot of places. One of the most interesting was Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I also love the Philippines, where I have family. My wife and I travel to Jamaica every year, and this November we are going to Antigua for eight days.

I’ve enjoyed the interview process with you, Dwight, and you’ve got way more cool stuff than I can include here. Can you tell us a little about the food in Riyadh?
Riyadh is a place for Food Lovers – You name it, you’ll get it (if it is halal).
They have McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, TGI Fridays, and even Fuddruckers. You can find Italian restaurants or Indian restaurants if you are into international food.
Kabsa is the number one dish in Saudi Arabia. Whenever you talk to any Saudi, a lot of them will tell you that their favorite food is kabsa. Kabsa is made of rice, vegetables, and meat. The Saudis usually eat it during lunch and some even eat kabsa every day.

Mande, one of my favorite dishes, is a type of kabsa where the meat is cooked a little differently. To make mande, you must first dig a hole in the ground where the meat will be cooked. After the hole is dug, place charcoal inside of the hole along with the meat, cover it, and then cook it for a few hours. You will later add rice and other vegetables to the dish.

Mofatah is like a big kabsa that is eaten on special occasions in Saudi Arabia. Typically, if a guest comes to visit or there is a wedding, the hosts kill a sheep and use it to make mofatah. Killing sheep for guests has been a Saudi Arabian tradition for years, although now it is rarer to find the Saudis making this dish at home. Most people now will bring a sheep to the restaurant where the restaurant chefs can prepare the big mofatah dish for them.

Pet peeve?
Punctuality is my main pet peeve. I do not like being late. I also believe in treating others with respect.

Favorite book, or movie, or television show?
My favorite book is the Bible. I am not the most religious of people, however, I do believe that we should always use the Bible as a guide to how we should live. My favorite movie would have to be “13 Hours;” because of my time working as a contract employee overseas, I can relate to a lot of it.

If people want to pray for you?
They could pray for me to be as good of a father, and husband as my father was.

Are you married or have you been?
I am married, I have three children, and two step children, I also have a wonderful grandson. I have had many pets over the years but my little girl Sandee is not only a dog, she is one of my children.

Sandee sounds pretty special. One thing many people don’t know you can do?
I am a pretty good cook!

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?
I would love to travel the world with my wife.

Tell us some other interesting things about yourself?
I love to live life. I have had many hobbies over the years. I love coffee, so I used to roast my own coffee beans. I love photography, especially taking photos of my wife and the places we travel. I believe in Karma, so I always try to do good by my fellow man. I have been in the Air Medical Industry for over 23 years now, working as a medic, as well as flight communications specialist. I try to have a good sense of humor, and I do not let myself get upset over little things, especially things that I cannot change. My wife is my best friend, and I love every minute I am with her.

Coffee has figured pretty large in your life. Can you give us some advice for coffee lovers?
I never liked coffee growing up.

In my early years, I never found the taste for coffee; as a matter of fact, I used to save my MRE coffee packs and send them to my father. Then in 2005 I had gastric bypass, and since I could not drink sweet drinks like I was able to before I began to drink coffee. After a while, I started enjoying the complex flavors of the different coffees. I began experimenting with roasting my own coffee beans, and it was not too long before I started getting good at it. My father was my biggest fan. After a few years of playing with my hobby I moved to Kansas, and almost immediately took up my roasting again. I soon started to sell my coffees at the local farmer’s market. I started to get a good following of customers, who convinced me to open my own coffee shop. So, I took the leap and opened KS Daily Grind. My little coffee shop did well, however after a year or so our location started to show no signs of growth, so before I could get in debt I decided to close the doors and go back into the Air Medical business. I still miss my little coffee shop, and I would love to open a new one in the future, but, at this moment I do not know where I would like it to be.
Here are a couple of links about my restaurant:
http://food.topeka.net/content/daily-grind-caffeinating-downtown
http://cjonline.com/news-life-food-business-local/2011-11-02/foodflicks-daily-grind-caffeinating-downtown

Roasting coffee beans:

Coffee roasting is a massive part of drinking coffee. In fact, it is almost impossible to drink or make coffee from unroasted green beans, as they are as hard as rocks after they are initially dried by the farmers.
The coffee roasting process can take years to master, and involves a large amount of patience and skill, as roasting even a couple seconds too long could ruin the coffee beans, or even set them on fire.
There are three main roast categories of coffee: light, medium, and dark, in accordance to how long the green beans are roasted.
Lighter roasted coffee is usually very bright and light on the tongue, typically having a slight citrus flavor as well, depending on the origin of the bean.
It is also said that lighter roasts of coffee have more caffeine than dark roasts, as less is cooked out in the roasting process. It is also said that lighter roasts can have much stronger more complex flavors than dark roasts, if the roaster knows what they are doing.
Medium roasts are a strong middle ground between the light and dark. A fair amount of flavor and caffeine. In fact, one of my favorite coffee blends is considered a medium roast.
Dark roasts are usually for people looking for a party in their mouth, as far as flavor goes. These roasts are usually very complex, but off-putting to most people because they are so strong. The darkest style of coffee is usually referred to as French roast, as the beans are roasted until they will almost catch fire. Even though these roasts have less caffeine per gram, it is shown in some scientific studies that they contain more antioxidants than their lighter roasted counterparts.
As far as home coffee roasting, a lot of people start off with a generic popcorn popper, or even a frying pan on low heat. Using these methods will often result in uneven roasting, and inconsistency. After a short while, if one really likes roasting their own coffee, and wants to take it further, they will invest in a less expensive roasting machine, and slowly move up from there. There are a few steps in the roasting process that signify various levels of toasting in the beans.

Listen to the crack!

Keeping an ear to your beans as they roast you will learn to listen to the crack. This step of roasting is known as “pops” or “cracks.” When roasting, after a few minutes, it will sound like there is popcorn in the roaster, as all the beans start to de-gas.
The next crack symbolizes a point where the beans are extremely well done, and because there is a big middle ground between the first and second cracks, it leaves a lot of room for experimentation.
Roasting times (which will depend slightly on the bean and bean freshness): 7 minutes of roasting gives a light roast, 9-11 gives a medium-dark, 12-13 will give a pretty dark roast, and 14 will be the darkest.
Even just a few moments after 14 minutes, and the coffee beans can start to smoke, and may even catch fire. There is a lot that goes into roasting coffee, but it is worth a shot with a popcorn popper to see if you have interest in a new hobby that could even make you some money! You also have the option of blending roasted beans to further vary the flavor and complexity of the coffee. For example, you could mix 50% medium and 50% dark roast to get hints of both, or choose other variations to suit your taste buds.

Here are 10 amazing things you probably didn’t know about coffee!
1. Coffee is the world’s second most traded commodity with over 25 million coffee farmers across the globe, as well as the amount of coffee consumed each day, coffee has pushed itself to the second on the list, just behind oil.
2. Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed each day, wiith over 400 million of those cups coming just from the United States alone. While that statistic does include people who drink more than one cup per day, it is still quite a lot.
3. Coffee isn’t as dehydrating as some people will make it seem. Most people have heard in their life that coffee is dangerous and can dehydrate you. This is true, but only if a lot is consumed in one time. Studies found that people who drank a cup of coffee urinated the same amount as those who drank water.
4. Goats discovered coffee. Around 840 A.D a goat herder found that his goats were acting quite erratic after eating berries off a certain shrub. This man tried the berries himself, and he too felt quite energetic. He soon dried some of the berries, ground them up, and added hot water. This is likely the first cup of coffee ever brewed.
5. Coffee is very good for you (when consumed without a ton of sugar or milk, of course). Coffee, being made from a plant, contains a plethora of antioxidants that can help prevent certain illnesses. One study showed that coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the Western world.
6. Webcams were made for coffee. In 1991 at the University of Cambridge, workers got tired of walking to the coffee pot only to find that it was empty. Because of this, a group in the computer lab set up the world’s first webcam, so they would always know when there was coffee.
7. Iced coffee is more expensive than hot. While this might sound familiar to anyone who has purchased both and payed attention to the price, not many people know why. This is because iced coffee requires about twice the amount of ground coffee as hot coffee does to prevent the taste from diluting as ice melts.
8. Coffee works wonders on the liver. While coffee might not reverse any serious liver issues, studies have shown that those who consume four cups per day are 80% less likely to contract cirrhosis.
9. Coffee helps your migraines. The caffeine found in coffee helps boost adrenaline levels slightly, and helps release fatty acids in the body to boost your workout performance.
10. Coffee can kill you. (But it is a very situational thing.) For someone with a high caffeine tolerance, it can take as much as 10 grams of caffeine to kill them; the average cup of coffee has 350 mg of caffeine. For someone who doesn’t really consume coffee, as little as 2 grams of caffeine can be a fatal dose.

Dwight, thanks much for letting us get to know you a little. May your endeavors meet with success and happiness, and God bless.