Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Flambeur, Dec 2, 2009.
Did you compensate for the solar flare activity this week?
Body is how the coffee feels in your mouth. It can go from something with a relatively neutral mouthfeel like water all the way to a heavy mouthfeel like whole milk. This is kind of a complicated thing with many causes. I think the wine people have the causes figured out more than the coffee people, so that may be good reading to do.
Liveliness is the acidity of the coffee. An extreme example of acidity is biting into a lemon: you get a face-scrunching sourness that's caused by the acidity of the lemon juice. More acid makes a brighter cup, and less acid makes a mellower cup. Dark roasts tend to be less acid-tasting than lighter roasts. Traditionally, breakfast coffees are more acidic, maybe to wake people up.
Counterculture buys from smaller farms, buys in smaller batches, and generally roasts lighter than Peet's. This means their coffees can be more unique than Peet's in terms of the variety of flavors you find in a bean, because they don't have to buy in the volume that Peet's does. This is not to say that they are better than Peet's, because Peet's, of all the large roasters, is probably the most quality conscious. When you get to Counterculture, try a wet-processed Central American (maybe Costa Rica) and a wet-processed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe to get the biggest difference from Peet's. These coffees will most likely be very acidic, with bright fruit flavors, and in the case of the Ethiopian, very floral.
I haven't had Major Dickason's in a long, long time, but it struck me as a safe, middle-of-the-road blend, so I don't think it's terribly exciting. The Arabian Mocha Sanani is one of the best Peet's regular offerings, and that may be worth a try. It is very distinctive, and tends to be relatively lighter roasted than their other offerings, too, but is still dark roasted. It will be unlike anything you find anywhere else. Try to get one as close to the roast date as possible because the flavors will be most distinctive then --- the store should be able to tell you when they get their shipments in.
Also, FYI, brew parameters vary from bean to bean. What works best for one bean may not be good for another. What you're looking for is the right level of extraction to get the best stuff out of the bean. Generally speaking, if it's sour and understated, it may be underextracted. If it's bitter, then it may be overextracted. Vary your brew parameters appropriately. Revisit that post I wrote for you of how to alter extraction here: http://www.styleforum.net/t/153072/lets-talk-about-coffee/450#post_5231612
Thanks. I was wondering about that, but I'm not a big fan of Central Americans. I'm waiting til next week to see what our local roaster releases (an Ethiopian is in the mix) before deciding.
Tastes, beans, weather, person drinking, etc. vary. I've found some beans to be pretty stable no matter what I do to them: they tend to be very, very good, or really blah. And then there are some beans that seem to be pretty finicky and can vary day-to-day. Also, it depends on how you prep: do you weigh the grounds and water, and how precise is your water temperature? How about stirring and timing?
What's your prep routine? Are you weighing the coffee and water and using a timer to measure brew/pouring time?
set out beans, boil water, as water is boiling grind beans (amount is eye measured, not digitally weighed, but is always the same), put grounds in filter (chemex - filter & beaker), poor boiling h2o over beans (slow for a bloom, then in slow circles, pour second time once 1st pour has mostly dripped through
Curious what $120/pound coffee tastes like? If you live in Santa Cruz, Oakland, or LA, here's your chance as Verve is offering free tastings of this season's Gesha.
If you want approximately the same quality (or better), find a good Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from a good roaster. I had one from a local roaster that was pretty spectacular, and cost less then $20/pound.
I went on Verve's site and have a question. They state:
Does hand numbering do a lot for the coffee's taste?
I was about to pull the trigger on some stumptown $120 coffee last year, but it was like 10 days old. I passed.
Mad street cred when you Instagram it.
It looks like the Geshas are coming into season as everyone, even our local crazy farmer who is trying to grow coffee in Santa Barbara, is offering it now.
If you're in Boston, you can taste a 97-point Gesha for free at Barrington Coffee tomorrow:
Starbucks has gotten into it, too:
So I have the Verve green-tip Elida on hand, another Gesha grown in Ethiopia coming in (from Roast Co., an Oakland-based roaster) that goes for the more sensible $20/pound because that varietal is native to Ethiopia, and our crazy local farmer's coming in. It will be very interesting to compare all of them when they're here. I'm going to guess that the Verve will be the most extroverted and have a funhouse-mirror flavor profile, the Ethiopian will be a beautiful, balanced expression of that country's best coffees, and the local one will be a trainwreck, because while they may be good farmers, they are not coffee people.
I'm still learning my way around my Silvia. I have been roasting my own beans from Sweet Maria's, but I won't continue doing that once the sample pack runs out (almost done). It's too much work. I will probably stick to a local roaster (Kaldi's) that has some decent, affordable beans if I get them fresh. I need to practice more before springing for beans from Intelligentsia or CC. If visiting Saint Louis, Sump Coffee in South City is first class. The owner uses a Slayer espresso machine and pulls some excellent single-origin espresso shots. I was there a couple of weekends ago and had some Kenya beans from (I believe) Kuma. Tart, like a cranberry. Best espresso shot I've ever had.
Yay, another Silvia owner around. Which grinder? How much coffee grounds per doppio?
Rocky. I normally shoot for 16 grams.
Your sir have multiple accounts. Probably some facebook auto sign in issue? Maybe contact an admin.
Anything else, would be uncivilized.
Right, I just wanted to change my username so I made a new account. I forgot to sign out of the old one.
Separate names with a comma.