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Thread: Toning down Chocolate profiles..

  1. #1
    KJM
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    Toning down Chocolate profiles..

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    This verges on the embarrassing...

    I've roasted up 5kg of beans over the weekend, for use at an Open Gardens event that our fire brigade will be using for fundraising. The blend is a KJM blend variation and I tweaked the roast depth of the South American beans to lift the chocky notes (on advice from those who can't be ignored ). When I came to roast the Kisoro, I figured I'd go a bit deeper with that too - to try to make it super smooth and inoffensive to the great public who will be so generously paying for coffees.

    I have (IMHO) gone too far. It is less coffee, more like chocolate with some coffee notes added. I'm thinking I might roast up some more Ethiopian beans to my usual pre-second crack level (rather than just into second crack) and mix them through just to tone down the chocolate. Any thoughts, oh fellow CSers?? The open day is in 2 weeks, and the chocolate note tends to increase with age. I really think I'll need to beat it with a stick to keep it under control at the event!

    My other thought was to ad-hoc blend on the day for those who actually like the coffee to taste of coffee. Needless to say, at the moment those who suggested more chocolate depth think this the most wonderful thing since sliced bread.... so I'm a little torn on this.

    /Kevin

  2. #2
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    You could add in some lighter roasted Central?
    That current Mex El Tru is a cracker - I've done some brilliant 2 bean blends with 50/50 Eth/Mex - Kisoro should work just as well too. The lighter pre-roast blended Mex (all that acidic citrus goodness) seems to really work well the the slightly darker choccy Africans.
    Good luck with that!

    Though who will complain about huge chocolate in their coffee anyway! Not this little black duck :-)
    Matt

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    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    You're selling to the public. Most of them are not coffee drinkers at the level of members here. I'd offer it all at 50c above the cost of 'normal' coffee and call it a 'Special Chocolate blend of South American beans'

    You will sell it out before you sell the rest of your stash.

  4. #4
    KJM
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    @Matt: The central I uses was the Mex I also went just into second crack with that too. I think that was the lynchpin mistake. I kept some out of the blend and WOW is that stuff like something that should have "Old Gold" on the label! I'll roast some up lighter and see how I go. The huge chocolate is (IMHO) over the top. I like the dark chocolate finish, but this has dark chocolate start middle and finish!

    @Journeyman: you don't work in marketing do you?

    I guess my problem is that I want to present a proper product... something that tastes like coffee! I kid you not - you could flog it as cocoa with a dash of coffee added and no-one would notice. It really is that dominant! I regret listening to those who must be obeyed. Should have done my usual thing and it would have been fine! Sigh..

    I'll post an update once I've more sensibly roasted some dilution beans!

    Cheers
    /Kevin

  5. #5
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    By the sounds of it, using a Ugandan and Mexican al ong withan Indo and Peru which have their own choc characteristics, you have the ultimate chocaholic blend.

    This is now about 3 days post roast right? It might have calmed down a bit by the time you are ready to brew. But I doubt anything else will start to come through to shift the overall flavour. Journeyman is probably right in that some will like it as a pleasant improvement on their Blend 43 existence.

    I would roast up some Yirgacheffe pulled before second crack and then try different combos with your chocaholic blend to see which works.

  6. #6
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KJM View Post
    @Matt: The central I uses was the Mex I also went just into second crack with that too. I think that was the lynchpin mistake. I kept some out of the blend and WOW is that stuff like something that should have "Old Gold" on the label! I'll roast some up lighter and see how I go. The huge chocolate is (IMHO) over the top. I like the dark chocolate finish, but this has dark chocolate start middle and finish!
    Ahhhh yes - that'll do it - the Mex into second crack does get quite a similar flavour shift - has to be a fair way in though from what I've done. Before second crack it's quite a different kettle. In my pre-blend roast it is realistically pulled just at the first snaps for the Ethiopian - so probably 2-3 before second crack for the Mex (which as a SO I pull 2-3 higher than normal to get to second crack at all - if that makes sense!)
    Maybe you could just see if Andy'll put it on beanbay? All this talk of super-choc coffee is making me thirsty - might be a winner!
    Matt

  7. #7
    KJM
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    Crikey. There is interest in mega-super-this-stuff-comes-in-blocks-with-a-purple-wrapper coffee??

    The recipe is pretty straight forward. It is in the KJM blend proportions, but used up some of my beans I didn't see me using. So for 2.5kg:
    600g Brazil Pulped Naturals, roasted to second crack. This is into second crack, but not "rolling second crack"
    500g Mexican roasted to the same depth
    600g Sulawesi Blue roasted to my usual depth of just shy of second crack
    800g Kisoro roasted to second crack, as per the above.

    It comes out beautifully even, quite a nice colour - not crazy dark - probably CS9 is about right. So there is the actual recipe, go for it

    But be warned - yes it is +3 days post roast and it is nutjob chocolatey. The KJM blend tends to increase in chocolate notes as time goes by, so the trajectory is not good (IMHO - as I said above). Your observations on the Mexican are interesting - maybe it was that single element that pushed this over the edge... I will need to experiment, but for the moment my cunning plan is to do a bright African as a diluent!

    /Kevin

  8. #8
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    I have to say I have roasted the Sulawaesi and Brazil Pulped but none of the others. With the Sulawassi aside the Brazil alone has an incredible amount of chocolate tones too it IMO. So much i had to roast some more. I tried the second batch a little lighter which helped. I don't see this as a bad thing, the beans being chocolate like as to me this is nice sometimes. However i see what you are getting at Kevin. if its not what you set out to achieve it makes you wonder weather people you sell it to will like it...

    Chris

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    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KJM View Post
    @Journeyman: you don't work in marketing do you?

    I guess my problem is that I want to present a proper product... something that tastes like coffee! I kid you not - you could flog it as cocoa with a dash of coffee added and no-one would notice. It really is that dominant! I regret listening to those who must be obeyed. Should have done my usual thing and it would have been fine! Sigh..

    I'll post an update once I've more sensibly roasted some dilution beans!

    Cheers
    /Kevin
    No, but I know the public. 10 years as barman/wine steward and 25 years as Desktop Support. The Connoisseurs may like complexity and techn ical excellence but the public likes tastes they can describe. Half the people I have seen drink St Henri's or even Grange really don't like it because they don't have the palate for it and they are expecting sublime without education.

    Keep your chocopresso, don't try to change it, and sell it, at a premium, as exactly what it is - low sugar chocolate espresso. You will make a killing with everyone except members from here or their ilk.

    Seriously.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
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    KJM,
    I did some experimentation a few months back, roasting darker than normal, and tasting the effects. I ended up with a lot of cocoa bombs. I found the espresso needed sugar as the cocoa notes were overwhelming. In milk the cocoa was still too strong; not enough coffee taste for my liking. I had some commercially roasted beans from a local roaster that were too light for espresso (in my opinion). I did a 50/50 blend of the light and the dark roasted beans. The result was a very smooth coffee with a delightful milk chocolate aftertaste. Enjoyed by many who drink flat whites etc. As espresso the blend was a little lacking in body. While many enjoy the chocolate aftertaste in a coffee, if it is overpowering, it may not appeal to some. I would also add another bean to boost the body as well.
    All the best.
    B-L.

  11. #11
    KJM
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    OK everyone - I have tried an "emergency fix"

    I bought some Yirg It does partially fix the problem, as I (and others) here thought it would. But as Bosco_Lever intimated - one of the issues is the mouthfeel. The greater roast depth has lost a tad. So I'm actually going to roast up some more more Indonesian beans to patch that problem. But I think this is on track for a sane solution..

    The other strange thing is that today's taste test of the un-diluted blend shows what might be a decrease in the chocolate... Hmmm... I remember my conversation with Joseph Rivera at Beanology when I asked him if there was any clear, predictable information on Coffee Chemistry and he just smiled.... I really think I understand what he meant now!

    /Kevin

  12. #12
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    I also had a very 'choc bomb' blend going on. I pulled one of my beans and added an ethiopia sidama which raised the body and creaminess, reducing the bite of the choc. it's now very smooth and enjoyable... experimentation!

  13. #13
    KJM
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    "Repairs" to the blend can be effected by the Yirg.. But on Saturday we did a trial run of coffees with some of the people who will be helping at the garden.. Every single person (except me) thought it was either the best coffee they've ever had, or it was just simply wonderful.

    So I'm at a bit of a loss, and feeling a bit doubly-sheepish. *I* still don't like it much - seems a bit "dry" on the palate and has way too much chocolate. But it looks like it will go down well! So I plan on taking my stash of other beans to ad-hoc blend if someone comes by who actually appreciates nice coffee!!

    All good fun, I guess!

    Cheers
    /Kevin

  14. #14
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KJM View Post
    "Repairs" to the blend can be effected by the Yirg.. But on Saturday we did a trial run of coffees with some of the people who will be helping at the garden.. Every single person (except me) thought it was either the best coffee they've ever had, or it was just simply wonderful.

    So I'm at a bit of a loss, and feeling a bit doubly-sheepish. *I* still don't like it much - seems a bit "dry" on the palate and has way too much chocolate. But it looks like it will go down well! So I plan on taking my stash of other beans to ad-hoc blend if someone comes by who actually appreciates nice coffee!!

    All good fun, I guess!

    Cheers
    /Kevin
    Hi Kevin
    Wondered if that might happen! We snobs sometimes forget the rarefied air we breathe when we've hung out in this world too long, when we give a blend the thumbs down because it's missing that 'little touch of central!'
    But for the huddled masses, often used to the taste of over extracted 'coffee' from stale grounds through a dirty machine with burnt milk in the wrong sized cup and too many sprinkles - a sweet, smooth, strong (yet not a hint of bitterness) coffee that leaves a long lasting dark chocolate aftertaste, with no need of sugar can, be an amazing experience.
    Remembering my first real 'espresso moment' :-)
    Hope Saturday's festivities go well - with oodles more positive feedback on your 'I can't believe this is coffee' blend!
    Matt

  15. #15
    KJM
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    OK - so I have been a total plonker. The great public who attended the garden seem to LOVE the coffee. Matt is right. We seem to have over-rarified our palates.

    I stand completely corrected. At the event the "service faeries" who were handing the coffee out and getting the glassware back explained endlessly that the beans were mine, and you couldn't buy them and "yes, it IS the best coffee you've had...".

    Dopey boy will now return to his (chocolate covered!) shell and not mention the perceived errors of his roasting again....

    /Kevin
    brokenvase likes this.

  16. #16
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Congrats! Sounds like a great day :-)
    Matt

  17. #17
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    In my mouth the 'chocolate' isn't really chocolate but a dark smooth richness that I can also get with dark chocolate. People who aren't into coffee rarely describe it as chocolate, they just enjoy the difference from the over-extracted bitterness they are used to.

    They tell me that the lighter roasts they get in many 'gourmet' coffee shops make their milk drinks taste sour, so they often get sour, bitter coffee! No wonder they drink instant. :-(

    Greg

  18. #18
    KJM
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    Greg - the 'chocolate' note is one of the strangest things.. My original thought was that it was so over the top that I couldn't approach the coffee. While I do agree that it represents that deep smooth richness, it is so close to being exactly the chocolate flavour you get with, well, chocolate!

    Quite a few people gave me face to face feedback on the coffee. The comments could pretty simply be summed up as: very smooth, very chocolatey and "not bitter". The last one kept coming back to me. My assumption was that they had only had coffee from places that didn't know (quite) what they were doing and had stale over extracted shots... But you could well be right - the lighter roasts many CSers prefer could well be seen as lacking smoothness and richness in milk based drinks along with a sour bitter edge.. Hmmm..

    Mrs KJM was kind-of in that camp. She used to have a very weak milk coffee and complained that my standard coffees were "too strong". But now she is very selective about where she has a coffee! So this is clearly an educational problem!

    So we need to crew the battlements!!

    /Kevin

  19. #19
    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    *grins* So... are you going to charge them extra for the 'special' coffee next time? :I had a laugh: I doos nose my consumers...

  20. #20
    KJM
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    @Journeyman - I do see where you're coming from, but I am but a simple coffeesnob... So I couldn't possibly get them to part with more for the coffee... I already feel as though I'm asking an embarrassing amount per cup! Plus - you're assuming there *will* be a next time! My back is still reminding me that inappropriate work heights are...well...inappropriate!

    /Kevin



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