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  • Choosing the right coffee for the job

    Hi All,

    First post here, but have been lurking for a while.
    I have a question on choosing which beans or roasts are suitable for espresso. Reason I ask is I occasionally purchase some roasted beans from a company in the USA (Klatch), it always coincides with other business freight coming over on FedEx so its only a 3-4 day shipping time from roast to my door.
    Anyway, they have a very large variety of roasted beans but only 5 or so classed as suitable for espressos, others might be for drip etc.
    Why is that? And if I used a bean suitable for drip in an espresso machine would it be horrid?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Choosing the right coffee for the job

    Ill leave it up to others more qualified to answer your questions, but why not try a local roaster and get to know them and sample the different styles they have. We have some excellent ones to choose from depending on where you are.

    Not bagging US coffee, they have some great roasters as well. And I married an American so I get to try the coffees on my annual trips over there.

    I also heard that roasted coffee beans can be negatively affected by being carried in the cargo hold of a plane but not sure about that.

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    • #3
      Re: Choosing the right coffee for the job

      I often get beans from Veneziano down here in Melbourne and plan on going to the coffee expo in May to discover some more local roasters without travelling all over town.

      Coffee in the USA as you would know is in a dismal state thanks to that big chain that has taken over. I am over there usually twice a year with work so Ive got a few places that I know are really good, Klatch being one of them. I know what their house blend tastes like right from the shop and when I get their coffee here its pretty darn close. I have also bought back with me some beans from Intelligentsia, lovely coffee in the shop but I just couldnt get the same flavours at home

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      • #4
        Re: Choosing the right coffee for the job

        As to the roasts...light roasts result in a lot of acidity in the cup so are not classed as "suitable" for espresso. That doesnt mean you cant try and see if you like or not.

        As to "beans".....all you can do is try them one at a time and see what you like.

        So the answer to all is, you try whatever you want whether its said to be suitable for espresso or not, and make a decision that suits you/your palate/your equipment / you way of making coffee / whatever!

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        • #5
          Re: Choosing the right coffee for the job

          When I visited a local roaster with my sister in Vancouver, I was told that most North Americans like their coffee dark roasted. Their most popular roasts were at a CS 11 or 12 level, and were too dark for my palate. The oils were coming out of the beans on roasting day.

          Many Americans also seem to think that an espresso is two to four ounces (!!! 60-100ml), while my standard double extraction would be a 25 ml ristretto.

          With differences like these, all I can suggest is that you try the options and decide for yourself.

          Greg

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          • #6
            Re: Choosing the right coffee for the job

            I wouldnt put myself in the connoisseur category (living up here in the sticks where choice is limited compared to cities) but I use Andys WOW (BeanBay) as my yardstick and a bean would have to come with a big rep for me to bother sourcing it O/S. Certainly individual tastes differ but I would have thought that a bean that worked well in an espresso machine would work well (with the appropriate grind) in anything else. Vice-versa would be a different matter.

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