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  • so whos had a good coffee lately?

    Got this idea from Lucas lament in another thread that theres hardly any talk about the actual coffee in this joint (Im paraphrasing).

    Seeings as I am happily married to my Giotto, and feel no temptation to leave him (though I am flirting with the idea of dumping my SJ - I do like the idea of coming home to a K10 ), I do sometimes log on and am a bit disappointed no ones posted much in here Cmon, theres gotta be some sweet coffee being drunk around here!

    So, to get the ball rolling ... how bout we share our three(ish) highlight coffees of the year. Single Origin or Blend, roasted by yourself or someone else, through whichever brewing method you like, made by yourself or someone else, but whats got you excited so far this year?

    Hmm ... to limit myself to three ...

    Mountain Top Estate Bin 549
    Goodness gracious this was a beauty, and Im regretting not buying more Intoxicating, complex, fruitcake and spice. Loved it. I have one batch left stashed away for a rainy day. Wish I had more (hint, hint Andy), would love to play with this through syphon and filter. Easily my favourite this year.

    Nicaragua Ramacafe Fine Estate
    From last BeanBay. Yummy, sweet, orange, malt and nuts. Loved it as a lighter roasted espresso, and through the filter.

    Kenya Masai AA
    Love it as filter/syphon, especially as it cools. The citrusy, florally notes round out to juicy, fruity, passionfruit goodness (I get a little carried away describing this one).
    Love it as espresso, even if it is mouth-puckeringly bright at this lighter roast.

    Anyone else wanna play?

  • #2
    Re: so whos had a good coffee lately?

    Great thread, Michelle!  Theres usually an annual "best of" thread on CG and I think that its time we had one here.

    You will need to add "L" in the url to get to any B L O G S P O T links.

    My "knock your socks off brewed coffee"


    Kenya Mamuto - Terroir Coffee - blog post.

    Siphon/Drip: Bright, sweet, smooth, ribena, coffee cherry, tomato.
    What can I say?  Its not often that I switch off the espresso machine for a week and bother scrubbing out the siphon constantly.  And it was three weeks old and half dead from the trip by the time that I got it.  Amazing!

    My "mega comfort food chocolate bar cappuccino coffee"

    Fair Trade Organic Blend - Supreme - blog post.

    Cappuccino: Cuts through milk with confidence; malty/vegemitey flavour and dry cocoa finish. Great.
    Kuda Mas - Brother Baba Budan - blog post

    Cappuccino: Effortlessly mastered even relatively large amounts of milk, leaving me wondering whether I hadnt inadvertently added several spoons of Milo. Sledgehammer subtlety.
    (BBBs was probably marginally better, to tell you the truth, but Supremes was great, too.)

    My "OMG thats awesome espresso coffee"

    This one is a tough one, with a few contenders.  Espresso shot of the year at a cafe is, for me, a shot of the Bolivian #3 CoE from Talor at BBB.  Buttery mouthfeel and incredibly long, perfectly balanced finish, from memory.  I have enjoyed a few espresso coffees at home, the standouts probably being Venez. Estate and 5 Senses PNG Elimbari.

    A quick footnote

    Sometimes people feel intimidated about posting about the coffee because they cant taste this or that fleeting and exotic flavour.  Please dont worry too much about it and have a go anyway. If you read this webpage and feel intimidated in posting, chances are that you actually have a much better palate than you think that you do.

    The goal is to give an accurate representation of what the thing tasted like and if you stretch yourself too far, you actually run the risk of undermining the usefulness of your description.  For example, I remember reading one published description of an espresso from a place that most would regard as one of the best in Melbourne.  The reviewer mentioned that it tasted of orchid oil.  I had drunk that particular blend many times and it also so happened that I had recently had a bunch of chocolate with orchid oil.  I couldnt, for the life of me, see how you could get orchid oil from that coffee and it made me question how much stock to place in the other descriptions in that publication that I read.

    If youre stuck for somewhere to start, its probably a good idea to describe the intensity of the body, the acidity and the length of the aftertaste, as these are qualities that all coffees have.  I have often omitted these fundamental descriptors and I will be endeavouring to change that from now on.

    Describing coffee is not a vocabulary contest. It is an exercise in communication.

    Keep on adding, guys!  Great thread!

    Luca

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: so whos had a good coffee lately?


      Due to a temp probe error I nearly scorched a batch of MT bin 35. Rather than throw it out I decided to taste it anyway... to my surprise the additional heat hadnt destroyed all the flavour, but had moved it more towards the chocolately end of the spectrum. I enjoyed some very nice flat whites and managed an excellent espresso as well. The espresso from these MT beans is very thick and creamy with low acidity. Some rich dark fruit like jam and bitter-sweet cocolate.

      I experimented with a second recreated error roast and have nearly finished that one as well. However, the darker roast (hitting rolling SC) does mute the more fruity flavours, so my current roast is back to the first snaps of SC with about 30 coasting with the HG off before dumping and cooling.

      The interesting thing with the MT beans (bin 35 and 549) is that they are both nice to drink after as little as 1 days rest. So these are my emergency OMG I forgot to roast beans.

      Contrast the recent Sumatran Mandehling from the last bean bay. Im glad I got these and seem to have found a reasonable roast profile, going into rolling SC. I get a musty mossy woody flavour with some caramel/chocolate towards the end. Again, like the MT beans, a huge body creamy mouthfeel. These need a lot of rest and seem to be best at least 7 days post roast. Before that I got a grassy bovine urine flavour that I didnt appreciate. However, near the last few shots Ive been getting some wonderful caramel/chocolate/dusty flat whites.

      Recent PNG Wahgi AA. Yet another contrast. Requiring a very light roast pulled before second crack. These beans also require a decent rest before enjoying them at their best. When you get there its a mid acidity, mid body citrus flavours that ends with caramel. In milk the caramel stands out the most. Another most enjoyable, but very different coffee.

      From Pioneer Roastery, a Kenyan AA that was simply stunning in milk. Similar to the PNG above but far more intense, with richer flavours (I cant be too specific because I only had one). I didnt enjoy it as an espresso as it was far too acidic for my delicate tongue...

      Cheers,

      Mark.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: so whos had a good coffee lately?

        Ive had a few surprise coffees lately, these are the coffees where you dont know what to expect and they come out of nowhere to make your memorable list.

        As Mark mentioned the Kenya Dorman AA from 07 crop. Expecting the regular acidic dry fruit flavours with a hint of chocolate and no body. Instead, clean , dark chocoalte full body with distinct peach acidity and pleasant cocoa aftertaste. Normally I would never attempt this as an espresso but it was great, although acidic. Needless to say 1 bag turned into 10 very quickly until I finally had to convince myself and my customers that enough was enough.

        We sell a lot of retail coffee, much of which is for filter. One of our more popular origins for filter is the MTC Boomerang. This year they ran out 6 months away from the next crop. Andrew was kind enough to send me a fair few Kilos of the Bin 478 (a higher grade of the same bean, normally all off to Japan and the U.S.). It took a few roasts to get used to the higher acidity but when I got it right I knew the 200 kilos I had in stock would never last to the 09 crop. Like the Boomerang it has a smooth clean nutty flavour, similar to a nice Colombian, but with a great subtle summer fruit acidity. Definitely a brewed coffee origin, but I could drink this all day, never over bearing on the pallet and never quiet able to nail a description.  

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: so whos had a good coffee lately?

          Originally posted by Sparky link=1224031375/0#2 date=1224044847
          From Pioneer Roastery, a Kenyan AA that was simply stunning in milk. Similar to the PNG above but far more intense, with richer flavours (I cant be too specific because I only had one). I didnt enjoy it as an espresso as it was far too acidic for my delicate tongue..
          I seem to remember the 06 Kenya Masai Dorman AA basically being able to be roasted until it looked like it was nearly bursting out in flames and then delivering amazing cappuccino and, surprisingly, not being too acidic as an espresso.

          The Kenyan coffee industry is amazing; apparently they have a unique processing method. From what I have read, Kenyas auction system has been one of the coffee worlds great market successes - ie. the best coffees have commanded the best prices. I remember reading that this auction system was the inspiration for CoE.

          Cheers,

          Luca

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: so whos had a good coffee lately?

            Most consistent tasty SO for me this year was the Bali Gunung Agung roasted to just shy of second crack. Seemed to work well most times.

            Peru Villa Rica Grace Estate has also been a superb bean - roasted 30 secs into second crack - generally very good all round.

            And one roast of Ethiopian Harrar which was pure chocolate in my piccolo latte phase - extraordinary - but most of my other roasts of this bean have been very average (suffice to say Im a very erratic roaster - its a comedy really).

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: so whos had a good coffee lately?

              All home roasted--

              Ethiopian Harrar Longberry--dark chocolate with spicy fruit overtones. Goes well as a ristretto or in piccolo lattes.

              Yemen Bani Ismail--cherries and chocolate--like a really great chocolate cake (maybe made with Ivory Coast cocoa!) and dried cherries.

              Colombian Volcan Galeras Supremo Bold--great body, sweet and caramel/chocolate with a bit of earthy.

              Greg

              (Stuffed up the Monsooned Malabar--way too dark, but it still tasted fair-to-good, so Im looking forward to trying it again--and being more careful!)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: so whos had a good coffee lately?

                I had a cracker of a weekend last weekend and had some of the best coffees of the year.

                I thought it was time to add to this post as a result.

                Previously, my favourite bean through the syphon was:

                Kenya Gethumbwini - peach iced tea, guava, nuff said. Lightish roast

                I had a ridiculously good syphoned Ethiopean Sidamo (pulped natural) at MECCA Espresso the other day, berry-delishness, Ribina, tea-like all the way through.

                As an espresso my favourites were a Nicaraguan Natural processed as an espresso from BBB via 5 Senses (I think), made by HD on a 2gp Linea. I also had this brewed through a Clover (I think that was with you Luca) - again great. It truely excelled as an espresso though. I hope to get my hands on this again soon.

                Another doppio espresso I had last weekend at THE SOURCE was a Rwandan MIG Nyamagabe, blew me away. Its aftertaste of some citric sweetness, was foolish. Such a complexity Ive not noted in a bean for a while. I cupped this a while back through a plunger and it was amazing them - all I remember was a lemon sweetness.

                All coffees were clean as. I think this is one of the main attributes to quality coffee.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: so whos had a good coffee lately?

                  Originally posted by YeeZa link=1224031375/0#7 date=1228280624
                  All coffees were clean as. I think this is one of the main attributes to quality coffee.
                  My wife would agree with that comment.
                  She has a better palate than mine.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: so whos had a good coffee lately?

                    Had previously done the Yemen Bani Ismail on the lighter side (pulled at the first snap of SC) and they were ok but not a standout. Decided to do my last batch deeper, pulled it few seconds in rolling second crack and rested it for 5 days and been thoroughly enjoying it the last week. Definitely went to the top of my favourite list and justifies its price tag! I paid special attention to slowing down the initial part of the roast going up to FC which meant it took a couple of minutes longer to get to FC.

                    Another memorable one was the Ethiopian harar I roasted quite light and pulled just before it hit second crack. I expected more acidity because of the light roast but much to my surprise i got loads of chocolate....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: so whos had a good coffee lately?

                      Originally posted by YeeZa link=1224031375/0#7 date=1228280624
                      I had a cracker of a weekend last weekend and had some of the best coffees of the year.

                      I had a ridiculously good syphoned Ethiopian Sidamo (pulped natural) at MECCA Espresso the other day, berry-delishness, Ribena, tea-like all the way through.

                      As an espresso my favourites were a Nicaraguan Natural processed as an espresso from BBB via 5 Senses (I think), made by HD on a 2gp Linea.

                      Another doppio espresso I had last weekend at THE SOURCE was a Rwandan MIG Nyamagabe, blew me away. Its aftertaste of some citric sweetness, was foolish. Such a complexity Ive not noted in a bean for a while. I cupped this a while back through a plunger and it was amazing them - all I remember was a lemon sweetness.
                      Same, same, same, same. :P

                      The Sidamo was without doubt the best cup Ive ever had through a syphon. Blew my mind. Juicy, berrylicious, amazing! :-*

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: so whos had a good coffee lately?

                        Best coffee I have had all year was at the Pioneer Roaster dont know what it was but it was good.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: so whos had a good coffee lately?

                          My best coffee I have brewed this year would have to be.
                          PNG Wahgi AA, I roasted it just as I heard the 1st snaps of second crack, It was quite sweet and a lot of syrupy crema.
                          I was very glad I got plenty of this bean.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: so whos had a good coffee lately?

                            3 favourites this year roasted at home from beanbay.

                            1. Zimbabwe Pezuru Estate AA - only got a very small amount of this, but really enjoyed every bit.
                            2. Sulawesi Rante Kapua Torajah - a recent one that I am drinking right now.
                            3. PNG Wahgi AA - not one I was expecting to like very much, so I only got asmall bit, but really impressed me.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: so whos had a good coffee lately?

                              My top coupla beans this year (only started roasting in May...):

                              1. Ethiopia Harrar (MAO Blue Horse) - still unbeatable for interest (choc+berry), though I couldnt drink it all the time.
                              2. Rwanda Bourbon - really hard to roast well (1 magical roast out of 4 so far...) but when we nailed it there was an incredibly spicy, minty, dark choc complexity.
                              3. Uganda Bugisu - got this in my starter pack and somehow nailed it with out first corretto roast! Amazing clean fruity and sweet choc.
                              4. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe - try this at CS10-11 (with apologies to purists everywhere). Seriously, its incredible (dark Limu works well too) - that elusive dusty cocoa mouthfeel with a buttery, oily finish.
                              5. Peru Grace Villa Estate - weve been amazed by GVE (as well as India Tiger Mountain) and can see why theyre CS favourites. More please, Andy (vote here!)

                              Cheers
                              Stuart.

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