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Lots of tasting notes

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  • Lots of tasting notes

    Forgive the really basic tasting notes I'm going to provide. I did nine roasts last Saturday and tasted seven of them this evening. As background I roast using a Quest M3 which has been slightly modified (I painted the outside of the drum flat black to improve roast efficiency). I have two sets of thermometry, measuring both bean temp as well as maximum environmental temperature in the airspace between the shell and the drum (the same space where the electric heating elements sit). I'm a very inexperienced roaster and so I roast largely by the numbers (I'm starting to get a feel for the sights and sounds though). With all of the roasts last week I tend to get to first crack anywhere between 6:30 and 8:00 and stopped all of the roasts at around 220*C bean temperature at between 10:30 and 12:00. All were hand ground with a weighed dose of 19 g through an HG one 83 mm conical burr grinder. Extracted as double ristrettos using a decent HX. So here are some tasting notes for 6 day old roasts, all of which are current BeanBay offerings.

    Yirgacheffe - medium bodied, delicate with floral, lifted notes.

    Harrar - roast characteristics dominated. I think that 220*C drop temperature is too high for this bean. On Monday I roasted small batches of Harrar to four different drop temperatures (210, 215, 220 and 225) and I will report back in a few days. My wife (who has a much better palate than I do) did some bean crunching and preferred the 215*C drop temperature sample... will be interesting to see if this carries through in the cup.

    Ghimbi - viscous with plenty of body, dominated by cocoa.

    Gambella - exotic, lots of cocoa, very textured body.

    Sumatra Gunung Bandahara - biggest body of the group, earthy/savoury notes.

    Uganda Kisoro - showing some surface oil on the beans. Very viscous and unctuous mouth feel. Less cocoa notes and more towards the milk chocolate spectrum.

    PNG Waghi - really interesting bean. Lighter mouth feel with good acidity. Flavour spectrum is more towards the fruity end and I get hints of bakery or brioche (I feel like such a w@nker typing that last bit but it's true).

    It was a really enjoyable tasting experience this evening. All of the above (with the exception of the Harrar and in the context of the specific note above) were truly delicious and I would have been ecstatic to have had any of these at an excellent cafe.

    Last edited by kwantfm; 2 August 2013, 11:48 PM.

  • #2
    Tasted the series of Harrar dropped at different roast end temps. 210 was unbearably acidic, can imagine this being served as an SO by a particularly hipsterish barista. 215 was still very bright but sweeter. In this first two lighter roasts any hint of the blueberries that others talk about was dominated by the acidity. 220 was quite palatable. Less berries more caramel sweetness and greater viscosity. 225 was a step up in terms of mouthfeel and viscosity with lots of dark caramel sweetness. This last was my favourite (as well as my wife's). I feel a little like I've tortured this Ethiopian to produce a flavour profile that I prefer. Goes to show the versatility of the bean that if can produce such a wide spectrum of flavour characteristics.


    • #3
      The Harrar is definitely my favourite bean, in fact I'm addicted to it. I usually start slowly and take it 30sec into 2C - often the start of rolling 2C, then cool quickly. About 17-18min total roast time. This produces CS10-11, with a few spots of oil. It needs a good rest - >5 days, to settle the roasted characteristics. In the cup it produces masses of sweetness, with strong bitter almond/marzipan/red cherry notes that I find completely addictive - I've never got the blueberry thing, but this might be what other folks experience as blueberries.


      • #4
        I have found harrar worked better on a longer roast (which I also used for Yemen). Dropped after 16-18 mins, at 215-220ºC


        • #5
          Did you roast on Behmor?


          • #6
            Originally posted by kwantfm View Post
            Forgive the really basic tasting notes I'm going to provide.
            There's nothing to "forgive". Thanks for your contribution, which is the sort of thing that makes the internet and a forum like this worthwhile. Good notes, too, in any case.