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Thread: Panama Hartmann Geisha as Espresso???

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    Panama Hartmann Geisha as Espresso???

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey folks,

    I picked up a small bag (150 grams)of Panama Hartmann Geisha today, freshly roasted today...

    I've never tried this coffee before and am fairly new to appreciating good coffee, and even espresso in general, tho I've immersed myself in all the information I can read, videos etc...

    I got a cheap 2nd hand espresso machine (Breville 800ES) to start out on, I won't have it for long as I'm going to get a slightly improved model soonish. I've also got the single walled baskets for it. The grinder I have is a Breville BCG450 (have 2 as I came with the 800ES and I already had one), which I got cheap also ($20NZD) the power switch caused the unit to die so I removed and bypassed it. It's working great now, I also removed the stopper so I can go a few notches past "turkish". I've only brewed 2 double shots on it so far, the first was watery to thin, the 2nd was bang on and damn good I thought.. (using freshly ground beans from a NZ roaster who supplies supermarkets roast date unknown, using the dual walled double basket)

    Now back to the Geisha... the tasting notes suggest the following brew methods: Chemex, auto-drip, french press, syphon, and V60...

    They are whole beans so I can grind them to whatever my grinder will do (it seems to do quite fine grind, tho I haven't tried clogging my machine yet.) Is this coffee simply no good in an espresso machine???? I was going to wait a couple of days before using the Geisha as it was roasted just a few hours ago, but I was keen to try it as an espresso (short black), but I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel and waste good beans...
    So is it that the Geisha is just best in the suggested methods and can still be good as espresso, or is espresso machine / moka pot out of the question for this coffee?

    I guess my question perhaps applies to roasted beans brew method recommendations on tasting notes in general too... is it wise to go beyond the recommended methods with any bean?? or are they just that recommendations, not a concrete rule??

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    I personally really love Geisha as espresso/ristretto. Purists may scoff. I do find that it requires a tighter grind.
    crazikid, greenman and gtstcactus like this.

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    I was just looking at the tasting notes that came with my Ethiopia Yirgacheffe which recommends the same brew methods as the Geisha... The Yirga made a wonderful coffee in my moka pot a couple of days ago (before I got the Breville).... So I'm thinking on that basis it's often likely just a recommendation not an absolute and other methods are probably ok....

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    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    that is the beauty of roasting and brewing at home, there are no set rules, experimentation is one of the great joys of exploring the wonderful world of specialty coffee.....enjoy the journey....!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gtstcactus View Post
    Now back to the Geisha... the tasting notes suggest the following brew methods: Chemex, auto-drip, french press, syphon, and V60...
    As greenman stated, there are no rules for coffee (only guidelines) but the notes suggest that the beans have been lightly roasted for manual brewing purposes. Geisha beans are usually lightly roasted so the floral and citrus characteristics are retained. My preference is to rest light roasts for longer than for espresso roasts (at least a week).

    Espresso works better with darker roasts and lightly roasted beans may taste a bit sour when brewed as espresso. But as kwantfm suggests, it is personal preference. Give it a try do you have a syphon, chemex, filter, plunger or Aeroporess handy?

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    I would likely be reluctant to use it for espresso. Suggest you might prepare it using a manual method to see the best from it.

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    Try it in a v60 and you'll be golden

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    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacintoguevarra View Post
    Try it in a v60 and you'll be golden
    Dialing in the grinder for espresso could waste some of the 150g of this expensive treasure, filter methods will give you more brews for your bucks!!

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    Yeah I was worried about wasting beans getting beans, grinder, and espresso machine all in sync...

    I've got a couple of moka pots, a plunger & an auto dripper as well as the espresso machine...

    Tried my first aero-press a couple of days ago, a mexican bean... it was quite amazing.. I've got to get an aero-press too! I keen too get a chemex and / or V60, and syphon too...

    I only got myself a moka pot a couple of weeks back I was so impressed, I went and got a grinder then an espresso machine, went out and replaced the plunger & auto dripper my partner broke... and I got about 10 different 200 gram packs of freshly roasted single origin beans...

    Coffee has become my latest obsession, I had a laugh..

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    Well I was still curious on this one, so I wound the BCG450 (modified) to it's finest possible setting and decided to pull just a single shot (using the single shot, single walled filter) I used 9 grams. It poured a little quicker than I'd hoped but it tastes good, no bitterness, not sour, just those lovely fruity flavours which seemed to have developed from apricot to mango as the days past roast grow further... I'm glad I tried that, I think I actually prefer that to the plunger!

    I also noticed compared to just about every other bean I have at the moment (about 12 different varieties) the geisha produced very little crema, much like in the plunger it produced none / very little "scum" on the top by the end of the brew. I thinking it is likely a characteristic of either the varietal or the way this batch was roasted... Anyway it was well worth the 9 grams, and I would certainly do that again!

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    I got brave and decided to put some of the last I have thru my new 2nd hand smart grinder for an espresso shot (double), I got the grind right first time and nailed it! Got a 25-30 second pour and I could absolutely taste the improvement, and got good crema to boot!

    I think I'm "fortunate" so to speak as a person who likes sugar in my coffee (even short black).. as it can be forgiving when a shot isn't pulled to it's optimum which is what was happening when I was grinding with the BCG450 before getting the smart grinder...

    I tasted the shot without sugar and could certainly say it didn't need sugar the orange flavour was coming thru strongbut I like it with sugar (raw) as I think it enhances & really brings out some of the flavours

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    How much did it cost for a geisha....

    I did a lot of single origin espresso's like a Kona from hawaii.. it did cost a lot more than my usual columbian...

    I don't do columbians in espresso... i just like them french pressed...

    Natural dry processed sumatrans are great in syphons....

    Just my two cents, curiosity and my findings...

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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Dude! You've got it bad! I've seen you on Trade Me bidding on all manner of things coffee related. Haha! Classic. I know how it feels, it gets a hold and before you know it your drip filter has magically been replaced by a domestic espresso machine and had a decent stovetop and plunger added for good measure.
    Good move getting a better grinder. Even with the mod the Bar Aroma just struggles to grind fine enough for espresso. Keep it though as it's quite a good grinder for other coffee making methods. It's an easy one to have tucked away somewhere and just whip it out if you want to grind for plunger or something one day. The main benefits being that you won't have to reset your smart grinder when you do this, and you'll be kinder to the burrs.
    Glad you're enjoying the journey, see you on Trade Me some time.


    BTW - where are you in NZ? I can possibly recommend some local roasters if you're interested.

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    Given that it is recommended for "Chemex, auto-drip, french press, syphon, and V60" and having an inkling that I know of the roaster that is currently stocking that Hartmann, you may actually be dealing with filter roasted coffee instead of espresso roasted coffee. If it is that roaster, I know they tend not to expressly identify the coffee as either filter or espresso, and use symbols of brewers to denote it instead.

    [I]s it wise to go beyond the recommended methods with any bean... or are they just that recommendations, not a concrete rule?
    If it is filter roasted coffee, then it will likely be a less developed and lighter roasting profile; in the cup, this may manifest itself in pronounced acidity (often to the point of sourness), and lower body, amongst other things.

    This probably comes at too late a stage (unless you've rested the coffee until now), but I hope that helps!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLudicrousBean View Post
    How much did it cost for a geisha....
    It was $24NZD/150grams or $40NZD/250grams... No longer available but it was good!

    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Dude! You've got it bad! I've seen you on Trade Me bidding on all manner of things coffee related. Haha! Classic. I know how it feels, it gets a hold and before you know it your drip filter has magically been replaced by a domestic espresso machine and had a decent stovetop and plunger added for good measure.
    Good move getting a better grinder. Even with the mod the Bar Aroma just struggles to grind fine enough for espresso. Keep it though as it's quite a good grinder for other coffee making methods. It's an easy one to have tucked away somewhere and just whip it out if you want to grind for plunger or something one day. The main benefits being that you won't have to reset your smart grinder when you do this, and you'll be kinder to the burrs.
    Glad you're enjoying the journey, see you on Trade Me some time.
    BTW - where are you in NZ? I can possibly recommend some local roasters if you're interested.
    I had a laugh, well that's embarrassing

    Yeah I have actually kept one of the BCG450s for plunger / drip so I'm not wasting coffee going back & forward as I often switch brew methods from cup to cup and my partner isn't good with adjusting grind settings...

    I'm in Wellington..... I've been going to quite a few of the local roasters, I usually have a few different coffees in the cupboard as I drink a lot of coffee.. The roasters in Wellington I have been to are Cafe La' Farre, Havana, Mojo, Peoples Coffee in Newtown, Caribbean Cafe in Brooklyn, Coffee Supreme (Customs Brew Bar), Red Rabbit, Revive, and Flight.... Always keen to hear of other places to try, I'm sure there are some great ones around the country but I haven't really tried ordering anything online as there are so many in a 5km radius from where I live!

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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Nah, nothing to be embarrassed about, it's all good fun. I think I was bidding against you on something then you popped up on something else so it was only 2, maybe 3 auctions I saw you on. Hardly excessive. There's a couple of protagonists on Trade Me that you'll encounter in the coffee equipment section if you spend any time on there. 'kuaucrew' in Hawkes Bay is the most active as I think D is in the coffee business. There's 'kay.jay' in Wellington as well. Both very savvy traders that know their stuff so they can be a good barometer as to whether something is worth bidding on. I've never bought off either of them, but 'kuaucrew' in particular has plenty of happy customers.

    Anyway, back to the coffee. I'm guessing you got the Geisha off Supreme. I've tried a few of their origins and blends and they are always good. You seem to have things pretty sorted and have got stuck in and tried most of Wellington's roasters. As I said I've tried a few from Supreme and have also tried some from Flight, all of which were good. I know Mojo and People's are rated highly, and Revive and Havana are popular too.

    Cafe Laffare have been owned by Cerebos Gregg's for a few years now so I don't really buy their stuff any more. It's still good and one of the better supermarket coffees, but I prefer not to support multi-nationals over local independents. Just note that Columbus are owned by someone big now too, not sure if its Cerebos Gregg's or a franchise group though.

    We're pretty lucky here in NZ with the large number of high quality boutique roasters, especially in Wellington and Christchurch. And the dry and mild climate in Chch in particular is perfect for roasting. For that reason I find beans from Chch and Wlgt roasters better than those from the upper North Island. But if you want to try some from a few different roasters around the country here are my recommendations:

    AUCKLAND
    Avalanche - Melt and Franz Joseph blends in particular. A surprisingly high quality roaster. They are popular in supermarkets and their stock rotates fast which means you can actually get their beans fresh off the shelf at times. But obviously the best way is to order online.

    Jungle Coffee - One of Coffee Systems' brands. Voodoo was my favourite blend, but they are all worth a try. A bit more expensive, especially with shipping on top, but worth a look.

    CHRISTCHURCH
    C4 - Possibly Christchurch's most established independent. These guys are onto it and don't do anything bad. They have a large range of blends and origins that are just about all worth a try. And they are now doing free shipping within NZ for orders over $20! So get into it. Krank is the original cafe blend, but not to everyone's liking. The Colombian and Ethiopian are always good.

    Switch Espresso - Slightly smaller operation than C4, but growing because they are also really good. Zap and Brighton Up blends are excellent, but they also do really good African and Central/South American origins.

    Those are the 'must try's', but honorable mentions go to Vivace, Caffe Prima, Coffee Worx and Crafted Coffee in Christchurch. Bit of a mixed bag from this lot, but they still do some really good roasts. There's a tiny little independent roaster in Rangiora that I get their main blend called Strong Blend off. They are called Custom Roast Coffee and this blend is definitely recommended, but not so much the origins. There's also a little independent in Mangatawhiri whose beans I used to buy when I lived in Pukekohe. I can't remember their name, but they were really good too. Obviously there's heaps more round the country and places like Nelson and the Hawkes Bay are little hot beds of activity, but I can't give any personal recommendations from any of them.

    This post is already waaaaay too long, but before I go I gotta tell you to go check out a new food place that an old mate of mine from school has just opened in Wellies. It's called Five Boroughs and is a New York style sandwich bar. Its on the Roxburgh/Majoribanks corner in Mt Vic. All the best as your coffee journey continues.

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    Thanks for the tips etc.... I'll add those out of town places to my ever growing list of places tried or to try!

    I didn't know Caffe La'ffare had been taken over by Gregs Cerebros! I only purchase their coffee direct from the Roastery, they are friendly, happy to chat, knowledgeable, I get good service etc... Like the other day I went and purchased 3 or 4 small bags of different single origins from them to try and the chap that served me threw in a bag of their Indian beans on the house because he thought I might like them based on what I said to him. Speaking of Gregs Cerebros.... I got some Orb Beans (Yirgacheffe Beans & Morobe Beans) at the supermarket after seeing they picked up awards at the NZ Coffee awards... The Morobe had a lot of smashed & broken beans, so I went looking for someone to complain too only to find out Greggs Cerebros own them, sent an email grumbling about it, and have a replacement bag on the way! They own Robert Harris too! I'm not a huge fan of big multinationals either but if the Coffee is good and I can get it fresh I don't mind so much.... To be honest I'm not really loyal to any Coffee brand.... I'm constantly changing.... even from cup to cup!

    I don't get anything I can get anything from the Supermarket if it's available locally from roasters direct .... I occasionally get Screaming Turtle Beans out of the bulk bins if I'm at New World Chauffeurs Park they've always been pretty fresh as best I can tell... Silly as it might seem I like there branding and they roast out the Hutt tho for some reason aren't open or setup yet to sell to private customers. There is also another roaster locally Emporio which is on Abel Smith Street who I've been meaning to visit..

    Yeah it was Supreme I got the geisha from..... They have a new geisha in at the moment from a different location which I thought I might try....

    Have you ordered from Coffee Lab before??

    I'll keep Five Boroughs in mind always up for trying somewhere new...

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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I haven't ordered from Coffee Lab before so can't help you there sorry. And yes Caffe Laffare were bought by Cerebos Gregg's a few years ago. Fortunately the beans you buy direct from the roastery there in Wellington are still roasted on site (at least mostly I think). But all the ones in supermarkets or bought online come from the giant Cerebos Gregg's roastery in Auckland. It's a guess, but I reckon between Gregg's and Hollis they must roast over 70 or 80% of NZ's cafe and supermarket 'specialty' beans. Gregg's owns Robert Harris as you say and I think Gravity and Columbus too. They also roast for Wild Bean Cafe which is the largest coffee beverage retailer in NZ by a long way. It's an ever changing market and I don't have the latest info so I may not have got all that quite right, and there could've been more acquisitions recently too. Its a big business for sure.

    I might have to check out that new Geisha that Supreme have.



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