Mar 8, 2006

Espresso - Part XYZ

Why XYZ? I guess I talk about coffee enough that I have given up tracking what number this is in a series of eternal dialogues on my little coffee world. In case you don't deal well with unknowns or variables rather than XYZ I will call this Part hmmmm 26.

Lets see, over the last three or four days I have roasted and enjoyed the Sumatra Iskandar Triple Pick, Sulawesi Toraja Grade 1, Guatemalan El Injerto and the Costa Rica Dota Tarrazu. Along the way I have also been picking at the previous roasts trying to get a sense of daily differences for each single origin or blend as they drift in and out of their respective peak times (for me). Rarely do any of them last more than a week post-roast.

I certainly enjoyed the earthiness of the Sumatran, though I did find it a hard shot to master. There was one shot in particular that I still remember and would like more of. I would love to get some more, alas its not available at the moment. The Sulawesi was also mighty fine, completely different and again, I will buy more in time. El Injerto, I am leaning more to French Press than espresso for a variety of reasons, but I am going to stick with it and try to optimise my roast and pulls so I can get good single origin espresso from it. Finally, the Dota Tarrazu, I like it as French Press and have only spent one day with it as an espresso which for me was a bit too lemon-y, in fact I tasted lemon dipped hazlenuts - odd, I know. I think it has potential as a single origin shot, maybe it is a matter of 1-2 degrees celsius shifting and some dosing experimentation.

Today I roasted the Java Djampit which should be good for shots in a couple more days. Also today I roasted up two different batches of a decaf espresso from Paradise Roasters, it just arrived in the mail this morning. One batch roasted for milk and the other batch for pure espresso. Even though the batch was only five hours old, Doreen asked for a decaf latte, glad to make it for her. I took the milk batch about 20 or a touch more seconds into second crack so it is quite dark for my taste, but in the latte it came through very nicely. Never having roasted decaf batches I found it quite a bit harder to judge first and second crack. I knew this would be the case based on my research, still it was suprisingly deceptive. The shot in milk had nice mellow licorice and almost a dark chocolate liquor like presence (a dark thick Kahlua?), in fact Doreen thought I had put a bit of liquor in it - no, but maybe next time. At the 36 hour point I will give the pure espresso blend a little ride to better sense the decaf and roast effects. I plan on keeping a sharp eye on the two decaf batches to see how they evolve. Having just got the three pound bag, I hope to know the blend fairly well in a couple of weeks.

Next up - A little bit of home roasting math... Three pounds of green beans is the equivalent of approx nine roasting sessions given that I load approx 150 grams of green per roast. I lose approx 20% of the session weight to lost moisure during roast so I will see approx 120 grams roasted. That will allow for 7 shots at approx 18 grams per shot (understandably if I drop to 15 grams per shot the number of shots per roast batch increases). So ultimately I will see approx 60 - 70 shots from this bag of decaf green. If I use French Press on it this will also change the math as I press for eight ounces of coffee and use approx 14-15 grams per. Whatever the case, once the three pounds are gone I should have a good feel for my likes and dislikes. So far, Daddy like.

Tomorrow I am going to be tasting the Moka Kadir espresso, Emerald Mist espresso and Espresso Nuevo. Mmmmm, its been a while since I tasted the Moka Kadira, excuse me while I float back to the first time I tasted it and knew I was hooked on freshly roasted espresso.