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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Musings: Espresso research: Why challenge the standards?

I think the results we get this weekend will define our theory. An intermediate tasting of extreme light roast Terroir's Daterra Reserve has shown that we are definately onto something. What it actually means is unertain right now. Is it a Terroir roast/bean specific thing? I got feelers out to different friends and acquaintances looking for answers to this. I realize that person(s) at Terroir are working on it and good luck to them. I hope they post the data in a open forum for others to see at some point. I want to approach this from a community standpoint and really try to challenge the conventions of espresso. These single origins may be just the coffees to do this with. What if all those flowery descriptions on the bag that you struggle to frame in drip coffee could become obvious in the espresso extraction? That's what is driving me right now, the next experience.

Crazy, definately, but then again, everything I learn points me in a new direction. I came into coffee blind and maybe that's a good thing. Not knowing anything or even having a palate for any coffee. All I knew was that coffee was strong and often bitter. Espresso in fact was unpalatable in my early experiences with rubbish beans. This set me off in exploration that led us at Simon's to brewing Terroir. The drip Terroir has, when brewed correctly, is amazing. A cup of Tegu brewed correctly will shake your perceptions of coffee. That said, I am an espresso head these days and this new low temp concept is my key to marrying the two things. Espresso effectively clarifies the flavors in the coffee for me and there is the unlocking of those flavors I cannot always identify in drip without a struggle.

What does it mean effectively? I don't know yet. I will post the data when Ben and I have more conclusive and logged numbers. Our intermitten samples have convinced me the lighter roasts theory works fine. Even going as low as 180to 185F for a very light roast seems likely.

The next step once we cycle through all the Terroir offerings is to get roasts from other roasters and see how they compare. Stumptown, Ecco, and the likes.
BTW I talked to Simon and I think there is a free bag of Ecco coming for Ben from Simon.