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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Holy Chiapas!

This morning I executed my first pour over where I didn't break the crust and disturb the mound. The water temp was a bit too hot and some roast notes came through but overall it was a success. I ended up with way too much coffee to drink but it's not like a I had a choice. I sent my timer/temp probe to a friend to make sure he had one AND my burner so I have to buy a new one!

I typically do a syphon when I do any coffee at home, espresso when I have the chance. I don't think people realize exactly how hard it is to get these manual methods right. The stirring on a vac pot is hard, especially with very fresh coffee in large amounts. You have to saturate without over stirring and over extracting. Stir too much and you create a centrifuge where the fines migrate to the middle, stir too little and you get a flat brew!

Well, the point of this post is not the brew methods, it was my 'breakfast blend' from last nights epic roast session. Of available coffees, since I was making only one cup, I wanted to make it last longer so I thought I would blend.

Barismo Breakfast blend:
1 Panama La Hacienda Esmeralda
1 K1 Kenya, special prep lot - sooo secret we can't say it in public ;)
1 Costa Rica CoE #20
1 Yirgacheffe Idido Teramed WP

It's sickly sweet, smooth and buttery, but darned if all the high notes just smoothed together. Blending is hard. I think I'll just stick to more interesting single coffees or pairings of two more interesting ones. I think the CR was adding nothing to the blend beyond sweetness and the Esmeralda was dominating all the other high note contenders. Sweet and juicy but hard to pick out distinct notes. A blend from last night, K1 + Esmeralda was like a knock down drag out fight for which one dominated the cup. Given the price of the two coffees, I'm not surprised. The result was something almost artificial like floral orange soda. Probably closer to Ben's crazy cherry coke idea!

By the way, if your Esmeralda has notes like 'lemon pledge', something isn't right but I'll leave you with that thought to chew on.

I also have a good roast of a 'higher grown' Chiapas and a Nic that suffered the jute bag fate. I don't see what people get from coffees like that Chiapas. There's nothing in it but funk. It was the first uneven roast we've had recently, two distinct sizes/colors and absolutely no positive or interesting cup characters, just mixed light funk. Sure, at close to second crack, it will be dark generic coffee flavors, maybe some cocoa and less funk, but I guess my palate is not good enough to get it.