I am a fan of several of the SM blends. I have been buying Tom's Moka Kadir blend almost from the start of my homeroasting and more recently have also come to appreciate the Puro Scuro blend. I think it a rather challenging enterprise to maintain a flavor vision [an oxymoron if I ever hear, saw, tasted? one] of a specific flavor profile as your blending feedstock coffees vary over time. I do chuckle a bit when I see that Tom's cupping reviews for these two blends have remained unchanged for years even though surely what is being shipped has none of the specific lots of blending components that he cupped. What I think would be a nice addition to the descriptions of these blends would be the addition of a Version number that would be incremented each time the source of one of the major blending constituents changes, e.g., Moka Kadir Ver 37.
Douglas Strait wrote "I think it a rather challenging enterprise to maintain a flavor vision..." The phrase "flavor vision" reminded me of an idea I was entertaining yesterday. I think Douglas meant it in a different sense and I don't mean to change the subject of his post...whether my idea is even original I really don't know, but bear with me. I think it would be interesting to represent coffee flavor profiles graphically with color, where the flavor of coffees would be represented by, say, a rectangle or oval. Filling out the inside of these shapes would be colors and shapes that might resemble something like national flags. For example, my graphical representation of the Kenya lot 405 would look something like two medium-brown-colored blocks bisected by a golden stripe; the challenge is to apply visual imagery to your sense of taste. To me the Kenya 405 tastes even and "brown" with a middle segment of lighter (golden) character. If there were a chocolatey undercurrent, the flag might have a horizontal stripe running along the bottom. The flavors of the Harar Lot 30 might equate to a gradual left-to-right fade from dark geyish-brown to blue or lavender. See what I mean? Am I totally of my rocker or does this seem like it might be a fun (if highly subjective & completely pointless) exercise? TO in VA On 7/21/06, Douglas Strait wrote: <Snip>
TOVA- Maybe so, but wasn't Tesla? Now, all we use is polyphase AC power worldwide. I think you have copyright indemnity because you published here, but I'm no lawyer. Cheers -RayO, aka Opa! -- "When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty Wichita (ex-NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976
Can I Second the latter thought- "make the best blend possible!" Consistency is what Big Coffee is all about- the Dreckig mediocrity. They can not tolerate or support anything outstanding about coffee flavor. An outstanding harvest would cause a flavor spike and the natives would revolt- "Where's our mediocrity?" Go for the Bestest... Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
I recently saw a program about a savant. He could see numbers & mathematical operations in his mind as shapes & colors. Although he had an outstanding memory, he often did his best if he just let his mind go and follow the hunches, that is watch the colors & shapes form in his mind. On 7/21/06, Tom Ogren wrote: <Snip> -- "There is nothing new under the sun but there are lots of old things we don't know." -- Ambrose Bierce
On 7/21/06, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee wrote: <Snip> That link violates list rules. You are hereby warned. (joke) :) Seriously though, I think this visual coffee thing has merit, even if just an art project and not scientific. It might be an interesting contrast to the more scientific flavor diagrams. Don't know about you guys, but one of the things I find fascinating about coffee roasting is the juxtaposition between science and subjectivity. True with any food science I think. -- Steven Hay hay.steve -AT- gmail.com Barry Paradox: Consider k to be the greatest element of the set of natural numbers whose description require maximum of 50 words: "(k+1) is a natural number which requires more than 50 words to describe it."
Without a doubt the most precise method we have for representing the qualities of coffees is with language, written or spoken. Reading Tom Owen's coffee descriptions is compelling because he is especially talented in capturing the coffees with language (in both a literal way and an impressionistic, more poetic way). I think one of the most interesting things (potentially) about a project like visual representation of coffees might be the process of finding out just how similar people's results would be. People have an idea of what "chocolatey" means and can relate to "nutty", "winey", or "smokey", but put five coffee experts in a room with some finger paint and crayons and say "Draw or paint the Kenya Gethumbwini Peaberry." How similar would the five different results be? Some coffees (a complex Ethiopian for example) might look like a Jackson Pollock splatter-type affair with splashes of orange, yellow and purple amid greens and deep browns, while a tightly-knit, well structured Central American coffee might resemble something altogether more formal visually. Some coffees would be tougher to represent graphically I think (the India Matadakad for example...I was trying to picture it this evening as I sipped along and it was a tough one...very fine coffee though, with its subtle sweet twinge amid the lower loamy registers...neat!) I'd also be willing to bet that if you collected the results of "Paint That Kenya" done by five coffee enthusiasts (especially roasters and coffee professionals), the paintings would be decidedly more similar to one another than a separate collection of five results pooled from people plucked randomly off the street. I can't wait to get a look at tomorrows Kenya Lot 503. Scooby Dooby Doo! TO in VA On 7/21/06, Steve Hay wrote: <Snip>
Tom Owen asks: "So the v 3.7 etc makes a lot of sense. But where do we start"? I'd say you start where you are with Ver 1.0 if you wish to follow the Ver X.Y format. Blend version numbers would increment 1.1. 1.2, etc with each component change until there are none of the components that were in Ver 1.0. The next blend becomes 2.0, etc. Actually any system would be OK as long as when I am ordering I can be aware that there is a new version I might wish to try or that a version that I particularly liked is still available so I can get some more while the git'en is good as we are wont to say here in rural Georgia. Doug