HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Which Changes: Palate or Playing Field? (16 msgs / 249 lines)
1) From: Eddie Dove
Before I started on this joyful java journey, I would have sworn that I only
liked the "dark", "bold" coffees similar to those offered by a well-known
chain.  Therefore, when I started home roasting, I headed straight for those
types of beans (as per the descriptions), predominately Indonesians and
shied away from anything that was referred to as mild, medium, etc.  I also
ordered the Sweet Maria's 4-lb Sampler Pack to try some other beans and
figured since it was only a 1/2 pound of each it would be no big loss if I
didn't like it.  This certainly opened my mind and palate to the entire
wonderful world of coffee.  I am really thankful for the Sweet Maria's
Sampler Packs; what a great tool!
Since then, I have ordered many, many coffees and have enjoyed coffees from
all over the world and even one described as sweet.  I would never have
guessed that my favorite coffees would be the ones that were most fruited; I
don't even care that much for fruit.  With each different coffee and degree
of roast thereof, I find myself searching for the subtleties and nuances;
the experience the cup has to offer.
My musing lately is, does one's palate change or is it simply the offerings
or both?  Irrespective of flavor preference, does one's palate become more
refined or more aware?
Your thoughts?

2) From: Steve Hay
Hard to say, Eddie.. for me, I just chalk it up to experience and figure I'm
lucky to be able to try all of these things and have a favorite rather than
being stuck between Folgers and Starbucks.
On 11/18/06, Eddie Dove  wrote:
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."

3) From: Les
I would say both do.  I am enjoying my favorite from the beginning of
homeroasting, the BUG as I type.  Uganda Bugisu (Tom is out right now.) is
to me what defines all around good coffee.  That said, I think you can learn
to appreciate the different types of coffee.  I was never much for the fruit
type coffees.  However I have always liked a good Kenya.  I was a Panama nut
for a long time, but as you see Tom doesn't have a lot of offerings from
there anymore.  I shy away from the cultivators that have the word "cat" in
them.  I much prefer the older cultivators like the Bourbon and Typica
coffees.  For years I never ordered Guatemala coffees, but Tom is bringing
in the good cultivators.  I love the Pacamara bean as well.  For my taste
the Bourbon coffees from Brazil are a big cut ahead of their hybrid
offerings.  More and more I check to see what the cultivator is before I
On 11/18/06, Steve Hay  wrote:

4) From: Jeff Oien
Eddie Dove wrote:
More refined and aware. I used to really like Starbucks, I thought
I liked their roast levels a lot. I only liked centrals although I
could hardly tell the difference between Colombian and Guatemalan
because of how they roast. I liked Mexican the best but they either
didn't offer it or it was more expensive (why I don't know). I didn't
like any African winey beans or any Indonesian.
When I first started roasting, Mexican was my favorite and I roasted
everything to FC+ or Vienna. Then I tasted BLUEBERRY in Harar. Wow,
what a revelation. Since then I found out I don't really like Guats,
Colombian and Mexican are OK now and then and I've gotten to really
like Harar and Yemen. I also found out Brazils can be just as
interesting as any other bean and is now my favorite country for beans.
And I've gotten to enjoy City+ roasts.

5) From: raymanowen
"...more refined or more aware?"
I think the two qualities support and define each other.
Since you're able to fully control the origin, the roast, the grind and the
brew, you make little changes and evaluate the differences. Keep notes, and
you're a connoisseur...
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
"The indisputable truth is that no coffee is fresh if it isn't fresh
roasted." - -Martin Diedrich

6) From: Heat + Beans --all the rest is commentary
I see taste development as a learning curve.  Only one element (central as
it is) is the palate.  Some flavors are immediately accessible and when
coffee is fresh and well prepared, there's that big bump in appreciation.
Ever notice how often a newbie asks for a recommendation for chocolate
flavors or in some fashion asks for what we later learn is a heavier
After a while, with experience and confidence, we push our flavor
experiences.  Early on, I so associated bright and acidy flavors with sour
shots (which they often enough were) that I leaned toward over-roasting.
Gradually, I became more adventurous, and I've learned to welcome
"challenging" flavor shots even if they are not what I would select for a
friend whom I was trying to entice into a high quality coffee/espresso
On 11/18/06, Eddie Dove  wrote:
Heat + Beans
    all the rest is commentary

7) From: TINK1969
I have also found that since I started home roasting I find I am really  
enjoying coffees I found flavorless from the big chanis, most notably central  and 
south american coffees.
BTW thank you to those who recommended the Columbian as a SO.  It is  

8) From: john nanavati
i have very young palate but i find it interesting that i recognize many
more flavors in my coffee when i let it sit for a couple minutes and when it
cools a bit. is it me or is this common?
John Nanavati
Plainfield, New Jersey

9) From: Brian Kamnetz
I think that this is similar to cold beer, in the opposite direction. Good
beer isn't the best it can be when it is too cold; the flavors are most
accessible when the beer is warmer. "Domestic" beers are commonly consumed
when they are very cold because they just don't taste very good when they
warm up and the true flavors emerge.
The same is true, only in the opposite direction, when it comes to coffee. I
used to have a microwave in my office, primarily to reheat coffee, because
the coffee just didnt' taste very good when it started to cool off and the
real flavors started emerging. Now I make my daily cup of coffee in the
morning and it is often half an hour or more before I take my first sip.
It's best to wait for the coffee to cool so that the true flavors can
emerge. It is often 3, 4, or even 5 hours before I take my final, but still
wonderful, sip.
On 11/30/06, john nanavati  wrote:

10) From: Eddie Dove
Definitely normal and I search for this in every cup of coffee.  Brian did a
great job of explaining it.
Brian, you must have unimaginable willpower ... no cup of homeroast coffee
would make it that long around me.
On 11/30/06, john nanavati  wrote:

11) From: Vicki Smith
This is why I don't use a thermal cup (like the Nissan) for drinking 
coffee. In fact, if you change from a thick walled stoneware type mug to 
a nice china cup or mug, you might be very surprised at how much better 
your coffee tastes.
Eddie Dove wrote:

12) From: john nanavati
It's really interesting that you say that. I've found that my coffee is much
better and i experience many more flavors as i let it set or make my way
through the cup. it almost seemed as if the coffee needed to settle.
i'm the only coffee drinker in the house; so, i'll make a small pot. i've
started keeping the reminder in a glass for later (several hours). i'll add
one or two ice cubes and enjoy it as an iced coffee, which i never liked
On 11/30/06, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:

13) From: Brett Mason
Put an old pig tooth in it - might make for a livelier cup...
On 11/30/06, john nanavati  wrote:

14) From: Brian Kamnetz
I do that too, John, sort of, when I use a press pot instead of a moka pot
(I have the smallest of Tom's moka pots). I heat enough water to fill my
mug, and a little more, which I pour into a second mug, a quarter full or
less, and leave on the kitchen counter. When I get home at night, I sip it,
and am always amazed at how good it is.
On 11/30/06, john nanavati  wrote:

15) From: john nanavati
so, what temperature, roughly, is the coffee when you cup it?
John Nanavati
Plainfield, New Jersey

16) From: Brian Kamnetz
In the winter, around 65 degrees; in the summer around 80 degrees.
The only time I don't leave a mug a quarter or so full for the end of the
day is when I use the stove-top moka pot, which doesn't produce enough.
Today I made two mugs in the KMB, using the mug to measure water into the
KMB, and added a bit more water so that I would have some left waiting for
me when I get home tonight. When I get home I go to the kitchen sink to wash
my hands before preparing supper, and that's when I sip the coffee. It's a
nice little treat at the end of the day.
On 12/2/06, john nanavati  wrote:

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