HomeRoast Digest


Topic: learning the descriptive attributes of roasts (14 msgs / 519 lines)
1) From: Stephen Carey
Hi all.  I am still working to recognize the descriptive attributes 
that I taste as compared to what a book or the bag from SM's may 
say.  I realize, finally, that even a perfectly roasted and then 
brewed coffee may bring up a different description for me, though 
along the same lines.
The most recent is the Sulawesi Grade One Toraja.  I don't know, yet, 
where this falls in the line of great or good coffees.  I do know I 
like it.  I got it to Full City, my first real roast that I hit Full 
City on purpose the first time.  I can taste deep toned character 
very easily, I love it.  I notice the low acidity and syrupy body.  I 
really notice the "funky foresty note."  But, at first sip I also 
taste a quiet and refreshing taste.  It is soft on the palate (low 
acidity?), and other words which I am translating to the ones I see used most.
What I most like about this coffee is that if someone has been 
dumping cream and sugar in their coffee - I don't mean adding some, 
but DUMPING it.  After weaning the off of it, this is the coffee I 
would let them try without either the cream or sugar.  It has a nice 
balance of flavors, won't scare them or overwhelm them.  If they sip 
slowly and let the coffee cover their tongue and hold it a second 
they will be surprised by the many flavors, which they may not be 
able to put into words, that are there.
I think this coffee would be great to serve to those who like a 
nighttime cup and are not bothered by caffeine late at night.  With 
the refreshing taste there is a soft tone to it that shouldn't wake 
up the brain into thinking too deeply about it.  It just tastes quite 
good and a wonderful way to end an evening, or, for me, to start a 
slow morning, where I don't want to hurry.
Does as being new to roasting does it make sense to not really have 
the same terminology as I read about?

2) From: stereoplegic
of course. it can take up to two years to fully develop your palate (i'm 
still training mine as we speak).
steve wrote:
<Snip>

3) From: Les
Stephen,
What most folks don't understand is the tremendous work Tom does for us.
Having spent a good part of a day with him a couple of years ago cupping in
Oakland, I really learned to appreciate his skills and work ethic.  Unlike
you and me who get to play with an origin, Tom is busy cupping (sometimes
dozens of coffee from one origin) to bring us the best examples of coffee
that represent the various regions or something that is unique but high
quality from a region.  Tom's write-ups give us the big picture of the
coffee.  He doesn't have the time to linger over a  bean like you and I do.
For example he may have done two roasts on the Ethiopian Misty Valley.  I am
on my 15th roast and I have it dialed in.  The blueberry chocolate after 8
days rest this morning was awesome.  Poor Tom poured his cupping cup full of
hot water with the prescribed amount of coffee, let it sit for the
prescribed amount of time, broke the crust, and smelled the wonderful aroma
of the Misty Valley, aerated a spoonful to fill his senses, and spit it out,
followed by racking his brain to record his findings.  He then moved on to
the next cup and did the same thing.  When I was there, we had 8 different
beans on the cupping table and went around and around.  Does that sound like
fun?  Contrast that with what happened at my house this morning.  I loaded
up the Mazzer Major and ground the Misty Valley, filling the kitchen with
wonderful ground coffee smells.  I then loaded the Technovirm and brewed a
pot of coffee filling the house with more wonderful aromas.  I poured it
into one of my favorite mugs and went out in the living room and snuggled in
with one of my pugs and enjoyed every nuance of the cup as I watched the
sunrise and experienced the cup as it went through its wonderful flavor
shifts as it cooled.  Then I went out and made my breakfast and enjoyed
another cup with my food.  On my way to work, I enjoyed another cup in the
car as I prepared for the day.  So when you are contemplating that cup of
coffee, just remember all the hard work Tom has done to bring it to you, let
alone the labor of the farmer, processors, and shippers.  It makes the cup
taste just that much better.
Les
On 8/8/07, stereoplegic  wrote:
<Snip>

4) From: Brian Kamnetz
Thanks for these insights, Les.
Brian
On 8/8/07, Les  wrote:
<Snip>

5) From: Eddie Dove
Hear, Hear!
Raising my cup of Ethiopia FTO Yirgacheffe Oromia ... lemon and Jasmine ...
Many thanks to Tom, Maria, Derek and the rest of the crew!
Eddie
-- 
Vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On 8/8/07, Les  wrote:
<Snip>

6) From: Stephen Carey
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Trust me, and maybe this comes from what I do a living, I totally get 
what is done for us.  It is that reason that I am here and not 
somewhere else, not buying elsewhere or learning elsewhere.  I love 
his descriptions, I just haven't figured out how to match my 
descriptions with his.  Though, in reality, I don't think Tom or 
anyone cares if I do use the same words, as long as I am having fun 
roasting, learning more about it, and most of all enjoying the riches 
it brings us.
Like when I read "foresty flavor" to me it reminded me of this time I 
made moss tea on a survival outing, so I got it.  The coffee was 
better, but I got the sense of what he meant and how he applied it to 
the flavor.  I may be trying to hard to "fit in" to his terms and not 
just enjoying the coffee.  Besides, some of my terms may be just as 
descriptive, for they aren't wrong, just different vernacular.
Les, thank you for the comments.  It is always very kind of you to 
take the time that you do with us new comers, though, now with about 
12 roasts in, and about 4 more this week to do, I am feeling much 
more comfortable here.
I do hope Tom finds the time once in a while to sit and savor the 
work he has done for all of us and for SMs, it would be a shame to 
miss it.  I am sure he does.  But, the way they buy is so different 
and wonderful from what else I have seen out there.  I didn't just 
come here, I checked out many places to see how they came by their 
beans, the descriptions and so on.  I wasn't that worried about 
pricing, I wanted quality beans that a new comer to this could have 
confidence in, and I found it.  Very cool.
At 11:44 AM 8/8/2007, you wrote:
<Snip>
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Trust me, and maybe this comes from what I do a living, I
totally get what is done for us.  It is that reason that I am here
and not somewhere else, not buying elsewhere or learning elsewhere. 
I love his descriptions, I just haven't figured out how to match my
descriptions with his.  Though, in reality, I don't think Tom or
anyone cares if I do use the same words, as long as I am having fun
roasting, learning more about it, and most of all enjoying the riches it
brings us.
Like when I read "foresty flavor" to me it reminded me of this
time I made moss tea on a survival outing, so I got it.  The coffee
was better, but I got the sense of what he meant and how he applied it to
the flavor.  I may be trying to hard to "fit in" to his
terms and not just enjoying the coffee.  Besides, some of my terms
may be just as descriptive, for they aren't wrong, just different
vernacular.
Les, thank you for the comments.  It is always very kind of you to
take the time that you do with us new comers, though, now with about 12
roasts in, and about 4 more this week to do, I am feeling much more
comfortable here.  
I do hope Tom finds the time once in a while to sit and savor the work he
has done for all of us and for SMs, it would be a shame to miss it. 
I am sure he does.  But, the way they buy is so different and
wonderful from what else I have seen out there.  I didn't just come
here, I checked out many places to see how they came by their beans, the
descriptions and so on.  I wasn't that worried about pricing, I
wanted quality beans that a new comer to this could have confidence in,
and I found it.  Very cool.
At 11:44 AM 8/8/2007, you wrote:
Stephen,
What most folks don't understand is the tremendous work Tom does for
us.  Having spent a good part of a day with him a couple of years
ago cupping in Oakland, I really learned to appreciate his skills and
work ethic.  Unlike you and me who get to play with an origin, Tom
is busy cupping (sometimes dozens of coffee from one origin) to bring us
the best examples of coffee that represent the various regions or
something that is unique but high quality from a region.  Tom's
write-ups give us the big picture of the coffee.  He doesn't have
the time to linger over a  bean like you and I do.  For example
he may have done two roasts on the Ethiopian Misty Valley.  I am on
my 15th roast and I have it dialed in.  The blueberry chocolate
after 8 days rest this morning was awesome.  Poor Tom poured his
cupping cup full of hot water with the prescribed amount of coffee, let
it sit for the prescribed amount of time, broke the crust, and smelled
the wonderful aroma of the Misty Valley, aerated a spoonful to fill his
senses, and spit it out, followed by racking his brain to record his
findings.  He then moved on to the next cup and did the same
thing.  When I was there, we had 8 different beans on the cupping
table and went around and around.  Does that sound like fun? 
Contrast that with what happened at my house this morning.  I loaded
up the Mazzer Major and ground the Misty Valley, filling the kitchen with
wonderful ground coffee smells.  I then loaded the Technovirm and
brewed a pot of coffee filling the house with more wonderful
aromas.  I poured it into one of my favorite mugs and went out in
the living room and snuggled in with one of my pugs and enjoyed every
nuance of the cup as I watched the sunrise and experienced the cup as it
went through its wonderful flavor shifts as it cooled.  Then I went
out and made my breakfast and enjoyed another cup with my food.  On
my way to work, I enjoyed another cup in the car as I prepared for the
day.  So when you are contemplating that cup of coffee, just
remember all the hard work Tom has done to bring it to you, let alone the
labor of the farmer, processors, and shippers.  It makes the cup
taste just that much better. 
 
Les
 
On 8/8/07, stereoplegic
<stereoplegic
> wrote: 
of course. it can take up to two years to fully develop your palate
(i'm
still training mine as we speak). 
steve
wrote:
> Does as being new to roasting does it make sense to not really
have
> the same terminology as I read about? 
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7) From: Jim Carter
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Thank you, Les. What you have stated, so perfectly, should be required 
reading for anybody getting started with home roasting. It should be  on 
the first page of any home roasting book and on the front page of the 
Sweet Maria's website.
note: this post was not trimmed on purpose for the benefit of those who 
somehow missed the post from Les and those who should read it again more 
slowly.
Les wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Amber Systems, Inc.
414 Main Street Suite 211-C
Rochester, Michigan 48307
www.ambersystems.com
p. 248-652-3140 ext. 224
f. 248-652-3402

8) From: Stephen Carey
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I agree with that, it would help show why this is such a safe and 
solid place for learning.
But, let me make one thing clear that maybe I didn't at first.  I wan 
NOT complaining.  I was asking about developing my palate so I could 
better understand what to expect when reading about a green 
coffee.  I am not refined as many and I would like to be.  I assume 
it takes time.  My question centered around if it was wrong, though I 
did not express it outright, to use different descriptions if that is 
what I taste.
I, in no way said anything negative about SMs or any one involved in 
it.  I just want to be a better roaster, a good student of the 
culinary art of roasting, and able to describe to others what I taste.
That's it. 
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I agree with that, it would help show why this is such a
safe and solid place for learning.
But, let me make one thing clear that maybe I didn't at first.  I
wan NOT complaining.  I was asking about developing my palate so I
could better understand what to expect when reading about a green
coffee.  I am not refined as many and I would like to be.  I
assume it takes time.  My question centered around if it was wrong,
though I did not express it outright, to use different descriptions if
that is what I taste.
I, in no way said anything negative about SMs or any one involved in
it.  I just want to be a better roaster, a good student of the
culinary art of roasting, and able to describe to others what I
taste.  
That's it.
--=====================_181367062==.ALT--

9) From: Brian Kamnetz
Stephen,
I thought it was clear in your original post that you were very happy to
have found SM, and very happy with all that Tom does to make the best
coffees in the world available to us for home roasting. Or, at the very
least, I saw nothing to indicate anything to the contrary.
Brian
On 8/8/07, Stephen Carey  wrote:
<Snip>

10) From: Paul Carder
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Stephen, I read the list daily, but don't contribute very often because =
I'm not real good at what I want to say. But you hit on one of my =
favorite beans ever! I should be getting some more Sulawesi in a day or =
two I ordered. I dread the day Tom sells out! Your descriptions pretty =
much say what I love about the bean so much. Besides a single variatal,  =
let me suggest a simple blend that is my all time favorite. When I bring =
it in, the coffee drinkers at work say it is the best coffee they've =
ever had. Roast the Sulawesi and any SM Yemen separately, then =
experiment with mixing the two at different percentages. Also experiment =
with different roast levels. My absolute favorite is both roasted to a =
FC+, and then mixed 50/50. 
PAUL CARDER

11) From: Stephen Carey
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Paul, I am having a cup now, I love this bean.  I am willing to risk 
a bit of insomnia for one more cup of it.
This may be my answer to a question I was going to ask.  I want to 
serve something a bit different and not so bold as to take over the 
taste of the dinner I will have just served.  I have plenty of time 
to work on this blend before said dinner.  I need to order the Yemen 
and then I can start.  Meanwhile, I will continue to dial in on the 
Sulawesi, it is a delight for the taste buds and the mind.
Thank you,
Stephen
At 09:08 PM 8/8/2007, you wrote:
<Snip>
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Paul, I am having a cup now, I love this bean.  I am
willing to risk a bit of insomnia for one more cup of it.
This may be my answer to a question I was going to ask.  I want to
serve something a bit different and not so bold as to take over the taste
of the dinner I will have just served.  I have plenty of time to
work on this blend before said dinner.  I need to order the Yemen
and then I can start.  Meanwhile, I will continue to dial in on the
Sulawesi, it is a delight for the taste buds and the mind.
Thank you,
Stephen
At 09:08 PM 8/8/2007, you wrote:
Stephen, I
read the list daily, but don't contribute very often because I'm not real
good at what I want to say. But you hit on one of my favorite beans ever!
I should be getting some more Sulawesi in a day or two I ordered. I dread
the day Tom sells out! Your descriptions pretty much say what I love
about the bean so much. Besides a single variatal,  let me suggest a
simple blend that is my all time favorite. When I bring it in, the coffee
drinkers at work say it is the best coffee they've ever had. Roast the
Sulawesi and any SM Yemen separately, then experiment with mixing the two
at different percentages. Also experiment with different roast levels. My
absolute favorite is both roasted to a FC+, and then mixed 50/50. 
PAUL CARDER
--=====================_215971515==.ALT--

12) From: Floyd Lozano
Waitwaitwait... you're saying he doesn't just tack the names of the beans up
on a circle and play Wheel of Coffee?
-F
On 8/8/07, Les  wrote:
<Snip>

13) From: DJ Garcia
Sure, unless you're me - I'm still at the "like", "really like", "really
really like", "don't like", "WTF" stage ... Fortunately most of my roasts
nowadays fit the second and third terms ...
DJ
Forever young / or just plain refuses to grow up

14) From: DJ Garcia
And I love his Flavor Quality Analysis graph!
DJ
Still going through the digests after a week away ...


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