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Topic: cafe estima? (24 msgs / 582 lines)
1) From: Cameron Forde
My wife had some starbucks coffee that she liked and was wondering if
I could roast up something like it.  I tasted it and it was definitely
one of their better coffees.  The blend is called Cafe Estima and the
predominant flavour is caramel (yes, a roasty flavour).  Their website
says that it is a blend of Eastern African and Latin American coffees
(and it is Fair Trade certified).  I'm guessing that the Eastern
Africa must be Kenya because this sure wasn't an Ethiopian coffee.  If
it is a Kenyan then it is one of the less citrusy Kenyans.  As for
Latin America I have very little idea of what coffees from this area
are like.  I think that I would recognize a Colombian and this wasn't
that.  I had a Mexican coffee last year that might have come close --
it was the one with the impossibly long name.  Has anyone tried this
coffee and recognized the origin so that I can try and make something
similar?
Thanks,
Cameron
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2) From: Brett Mason
Go to Starbucks and buy her the coffee...  Or get some Torani caramel
syrup...
YOU Focus on good coffee...
Brett
On Feb 19, 2008 10:40 PM, Cameron Forde  wrote:
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3) From: Paul Goelz
At 12:01 AM 2/20/2008, you wrote:
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Why is it that it is not allowed on this list to like anything that 
Starbucks sells?
The other day I found a sheet of paper I had from a tasting event the 
local Starbucks held.  Most of their coffees were typical 
Starbucks... over roasted and burnt / horribly strong.  But two stood 
out as coffees I actually liked.  Trouble was that I forgot what they 
were until I found the paper I had from the event.  One of the two 
was.... Yemen Mocha Sanani (sp?).  The very Yemen that I later bought 
from Tom and loved.  For the same reasons.
Does that mean that I don't actually like it?  ;)
Paul
Paul Goelz
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4) From: John Despres
Hi, Paul.
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now & then. I'm sure Starbucks might =
sell a good cuppa, but I for one, won't be going in to sort through the =
menu to find it. I get the guaranteed good stuff every time from Sweet =
Maria's.
I found nirvana in my roaster and it comes from Oakland CA.
Obstinately,
John
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e.com
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5) From: Sandra Andina
I think the problem is that there are Starbucks and then there are  
Starbucks. By that, I mean that their expansion kiosks and shops,  
which are staffed by button-pushers who don't know coffee and are full  
of bags of stale beans, have outnumbered and overshadowed their  
longtime (10+ yrs) locations--many of which feature baristas who knew  
their way around LMs and grinders and were knowledgeable about coffee  
and brewing methods. Many of the "Black Apron" offerings (as well as  
some of the blends) are and were roasted to FC or lighter, but since  
that's not Starbucks' signature roast/flavor profile, most customers  
pass them by and the media ignores them.  What has hurt them across  
the board has been an overemphasis on homogenization, filtering down  
(no pun intended but heck, I'll take it) even to their line of  
hardware and accessories--remember when they even sold tampers for  
their espresso machines (and offered several lines of them, with nary  
a superauto in the bunch)? And of course, their limited edition beans  
were often relatively fresh (years ago, even the Schultz-era shops  
offered beans in bulk).  I find that the older stores often still have  
some long-time staffers who can tweak out a near-ristretto or  
microfoam; but to me Starbucks' main positive attribute is  
availability--those tollway plaza and airport kiosks are lifesavers  
when I want a breve or macchiato. I know it won't be perfect, but  
it'll be consistently better than many neighborhood shops. (I can tell  
you horror stories, even among coffeehouses where I've played).  And  
to the chain's credit, it's dialing back on US expansion and quietly  
moving back towards quality and variety. (I guess Schultz was appalled  
when he stepped back in and wants to take the trend back towards his  
original concept of bringing the Italian coffeeshop lifestyle to  
America--and in that regard, he has succeeded far beyond his own chain).
Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
On Feb 20, 2008, at 5:48 AM, Paul Goelz wrote:
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6) From: Cameron Forde
I knew that there would be a few who would come up with a blanket
"bleah" response.  I was hoping that there might have been some idea
from the list as to the components of the blend.  At least a starting
point so that I can come up with something with the similar
attributes, but better because I would be starting with better beans
and it would be freshly roasted.  I'm not sure if the lack of response
is lack of experience or fear of owning up to drinking the stuff.  I
don't live in a black and white world and I'm not afraid of enjoying
colour wherever it is found.
Cameron
On Feb 20, 2008 8:40 AM, Sandra Andina  wrote:
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7) From: miKe mcKoffee
I have no fear of admitting anything. I don't frequent *$, never did, highly
likely never will. Yes I've tried them in the distant past, which is why
I've never become a customer even if desperate. (Yes I'm that picky about
coffee taste.) Someone would have to visit *$ and actually buy/try the blend
to have any input. Why would I buy their coffee? If you really want input on
what the blend might be buy some and send it to some people on the List you
feel might be able to help you out. 
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
www.mcKonaKoffee.com
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
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8) From: Brett Mason
You guys can read this any way you want.  You read my last one as such.
I recommended not trying to compete with Starbucks' lesser grade coffee,
higher degree of roast, and post-roast aging.  Just go buy some Starbucks
and deliver it.
OR - ask TOm what he has that is lower grade, older beans, and how to roast
it darker...
You're trying to his someone else's roast profile and highly unlikely to
meet it...
Brett
On 2/20/08, Cameron Forde  wrote:
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9) From: Rich
Possible artifact of the public education system...
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10) From: Edward Bourgeois
Just knowing the origins of a *bucks blend will not mean you can buy
some of those same origins from Tom and get the same results. Better
to determine the characteristics your wife likes in a coffee along
with a roast level and look through Toms notes to find coffees with
desired characteristics at desired roast levels.
On Feb 20, 2008 1:27 PM, Brett Mason  wrote:
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11) From: Paul Goelz
At 11:40 AM 2/20/2008, you wrote:
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That's just it..... yes, I prefer my coffee at home.  But when I am 
NOT at home, it is great to be able to drop into a Starbucks and get 
a latte that is at least drinkable.  And before the automatic 
espresso machines hit several years ago, their espresso drinks were 
sometimes even pretty good.
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I hope so.  They lost something when they went to the automated 
machines.  I remember having a conversation with a manager (who knew 
my name even before they were instructed to use my name and engage me 
in conversation) who told me how much she tweeked the grind, tamp and 
temperature throughout the day as the store temperature and incoming 
sunlight changed.  She knew her stuff and the lattes tasted like it.
I berate Starbucks for the way their everyday coffee tastes, but I 
don't automatically dismiss everything they do.
Paul
Paul Goelz
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12) From: Sean Cary
Not sure that is what Brett is saying - its like Duncan Donuts coffee...  If
I want Duncan Donuts coffee...then I can go buy some.  The process of
roasting or blending to match what is out there already is somewhat
fruitless...it already exists.
If you like Starbucks - buy it and drink it, but trying to mimic what is
really a sub optimal roast is counter productive to what we strive for as
home roasters.  Most of us roast since we find that roasting we do (even
poorly as the case may be) is far superior then anything you can buy - just
the beans alone separate anything we do from what you can buy mass
produced.  Plus the freshness and uniqueness are what make it really
special.
I can buy press board furniture at Wal Mart that will hold my clothes, or I
can make a cherry or walnut dresser with hand cut dovetails, a french polish
and other aspects you could not buy for a reasonable price and be much
happier with the final product - they both do the same thing.
Again, my .02
Sean
On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 6:48 AM, Paul Goelz  wrote:
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13) From: Brett Mason
Thanks Sean - sometimes it takes a Marine to get the simple message nailed
down.  You expressed exactly where I am on this.
Not too long ago, early 2004, I was always the guy who knew where all the
local Starbucks were.  I don't care for their coffee so much, but when I go,
I get their "light-note blends, and ask them to press a pot for me.  Pretty
good, but not their standard issue....
Brett
On 2/20/08, Sean Cary  wrote:
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14) From: Cameron Forde
Let me rephrase the question: If I wanted to blend a Kenyan coffee
with a Latin American coffee, which Latin American coffee would you
suggest?  My problem is twofold.  Latin America covers a lot of
different countries, and my experience roasting Central and South
American coffees is limited to a handful.  I'm interested in what
people have to say about various countries as well as specific coffees
currently available from SM.
Thanks,
Cameron
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15) From: Gary Townsend
Cameron,
try this guy, he knows what is going on in all 3 regions,http://www.sweetmarias.com/weblog/more reliable information on coffees there, than anywhere else I've been
looking.
Gary
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16) From: Bill
I've been providing a lot of useless comments to the list lately... perhaps
I should stop!  Anyway, in my very limited experience, i have been informed
that a Guatemala is a good blender, as they can be balanced and a good base.
 But that is very limited experience and very limited hearing, as well.  A
thought: buy a couple of centrals that look interesting, roast those, find
one you like, mess with blending it a bit to find a combo you like.
As always read Tom's article:http://www.sweetmarias.com/blending.html I'm
always surprised that I learn something new in reading it.
Sorry for the next to useless post!  I'll contribute something worthwhile
someday!
bill
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17) From: Cameron Forde
Hi Bill,
Thanks for your suggestions.  Tom's blending notes are a great place
to start.  I was pretty sure that I wasn't tasting a Colombian in this
particular blend, though.  It could be that the Colombian was less
predominant.  I'll take your advice and order one of the current
Guatemalan coffees to my next order.  They all sound ideal for this
blend.  The Colombian offerings all sound like they would be just as
well suited.  I've got a couple of Kenyans to pair them with, the
Kirinyaga and the Scooby Doo.  I might order some of the DP Mexican,
too.
Cameron
On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 7:59 PM, Bill  wrote:
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18) From: Brett Mason
Cameron, Bill's spot on with one idea:  Roast several types of beans,
individually, and then put them each into marked containers.
Then begin the process of post-roast blending - i.e. equal parts Guatemala &
Kenya, Colombia & Kenya, El Salvador 7 Kenya, etc.  Brew whichever way lets
you taste the results...  This works whether espressos, presspots, drip,
etc.
I'd recommend you purchase 12 separate 1lb bags across the LA region, and
use the flat rate shipping option.  This should let you get your feet wet
with blending, and there's something amazing:  These are the best beans in
the world - so your blends will begin great, and likely will exceed what you
have found elsewhere  ...
(The Secret of Sweet Marias)
Brett
On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 10:29 PM, Cameron Forde  wrote:
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19) From: John Brown
or just one or two bean types and roast them to different specs.  from 
city to Vienna and blend away.
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20) From: Joseph Robertson
Bill,
I don't think any comments on this list are useless. Some are sometimes less
informed than others but hey, it's how we learn. The sharing. Sometimes it
seems we are weeding through a lot of brush to catch a glimpse of the
gorgeous forest but that is what it takes with this learning experience.
After reading through this thread I can only add one suggestion, learn how
to cup coffee and do it often. Sure you could just make a cup of your
favorite coffee and try it. Just all depends on what level you want to take
this learning experience. Play close attention to Tom. There is a reason why
he cups so much.
Brett has some nice suggestions down below. I am here on this list because I
like being part of a group learning experience. The coffee experience for me
is not a one man show. I will never be content with any one taste or
profile. As Mike M. suggests, this is an endless search for a coffee nirvana
that will always elude us. In part due to the fact that all coffees change
from year to year. But what the hay, this is another reason why I love to
roast my own.
Keep your comments coming Bill.
JoeR
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21) From: John Despres
Thanks for the tip, Bill. The SM site is huge and I hadn't found the =
blending page. I'm still trying to figure out SO coffee, but will try =
blending soon enough.
Keep 'em coming, Bill.
John.
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616.437.9182
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22) From: stereoplegic
when out of homeroast, i've actually gotten excellent (yes, excellent) 
shots from Cafe Estima. it's slightly darker-roasted than some of my 
espresso blends, but not dark enough to disguise the fruity flavors (i 
don't get those w/ drip, i actually don't care for it as drip or press). 
if i had to guess, i'd say that it does have some Ethiopians in it (wet 
Sidamo, maybe?) not Kenya. as for the Latin American part, maybe Guat or 
Costa Rican (*$ works w/ their farmers a great deal), something that can 
yield chocolatey and/or caramel notes when roasted a little darker. i'd 
say try working w/ something like that and roast to FC/FC+. hope this 
helps. the list should know by now i'm not the one to *$ bash.
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23) From: Cameron Forde
Good to hear from someone who has some experience with these beans.
It is interesting that you get some fruit from espresso extraction.  I
certainly wouldn't have guessed Sidamo (even WP) from the drip.  Could
the fruity flavours come from a Brazilian?  When you say fruity is it
more like berry or more like plum?  I'd bet it is more like plum.  The
chocolatey/caramel notes can come from Kenyan that are roasted just
into second crack.  The lot 54 that Tom had a couple of years back was
great for that.
Cameron
On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 8:50 AM, stereoplegic  wrote:
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24) From: stereoplegic
i'd say more like the floral aroma you get w/ their Sidamo (which is 
supposed to be both wet and dry process, but i'm guessing mostly wet), 
which usually translates to a slightly sweet citrusy taste to me. only 
comes through for me in espresso/Americano form for me, not 
drip/press/etc. since it is a slightly darker roast than i usually like 
from them, i'm totally guessing on the Latin American portion, but 
Guats, Costas, as well as Nicaraguans and Mexicans usually hold up to 
darker roasts pretty well for me (FC+ is really dark for me nowadays, 
unless i'm roasting exclusively for espresso, and even then sometimes. 
but these should do well to make a comparable flavor profile).
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