I was down at the SCAA event in Anaheim a few weeks ago. One of my goals was
to pick up samples of Robusta from other parts of the world. Organic Fair
Trade or not. I would like to start using a small part in one of my espresso
blends for added "body" and or enhance creama. Not to mention a small
caffeine boost or bump to the over all blend. Silas? Are you using this
robusta for your espresso blend?
I have found from some tasting tests that there is a big big wide world of
Robusta out there. Many farms that grow Robusta do not use , ( shall we say
) a lot of care and TLC with this crop or coffee version. I say this based
on my conversation with an Indian lady who owns a plantation in the
Himalaya's. The pratice of this Robusta farm is companion planting. The
Robusta plants are dispersed among spices and herbs and some shade plants.
She gave me a sample of their top grade. As did the farmers from Vietnam. I
found the farmers of Vietnam to be very honest. All samples were labeled by
there grading system. I will sample roast each including the Mexican and do
a side by side cupping to see how they compare.
(((Tom, please chime in on this if you can help me with comments on the
farms and ground level.))) I have yet to have my first in country visit of a
farm. Much less a Robusta farm. My visits with the farmers are limited to a
few so not enough to go into the farming practice's much.
I brought back some samples of Robusta from Mexico, Vietnam, and India. I
have used a IRoast2 on the Mexico samples before. When I drank it straight,
I thought it was somewhat earthy and old socks but I would not, not drink it
if it was my only choice like it was for my grandmother and mother and
generations before me who used to pop the seal on a Folgers can for the hiss
and sweet ( so we thought ) smell of fresh coffee, aaaahhhhh, I mean
fresh ground Robusta,truth be known.
I have sampled Indian Robusta before. I thought I was having a flash back
from the '60's. A whiff of incense and spices crossed my nose just after
grinding with my Zass and a real floral explosion occurred when I pushed
down on my AeroPress. It was so far from what I thought coffee smelled and
tasted like I had to summon Linda, the real nose and palate of the family.
She also could not believe this.
This visit to the convention and meeting the owner of the Himalayan farm has
helped me understand why there can be some many different experience's with
Robusta or any coffee for that matter. Not many farmers take the care to
companion plant with spices and herbs and the like. I have no doubt some
cross pollination is taking place. I have these samples close by and often
open the bag from Vietnam and then have friends smell the little bottle of
dark multicolored beans from the Himalayan farm. I hesitate to roast them. I
won't be able to share this nose test. I need more samples.
On Sat, May 15, 2010 at 11:18 AM, silas coelho wrote:
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