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Topic: not quite a newbie question (7 msgs / 160 lines)
1) From: scott
Your taste buds are probably safe because they re-grow in about 2 weeks. If you don't smoke or have other real damage too them they are good to go. 
I think the extreme heat and cold may temporarily numb your ability to taste.  I notice the same thing and let my coffee cool a bit.  I've also read that the American beer industry has a keen understanding that extreme cold numbs your taste buds and so they promote drinking very cold beer.  In the parts of the world where beer flavors are more complex, they drink it closer too room temperature.
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2) From: John - In Deep Southern Texas
    I a word yes.  The coffee that we brew in the Cona tends to pick up a
lot of sweetness as it cools.  I think that part of this might be because
taste hot on the front of our tongue (a reason we burn the tip) and cold
over all of our mouth. That is by no means scientific, but its how my mouth
works :O)     AND I think that the stale coffee served at work and most
restaurants has rancid oil which tends to separate when the cup is cool, so
you get a concentration of it in the first sip. YUK!
Good cupping

3) From: Ed Needham
I remember from my "Sensation and Perception" and "Cognitive Psych" classes
that the perception of taste is affected by both heat and cold.  Taste buds
are electro-chemical sensory receptors, and react differently with different
chemicals, different pH, and at different temperatures, producing a complex
interplay of taste and mouthfeel sensations.  Professional cuppers cup from
hot to cold and make notes in between to find subtle (or not so subtle)
differences in bean characteristics.
Keep in mind that taste is also intertwined with smell, and cold coffee will
not be as aromatic as hot.
Ed Needham

4) From: JB Christy
Prior to coffee, my passion was scotch.  Connoisseurs drink scotch at room
temperature for just this reason.  However, having tasted the bottom of the
barrel blends that most Americans get when they order "scotch", one understands
why Americans usually serve and drink it on the rocks.
My experience with scotch roughly parallels my experience with coffee.  I
started out with the standard American fare for both, which is crap, so I
assumed I didn't like either.  Then I discovered "the good stuff", single cask
and home roasted respectively, resulting in a passion that occupied me and my
paycheck for a good long while. :-)
BTW, I did find my dream bottle of scotch at the Cadenhead store in Covent
Garden, London: 21 year old bond reserve single cask Talisker.  I've had it over
a year.  I have no idea when I'll have an occasion special enough and company
knowledgable enough to open it up.  But whenever I do open it, it'll be a
memorable moment for sure.  I'm glad coffee is ubiquitous enough that one can
actually drink one's favorites without fear of losing an irreplaceable treasure.
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5) From: John - In Deep Southern Texas
    You might want to talk to some St. Helena lovers!  It seems that every
time I find a bean that really lights me up, it runs out of stock and I have
to wait a year and pray that the next crop will be as good.
John - Preferring a Brazilian Bourbon to Scotch :O)

6) From: Timothy A Reed
On Sun, 5 May 2002 10:46:56 -0400 "Ed Needham"  writes:
Of course, I took Perception with an idiot, and we didn't cover this type
of stuff in Cog Processes...
In your heart you wonder which of these is true
The road that leads to nowhere
The road that leads to you
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7) From: Les & Becky
I would recommend that you avoid St. Helena at all costs!!!  As "John from
the deep south" pointed out it is hard to get!  I am one of the luck ones
who currently have over 5 pounds in my coffee stash.  IM(CSA)O it is the
finest coffee in the world!!! It compares to the scotch that you discussed.
It will not be shared with anyone that isn't my wife or another homeroaster.
And no, I will not sell or trade any that I currently have.  However, if you
are looking for great coffee that is available Tom does a wonderful job of
screening for us.  I have obtained over the years green coffee from at least
20 other venders, and Tom has never disappointed.  I find the Africans and
the Central Americans offer some wonderful complexity.  If money isn't a big
concern, a Kona or a Jamaican is hard to beat for depth and complexity.
However, I have also discovered that roast and rest are important too.  And
by all means, a good burr grinder is a must.  It is more important to spend
the $150.00 on a good burr grinder and use a popcorn popper than on the
roaster IMO.  I was able to get some Kenya Maputi (not from Tom) that was an
irreplaceable treasure because of their strange practices.  It was a smooth
deep complex cup without the usually Kenya high note kick!!  I am sure that
Mike M. would agree with me, as I shared a pound with him.
  I'm glad coffee is ubiquitous enough that one can
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