HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Sickening roast (4 msgs / 149 lines)
1) From: Kevin DuPre
I've been chasing a good espresso blend like Lancelot
looking for the holy grail.
Using a Fresh Roast I have tried some various
combinations and while they pull some very respectable
looking shots in my pump driven espresso machine and
they taste good straight, they wimp out in a latte or
cappucino - that is the espresso doesn't hold its own
and gets lost in the milk.
Last night I tried another combo 50% Col. Sup. Huila
roasted to an oily full-city bordering on espresso
roast (as dark as I could dare before going too far);
25% Eth. Sidamo roasted to a full city light (the
first batch of ES I took to an espresso roast and the
smoke which ensued and the resulting smell was so bad
I was sick to my stomach after that - I've not smelled
anything so bad as that - the second attempt at the
ES, although roasted to a light full city was very
"funky"). Remaining 25% was Indian Monsooned Malabar
to an oily full city, although it appears MM gets oily
lighter than most other origins.
The shots pulled - also respectable looking, but the
body was very weak and disappeared in a capp or latte.
Obviously a simple roasting profile just doesn't cut
it.  I've gotten and printed Jim's techinque with the
FR+ but does anybody have suggestions as to which
origins and blend combos would yield a good espresso?
Thanks in advance,
Kevin
=====
--
Kevin DuPre
obxwindsurfhttp://profiles.yahoo.com/obxwindsurf"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes -- Marcel Proust"
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2) From: Lahtaydah
In a message dated 8/29/2002 9:57:07 PM Central Standard Time, 
obxwindsurf writes:
<Snip>
Hi Kevin, it has been my experience that Sumatran is a good base for any 
espresso blend.
Take care, Lee

3) From: Jeffrey A. Bertoia
Kevin
In my experience (YMMV) I have never been able to get a blend that made
both an excellant espresso and an excellant capa or Latte.  Like you mention
a great espresso blend seems to 'get lost in the milk'.
A very good example is monkey blend works very well as an espresso but
IMNSHO gets totally lost in the milk.
Since I prefer a Northern Italian style roast I stick with keeping it around
full city to full city+.  A good compromise that I've been working with 
lately
is 3 parts monsooned malibar, 2 parts sulewasi toroja and 2 parts Mexican
Tres Flechas.  It actually makes a very good espresso and a fair to good
capa.  If you want to get something that will really cut the milk add 10%
robusta.  I've got some of the monsooned robusta that Tom had which really
works out well.
ciao
jeff
Kevin DuPre wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Jeffrey A. Bertoia                      jbertoia
Slalom Services, Inc.                   www.SlalomServices.com
Telephone: +1 (810) 220 - 1174          Mobile: +1 (586) 854 - 7312
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4) From: Jim Schulman
Hi Kevin,
On 29 Aug 2002 at 19:52, you wrote
<Snip>
There's rules or guidelines for espresso blending. It's worthwhile 
following them for a while, so you can break them better later. The basic 
rule is that an espresso is blended from base, flavor and body beans
Mild beans in the base give sweetness and balance. These are usually high 
quality Brazils, although Columbians, and even some mild Panamanians make 
good alternatives. 
Second are bright or otherwise distinct "flavor" beans that are meant to 
give the espresso bite, and cut through milk. The classic one is Antigua. 
Monsooned Malabar, Harar, Mochas, or (more controversially) very dark 
roasted Sumatras, or Sulawesis for a hard Peets/Starbucks roast taste are 
also good. If you really love acidity, Yrg, Kenyan or Costa Rican can be 
used. The bright or fruity beans shouldn't be taken beyond a medium full 
city if you want them to have some punch. Alternatively, you can try 
something exotic - Indian non-monsooned gives an interesting cardamum 
note, Yauco Selecto has that single malt peaty thing going for it.
Finally, there are the "body" beans meant to add mouthfeel. These are far 
less important in blends designed for milk, since a good froth has 
mouthfeel galore. The body beans are Indonesians par excellence, although 
most Italian roasters use really cheap unwashed Brazils or Robustas for 
this.
Basically, for a milk blend use more flavor and less body beans. Also, 
this is strictly my opinion, but Columbians may do better as a milk base 
than Brazilians, since their chocolate/nut taste gives the milk a pleasant 
background flavor.
Unless you're going for the roasty taste as your punch, try stopping the 
moment the second crack starts rolling. This will improve both the 
sweetness and the power of bright or fruity flavors. 
IMO, keep loads in your FR small enough so there's at least one minute 
between the end of the first and start of the second crack (I think longer 
is better, but that's another story). The coffee simply doesn't work well 
for espresso if it's less.
Finally, there are people making terrific espresso while breaking every 
single one of the "rules" I gave. But while there's more than one way to 
skin any cat, there's often an easiest way. The blending rules are a 
fairly easy place to start.
You can learn more by reading Lou Pescamona's articles on blending 
published on Coffee Geek, and of course Tom's articles at SM.
May the crema be with you,
Jim
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