HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Basic/embarrassing, but necessary to ask (23 msgs / 484 lines)
1) From: Michael Horowitz
Background: I probably came to coffee like many of you: instant while with
my parents, Folgers in the Army,a trip to Europe and discovery of Melitta's
filter system, my wife purchasing Gevallia coffee, purchasing pre-roasted
from the grocery, then from a local roaster, finally homeroasting. In all
cases I've been a "two teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon of Coffeemate" person.
Automatically.
When I began roasting, I figured I might be masking some of the flavors
described elsewhere, so I asked the group if I was masking the drink with
sugar/Coffeemate. As you recall, the answer came back "sugar is OK,
Coffeemate is masking flavors". So I began trying coffee straight. Of
course (more on "of course" later)taking coffee straight, the initial taste
sensation is BITTER!!!!! That bitterness is so overwhelming that there
seemed to be no way any subtle flavors could cut thru. I began to add
sugar, very slowly, tasting as I added. At one point the bitterness
dissappeared as if I had reached a balance; adding just a little more and
the drink became sweet.
Question: Is my assumption correct that sugar nullifies the bitterness (to
the personnal preferance of the drinker)and what is left are the
characteristics being described by the cuppers and experienced drinkers?
"Of course" - several days ago I opened my sample of Yirg., roasted it to
just into 2D Crack and after sitting for 12hours, giving it a taste. There
was no bitterness. I was able to drink it black. I don't know if Yirg. is
considered subtle or not, but the flavors were VERY evident to me.
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

2) From: Dan Bollinger
<Snip>
I think it would be more accurate to say you are tasting ACID, not BITTER.
Ever sucked on a lump of alum? That's pure bitterness.  Very few foods are
bitter.  Some get bitter as then burn, coffee among them.
You are in good company, a lot of people mix bitterness with acidity. Here's
a telltale: If your cheeks pucker, that's bitter.  If your lips pucker,
that's acid.
People add sugar to counteract acids.  Just like you add sugar to lemonade
to balance the citric acid.  Dry wines are acidic.  The opposite end of the
dryness scale is sweet.  So, semi-dry wine has a hint of sweetness.  I
suspect over time you will add less and less sugar as your palate matures.
I drink Americanos black and find a hint of sweetness in many cups, Central
American especially.  I always add a small spoon of fructose to a double
espresso.  hope this helps.  Dan
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

3) From: Mike McGinness
Good thought out answer Dan.
MM;-) aka Kona Krazy miKe mcKoffee
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting
Rocky grindin' - Miss Silvia brewin'

4) From: TFisher511
Some of the bitterness could be due to the brewing method or preparation. A 
good way to tell would be to bring your water to boiling and let it cool just 
a few degrees (maybe one minute). Then either French Press or pouring over a 
filtercone and brewing directly into the cup. If that improves the flavor 
then there is a problem with your current brewing method.
I learned to drink coffee black and just the slightest hint of sugar in my 
coffee turns my pallet inside out. Some coffees, like the ElSalvadore, seem 
to have quite a lot of natural sweetness. That kind of sweet I really enjoy.
We kind of bicker back and forth, but most agree that each should drink their 
coffee the way they prefer, the way they like it best.
On another note, the addition of coffeemate or cream not only changes the way 
the coffee tastes, but it drastically changes the mouth feel of the coffee. 
For some, the change of mouth feel may be a lot more drastic than the change 
in flavor.
Hey, drink it the way you like it best. That's what I do!
Terry F
mhorowit writes:
<Snip>

5) From: Jim Schulman
Hi Micheal,
Coffees, especially at darker roasts, have 
predominantly bitter roast flavors, ranging from 
chocolate, caramel, nut tastes to spice ones (if 
it's simply bitter, try a lighter roast). Some 
coffees, especially Central Americans and Kenyan, 
also have acidic flavors ranging from simple 
sourness (oops, try a darker roast) through citrus 
to wine or berry flavors. These flavors 
predominate at lighter roasts.
Both the acidic and bitter flavors need to be 
balanced by sweetness (few people consume either 
lemons or chocolate unsweetened). Coffees have a 
good deal of sugar, but the exact amount depends 
on roast and variety, and most people add sugar to 
get the balance they prefer. For instance, in 
Italy, most people add two small teaspoons of 
sugar to their espresso.
If you want to avoid sugar in your coffee, the 
trick is to add naturally sweet coffees such as 
Brazillians, Javas, some Columbians or Konas to 
your blend (the Konas straight). Also, longer 
roasts tend to be sweeter than shorter roasts.
I like a fairly sweet espresso shot, but also 
think that naturally sweet blends taste better 
than ones with sugar added. So I blend in sweet 
beans and use slow roasts.
Jim
On 4 Jan 2003 at 11:07, Michael Horowitz wrote:
<Snip>
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

6) From: Wendy Sarrett
Jim Shulman wrote:
	>I like a fairly sweet espresso shot, but also 
	>think that naturally sweet blends taste better 
	>than ones with sugar added. So I blend in sweet 
	>beans and use slow roasts.
I've been using an unmodified WBII for roasting. Am I correct that I'd
have to either do some sort of mod or use a variac in order to lengthen
the roast time and thereby increasing the sweetness?  BTW, more than one
person I gave beans to said the coffee was more full bodied/more
powerful flavor than the supermarket stuff. (Which is what I'd expect
actually from fresh homeroast.) 
Wendy
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

7) From: Jim Schulman
Hi Wendy,
On 4 Jan 2003 at 14:19, you wrote:
<Snip>
Yes, home roast is definitely more powerful than 
supermarket; freshness and bean quality count. I'm 
visiting my mom in Miami, and the espresso is 
starting out a color just a little lighter than 
when I normally cut mine off.
A variac or dimmer will slow down your roast. You 
can get an idea of the effect by doing one roast 
normally, and one roast with delays -- turn of the 
popper for one minute when the first crack is at 
its height, and at the first pops of the second 
(the roast will continue, but slowed down). After 
the second shut down, watch the beans and start 
cooling them when they've reached the color of the 
control roast. 
Cup or espresso the two roasts side by side, and 
that will give you an idea of what a dimmer or 
variac can do for you. Sort of a try it before you 
buy it -- although the dimmer/variac will do it 
with more consistency and precision.
Jim
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

8) From: The Scarlet Wombat
Just as sweet opposes sour, salt opposes bitterness.  If your coffee is 
truly bitter, you can experiment with adding a few grains of salt, note I 
said a FEW grains, start small.
People who like grapefruit and enjoy the acidity, but not the bitterness, 
sometimes sprinkle a small amount of salt on the grapefruit, it allows the 
acid/sweet balance to come through.
I love black coffee and never use salt, but people I know have and say it 
does reduce the bitterness.
Remember, start with only a few grains.
Dan
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

9) From: Dan Bollinger
<Snip>
I have heard that a common recipe for making coffee is by putting a pinch of
salt on the ground.
<Snip>
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

10) From: Angelo
It also works on various melons....Makes them taste sweeter...
Angelo
<Snip>
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

11) From: Michael Horowitz
Now this could be a very useful tool in teaching taste sensations.
Starting with a cuppa without additives.
Begin to add sugar until characteristic 'A' dissappears. The learning point
is - that was acidity.
Now add salt; the characteristic that is lessening is bitterness.
Hmmm. Some kinks to work out but I think we have a learning tool here.- Mike
At 03:40 PM 1/4/03 -0500, you wrote:
<Snip>
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

12) From: Rick Farris
Jim wrote:
<Snip>
Jim, are those any different size from large teaspoons?  How do you know
whether your teaspoons are large, medium, or small?
-- Rick
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

13) From: jim gundlach
I'm not sure what they use in Italy's coffee shops, but European cooks 
usually mean about 10 ml when they call for a teaspoon in cooking which 
is about two American teaspoons.  The doubling rule also applies to 
tablespoons.  Their spoons are not really that much different in size, 
it is just that in America when we measure a teaspoon, we level it off 
where the European cooks leave theirs rounded so it holds about twice 
as much.
Jim Gundlach
On Saturday, January 4, 2003, at 07:53 PM, Rick Farris wrote:
<Snip>
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

14) From: Andrew Thomas
I think for "caffe" they use demitasse spoons, which are much smaller than standard American teaspoons. Someone may know better than I.
Andy
----------------------------
From  : jim gundlach:
I'm not sure what they use in Italy's coffee shops, but European cooks 
usually mean about 10 ml when they call for a teaspoon in cooking which 
is about two American teaspoons.  The doubling rule also applies to 
tablespoons.  Their spoons are not really that much different in size, 
it is just that in America when we measure a teaspoon, we level it off 
where the European cooks leave theirs rounded so it holds about twice 
as much.
Jim Gundlach
On Saturday, January 4, 2003, at 07:53 PM, Rick Farris wrote:
<Snip>
Free e-mail!  you
A service of www.WallaWallaGuide.com
Select your own custom email address for FREE! Get you w/No Ads, 6MB, POP & more!http://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast">http://www.everyone.net/selectmail?campaign=taghomeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

15) From: Rick Farris
Here in the US, teaspoons -- just like gallons or furlongs -- are neither
large nor small, but...well... teaspoon sized.  One-third of a tablespoon.
One-sixth of an ounce.  One-forty-eighth of a cup...  19.75 ml...

16) From: TFisher511
Rick,
I think the large size spoon is a tablespoon, the medium a teaspoon and the 
small is a grapefruit spoon. It's the on with the pointy end that is really 
lousy for stirring coffee:)
Terry F
It's early and my caffeine level is still low:(
rick writes:
<Snip>

17) From: Jeffrey A. Bertoia
Jim / Rick
I don't know what they are called but I've always called them espresso 
spoons.
I just measured one of mine and leveled or mildly heaped it is about 3/4 
tsp.
while aggressively heaped it is about 1 tsp.
So by your estimate (and mine in an earlier post) they typically add between
1.5 and 2 tsp of sugar to their espresso.
jeff
jim gundlach wrote:
<Snip>
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

18) From: Jim Schulman
Hi Rick
you wrote:
<Snip>
The 3 to a table spoon teaspoons I see here are 
called coffee spoons in most of Europe, actual 
spoons used for tea are smaller, somewhere between 
1/2 to 3/4 the size of the ones here. If you have 
a sugar bowl with a spoon, it's about that size.
I wasn't trying to be exact, I was just trying to 
dispel the common idea that "real espresso 
drinkers don't use sugar," which is nonsense.
Jim
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

19) From: Spencer W. Thomas
Coffee is bitter.  Some coffee is also acidic (I've had occasions where 
light-roasted Kena coffee curdles the cream my wife puts in it.) 
 Caffeine is bitter, in fact when I was learning to be a beer judge, we 
used caffeine to create a bitter sample for training.  (Beer is bitter, 
except for American megaswill. :-)  In fact, beer balances bitterness 
from hops with sweetness from the malt.  Sweet won't make the bitterness 
disappear, any more than adding sugar to lemons eliminates their 
acidity.  But sweetness will *balance* the bitterness, making it 
tolerable, even "interesting."  Another bitter food is chocolate. 
 Unsweetened chocolate is way too bitter for most people, but adding 
sugar balances the bitterness so that we can eat it with pleasure.
(An interesting spin on caffeine's bitterness can be found here: http://www2.coca-cola.com/ourcompany/columns_bitter.html.Among the gems 
in this little item is the statement that " Flavor is the only reason 
for using caffeine in [Coke].")
Coffeeresearch.org has a page 
http://www.coffeeresearch.org/science/bittermain.htm)about bitterness 
in coffee.  It includes this statement: 
    *
      Caffeine has a distinct bitter taste and has a test threshold of
      only 75-155 mg/L (60-200 mg/L found by Clarke). However, Voilley
      considers caffeine to only account for around 10% of the perceived
      bitterness in coffee.
=Spencer
TFisher511 wrote:
<Snip>
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

20) From: Spencer W. Thomas
Should be *Kenya* coffee, not "Kena".
Spencer W. Thomas wrote:
<Snip>
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

21) From: Rick Farris
I know, and I was just making a joke.  There's still a dent in my cheek from
where my tongue was when I wrote that.
-- Rick
you wrote:
<Snip>
The 3 to a table spoon teaspoons I see here are
called coffee spoons in most of Europe, actual
spoons used for tea are smaller, somewhere between
1/2 to 3/4 the size of the ones here. If you have
a sugar bowl with a spoon, it's about that size.
I wasn't trying to be exact, I was just trying to
dispel the common idea that "real espresso
drinkers don't use sugar," which is nonsense.
Jim
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

22) From: Dave Huddle
I remember (50+ years ago) ALWAYS added a bit of salt to the Maryland Club, 
Maxwell House, Folgers drip pot.
Dave
<Snip>
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

23) From: Jim Schulman
Ah, then you had me fooled.
On 5 Jan 2003 at 23:20, Rick Farris wrote:
<Snip>
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast


HomeRoast Digest