HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Alps small bean "fix" and my rant about buying pre-roasted coffee (59 lines)
1) From: Owen O'Neill
Ted said "I'm really impressed with your astute observation and 
clever
method of testing, regardless. Do you want this to be called the Owen
Protocol or the O'Neill Method, if it works?
I'm serious, you know. Who hasn't heard of the Scace Temp Surf Method 
for
the Silvia? Another keen observer like yourself."
Cosnsidering the fact that my coffee and espresso habit is funded by my
work with a device known as a protocol analyzer....  I suppose we
should settle for protocol. I'll be doing some some far from from
rigorous but more detailed testing over the next few weeks to confirm
these initial results and will post the outcome here.
Now the rant:  I'm in Charlotte NC for the weekend visiting my GF, who
recently relocated here. Having found a place in town that does their
own roasting and usually serves up a half decent espresso shot....  I
decided to buy a half pound of coffee to use here for the weekend with
intentions to freeze the unused portion. Had only espresso blend
already roasted at home (that comprises the bulk of what I drink - much
of what I roast in straight varietals is given to friends).  Needing a
low acid option for several reasons, I settle on a Sumatra or Sulawesi.
 The Sumatr was not labeled as Mandheling but had some oily spots on
the surface - didn't look like a really dark roast and I was suspecting
that it sat inthe jar for too long. Asked the young barista which beans
were the freshest, i.e. fastest turnover and she had no clue but
guessed that the Celebes Kalossi (aka Sulawesi Toroja) was a good bet.
Got it home and....  yuch!  Certainly not BAD tasting but
unquestionably stale.  Whay can't more micro-roasters label the dates
at which particular beans they have in stock were roasted?  Seems like
they get msot of the way there by roasting their own but miss that last
mile.
In another very puzzling sidebar.... I had a nice chat with the barista
about my espresso hobby and her knowledge of the local espresso scene. 
She used to work at Charbucks and their specified shot times were 18 to
23 seconds! Huh?  I can see times as short as 23 seconds on an E61
machine but 18 seconds? What's up with that?  The weird one is this....
 there's another local espresso place that has a roaster in a visible
place upfront and when I visited, the owner proudly proclaimed that
they did all their own roasting.  The barista was unaware of this when
she mentioned to me that this "other place" was one of their weekly
wholesale customers.  How weird is that?  Could they possibly have a
roaster on display to establish an air of authenticity but it's not
actually in use? They buy their beans elsewhere?   It seems possible
becuse the espresso I had at this "other place" on my visit was
hopelessly stale and watery.
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