HomeRoast Digest


Topic: new and more... (4 msgs / 156 lines)
1) From: Randy Poe
Thanks to everyone for the warm reception.  This is going to be FUN!
To be begin with, I'd like to set one thing straight.  When I filled in the
blanks to join the group, I really screwed up and got my own name wrong.  I
use the jpj337 and John Jiminez as a spam magnet.  Though I have a
few other email addresses, let's just use John_Falstaff (with an
underscore after John) and my real name is Randolph (or Randy) Poe.  It was
Felix Dial who noticed the discrepancy.  I'll try to fix it.
I'd like to address accuracy in the press (in specific the coffee press).
Recently, much was made about the release of St. Helena beans and the esteem
in which it is regarded.  Just released is the 2nd edition of 'Home Coffee
Roasting' by Kenneth Davids; he more or less slam-dunked Wallenford Estate
Blue Mountain for certain practices.. While I have never tasted of the
Saint, I have put away many a gallon of Estate Blue Mountain (smuggled
freshly vacuum packed back to the US).  When drinking my Blue Mountain, it
seemed as though every sip was a Devine gift to my taste buds.  How on earth
are we supposed to really know that St. X or for that matter any other
coffee is as perfect as the pre-publicity and subsequent review state,
faith?
All that I've been able to find are the reviews as provided by SM and
occasional mentions elsewhere.  It seems that getting caught up in the
frenzy of the latest and greatest can steer us off course.  I know I'm
venturing into subjective/objective philosophy and don't want to run this
into the ground, but how can we know what  is honestly great and what is
just very good?  Remember the great Kona scandal?  A large segment of the
prime coffee drinking world was duped until the truth was dumped on us.
If there is an averaging chart for beans and coffee, I'd like to know of it.
It wouldn't be absolute, but it might help.  The TRUTH might be out there!
Sorry I've rambled so much,  I'll keep it short next time.  I also pledge
not to use the word 'flame' in the future.
Randy

2) From: jim gundlach
On Nov 1, 2003, at 8:41 PM, Randy Poe wrote:
<Snip>
How on earth
are we supposed to really know that St. X or for that matter any other
coffee is as perfect as the pre-publicity and subsequent review state,
faith?
Coffee is never perfect, there is the best I've ever had, and many that 
were close to it.  And coffees from the same source processed the same 
way change from year to year.  This is a complex plant seed we are 
getting and doing some rather extreme things to them.  It is not easy 
to decide what coffees to buy.  I have tried a lot of coffees and I 
find that I don't rate the highly praised St. Helena, Konas, and to a 
lesser degree, Blue Mountains, as highly as Tom and many on this list 
do.  I love a good aged Sumatra and for example, the Nicaragua Pacamara 
19+ is one of my current absolute favorites.  I have found that there 
are some people on this list who have a history of liking and praising 
the coffees I have liked the most in the past and when they try a new 
coffee and really like it, I will order some too.  I always try at 
least one new coffee with each order and if I like it a lot, I pass it 
on to the list.  Those who have found they have similar tastes may want 
to try some while those who have found that they disagree with my 
tastes may well avoid it.   I don't see how I could have the coffees 
that I like as much as I do without this list and its sponsor.
Jim Gundlach
roasting over pecan wood fires
in La Place, Alabama

3) From: javafool
Hi Randy and welcome,
I'm with you about the JBM being a Devine gift to the taste buds. I'm sure
not all JBM is great, or even good, any more than all Konas or any other
origin is good in all of the lots and all of the time. The Wallenford Estate
is not generally regarded very well by our host, but I have had some
excellent Wallenford JBM coffee.
I have come to the opinion (no data, no double blind cuppings, just opinion)
that people see colors differently, smell odors differently and taste or
sense flavors quite differently. I also think there is a depth in the flavor
that is unique to good JBM's that some people really enjoy and others either
don't distinguish as pleasurable or just don't taste at all. It is probably
these differences in perception that separate the true JBM fans from the
camp that has no idea why anyone in their right mind would pay that kind of
$$$ just to say they drank Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee.
TerryF

4) From: Rick W
Randy,
The short answer is by trying many different varieties and making your
own judgments.  Tom's reviews and selection of the beans he carries are
very good.  I don't have the breadth of discerning taste that he's got,
but can say that I usually like and agree with his findings.  There
won't be a 100% correct standard on coffee reviews/reports, but Tom
comes awful close for me.  I view Tom as my "coffee broker" who has the
expertise to identify some of the best coffees worldwide.  So, I avoid
the concern of buying poor coffee or encountering the "Kona scandal" by
purchasing from a reputable broker.  
As to the "frenzy of the latest and greatest" such as the recent St
Helena announcement, I first tried it several years ago purely as a lark
(for fun).  That's the beauty of home roasting that you will be
discovering.  No longer will you be tethered to what a retail roaster
decides to buy and roast!!  I love variety and routinely have 3-5
different roasted coffee's on hand each week.
We've all got opinions in this group as you can see from the variety of
responses you got to your "which roaster" question.  If I was a newbie,
my head would be swimming with all the different responses you got.  I'm
an Alpenrost lover, but as you can see, there are some that are 180
degrees opposite on the Alp.  Both are right based upon their own
experiences.  You'll see glowing and damning reports about most of the
commercially produced home roaster machines.  From that view alone, you
could have the same concern about roasters as you raised about who to
believe about various coffees.  So, my best advice is to just "get your
feet wet" in whatever way you feel comfortable and fits your budget.
Home roasting is "FUN" as you put it, even with all the variables in
equipment and beans.    
Rick Waits
<Snip>
this
<Snip>
is
<Snip>
the
<Snip>
us.


HomeRoast Digest