coffee-forum.net
Promoting coffee discussion.

Main
Date: 02 Oct 2006 05:45:28
From: I->Ian
Subject: Ratings [Novella]
I've read the reviews on CoffeeCuppers with much interest and at times
used the reviews to guide my purchase of green beans. Much obliged.

Recently reviewed was Colombia Supremo which I found interesting as
I'm nearing the end of many pounds of Colombia St Elena Specialty Lot
that I've been using as my standard bean during my HotTop divining.

Recently I roasted two batches with different curves. Both are City+,
with just a slight gloss on the beans. I bumped the heat in the 'a'
roast at 395-405F, then hit the fan. I dropped the heat and hit the
fan full @385F in the 'b' roast

FWIW, the 'a' beans had better look, with a more uniform expansion.

The 'a' roast was brighter with a creamy body and mouth feel as a
press pot. The 'b' roast was 'darker', as in not as bright, with more
earth tones and a peppery chocolate taste. The aroma of the 'a' roast
in the jar practically knocked the lid off while the 'b' was more
subtle and seductive. As a press cup, 'a' was clearly preferred.

As espresso, 'a' was too bright and lacking depth. 'b' was almost
magic for a Colombian SO. A 50-50 blend pulled a bit long was very,
very good. I could still savor it several hours later.

The point of this preamble :
Both batches were roasted to the same level, but differ kedly in
taste. None of this is news.

An artisan roaster will roast the same bean several times in different
ways to zero in on a roast that brings out the best the bean has to
offer. Obviously, some beans are beyond redemption.

The conundrum :
In cupping reviews, one seldom sees any mention of a profile, just
roast level. Additionally, if one is roasting beans to a standard
profile, it is fairly certain there are some hits that will be misses
at a different profile and vice versa.

With reviews of roasted coffee submitted by a roaster, assuming the
roaster has the ability to duplicate the submission, there can be real
value in the review. It can be given as much credence as one has faith
in the reviewer. With green bean reviews, unless one knows the
profile and has a reasonable chance of mimicing it, the validity of
review is even more limited than to one's trust in the reviewer, not
unlike fine wine. And certainly, like wine, some bottles from the case
are exquisite, while others can be ho hum. And, as in distilling
whisky, there are the foreshots, the heart and the feints. The early
and late crop will differ from the middle cut. Then there's storage
and handling...

The question [finally] :
If profile information is not included as on Coffee Cupper's
methodology pages, to what degree would you trust a green bean review
if you were purchasing?




 
Date: 02 Oct 2006 13:54:47
From: Heat + Beans
Subject: Re: Ratings [Novella]
I- >Ian wrote:
> I've read the reviews on CoffeeCuppers with much interest and at times
> used the reviews to guide my purchase of green beans. Much obliged.

I also like CoffeeCuppers for direction to greens. Often, others cup
as brewed and for brewers. Espresso sometimes seems to be an
afterthought or best guess, but CC reviews pointedly address espresso.
Yes, I know that with lots of experience and general bean knowledge
some can intuit from a cupping review how the beans as cupped will
translate to espresso, but I'd rather begin with a trusted reviewer.

I agree that the slopes within a profile matter a lot (though HG/DB
profiles don't share easily) however there are some other things that
give equal bang to the roasting result although they add time and
effort. First, IMO, nearly any roast for espresso benefits from post
roast blending. Second, small tweaks in blend proportions matter a
lot.

Taken together (and assuming SO roasts for post blending) duration of
roast, degree of roast, profile within roast,and blend create new
variables that expand geometrically. Then toss in inevitable
non-reproduceable mechanical and/or environmental and/or personal taste
variations in both roasting and shot pulling. I have a fairly low
threshold for keeping track of those variables, so I try find and stick
with good reviews and favorites.

> to what degree would you trust a green bean review
> if you were purchasing?

Depends on familiarity and agreement with the source. A couple of
examples: Generally, if Jim Schulman likes a bean for expresso, I like
it too. And if I don't like it, I wonder what I'm missing or how I
screwed up the roast or shot. If Tom at Sweet ia's likes a bean, I
may or may not agree with him, but I am familiar enough with his taste
and style that I can interpret and make use of what he has to say.

tin



 
Date: 02 Oct 2006 15:51:43
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Ratings [Novella]
On Mon, 02 Oct 2006 05:45:28 GMT, "I- >Ian" <someone@nowhere.com>
wrote:

>The conundrum :
>In cupping reviews, one seldom sees any mention of a profile, just
>roast level.
>
>With reviews of roasted coffee submitted by a roaster, assuming the
>roaster has the ability to duplicate the submission, there can be real
>value in the review. It can be given as much credence as one has faith
>in the reviewer. With green bean reviews, unless one knows the
>profile and has a reasonable chance of mimicing it, the validity of
>review is even more limited than to one's trust in the reviewer

We actually do give profile information on our roasts, although we
haven;t updated it. I started out at 12 minutes to 435, Bob at 9
minutes to 420F. After swapping roasts, I'm we're both at 425, I go 11
minutes, Bob around 10. The roasts now are quite close, although I
still like them a tad more understated and sweet. For coffees meant
only for espresso, or oddities like aged coffees, that are never
roasted light, I'll go to 435 (just ahead of the 2nd crack), and add
10F to the Met.. Basically, we're tasting at the lightest roast any
home roaster is likely to use (barring Ibrik users).

Predicting how most coffees will taste at varying roast levels is not
rocket science -- it's how roasters can buy beans for darker roasts
when sampling lighter ones. The flavor wheel lists aromatics in the
order of molecular weight -- darker or hotter MET roasting creates
more of the heavier flavors, longer roasting eliminates most of the
ligher flavors (including of course the unmentioned chlorogenic acid
bitters, green flavors, cereal, hay etc of underroasted coffees).

In addition, there seem to be flavor families:
-- Cherry - > Almond -> Tobacco is the Bourbon spectrum
-- Peach/Apricot - > Caramel -> Chocolate -> Cinnamon is the Mocha one
-- Floral citrus - > butter cookie -> ceder -> peanuts -> astringency
is the Cat run
-- Lavender - > oak -> vanilla -> mollases is the Indo run.
Most coffees are mixed, but these flavors are associated enough to
give some clues.

Letting the coffee sit a week is like adding a few minutes to the
roast.

Sometimes however, there's no clue about how the roast will develop.
In that case, we'll do a second one toi the 2nd crack.


>, not
>unlike fine wine. And certainly, like wine, some bottles from the case
>are exquisite, while others can be ho hum. And, as in distilling
>whisky, there are the foreshots, the heart and the feints. The early
>and late crop will differ from the middle cut. Then there's storage
>and handling...

That's true; but it will also apply to coffees sold roasted over the
course of a year.


 
Date: 02 Oct 2006 09:20:57
From: Bertie Doe
Subject: Re: Ratings [Novella]

"I- >Ian" wrote in message
<s >
> An artisan roaster will roast the same bean several times in different
> ways
<s >
> With green bean reviews, unless one knows the
> profile and has a reasonable chance of mimicing it,
<s >

What are the chances of a Hottop mimicing an artisan roaster, who's using a
Probat?

Bertie





  
Date: 02 Oct 2006 17:56:39
From: I->Ian
Subject: Re: Ratings [Novella]
On Mon, 2 Oct 2006 09:20:57 +0100, "Bertie Doe"
<montebrasite4@ntl.com > wrote:

>What are the chances of a Hottop mimicing an artisan roaster, who's using a
>Probat?

Better than even in some cases ;-)
http://www.ielogical.com/coffee/HTFan.jpg
http://www.ielogical.com/coffee/HotTopProfiles.gif