Single Origins, Melanges & Espresso Blends

August 22, 2005

For me, one of the true joys of home roasting is exploring the vast array of flavors available in different origins of coffees. Each area (and even each farm, and each year) has its own predominant and subtle flavors and aromas.

Most of the flavors of an origin are easiest to find in medium roasts — from a light “City” roast (just at “first crack” when the steam flashes out of the bean, and it goes from a yellow or tan to a brown) to slightly above “Full City” (a darker roast, just into “second crack”, and before the bean starts to get noticably oily).

At each level of roast, different flavors predominate — berries, citrus, floral notes, earthiness, chocolate, caramel, nuts… Some of these are present right away, some take 24 – 72 hours after the roast to develop.
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Costa Rica SHB Tarrazu Dota

May 30, 2005

I’ve long been a fan of Columbian as my “staple” coffee. I like a lot of different coffees for variety, but to me, Columbian has always been the most “coffee” tasting coffee.

Roasted up in the Full City range or a little further, to me it has a fruitiness, and a sweetness that other coffees seldom achieve. When first brewed, there are notes of bitter chocolate and nuts, decending to a winey body as it cools.

This week, I acquired some Costa Rican SHB (“Strictly Hard Bean”) Tarrazu Dota green beans. This is a fairly high altitude (about 3300 feet) coffee from the Dota of Costa Rica’s Tarrazu region.

Coffees vary not only by region, but by year. I was really looking forward to these beans, as the cupping notes suggested that these beans managed to “out-Columbian Columbian” — to paraphrase the cupper, “If Juan Valdez tried this, he might have started promoting Costa Rica coffee”.

I have to admit, it didn’t disappoint.

Everything I like about a good, fresh-roasted Columbian is here in the cup, only moreso…

It’s magic — I’m glad I made the leap of faith and bought 20 pounds of this as green beans — I’m going to miss it lots when it’s gone…