Coffee Blog

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Guatemala Cup of Excellence San Julian

http://www.hasbean.co.uk/products/Guatemala-Cup-of-Excellence-San-Julian...

Linda: She sniffed, tasted and smelled for about 20 seconds then said rhubarb and ginger – completely in ignorance of what is described in the site. (genius wife)

Terry: Just as hopeless as ever at converting tastes into words – but yes rhubarb defines something I am tasting (even more genius wife) – not rhubarb as such but the same range of effects on the taste buds experienced with rhubarb. The ground coffee has such a distinctive aroma yet I have no words to describe even that.


Indonesian Sidikalang 2009-2010

Well episode 69 of In My Mug brought me to investigate this coffee.

Episode 69 dealt with the UKBC Blend which was absolutely wonderful and so I just had to investigate the individual components.

As with the UKBC blend the Cona seemed to provide a slightly more aromatic and favour-filled cup than that made in the Aeropress for some reason.

People may not like this Indonesian coffee but it certainly provides a talking point. I actually love it but I wouldn't like to drink it and nothing else but it every day every day. Great, however, to be able to pull it out of the cupboard and do a roast when the humour is right.

It is funky, interesting, different, tolerant of the brewing process, full of flavour, and just a great talking point.

My brilliant wife once again came up with a descriptor for the flavour which describes it better than any other. She says not funky but 'funghi'. Also she says not farmyard but 'goats cheese'.

Don't get the bananas but can relate to the cider apple boozyness descriptor although only vaguely so.

Cetrainly a coffee which any coffee lover must try. It seems difficult not to make a good cup of coffee with it too, which is a great bonus. It is good humoured and tolerant of poor brewing methodologies - which suits me.


Kenya Makwa

iRoast 2iRoast 2

Disaster

Disaster hit last week when the iRoast 2 failed. A quick email to Stephen Leighton of Has Bean Coffee brought a response within hours and only a few days later the postman knocked on my door and handed me the replacement iRoast 2 base unit. My earlier one suffered a heater failure and that meant no coffee roasting for a few days. Great service however from Stephen and the iRoast distributor – thank you. The good news is that I was able to roast some of the Kenyan less than 7 days after the failure of the earlier iRoast base unit.

A consequence of the iRoast 2 failure was that Linda was becoming rather frustrated with me complaining about the coffee I was making. I was still grinding and brewing already roasted coffee (not from Has Bean) but I was also complaining that I couldn’t even be bothered to drink it. It just did not seem fresh! Start to roast your own beans at your peril. You will become picky about coffee you drink elsewhere!


Kenya Makwa

Starting with green beans bought from Has Bean Coffee and the Hearthware iRoast 2 I used one of my own programmed roasting curves (3mins 168ºC; 3mins 174ºC; 3mins 180ºC; 2mins 186ºC; 2mins 192ºC) with 125g of the Kenya Makwa. Mains was approx 244.5v at the time but as I have already concluded, this has no effect on the outcome of the roasting process in the iRoast 2. Actual temperature during roasting, as indicated by iRoast, lay between 209ºC and 221ºC.

The first cup of the freshly roasted Kenyan Makwa (made in my Cona just a couple of hours after the roasting) had that really fresh quality with a range of complex after-tastes.

Linda immediately said apricot and I have to say that I understand where she is coming from there. It certainly was sweet and even I could use the word fruity to describe the experience. Also, the coffee, just after grinding, had really strong wonderful aromatic qualities.

The coffee as I had roasted it had a quality that I could enjoy daily. It was not so much in my face but more gentle and interesting. It was waiting, in my cup, for me to ‘listen’ to it when I was ready to look for the flavour.


Stephen Leighton In My Mug Video Blog Episode 71, has produced an excellently entertaining video about this coffee which is worth watching. The associated comments are also interesting. Details of this coffee are also currently available (28th March 2010) on the HasBean site.

Stephen Leighton classes the Kenya Makwa as follows: "In the cup expect lemon meringue pie, with a creamy big mouthfeel, clean bright acidity thats full of effervescence, think lemon pie popping candy, with a big citrus flavours. A very special Kenya." He also tells us that the coffee comes from a farm located close to the town of Gatukuyu in Kenya at around 1,700m. Location thus deduced to be in the area as shown below.


View Makwa Kenya in a larger map

I suspect that my efforts at roasting are not disclosing all that Stephen suggests but I can also relate to the clean, bright taste and a touch of citrus. Linda detected apricot and she hasn't changed her mind since viewing Stephen's video. A good coffee that I could drink every day. Perhaps it needs more attention than I am capable of giving to it when roasting and perhaps its aromatic quality dissipates more quickly than in other coffees.




Malawi Msese Cooperative Geisha Bean Varietal

Starting with green beans and the iRoast2 I used one of my own programmed roasting curves (3mins 168ºC; 4mins 174ºC; 3mins 184ºC; 2mins 1180ºC; 2mins 192ºC) with 125g of the Malawi Msese. Mains was approx 147v at the time. Actual temperature during roasting, as indicated by iRoast, lay between 209ºC and 221ºC.

Around 13 min 30 sec I stopped the roasting as it looked as though it had reached a point at which the coffee might suit my palate and so I took it from there into the 4 min cool down.

After leaving the roasted beans for 24 hours I made some coffee in my 1 pint Cona. My descriptive powers regarding taste are wanting but I felt that it was slightly acid yet full bodied with a complex after taste which lingered. Very pleasant cup. Another roasting success for a beginner. I would buy this coffee again.

The reputed pineapple and apricot taste, as described in Stephen Leighton In My Mug Video Blog Episode 67, was not detected by me, nor was the reputed creaminess of texture. Linda, however, agreed with the creaminess and claimed to detect some pineapple in the taste.

Details of this coffee are also currently available (17th March 2010) on the HasBean site.

After some analysis of my findings I have decided to roast the next 125g for a shorter duration - possibly 12.5 minutes- to facilitate a better appreciation of the subtle flavours at the expense of some body. Prior to doing this I will investigate the Geisha bean varietal a bit more to see what is being said about roasting conditions, durations and temperatures - if anything.


Stephen Leighton In My Mug Video Blog Episode 67


Nicaragua Limoncillo 2009-2010

Starting with green beans bought from Has Bean Coffee and the iRoast2 I used one of my own programmed roasting curves (3mins 168ºC; 3mins 174ºC; 3mins 180ºC; 2mins 186ºC; 2mins 192ºC) with 125g of the Nicaragua Limoncillo 2009-2010. Temperature during roasting, as indicated by iRoast, lay between 209ºC and 221ºC.

Stephen Leighton of Has Bean considers the Nicaragua Limoncillo 2009-2010 supplies a cup profile with characteristics of "toffee apple, sweet, caramel, green apple". Although the dry ground coffee has a wonderful aroma I can't however detect toffee apple, caramel or green apple in either the coffee I roasted or in the already roasted coffee supplied by Stephen. This is the case whether I make the coffee using my Cona or the Aeropress. If there is any fruit flavour present my palate would choose orange as the best candidate as a descriptor. Certainly it provides a good cup of coffee but I wouldn't say that it has a very distinctive flavour.

My best guess at the location of the estate where the beans are grown is as lnked here in Yasica Norte in the Matagalpa department of central Nicaragua: Yasica Norte google map

Stephen Leighton In My Mug Video Blog Episode 73, has produced an excellently entertaining video about this coffee which is worth watching if you are a coffee geek. The associated comments are also interesting. Details of this coffee are also currently available (9th April 2010) on the HasBean site.


Stephen Leighton In My Mug Video Blog Episode 73



Purchases

I purchased both green beans and already roasted beans from Has Bean Coffee for comparative purposes. It may or may not be significant but the beans once roasted looked slightly larger from Has Bean than my roasted equivalents. The roast was perhaps also not slight as dark from has Bean.


Sumatra Gayo Mountains

Found this coffee a bit difficult to deal with for some reason. One cup would be just a little 'thin' and the next would be too strong but not really favoursome strong, rather just a function of more of the soluble solids present in the water for that brew.

Most cupping was done courtesy of my Cona although the Aeropress was taken into use to see if a qualitatively different cup of coffee could be made.

Certainly slurping the coffee once it cooled a bit provided a chocolatey flavour. It was present, but not in bucket loads.

There were other flavours present but I couldn't really relate them to spiciness or black pepper.

The most interesting observation occurred when I thought that I would signal to my wife that coffee was being brewed - she was talking to a neighbour outside. I turned on the extractor fan in the cooker hood thinking that that would bring her in. When she did eventually come in said that there was no smell of coffee outside or inside the house.

In conclusion, I have to say that this wasn't a favourite of mine. It seemed to require just a bit more of the ground coffee to get a fuller body but then it seemed too full bodied without added flavour. It didn't have a rich, high-toned, complexity or flavour that would make me ask for more. I put it down to my inexperience and my roasting methodology in the iRoast 2. The beans once roasted, however, did look great.

Video and further details on HasBean Coffee at http://www.hasbean.co.uk/products/Sumatra-Gayo-Mountains.html#


UKBC Championship 2010 Espresso Blend

Absolutely wonderful coffee blend. I immediately recognised the Brazilian component (Brazil Biodynamic Fazenda Floresta Bourbon Natural from HasBean Feb 2010).

Cup I made in Cona was slightly more aromatic and favour-filled than later cup made in Aeropress but both top drawer.

I have ordered some of the Indonesian to give it a taste. Fascinating! Must look for the bananas.

<p>Details of this coffee are also currently available (17th March 2010) on the <a href="http://www.hasbean.co.uk/products/UKBC-Espresso-Blend.html" rel="lightframe[|width:950px; height:550px;]">HasBean site</a>.</p>I’m also beginning to feel more confident about my roasting abilities.


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