Saturday, December 3, 2011

Guatemala Acatenagno Gesha Beans

Delicious. These beans from Sweet Maria's were some of the best Central American beans I've ever had. Before I get to the beans though I want to say sorry about taking forever to write this post, I've been super busy with school recently, but I finally have the time to sit down and write about this roast.

I actually roasted and tried this batch about three weeks ago at the recommended City+ roast. The beans were a bit on the larger side, but they weren't too big, more or less a standard size. I roasted them with my Behmor for 16 minutes and the batch turned out pretty light and very few bad beans in it. Over all, it was a fairly easy roast with minimum clean up that made me happy.

I decided to try this batch with my Aeropress. I used both the normal brewing technique and the inverted one and once again, the inverted method came out on top for me. The coffee itself was a very floral cup with a medium body that I enjoyed very much. With the inverted method, I could taste some hints of cherry and strawberry that did not come up with the regular method. All in all, it was a delicious cup and I kept the beans in my grinder for the rest of the week.

I recently got a Chemex, which I am super stoked about and plan on testing my roast with along with the Aeropress for the next couple of months. Thanks for being patient with me this past month as I haven't been very active, but after finals are over next week, I plan to do a lot of coffee experiments/cuppings over the break! Hope everyone is having a great Christmas season and I'll be posting more stuff soon!

Love Brando.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Blue Mountain Experience

I recently got to order some green Jamaican Blue Mountain Clifton Mount coffee beans from Roastmasters! I was super stoked when I ordered them because I have heard a lot of the Blue Mountain coffee and was excited to finally get to roast them and try them for myself.

Roastmasters suggested a City + roast for these beans and since it was my first time every roasting them/trying them I decided to trust their suggestion and did the batch at City +. These green beans were pretty big and did not have a lot of chaff, which is always nice because it makes the clean up a lot easier. After roasting and letting the beans sit for 24 hours, I took a whiff of the dry fragrance before I brewed my cup and got a very nutty smell with floral hints in it. 

I decided to brew the first cup with my Aeropress using the inverted method. This brew method gave me a deliciously light cup of coffee that was probably the sweetest coffee I have ever tried. The body was smooth and clean going down the throat and overall a pretty impressive cup. The cup also had some hints of citrus to me, which I enjoyed and made it a unique cup. Another thing I was impressed with was the low acidity, considering the beans were wet processed. It wasn't like dry processed beans, but it was definitely the lowest acidic cup I've ever had with a wet processed bean. I decided after finishing this delicious cup I needed to try the normal Aeropress brew method to compare the two. The normal brew method was mildly disappointing to me after doing the inverted one because of the stronger body. Personally I wasn't a fan of it, but if you enjoy a strong body I would highly recommend using the normal brew method. 

That was the core difference to me in the two different methods but overall I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with the beans. I would definitely recommend getting a pound or two over at Roastmasters if you've never had Jamaican Blue Mountain beans before. It's a great cup of coffee and I'm positive you won't be disappointed! Here some pictures and I hope you're all having a great month!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Sumatran Coffee and the Aeropress

Hey everyone! It's been a while since my last post, but I finally have the time to sit down and and write about my experience with the Sumatran beans from Sweet Maria's and my new Aeropress! I'll post picture at the bottom and I hope everyone had a wonderful National Coffee Day yesterday!

I'll start off with the two Sumatran beans I got from Sweet Maria's; Sumatra Tarbarita Peaberry and Sumatra Grade 1 Mandheling. Now right off the bat when I got the two beans, the Mandheling beans were a lot larger than the Peaberry ones. I thought the size difference from the same region was interesting, but anyways on to the roasting. I roasted the Peaberry at a Full City roast and the Mandheling at a Full City + roast. The dry fragrance of the beans I think is interesting to note because I enjoyed the Mandheling fragrance more than the Peaberry's, but overall I enjoyed the Peaberry cup of coffee more the the Mandheling. What I liked about the Mandheling fragrance was its nutty and fruity mixture while the Peaberry fragrance was more earthy and nutty. The Peaberry definitely won me over though when I tried both beans as an actual cup of coffee. I used my new Aeropress to brew both beans and even though both were delicious, the sweetness of the Peaberry made me want to brew and drink the whole pound of coffee. Not to take away from Mandheling, it was a very good cup of coffee with some dark chocolate notes and a very strong body, but man the sweetness of the Peaberry and the hints of cinnamon was amazing. I did roast the Mandheling though at a Full City + which might have taken away some of its flavor to be fair. Maybe if I did a Full City roast like I did with the Peaberry it would have been different. That's the beauty of coffee though and if I ever get these two beans again, which I probably will, maybe I'll reverse the roast and do Mandheling at Full City and the Peaberry at Full City + just for kicks and giggles. Anyways onto my Aeropress!

I was super stoked to get my Aeropress last week because I had read so much about it and had been confined to my french press for so long. Not to knock on French press coffee, it's good coffee, but I like to switch it up every once in a while. The first sample I did side by side was the Peaberry beans from Sumatra, a cup French pressed while the other was Aeropressed? Did I just invent a word? Anyways, it was brewed using the Aeropress. The French pressed cup was very consistent and very earthy all the down. The Aeropressed cup though was crazy flavorful at first, then at the back of the tongue settled down into a deep earthy flavor. I enjoyed the kind of roller-coaster flavor of the Aeropress, but I had my Great Grandma try the cups too and she definitely liked the French press consistency more. This difference in opinion is also another wonderful thing about coffee, its very subjective and you just got to drink what you like but be open to new taste too! The other experiment I did with my Aeropress was brewing the same type of bean, this time it was Starbucks Shade Grown Mexican blend, with the Aeropress, but one cup was brewed normally while the other cup I did the inverted method. I had read a lot about the inverted method and how many people prefer it to the normal, so I decided to do a side by side tasting with a friend. The inverted method definitely was both of our favorites between the two because it made the coffee way sweeter and smoother than the normal method. It would have been nice to try the Peaberry with the inverted method but I had already used up the whole pound :( Trying the inverted method definitely made me a believer in it, but the normal method was still pretty good and I definitely wouldn't knock either. As I said before, it's very subjective and you should brew it however you like it!

Well that's about it, I'm probably going to order some more beans soon from Sweet Maria's. From where, I do not know yet, but I'll keep you guys updated via twitter! Here are some pictures and I wish you all the best in these upcoming weeks!

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Different Brew Method: The Toddy Coffee Maker

My grandma has sworn by this method of brewing coffee for the longest time now and I finally was able to get ahold of the contraption she has named "The Toddy Coffee Maker." I'm going to post the pictures below, but basically for this method you grind 1 lb. of the beans (in this case I used some of the Yirga Cheffe I had left over) at a medium or regular grind. You then basically dump this pound of coffee into this white bucket that has a damp filter on the bottom of it and a cork in the hole at the bottom where the coffee will come up after you let it sit. After the cork, filter and grounds are set up, you finally poor 9 cups of regular water on top of the grounds and let the grounds sit for 10 - 12 hours, depending on how strong you want your coffee. Then you pull the cork out of the bottom of this white bucket after the allotted amount of time and your coffee flows into a glass container and is ready to consume. My grandma loves this method because it makes the coffee really strong, so all she has to do in the morning is make some hot water, pour a little bit of this coffee into her mug and then fill the rest of the mug with hot water and bam she has her cup of coffee every morning.

I decided to only let the Yirga Cheffe sit for 10 hours, to see how strong it would turn out and maybe next time I will try 12. The 10 hour Yirga Cheffe though turned out surprisingly smooth and much more lighter on the tongue compared to the French press. Though at the end of the day I liked the French press more because the body was stronger, it was still a pretty good cup of coffee and I was impressed by most of the body flavors still being present.

Anyways I thought it was a interesting method and definitely is better than drip coffee in my opinion. Here are the pictures and I'll have another post soon when I finally get my Aeropress! Yipeeee!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Ethiopian Beans

I just received and roasted the beans I ordered from Sweet Maria's! I got two kinds of beans from Ethiopia, both dry processed, and both super delicious.

The first bean I roasted was the Grade 3 Yirga Cheffe. I roasted a pound at a City Roast and another pound at a Full City roast. A City Roast is were you stop the beans right after the end of the first "crack" and is in general the lightest roast you can make a coffee. The Full City roast is a bit trickier because you stop roasting the coffee right before the second "crack" starts. This at times is hard to tell and takes some practice but the Yirga Cheffe at Full City was most definitely my favorite out of the two. The City had an amazing peanut butter aroma and tasted pretty good too, though it could not compete with the body and aftertaste of the Full City Roast.

The second bean I tried from Ethiopia was the Bench Maji Biftu. This bean I roasted at a Full City + roast, which is basically stopping the roast at 2 or 3 cracks into the second "crack." This made it a bolder roast than the Yirga Cheffe and I was blown away with how strong the body was in my cup. I might try the other pound I got of this coffee at a City + roast next time I roast just to see the difference, but at a Full City + it was still pretty tasty and kind of fruity.

My Ethiopian coffee experience overall was pretty good. I loved both beans and will definitely be ordering them again from Sweet Maria's. Here are some pics! Peace!

*Edit: Added pics.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First Post!

Hello world! So basically to give you a little background, I'm Brando and I have an odd but awesome passion for coffee. I am only 21 years old and realize I have a lot to learn, and I have decided to blog about my different adventures with coffee. Currently, I roast my own coffee with the Behmor 1600, which by the way, is an awesome roaster, in my opinion, and if you are looking for a good roaster, I would highly recommend checking it out. I am in the middle of saving up for a new grinder because my old conical burr grinder broke, but for now I'm using the one at work. I have the basic drip coffee machine and a french press and after I acquire a grinder, I look forward to getting an Aeropress and maybe even a Chemex. In the meantime though, I'll be blogging about my roasting adventures and all the different beans I'll be trying from around the world! Oh and one last thing, "Jumping Goats" is a reference to the Kaldi legend, just incase you were wondering! Love you all!