We added our new arrival of Ethiopia Kembata Grade 4 Dry-Process, a coffee from Southern Ethiopia with peach, tamarind, lemon, spices and chocolate... complex and intense, another great natural Ethiopia lot. We also have our first new crop Indonesia at the warehouse, Java Kajumas Curah Tatal. It's your typical low-acidity, oily body Java except this coffee has sweetness and nuance I haven't seen in Java coffees in recent years. We suspect it is partially from older Typica cultivars. Coincidentally, these two lots make an awesome Mocha-Java blend, 50% of each!
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I was roasting slightly smaller than usual batches of the so-called "Golden Peaberry" (not sure what's golden about it, looks green to me). So I had to be careful with the heat, a bit more gentle in the first 5 minutes of warm-up, and to apply heat more gingerly at the end to avoid rushing the coffee through first crack. It's a classic City+ roast, through first crack and then a bit more, nowhere near second crack, finish temperature of 430 f (2nd starts at 444-446 on our set-up here, as we measure it). I am enjoying the flavors in the cup, but was a little concerned about the presence of a few quakers in the finished roast. I attempted to pull some out, but they should not be there ... shame on the Casa Ruiz mill! I modified the bag label to note this... but in all I am really enjoying the cup, with more body that wet-process Lerida, and interesting nut roast tones in the finish.
10/17: We have 2 new lots from Central and South America and 2 new decafs today:
- Guatemala Antigua Los Pastores Peaberry : An elegant flavor profile with yellow fruits, white grape, and starfruit.
- Colombia Huila Concurso San Pedro (2.5 Star): Raisin, spice, chocolate ... and a remarkable Single Origin espresso as well.
- Costa Rica Monte Crisol WP Decaf: Crisp character, simple yet bright ... we're talking about coffee here, by the way.
- Kenya AB Auction Lot WP Decaf: Consistently outstanding as a decaf, with layers of fruit and winey acidity.
I did all the roasting and had a ball ... I really like roasting on the Probat but lately I have so much cupping that it falls into Josh's competent hands. I was really gentle with the Panama Panamaria WP Decaf, and kept it on the light side to preserve the brightness. The Classic Italian is one of our slightly darker espressos, but you also need to have a nice gentle warm-up, bring on the heat around 5-6 minutes, then back off as it approaches first crack in order to have a controlled reaction. In general, I did not have to bring up the heat to reach my target point, which was 460 at 16 minutes. The Ethiopia Dale is dry-processed and, as always, the number of under-developed "quakers" is a bit surprising. I guess when you do small batches in a home roaster or a sample roaster, you don't see the same thing as a bigger 25 Lb batch. I pulled some of the lightest ones manually, and made a note on the label. Still, this is the natural (dry-process) coffee conundrum; there are great coffees that have a lot of under-ripes in there. What should one do? Reject them? For me, when I cup this Dale and there are 7 phenomenal cups, 2 good cups, and 1 with off taste, I will take those odds ... especially knowing that the informed home roaster can pull out a couple quakers without much effort.
For this dry-process coffee we decided to go for a Full City roast: not quite to second crack and about 438 degrees by thermoprobe. You might notice some unevenness in roasted bean color which is to be expected in a dry-process lot. Tom, Derek, and I cupped the test roasts which represented three different levels: City, City+, and FC. The City+ roast had some good qualities but was ultimately too "winey" while the darker roast revealed nice bittersweet chocolate notes.