Latest Posts

  1. Podcast Episode #21 - Burundi Conversation with Alistair Sequeira - Part 1

    Podcast Episode #21 - Burundi Conversation with Alistair Sequeira - Part 1

    Part 1 of 2 - Talking about the coffee supply chain among other topics

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  2. Colombia: Early Harvest in Nariño

    Colombia: Early Harvest in Nariño

    Harvest in Nariño comes at a time that is somewhat in between the middle and main harvests of our other primary sources of Colombian coffee, namely Urrao and Caicedo in the north, and La Plata and Inzá down south.

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  3. Guatemala: Proyecto Xinabajul

    Guatemala: Proyecto Xinabajul

    For years we have thought about working in a more direct way with small-scale farmers in Guatemala, and in the 2013 harvest year this effort came to fruition.

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  4. Another Home Roaster Takes the Leap

    Another Home Roaster Takes the Leap

    Sweet Maria's customer jumps into his own coffee business

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  5. A Path to Food-Grade Cascara at the Helsar Micro-mill

    A Path to Food-Grade Cascara at the Helsar Micro-mill

    Cascara beverages are popping up everywhere these days.

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  6. Day after Day Job

    Day after Day Job

    Many home roasting enthusiasts dream of starting their own roasting businesses.

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  7. Fundamentals: Roasting Guatemalas and Washed Central American Coffees

    Fundamentals: Roasting Guatemalas and Washed Central American Coffees

    High grown washed Central American coffees are practically the control coffee when it comes to roasting, the coffees that roast just like they should.

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  8. Decaf Fundamentals - Updated 1/2017

    Decaf Fundamentals - Updated 1/2017

    When thinking about how to make an excellent decaffeinated coffee you have to first focus on the coffee before decaffeination.

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  9. Introducing the Quest M3s Drum Coffee Roaster

    Introducing the Quest M3s Drum Coffee Roaster

    The Quest M3s isn't necessarily bigger than our other home machines, but perhaps more closely resembles a production roasting experience.

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  10. Taste and Price: When Values Shift

    Taste and Price: When Values Shift

    I recently caught glimpse of this and found it very thought-provoking.

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  11. Day After Day Job Part 6

    Day After Day Job Part 6

    Part 6: Dream Machine- choosing a roaster.

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  12. Saying Hello to Huky

    Saying Hello to Huky

    Tom and Chris from www.hukyforum.com talk about the Huky 1lb roaster.

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Fun with American DJ Black Lights!

Fun with American DJ Black Lights!

(03/20/12)
We had the opportunity to cup some phenomenal coffees last week while I was visiting Oakland. It was a blast to all get together to look at some new coffees from Ethiopia that will be arriving shortly as well as cupping through some great coffees from Burundi deciding on which lot to get up on shrub. If you haven't peeped it out yet, take a glance at the Burundi Karinzi Maruri Hill page: http://coffeeshrub.com/shrub/coffee/burundi-karinzi-maruri-hill

File this under - Cupping your defects

While cupping through some coffees we were taking some moisture readings as well as UV readings by looking at the green coffee under black light. This is something we like to do and have talked about before because it can help show age in a coffee which will be noticeable as "glowing" edges which indicate some moisture loss.

Other defects that are not noticeable to the naked eye are also visible under UV light. While looking at one particular coffee we noticed full on glowing beans, which generally indicates a drying defect. There were a large number of these beans in this particular coffee, so we took a 300 gram sample and hand sorted through it to pick out all of the full on glowing beans in the sample.

Glow in the dark defects
Glow in the dark defects

We then set up two sample roasts; one of the cleaned/sorted coffee, and one that was loaded with the sorted out defects (which added up to a little under 10 grams) in order to see what the impact of this defect was on the cup. The samples were set up blind, but not a single cupper guessed wrong in identifying which sample was the tainted one. The sorted sample had brilliant acidity with a clean and sweet finish. The tainted batch had a very noticeable dryness and was very muddled throughout the cup and especially in the finish.

It is always very eye opening to not just try looking at your coffees literally in a new light, but to take the time to sort and then identify what the impact a defect might have on the cup. The original unsorted coffee itself (the tainted batch was a loaded batch in order to accentuate the defect) cupped pretty nicely with a lot of sweetness, but with just a little lack of clarity.