Latest Posts

  1. How to roast your own coffee

    How to roast your own coffee

    Home coffee roasting is as fun and easy (or as exacting and technical), as you want to make it. Whatever method you use, you will be on your way to drinking much better coffee.

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  2. What in the Buna is a Holiday Blend!?

    What in the Buna is a Holiday Blend!?

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  3. Product Guide: Our Roasted Coffee Explained

    Product Guide: Our Roasted Coffee Explained

    We aren't trying to be a roastery but that doesn't mean we can't roast a few large batches for you every two weeks.

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  4. Roasted Coffee: Colombia Timana Principales Lotes + Nicaragua Dipilto Finca La Laguna

    Roasted Coffee: Colombia Timana Principales Lotes + Nicaragua Dipilto Finca La Laguna

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  5. Just Roasted - Mexico & Colombia "drinking coffees"

    Just Roasted - Mexico & Colombia "drinking coffees"

    Yes, all the coffees we offer are for drinking, but I am being a little more specific with the term here.

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  6. Subscription Coffee: ESP Workshop #32 + Cameroon Mifi Longberry

    Subscription Coffee: ESP Workshop #32 + Cameroon Mifi Longberry

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  7. Roasted and ready to go: Tanzania Bergfrieden Estate AB & India Ratnagiri Pearl Mountain Peaberry

    Roasted and ready to go: Tanzania Bergfrieden Estate AB & India Ratnagiri Pearl Mountain Peaberry

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  8. Roasting for Rustic Sweetness

    Roasting for Rustic Sweetness

    I've been thinking about coffees that take a little more work in the roaster - coffees that many of the coffee folk these days who are more interested in brighter and more acidic coffees frequently dismiss.

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  9. Roasting Kenyas

    Roasting Kenyas

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  10. Roasting Washed Coffees from Ethiopia

    Roasting Washed Coffees from Ethiopia

    Roasting coffees from Ethiopia can be incredibly tricky.

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  11. Roasting Dry Processed Coffees

    Roasting Dry Processed Coffees

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  12. Cup Testing Coffee by Screen Size: Ethiopia Yirgacheffe

    Cup Testing Coffee by Screen Size: Ethiopia Yirgacheffe

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Roasted Pairings; Ethiopia Vs. Kenya

Our final pre-holiday roast session is a head-to-head battle: which is the brightest, most dynamic, sweetest, most attractive coffee in Africa. How do the clean, vivid wet-process Ethiopia coffees stack up against the ripe fruit-bomb Kenyas? For this I chose the latest arrivals, both stellar wet-process lots: Ethiopia Organic Wet-Process Kebado and Kenya Auction Lot 738 -Marua Peaberry. Both roasts were quite light to maximize the intensity of the bright end of the spectrum. Ethiopia was roasted to a mere 420f using a slow warm-up profile with first crack ending at 415 or so. I think we can call this a true City roast, and a good one at that, with no bready or grainy light roast flavors. Marua had less mositure content and was roasted carefully to 380, temperature dropped to ensure entering 1st crack slowly, and finished at 426f, a City-City+ roast. Interestingly, the Kebado is one of our vacuum-pack projects, shipped in boxes from Ethiopia. It definitely had more mositure in the coffee and needed more time in the early part of the roast, whereas Kenya is a typical jute (well, sisal in this case) coffee, shipped in fiber bags. I noted that the Kenya 1st crack was at 398, a little early, and Ethiopia Kebado was at 406f. Since cross-origin cuppings are something I do nearly every day, the interesting differences in these 2 lots isn't as dramatic to me; what strikes me in cupping these side by side is how wonderfully aromatic they BOTH are. Kebado's citric and floral aromas are stunning; Marua fills the nose with ripe, red fruits, slightly winey in character. It's interesting to compare the Ethiopia's Meyer Lemon sweetness, with a slight rindy accent, to the slightly deeper tonality of the Kenya fruits. In general, I feel the Kebado is closer to perfection (in the review I call it a competition-winning type coffee), but these are definitely 2 very, very special lots, and I hope they spark some commentary, and inspire a few holiday smiles in your world... -Tom