So the coffee I made yesterday, mixed at the proportions I specified has a sour finish in espresso, though the up front is more toward the bitter end like South American coffee. I may need to roast a batch of just the El Salvadorian and cut out the Ethiopian, which when it is taken alone is quite sour. I may roast up some Sulawesi to balance out the New World coffees.
Oddly, the mixture is a good drip coffee, or at least it was when hot—I did not get a taste of it cooler.
I hate having goals that have no definition of when they’ve been attained. Clearly mastery of any art takes a lifetime, but I think I’ll define this goal as achieved when in a blind taste test people choose my stuff over the store bought varieties. I still need to fill in a few details, but that is the general idea. ;-)
Roasted some El Salvador, Ethiopian, and Brazilian coffees today. I am trying to copy/modify the basic pattern of Intelligentsia’s “Black Cat” from late 2011 (they’ve moved on to a new blend). Except that I am adding Ethiopian coffee as well. I’ll start with 1/4, 1/4, and 1/2, respectively; but I have already combined the Ethiopian and El Salvadorian coffees so they are fixed at 50/50. The picture is of my two batches compared with the Black Cat which is the one with the least volume. The lighting is rough, they are very close in color. My beans are less shiny because oils come to the surface over time and the roast was completed minutes before this picture. :-)
I now have two roasters, a Hottop (the KN-8828B-2) and a Behmor 1600. I have had the latter one for years now and feel that I’ve outgrown it, so the Hottop is a good next one; it is almost a commercial roaster in form, just smaller. I have about 12 pounds of green coffee ready to go and my goal now is to try to copy Intelligencia’s Black Cat Espresso blend (from 2011; not sure what they are doing in 2012 yet). I can’t do it directly, but I am mixing from different farms in similar regions.
So the next interim goal is to make a good espresso blend.
I have been having trouble with some Colombian coffee, going through 2 pounds of it trying to make it work with no success. Finally I ran it through a pattern (cycle) made for really hard beans, which these did not appear to be, and I think it worked better than any other attempt.
Sadly, that bag of coffee is empty so I can’t immediately redo it to make sure that I can do it again! But it was very good today when I made a cup.
Cut down on this recently, but now have larger quantities of some green Central American coffees and some samples of professionally roasted (lighter roast) coffees. Now that I have some coffee in 2 pound quantities I can work and re-work it a bit to see if there is some improvement.
I have a new coffee roaster. I’ve done two batches, not so great, but getting better. I suspect this is a long-term goal, one of those “relentless pursuit of perfection” sorts of goals, but I’ll be initially satisfied when I can consistently make drinkable batches.
When I can hit my goals with my machine and green beans I’ll call this one done and re-define where to go from there. Specifically I’d like to hit a solid “Vienna roast” without going fully into a “French roast,” burning the coffee, or starting a fire. I like my goals concrete. :-)