Caffe Lusso Gran Miscela Carmo "Roma" Espresso blend - Page 11

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
Phaedrus
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#101: Post by Phaedrus »

I wanted to circle back to this thread now that the Roma has rested for about two weeks. I switched up the recipe a bit this morning: 205 degrees on the Vetrano, switched to the EPNW basket, moved the grind coarser on the MonoCon by 2.0 and upped the dose to 18g in / 30g out. As an Americano, some of the notes that I didn't necessarily like went away, but the sweetness was still there. Definitely enjoying it more now.

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TomC (original poster)
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#102: Post by TomC (original poster) »

I've done some really tiny ristretto shots with it the past few days as well and really enjoyed them. I have my second bag in the deep freezer to enjoy down the line.

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cskorton

#103: Post by cskorton »

cskorton wrote:Well, the blend finally made it out to the east coast this past Tuesday, so I've had a little bit of time to play around with it on my Londinium R lever. I will caveat this by saying it is getting better with age, so I'll probably follow up again in a week or two. Also, this is strictly my opinion only, I'd encourage others to formulate their own opinions. As always, ymmv.

Overall Impressions - I'm a bit disappointed. As a lover of Italian roasts, I was expecting a darker roasted, very punchy, nuanced, intricate shot similar to the Italian blends I love including Saka, Motta, Filicori Zecchini, and a few other smaller ones. I can say that this blend is nothing like any Italian blend I've ever tried. For one, it's definitely roasted much lighter.

This blend lacks complexity, and to me, is a bit one sided and flat. Generally, Italian blends walk the line between sweet and bitter (think dark chocolate or cocoa, toasted nuts, and a bitter digestive before dinner drink).

There's this weird front note that is sweet, but doesn't necessarily taste good to me. I've hard dark Neapolitan blends that start with a jammy, mixed fruit or apricot note. Someone else mentioned banana peel, and I think that nails it, ha!

Body is also different. Italian blends tend to be fuller bodied. This is heavier, but not quite as heavy as thick as Italian blends usually are.

I will say it is better in milk drinks. In a standard cappuccino, I get dark chocolate and caramel notes. However, because it lacks punchiness, it doesn't punch through the milk as well as darker Neapolitan and other Italian blends.

Brewing Parameters-

1. Preinfusion Time - tried 20 second preinfusions, 3 second preinfusions, and everything in between. This blend likes no to minimal preinfusion. I keep it at 2 or 3 seconds, just enough to fill the group head.

2. Preinfusion pressure - most Italian roasts that are darker with robusta like 1.3 bar preinfusion, however this one, likes it at 3 bar.

3. Temperature- I can't control this variable, but because it's medium roasted, it can take a higher temperature

4. Dose - I always use 14g. Because it's medium roasted, I could've pushed it up to 16g, but I don't like big doses.

5. Brew ratio - I've found 1:2 to be best. 1:1 ristrettos highlight the front note that I don't like. Pushing it to 1:2 introduces some good bitterness to help balance it out.

6. Brew time - not counting preinfusion, I've found this likes to be pushed really hard. My best shots were 45 seconds long! Very unusual for me, I always keep it at 28 seconds.

Again, this is just my opinion, and I'd love to try Lusso's other stuff, as I'll support any small coffee roaster trying to make it. What's their best chocolatey full bodied coffee they carry? I love caramel/toffee forward coffees as well.
Wow, what a difference a couple weeks rest makes! As others have noted, this blend has gotten significantly tastier since even last week.

I feel like I should go back and edit my thoughts, but I'll lay them out here instead:

1. Taste is much more complex and interesting than before. It almost nails everything that I'm looking for in a shot: caramel, roasted nut, chocolatey finish (is that walnut brownie I taste?).

2. Upping the dose helped me quite a bit. Moving from 14-15g in the stock basket to 16-18g in a VST or EPHQ basket seems to have helped.

3. I'm liking the shorter pulls a bit more now than the usual 1:2 pulls. I'm pulling anywhere from 1:1.25 - 1:1.5.

4. This blend still likes shorter preinfusions (up to 5 seconds), 3 bar preinfusion pressure, but I can pull good shots in the 30 second full pressure range now.

5. Again, I'm hesitant to call this an Italian style coffee. It's not as thick and creamy, and still more lightly roasted than any I've had. That's not to say I don't like it, I quite like it now! But, it's different than the usual Italian blends I've had in the states or in Italy. Frankly, it may be better than a lot of them, but in a different kind of way.

6. Any off tasting notes are gone now. It is intensely sweet, not in the acidic, bright sense, but in a caramel sense. I might get a hint of fruit at the start, maybe, but I can't identify it.

I'll try to give another update and wrap up my thoughts on it once I complete my second bag in a week or two.

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slybarman

#104: Post by slybarman »

cskorton wrote:Wow, what a difference a couple weeks rest makes! As others have noted, this blend has gotten significantly tastier since even last week.
I'm thinking this may be characteristic of robusta in general. I bought malabar gold after not having it for a few years. I received it very quickly - just a couple days post roast. Over a period of three weeks, it went from gross/undrinkable to delicious.

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lancealot

#105: Post by lancealot »

The added caffeine in this coffee is making it hard for me to dial it in. The first shot I had was 203 18:25 in 40 seconds. - Just cause that is where my grinder was at the time. I didn't stir the shot, consequently the flavors were layered. The top of the shot had the negative flavors I associate with robusta: wood, cardboard, diner coffee. The last sip of the shot, the heart, was pretty great! Consequently, I am dialing-in to accentuate the flavors that come out in the front end of the extraction. My last shot was 18:18 in close to 40 seconds. (still a tad woody) Trouble is, I am really sensitive to the extra caffeine so it is going to take a while for me..

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slybarman

#106: Post by slybarman »

If you don't have pit stains and your eyes aren't spinning like cookie monster, you haven't fully committed to the hobby. :shock: :D

Joking aside I'm still buzzing from my two cups of malabar I had a couple hours ago.

jpender

#107: Post by jpender »

slybarman wrote:If you don't have pit stains and your eyes aren't spinning like cookie monster, you haven't fully committed to the hobby. :shock: :D

There was a video someone posted some months back. I wish I could remember what it was called. It was a guy making espresso and he kept saying "I can do better" until he'd had so many cups his eyes were spinning. I thought it was hilarious.

It's interesting to read about the perceived higher caffeine in this Roma blend. If it's 30% Robusta and Lionshare is nearly 20% you wouldn't think it would be all that much higher, right? Or do people think Lionshare is also high in caffeine?

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Ken5
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#108: Post by Ken5 »

jpender wrote: There was a video someone posted some months back. I wish I could remember what it was called. It was a guy making espresso and he kept saying "I can do better" until he'd had so many cups his eyes were spinning. I thought it was hilarious.

Found the thread, video was no longer available there:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHynyfw7SRw

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slybarman

#109: Post by slybarman »

Ken5 wrote: Found the thread, video was no longer available there:

video

:lol: :lol:

Ha ha. Love it! That is definitely me. Bianca and all.

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lancealot

#110: Post by lancealot »

jpender wrote: It's interesting to read about the perceived higher caffeine in this Roma blend. If it's 30% Robusta and Lionshare is nearly 20% you wouldn't think it would be all that much higher, right? Or do people think Lionshare is also high in caffeine?
For my part, it could be a perception thing. But it is not like I regularly drink Lionshare at 20% then just switched to Roma. I have only had a few blends with robusta in them, ever.