Canadian Roaster Recommendations (Was - How to grind for Italian blends) - Page 15

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
PIXIllate (original poster)
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#141: Post by PIXIllate (original poster) »

Spitz.me wrote: Recently I paid a pretty hefty premium as a Canadian on the Roma blend and a few others from Caffe Lusso in search of "the best" fresh Italian inspired blend with robusta. They didn't live up to expectations and this experience has further supported my feelings in general on Italian blends. That freshness is not worth the hefty premium over buying the tried and true Italian blends we've come to enjoy in all their stale glory. I'd rather splurge on some fantastic Klatch offerings!
I got a bag of Caffe Lusso Gran Miscelo Carma with my Monolith Flat. To be honest it was nothing that stood out for me. I mean it was okay and had the chocolate/nutty/caramel thing it promised but I didn't have any WOW! shots with it.

I had an interesting experience this morning with the Super Crema. I decided to "do it up right" and pulled out the EPHQ traditional basket, dropped the dose to 14g/21g and dropped the temperature to 197F. It wasn't as good as the shot from yesterday with the VST18 at 18g/28g - 200F. I'm going to have to go back and play with the VST and maybe get the 15g version. Don't get me wrong it was still a nice ristretto with no acid and big mouthfeel but there was not much sweetness or nuttiness that I had prior.

So what's so special about Klatch? Particular coffee's or just anything they do? I'm interested how ordering coffee from the USA could be worth it.

Milano is basically the last Canadian place on my radar. No free shipping is a bummer especially since they are already at the top end of the normal prices. I've heard enough good things that I'll do at least one order but it would have to be next level for me to pay $30/340g on a regular basis.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum I've heard Escape Coffee Roasters in Montreal are suppose to be the place to go in Canada for Nordic beans.

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Spitz.me

#142: Post by Spitz.me »

Klatch's WBC and Belle Espresso blends are very delicious. I also only ever order when they have a big discount like 20-25%. I stock up. Klatch is one of those roasters that has been around for a while and they have a special place in nostalgia-ville for me because of that.

For me, these Italian blends are more comforting than they are superbly delicious. The blends that I prefer are ones that meet specific "low bar" criteria:

A - Are not "Vienna" roasted. The Napolitano blends have been grossly over roasted for my taste. I can't drink darker roasted southern Italy blends.
B - Low ratio of robusta (30 or less, but never zero)
C - Don't taste/smell badly of like rubber or burnt tires. (Kimbo extra cream is not great so I rate it my least favourite of what I've tried. )
D - Don't make my house smell like a charbucks.
E - Are relatively good value. I may pay a premium for some really great, fresh roasted interesting blends, but not for this kind.

This is all to say, I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't like what I like or didn't like these blends at all.

They're a nice departure from preferred blends like Klatch's Belle, WBC, Manic etc. They aren't what I want all the time.

/Edit. I should mention that I think Gold Selection is much better than the other blends I've tried. I can't tolerate 100% Arabica, specifically Illy original. Stale 100% Arabica, no matter whether you freeze it immediately or not. It's intolerably ashy.
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PIXIllate (original poster)
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#143: Post by PIXIllate (original poster) »

Spitz.me wrote:Klatch's WBC and Belle Espresso blends are very delicious. I also only ever order when they have a big discount like 20-25%. I stock up. Klatch is one of those roasters that has been around for a while and they have a special place in nostalgia-ville for me because of that.

They're a nice departure from preferred blends like Klatch's Belle, WBC, Manic etc. They aren't what I want all the time.

/Edit. I should mention that I think Gold Selection is much better than the other blends I've tried. I can't tolerate 100% Arabica, specifically Illy original. Stale 100% Arabica, no matter whether you freeze it immediately or not. It's intolerably ashy.
How do you know when there's a sale? I'd be into taking a flyer on some of that if the sale price got me close to break even on the exchange.

I've been splitting my shots in the morning. The first one is "fresh" coffee, right now the Washed&Natural Hartmann from Phil & Sebastian which is all rosewater and dark chocolate.

The second one has been the Super Crema right out of the freezer. Today I did it at 197F/18g/28g/30 seconds. Milk chocolate and nutty with a nice rich mouthfeel. The rubber was WAY in the background with no burnt flavours at all. How do you pull this and in what basket/dose/temp/time?

I have to say it's so nice having the Monolith Flat. I can finally go between grinds and expect to be back exactly where I was. Since I have two shots every morning I think it might keep it a bit more interesting for me to bounce between the two worlds.

PIXIllate (original poster)
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#144: Post by PIXIllate (original poster) »

Anyone done a fairly comprehensive round of Canadian decaf offerings? I'm looking for something I can pull at night now that I have a grinder that's up to it.

PIXIllate (original poster)
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#145: Post by PIXIllate (original poster) »

I ended up ordering the Decaf Huila from Detour to start with. I'm quite pleased. Yes, it requires a finer grind than anything else including Lavazza beans out of the freezer but when I dial in the grind the flow is very clean and orderly. It's a lighter colour on the bottomless and the crema seems to have a bit of weird persistent clumping but the taste is great. Shots (19in/36out/200F) under 30 seconds are quite bright with a lot of apple and some caramel. Wih a bit finer grind and a shot running more in the 32-35 second range I get a cherry bomb with tons of sweetness that is much less bright. Colour me impressed. Glad I bought 2 bags to start.

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#146: Post by PIXIllate (original poster) »

Now through my first bag of Detour Huila Decaf. Confirmed, this was a really great experience. Once dialed in this had an almost overwhelming sweetness with cherries all over the place. Also, it pulled beautifully at their recommended brew parameters and I don't think I had a single bad shot out of the bag.

I just went through the SO Tasting set from 49th Parallel which was a Honduran, Brazilian and their Epic Espresso which is currently an Ethiopian. The Brail was simply a bit boring no matter how I pulled it. The Honduran offered black currant, dried fruit and plum initially but quickly declined in quality by the 3-5 day. The Epic started off, well.... epic with peaches and really great floral notes but then just became disjointed and the pulls became spotty even with long pre-infusions. All of the bags were gone by the time it was 3 weeks off roast. The good shots were very nice but several times now coffees from 49th have been very up and down even from shot to shot. A problem I don't have with other roasters.

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#147: Post by PIXIllate (original poster) »

I got my first order from Milano and have started working my way through them beginning with the bag of Classico. This is the real deal. Fresh Northern Italian style with anise, cloves and DARK chocolate. No sweetness or nuttiness and some people may call it boring but if that's what you want this is it.

I found it quite fussy in terms of getting the temperature right. Too hot and the roast really takes over. Too cool and you loose the anise and clove that punch through. I ended up at 194-195F. My best results were either at 18/28g in the 18g VST or 16/25 in the new 15g VST. I felt the smaller dose brought out the nuttiness and sweetness I was missing and really helped tame the roast flavours at the expense of the anise and clove I got in the bigger basket and dose. All in all I might have to put this one in the really well made but kind of not that exciting category.

It's clearly in the style of the good Lavazza (Gold and Super Crema) but fresh and clean, which kind of removes some of it's character.

I've also been trying the Harmony decaf from them. It's quite nice with caramel and good sweetness.

Next up is the Conca D'Oro.

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bcrdukes
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#148: Post by bcrdukes »

Just picked up a bag of Firebat Coffee's Espresso roast in Oakville, ON yesterday. Roast date of June 1 and I pulled the initial shot this morning on my lever machine. While I did over extract it (grind a tad tight) it still tasted wonderful, akin to a Lavazza Super Crema. A few more changes to the shot parameters and I'm sure I'll have it dialed down no problem.

Super nice owner at the shop. I did curbside pick up. If you folks are in the area, I'd recommend giving them a chance.
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