Espresso Blends; Why Bother? - Page 2

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
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malachi

#11: Post by malachi »

Actually.... good roasters (as a generalization) pour far more attention into their single origin coffees than they do their blends. And thinking that we, here, are some sort of special "invite only" elite tends to cause stagnation and isolation. Learn every day. Respect every hand in the chain.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

seedlings

#12: Post by seedlings »

malachi wrote:Actually.... good roasters (as a generalization) pour far more attention into their single origin coffees than they do their blends. And thinking that we, here, are some sort of special "invite only" elite tends to 'cause stagnation and isolation. Learn every day. Respect every hand in the chain.
I was trying to compare the small home-barista community to the larger, more profitable mass market. My humor is rarely mistaken for humor.

CHAD

ethiopie

#13: Post by ethiopie »

tekomino wrote:No doubt about me liking coffee, but single origins I tried as espresso just did not leave me wanting more like good blends.
SO' nice for exploring but for me not every day espresso.
+1

dialydose

#14: Post by dialydose »

seedlings wrote: My humor is rarely mistaken for humor
This is one of the funnier things I have read here. So, at least in your reply, the humor made its way through.

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#15: Post by RapidCoffee »

The entire blend vs. single origin debate borders on ridiculous. I enjoy some blends, dislike others. I enjoy some SOs, dislike others. Why turn this into a quasi-religious principle?

A modest proposal: lock Mark "Mr.Blend" Prince and Ken "Dr.SO" Fox into a chat room and let them duke it out. The rest of us can continue to evaluate a given coffee (whether blend or SO) on its own merits. :twisted:
John

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tekomino

#16: Post by tekomino »

RapidCoffee wrote:A modest proposal: let's lock Mark "Mr.Blend" Prince and Ken "Dr.SO" Fox into a chat room and let them duke it out. The rest of us can continue to evaluate a given coffee (whether blend or SO) on its own merits.
Agreed. Perhaps boxing ring and PPV event would work better? :twisted:
Refuse to wing it! http://10000shots.com

King Seven

#17: Post by King Seven »

There are many people who've tasted more coffee than me, but I often wonder how many folk could pick an SO shot blind consistently - assuming the coffee is interesting and complex, and to some extent pretty rounded and balanced.

I might try and run this experiment at some point, now I think about it.

I wonder how much the idea that it won't be satisfying and complex affects the taste experience.

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malachi

#18: Post by malachi »

Love it.
I think it would be interesting - and informative.
Do it.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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HB
Admin

#19: Post by HB »

King Seven wrote:I wonder how much the idea that it won't be satisfying and complex affects the taste experience.
Preconceived ideas do influence the results.

In our informal group taste tests, I store "mystery beans" coffees in clear Mason jars with no markings indicating its provenance. For those who want to try it at home, package a few identical containers, mark/record them with hidden code, and ask an accomplice to mix them up for you. Check your results after a week of "blind" sampling.

I did a variant of this for the Titan Grinder Project and it was quite enlightening. :?
Dan Kehn

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John P

#20: Post by John P »

First, I second the motion, James. Do it. It's not that the rest of us can't. It's just that the rest of us love your honest, often befuddled, and always informative approach. Get to it!

Ken Wrote
I think it would be a lot better to focus on individual varietals that can work on their own to make good espressos, and to vary these by season and by crop
I agree, because this is what I do... but I take this approach whether it is a seasonal blend or a Single Origin. Some coffees work wonderfully all by themselves as espresso and others need the support of a few friends. Much of what we do is both because we are small and repetition of flavor bores me. We change our espresso, on average, once every week and a half. There are hundreds of small farms producing wonderful coffee season after season. What better way to experience a larger palette of flavors than to be constantly changing?

Can all coffees work as SO espresso? Possibly. We just may not have the current skill set needed to capture their essence and bring it to the cup. Also, it depends if we are talking straight espresso or macchiatto/cappuccino. James used a wonderful Kenya during his WBC performance, which was probably too intense as a straight espresso, but something magical happened when in the cappuccino.

I think what we should ask is, "What are you trying to say with THAT espresso?" Maybe you want balance, maybe you don't. A shot mango and meyer lemon espresso would not disappoint me. Maybe you want chocolate and caramel, maybe you want in-your-face tart cherry. Maybe it's only for espresso. Maybe it's meant for milk drinks, or maybe, as in most cases, it's for both.

Another issue that some may want to take into consideration is that when we roast an espresso, it for what's best on our equipment in our environment, and while this may translate to your equipment and environment, to expect it to be the same is foolish. A competent barista working with an ECM Giotto and a Baratza Vario is still worlds different than the same barista using a Mirage and a Robur. And the gap widens further when on a daily basis the average home-barista, even with great equipment, may make a few espresso, rather than few hundred.

Single Origin or Blend... It just has to be good.

Espresso. There are no simple answers.
John Piquet
Salt Lake City, UT
caffedbolla.com