Espresso Blends; Why Bother? - Page 13

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

#121: Post by malachi »

another_jim wrote:I was thinking about Mark Prince saying that SOs taste empty and boring and need to be filled up with added flavors, while Peter was saying the best way to improve a coffee is to sort it and remove even more beans.
School #1 -- espresso is a specific taste / feel profile drink that is prepared using coffee beans.
School #2 -- espresso is a methodology for preparing and consuming coffees.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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malachi

#122: Post by malachi »

Peppersass wrote:1) the term Single Origin isn't as strictly defined as I thought it was
True.
Peppersass wrote:2) more SOs are available in green form than in roasted form (well, according to Ken, well-roasted form.)
Unsubstantiated supposition (at best).
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

ethiopie

#123: Post by ethiopie »

malachi wrote:School #1 -- espresso is a specific taste / feel profile drink that is prepared using coffee beans.
School #2 -- espresso is a methodology for preparing and consuming coffees.
An interesting take on this discussion. I'm firmly with School #1, Although the separation is not strict: a specific methodology leads to certain taste profiles and not or only with great difficulty and magic tricks (updosing :twisted:) to others.

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malachi

#124: Post by malachi »

Whereas I'm firmly in the second camp.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

Ken Fox

#125: Post by Ken Fox »

malachi wrote:Unsubstantiated supposition (at best).
There may well be more "single origin" coffees available roasted, in the marketplace, than one can find in green form. I don't know how one would arrive at a conclusion on that, pro or con.

I do believe that there are probably way more "espresso-suitable" single origins easily available to the home roaster, than there are "espresso-suitable" already-roasted single origins available to those seeing them. This is simply obvious. The green bean market for home roasters is almost entirely an internet market, with the product being shipped to the purchaser. This is true of all of the major players in this niche that I can think of, such as Sweet Marias, the Green Bean Cooperative, and numerous smaller players including Coffee Bean Corral, Klatch, ad infinitum.

The roasted coffee market is predominantly a storefront market, although with some much smaller component sold through the mail. There may be exceptions, but I'd peg the overall high end roasted coffee market as being at least 90% done over the counter. For most people this means that their roasted coffee selection is confined to what they can find locally. For the small percentage of individuals (granted, many spend time posting on this board) buying roasted coffee through the mail, to what extent they even become aware of esoteric SOs that come and go in the roaster's stash is open to question.

Since the greens sellers don't sell any product unless they have it up on their websites, the esoteric rapidly coming and going SOs are prominently displayed on the websites and hence easily and readily available to anyone who visits their webpages regularly. They don't get lost among the blends.

Finally, the manner in which an SO is roasted can have considerable impact on whether or not it can be suitable for use as a SO espresso. Just because XYZ famous roaster happens to be selling said "espresso-suitable" SO does not mean that the roaster has chosen to roast that coffee at a roast level that would be best for espresso usage. The roaster might well think his market niche for that coffee is drip, and the roast level might be inappropriate for use as espresso. Home roasters have control over that variable, as well, further increasing availability of such coffees to them.

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

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cafeIKE

#126: Post by cafeIKE »

Ken Fox wrote:the roast level might be inappropriate for use as espresso.
the roast level profile might be inappropriate for use as espresso.
Ken Fox wrote:Home roasters have control over that variable
Home roasters MAY have control over that variable.
OTOH, they could miss by a country mile

CoffeeOwl

#127: Post by CoffeeOwl »

malachi wrote:Whereas I'm firmly in the second camp.
Me too.
Espresso is the best way of preparing coffees for me. Best means giving the fullness of what the beans offer.


Moderator note: Discussion of poll asking, "What is espresso to you?" split to Member Poll: What Is Espresso To You?

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Sakae

#128: Post by Sakae »

another_jim wrote:I think coffee blends are more like cocktails and brand recipes then like wine blends.
  • Brands from Folgers to Illy need to blend to maintain the same taste year in year out. People who buy these products expect this taste and never anything profoundly original or terroir based. The marketing blather may be about origins, but the average consumer (and perhaps not so average ones) would be up in arms if there were any hint of originality
Jim, I do like my coffee to stay stable in taste I like. What's wrong with that? Illy, while in Trieste, gave me very good espresso and espresso extenders. Do they make such good coffee in US? I do not drink Folgers, thus cannot comment. In Toronto I cannot find from one week to another a coffee-bar that is consistently to my taste. (With the exception of one famous place, which is consistently - well - bad).

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HC_Jesse

#129: Post by HC_Jesse »

Where I work, we sell one blend.

It's two high-quality, single-origin coffees, blended for a balanced body/acidity when prepared as espresso.

A large percentage of "espresso blends" are a low quality, low-grown Brazils blended with a small amount of a decent coffee.

That said, our espresso blend isn't any less expensive than our single-origin offerings.