The hunt for best Italian roasted coffee beans - Page 11

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

Just saw this thread and I read how you believed the Neapolitan roasts were too dark. This can often be the case but Saka Caffè is definitely on the lighter side of neapolitan roasting. I remember the owner telling me Kimbo goes up to 240-250C in their roasting process and Saka remains between 180-210C.

You live about an hour away from me and I am placing an order of 12kg of coffee . Cost with shipping + exchange rate + wiring fee for me is about $32-33 per kg. If you wish, at some point I could ship a bag over or we meet halfway (maybe New Bedford?) and I can supply a bag for you to try. I am offering this because 6 out of the 12kg are for my personal stash and 5 of other bags were going to some fellow HB'ers interested in trying out some Saka caffe. I have one undesignated bag left if you would like to try one.

One thing I have not mentioned in the mentioned thread is Saka released a new line of roasts called Tafuri that are aimed torwards the specialty end, Ravello 100 A, Positano 80/20 A/R, and Amalfi 60/40 A/R. They use a higher quality blend and I am personally trying two bags of Positano. I was going to wait to post about it when trying out the roast but I'll mention it here.

To directly quote the one of particular interest to what you (and also I coincidentally) seek in notes:
Positano high quality blend: the combination of two of the best qualities of Arabica and a type of Robusta (India origin) creates a mug with a silky body, with a typical green apple acidity. In this blend we find notes of chocolate and toasted almond.
The other two are much more fruity and floral for my tastes.

Otherwise that bag will just be added to my stash so there is absolutely no pressure in saying yes.
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#102: Post by »

Lavazza Gold Selection should be added to your list if you're searching for a tasty Italian blend.

It doesn't have any of the bad characteristics that I find typical of these Italian coffees. The smell isn't off-putting with notes of burnt robusta. The Robusta doesn't impart the robusta flavour I've come to both recognize and despise. I have to ignore it with almost every other blend I've tried, including the Kimbo Superior.

It's such a smooth and well balanced blend. It's so much better than anything else I've tried.
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#103: Post by TomC »

another_jim wrote:The last few months I've been enjoying Cartapani Cinquestelle.

To me, this is a quintessential Italian espresso, a no fuss liquid Nuttella shot with neither bitterness nor acidity, from a blend that doesn't seem to ever get worse, no matter how stale. If my tasting is accurate, I think it's about 25% of a very chocolaty high quality robusta, and otherwise mostly a nutty brazil, all roasted medium.

Cartapani is located in the north of Italy, near Brescia, on the Lago Garda.

$30 per kilo.
Thanks for the heads up on this! It's definitely worthy of being in rotation. Got it yesterday. 3rd shot pulled a few minutes ago and I think I have it dialed in better. It's got some very powerful lingering dark chocolate notes that I'm still tasting minutes later like I've got a dark chocolate truffle melting on my tongue.

Straight shots are intensely chocolate and balanced, and it holds up in milk well too.

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#104: Post by baristainzmking » replying to TomC »

Good to know! I am waiting for it to come on Monday. What are you using for your recipe grams in/out?

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#105: Post by TomC » replying to baristainzmking »

Hi Julia!

18.5 in/ 37 out at 202. The last shot flowed fairly fast, but I used the pre infusion setting on the Speedster for a bit, just playing around with it. Total shot time was 28 seconds, still very fast when you consider the short pump time. But Im fairly certain it'll tolerate a coarser grind and lower dose too.

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#106: Post by baristainzmking »

TomC wrote: Hi Julia!

18.5 in/ 37 out at 202. The last shot flowed fairly fast, but I used the pre infusion setting on the Speedster for a bit, just playing around with it. Total shot time was 28 seconds, still very fast when you consider the short pump time. But Im fairly certain it'll tolerate a coarser grind and lower dose too.
Thanks Tom!

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#107: Post by peacecup »

A few more gateway roasters (from someone who stalled at the starting line 15 years ago):

Caffe D'Oro (Sicilia)
Caffe Agust
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#108: Post by Me2 »

So any feedback on harem yet?

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#109: Post by »

BTW, the Lavazza Gold Selection is by far, the best blend I've tried. I haven't tried a ton, but it's no competition here. There is none of that rubbery robusta flavour.

My experience is pulling them at low 190s temp and at a ratio of about 1.5 or less, gets me the best tasting shots. I do a bit of lever-voodoo on the BDB as well. I preinfuse at 3bar until small drips and then ramp and hold at 9bar until about half weight and then decline down to 3bar to end.

These types of ristretto-like shots are much sweeter and less smokey. This has been true for Lavazza's Top Class, Super Crema, Gold Selection and also with Kimbo's Superiod blend. I've gotten great results just doing my usual 18g doses in my 18g VST basket. Of course, YMMV depending on your taste preference and roast level/blend.

I've experimented and found no need to change my basket or dose size for my preferences. Using a 14g dose just makes the process more complicated for me with no additional benefit. The less I have to do between coffees, the better.
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#110: Post by Phillycheese (original poster) »

Me2 wrote:So any feedback on harem yet?
I can say that the Harem and Napoli are close to one another. We like the Napoli better and have now gone through both kilos. Keep in mind these are milk based drinks with 5-6oz cups preheated and whole milk at 140F or slightly less. The caramel character and mokka flavor is quite nice. There's also a point of no return trying too many variables with the beans can get confusing and then hard to replicate. We kept it simple, 14.5 g in and 16-17.5 out, 196F brew temp and about 25-30 secs extraction time from when the first drips hit the cup. These beans are on the re-order list for sure....