The hunt for best Italian roasted coffee beans - Page 38

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

#371: Post by naimnut »

superr wrote:I live here in Portland aswell and there are some options for Italian style espresso around here. Spella is pretty solid, locally roasted and done in true Italian style. Their main store is still temporarily closed and their shop in the Pearl closed aswell when Cooperativa closed down. That's unfortunate because they were pretty much the only place that offered espresso done in manual lever machines. You can still buy their beans at select retailers though. Here's their website: Another option would be Caffe Umbria, specifically the Gusto Crema blend. Not available in kilo bags but can be found on sale at Whole Foods every couple weeks or pick up in store on Fridays and get a free drink of choice.
Thanks for the reminder about Spella. Yeah! :D
I'd forgotten about them.
I think they're gonna be the source for my next bag 'o beans. :wink:

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#372: Post by slybarman »

jpender wrote:I don't drink straight shots very often either. And I get that these two coffees are similar.

But are they identical in the cup? If not, what is different?

I finally got some Saka Gran Bar back in stock (5 weeks post roast) and had some Malabar that is exactly three weeks post-roast, so I was able to have a (relatively short) latte of each 20 minutes apart (close as it gets due to the huge temp difference). There is a discernable difference in the cup. I am still struggling a bit to put that into words.

If I blind taste tested the two, I'm pretty certain I would have picked the Saka. I think the spread may get closer in another week. Despite the Malabar being three weeks post-roast, I got just a hint of that woody-ness in the very first sip. It was only a hint and if I wasn't very familiar with it, I am not sure I would have zeroed in on it. I also think that will be gone in a few more days.

The thing that stood out most to me is the Saka had a more pronounced and lingering chocolate finish whereas the Malabar was a bit more one-note start-to-finish and the one-note was more muted. I would say the Saka was bigger and a bit more "layered" or "complex" flavor-wise. Again, I am not the guy that can describe flavors in all sorts of fancy terms.

Interestingly, the Malabar beans had a much more chocolatey (and generally pleasant) smell to them before grinding, so I was expecting a stronger chocolate flavor from them in the cup relative to the Saka. In hindsight, I do wish I had let each come to room temperature and tried them that way as that can make the underlying flavors more discernable. I may repeat in a week or so and try that.

Both were very enjoyable and I do believe the Malabar will continue to improve a bit over the next week or so. If I didn't have them back-to-back I don't think I would have really zeroed in on the differences.

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#373: Post by slybarman »

oops - meant to edit


#374: Post by superr »

Saw this on slickdeals, 5 kilos of varies Lavazza blends for around $50: ... ommentsBox

No clue if any of these are any good but the price is too dang cheap. Might be worth buying and vacuum sealing in a chest freezer.

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#375: Post by »

Thanks for that share. I'd take a hard pass on those blends though.
LMWDP #670


#376: Post by just4kickz »

Started Malabar Gold earlier this week at 2 weeks post-roast, and it definitely had that grassy taste to it. However, today is the first time where it went away and I'm mostly getting the chocolate notes. It's pretty comparable to Saka Crema Bar, but maybe a bit more one note?


#377: Post by Mariospeedwagon »

For anyone in the NYC area---Coluccio's in Brooklyn carries the full range of beans from Caffe Mauro.

I believe they are the main US importer and kilo bags are very cheap there ($17-$25). I recommend the Centopercento and De Lux (70/30).

Cerini in the Bronx also carries these beans. Roasted in Calabria, so they are mezzogiorno style :lol:

I'm also a fan of Kimbo Prestige blend.

I am interested in trying Saka once it is back in stock at Cantina.


#378: Post by SamBousak »

I'm in Napoli at the moment and tried passalaqua harem. Was good enough to make me buy a few kilos and a set of cups.