La Marzocco Home Espresso Subscription - Counter Culture Hologram and Field Trip

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

Postby nuketopia » Mar 12, 2019, 2:02 am

Well, they're here! Roast dates of 3/8/2019 showed up in my mailbox today.

Field Trip is a new one I've not seen before, 50% Columbia, 50% Peru. Hologram, Ethiopia, Columbia, Kenya (this time) is stocked at several local stores including Whole Foods. Trying to remember if I've ever tried it.

Looks like pretty standard prep recipes. Setting aside to rest a few days.

User avatar
damonbowe

Postby damonbowe » Mar 12, 2019, 7:26 am

I love counter culture!

danny31292

Postby danny31292 » Mar 12, 2019, 8:46 am

damonbowe wrote:Those are meh offerings from a hoity toity subscription program. I like counter culture a lot but idk if grocery store blends would be what I'm looking for from a program. They didn't even include Apollo?

What are your thoughts about the coffees? The subscription?


Eh, we've had a lot worse in previous months. I think hologram is a pretty good blend that everyone should try. Not surprised they're featuring it during their roaster in residence this month. I'm excited for the Field Trip.

nuketopia

Postby nuketopia » Mar 12, 2019, 3:16 pm

Well that's kind of a hard thing to respond to. "Meh" and "hoity toity" being strongly emotional terms. :shock:

I've been on the subscription since it started, two years ago now. I've had some very, very good coffees, a few I didn't like at all, a lot that were interesting and some that seemed a bit pedestrian to me. They're not sending out Folgers and Kirkland Signature roast.

But I've had exposure to 24 different roasters and around 40 different coffees, as most sent two kinds of beans. I will dare say, that's given me far more experience with coffee than most enthusiasts or even many professionals.

Here's a link to everything I've tried in the last two years:

https://home.lamarzoccousa.com/category ... scription/

I think the value for me is having experience with a very wide variety of coffees, from roasters in and outside of the USA, with very different offerings. I've learned how to up my game and how to extract the best possible from the coffee using the equipment I have.

That's also given me some perspective on "internet wisdom" vs hands-on experience in reality. 8)

So, overall, very worth it.

RyanJE

Postby RyanJE » Mar 12, 2019, 3:46 pm

I think he was trying to say, a program like this from La Marzocco should really be presenting a better value. Hologram is a $15 bag of coffee. And, lets be honest, how many "espresso blends" are really pushing the envelope of quality? I am not convinced blends are anything other than a way for roasters to dump they aging coffees or destined for lots of milk. But, I am sure thats a massive debate here in itself!

At $40 for two bags LaMarzocco should offer a lot more value and do it consistently. To put it into perspective, you can get what is probably one of the more expensive subs from Tim Wendelboe for about $45 for the same amount of coffee that would include 3 different single origin espressos. And that includes shipping from over seas. I really like Counter Culture, but stuff like Hologram cannot even compare to stuff TW puts out.
I drink two shots before I drink two shots, then I drink two more....

nuketopia

Postby nuketopia » Mar 12, 2019, 4:57 pm

Just for grins, I went to CCC website, selected the exact two coffees in the parcel, with flat rate shipping and got $38.50.

LaMarzocco charged me $39.00, which includes shipping.

So, I'm 50-cents in the bad. But I got a nice sticker and a card with the brewer's suggestion and some coupons should I like to order some more.

Don't think I'll lose any sleep over it.

User avatar
Chert

Postby Chert » Mar 14, 2019, 12:25 am

The whole thing is quite an interesting concept. I suppose there are quite a few subscription coffee services, but I don't know of one that is aligned with a cafe and takes applications from roasters to participate based on a plan of what to serve in the cafe. At least, that's what I've understood the program to be.

The last one received personal attention from Andrew Barnett, the owner of Linea Caffe. That's pretty cool. A smaller, regional roaster like his might approach what they want the cafe to showcase differently than a much larger outfit like Counter Culture. Is the pattern, like Stumptown's, to choose a standard offering and pair with something unique or single origin style.

Or maybe folks who subscribe are more interested in coffees they don't have ready access to in a subscription.

It would be cool if LM would take feedback from subscribers or coffee freaks (like me :D ) about whom to let curate and roast the LM choice of the month. (Northbound, maybe e.g. ?!?)

danny31292

Postby danny31292 » Mar 17, 2019, 8:02 am

I was excited to try Hologram again. When I first started in espresso, I purchased this blend frequently. I found it had a really classic mocha java flavor and was easy to extract some exciting fruity chocolate flavors.

This is still my favorite type of blend but I'm not totally satisfied with this particular blend. The fruitiness from the natural processed and acidity from the Kenya is all there but I haven't found a way to get a really sweet syrupy espresso without a bit of bitterness or roast flavor. I've knocked the temp down to 200 and am pulling closer to 1.75:1. I'm interested to hear everyone else's thoughts. I'm pulling the field day out of the freezer to try this coming week.

User avatar
LBIespresso

Postby LBIespresso » Mar 17, 2019, 1:13 pm

danny31292 wrote:This is still my favorite type of blend but I'm not totally satisfied with this particular blend. The fruitiness from the natural processed and acidity from the Kenya is all there but I haven't found a way to get a really sweet syrupy espresso without a bit of bitterness or roast flavor. I've knocked the temp down to 200 and am pulling closer to 1.75:1. I'm interested to hear everyone else's thoughts. I'm pulling the field day out of the freezer to try this coming week.


Here's my recipe: 14.5 in 22 out in 42 seconds including 8 sec preinfuse Grind KMF 4.0 (500RPM) Temp strip on bell 80: Chocolatey, Bright and sweet.

Not super impressive but easy to pull and thoroughly enjoyable. I get it every 5th or 6th bag.
I like coffee. I like coffee people. LMWDP #580

User avatar
damonbowe

Postby damonbowe » Mar 17, 2019, 2:24 pm

Sorry guys, please just pay attention to the part where I said I love counter culture coffee. I didn't really intend to start a debate. Counter Culture showed me what good coffee was, I took all the barista training from cc back when it was available to the public. They really changed my view of coffee and are the reason I'm on home barista playing with fancy coffee makers and grinders and methods.

My only criticism is that on a subscription service like this I'm looking for special beans. It's really easy for me to find cc beans so maybe I'm spoiled—I most certainly am. If I didn't live in a big city with tons of roasters available to me within a few miles, I'd be happy about these beans.

So please carry on and enjoy the subscription! And ignore my grumpiness in my original comment. I appreciate it/you guys.