Maximal Distinctiveness: A Quality Standard For Roasting And Brewing Specialty Coffee - Page 2

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

#11: Post by dogjamboree »

Thanks for posting this Jim -- I recognize some of these ideas from your previous posts but they're definitely more fleshed out here.

It seems logical to think there might be a combination of roasting / brewing techniques that maximize distinctness between coffees. Where I don't necessarily follow is the assumption that coffee drinkers, speciality or otherwise, would necessarily prefer the taste of such a combination of said techniques.

Or am I missing the point? Are you talking about a standard that would be used for grading / technical purposes, or one that would be used for "production" roasts / brews?

It's not impossible to imagine a roasting technique that produces coffee that everyone here would call disgusting, but for some reason just happens to emphasise each coffee's unique chemical properties...and of course there might be similar approaches for brewing.

Or in a less extreme example, what if the results produced with techniques creating maximum distinctness only appealed to 20% of specialty coffee consumers?

I'm just playing devil's advocate here BTW -- I lack both talent and experience , as far as tasting goes.

Frank

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another_jim
Team HB

#12: Post by another_jim »

dogjamboree wrote:It's not impossible to imagine a roasting technique that produces coffee that everyone here would call disgusting, but for some reason just happens to emphasise each coffee's unique chemical properties...and of course there might be similar approaches for brewing.
Very imaginable. I think of it as a kind of bet or faith. If specialty or hobbyist coffee is really what it purports to be; then more distinct also means better tasting.

Think of a tree. If you put the tree right side up, it gets more branches as it goes further up. This is the model of an evolutionary or cultural process, where the more development == the more diversity == the better. The upside down tree is the old school idea of perfection where many paths all lead to the same mountain top. In this case, there is a single Platonic coffee, hidden somewhere in Panama or Ethiopia, that is perfect. All other coffees taste good in so far as they taste close to this one.

This whole distinctiveness idea is based on the bet that the tree is right side up; I believe that's also implicit in the idea of specialty coffee.
Jim Schulman

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endlesscycles

#13: Post by endlesscycles »

I just don't know if it's true. I feel like I've been roasting for maximum distinction for some time, but maximum pleasure seems to be ever so slightly more "developed", for lack of a better word. The very best preparation of a single ingredient often benefits from a pinch of salt.

I have this hunch that the closer to being a cold can of Coca-Cola that I can roast and brew coffee, the better it is. That might not be the most distinctive presentation, but it is the most delicious. There's a certain balance of sweet, bitter, and sour that sings harmoniously which might not (probably doesn't) coincide with distinction.
-Marshall Hance
Asheville, NC