Micro-Rant - on fresh coffee vs Good coffee - Page 2

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
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#11: Post by Phaelon56 »

malachi wrote: As a result, some score cards include a "cuppers correction" that allows a cupper to adjust the score - while still providing transparency.
This forces cuppers to honestly evaluate and portray the coffees ("I know it scores poorly but I just like it").

Of course, some people hate this approach.
I think it's a great approach. A good cupper should be able to evaluate, with reasonable objectivity, to properly evaluate a coffee that he or she does not care for on a personal level. If I have gained some familiarity with a given cupper's preferences then I might tend to pay most attention to their scores of coffees that I know they prefer - particularly if it's one I also have an affection for.

Example... on occasion I see a movie reviewer totally trash a movie that is on the "sophomoric teen comedy" category and read the review only to discover that they obviously dislike that genre of film. But - as a person who enjoys that genre on occasion I want to know if it's hits all the right notes in its own category. Some reviewers (Roger Ebert comes to mind) are astute enough and open minded enough that, although they have distinct personal preferences, they grasp the essence of the genre itself and and identify well crafted examples.

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#12: Post by poison »

All you have to do is go to Whole Foods and buy whatever is whirling around in the air roaster, as it's dropped in the bin, to see what malachi illustrated. Can't buy fresher coffee, easier, anywhere, for most people, but holy damn, it can be bad.

I'll take the 2-3 week old 'good' stuff, thanks.

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#13: Post by JmanEspresso »


Now I get it, thank you. Sorry I didnt get back to this sooner, we lost power for 38 hours because of the totally awesome snow storm we got. We got over 2feet, which I like, but we lost power for the first time since the big northeast blackout(we almost never lose power), which I HATED. Anyway..

Thanks for the description, I appreciate it.

Im not sure what Tom uses to evaluate coffee, but I do like the format. You get a nice paragraph simply describing the coffee and how the roast changes it, and then you can read the spider wheel. In the beginning, I didn't help me a whole lot, but as I became more knowledgeable and tasted more and more coffees, I find the spider wheel quite helpful, along with the description, to find coffees I want for certain things. I dont know of any other greens supplier who gives that amount of info, though Klatch & Paradise give decent descriptions, as does GenX to some extent. If anyone else can suggest other suppliers(aside from the GCBC, to which I know belong), Id love to try them out.

But, cupping scores and spider graphs aside, learning about the different varietals, and the origin, and what that brings to the table, IMO, should be the starting point for any coffee enthusiast, home roaster or not.

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#14: Post by dialydose »

Thank you for this post Chris. I have looked up to your experience/knowledge for some time (as well as numerous other contributors here). The freshness argument seems like common sense to me, but I can certainly see where people reading this website would focus so much on the freshness issue as it is repeated so often.

For me, this thread has helped me understand the scoring systems a little better...especially the cuppers correction issue. It now makes too much sense for me to have not understood it before. Refining my knowledge to understand the finer points of origin, process and roasting has been my focus of late. I am trying to focus on one factor at a time for now (currently focusing on the effects of processing). It is a arduous process, but worth it (for me).

I hope you find the time to post more in depth "rants" like this. I also get a chuckle of the numerous pop-ins to ask "How does it taste?" after two pages of people discussing the finer points of sifting their coffee or the next creative tamping method!

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#15: Post by TimEggers »

Outstanding post Chris bravo! Very good rant and as Ken notes should be a site feature indeed. :P

It's such a shame and frustration that bad stale coffee is so easy to come by.
Tim Eggers

LMWDP #202

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#16: Post by TomC »

Wow, a slightly old thread, but I learned more reading a few comments here than I have from months of browsing different sections of coffee forums.. I never knew what the cuppers correction was.

Thank you!
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#17: Post by Sakae »

When someone says "I could use a good cup of coffee", do they ever think of espresso, instead pour-over filter, mocca, turkish, or whatever..? Speaking to some people around me, they all regarding espresso as a separate class and a subject outside of coffee culture; gives me feeling that espresso hasn't really sunk in with good chunk of the NA population that grew up probably on Macdonald's brand of coffee, only to graduate to Starbucks once they entered working force.

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#18: Post by aecletec »

Yes, they would - outside of NA. E.g. here in Australia.

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#19: Post by bsmyth »

malachi wrote:It's a good question.
I have no idea.

My gut reaction says that old Good coffee will taste better than old Bad coffee but my brain says that it's unlikely to be that simple - and that in fact it's likely that how bad a coffee fades as it ages probably depends on the quality of the green; the age of the green; the style of roasting; how it was stored post roast; the environment conditions where it was stored; and the specific coffee in question.

In other words... I don't know.
Hi Malachi -

'Fading' in roasted coffee is really dependent on how that green was roasted, cooled, and packaged. Age in old green produces unwanted flavors in the cup, but all of those organic compounds (good and bad) degrade at the same rate after roasting - old roasted ages the same as a roasted batch of fresh green.

Age in green is a little more straightforward and easier to diagnose and correct via roasting levels, but age in roasted goes through a ton of changes once it has degassed. The windows vary for every coffee of course, but the less 'oil' that is exposed to oxygen the better, so lighter roasts live a little longer. They do, however, take longer to fully degass. 48 hours after a roast seems to be the earliest to evaluate a coffee, and usually it hits a peak in the 4-5 day mark. Espresso extractions hit it around day 6. Then, there seems to be a drag on the flavor until the 10 day mark, in which the coffee hits a second peak. This peak is short lived, and can last from anywhere between 24hours to three days. Then the coffee hits a deep flavor chasm. It is here where most evaluations end. In espresso extraction, however, there is an elusive 3rd window of opportunity for an amazing aged shot, usually around the 25th day. It lasts for about 48 hours, and it produces a very unusual and delicate shot - very glassy since the gas had completely left the bean, and some of the 'staleness' works with the remaining sugars. The only parallel I can equate this to is biscotti. After that, the coffee is done. The lipids go completely rank and the sugars become dusty.

I love this thread and topic! -b

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#20: Post by malachi (original poster) »

Interesting but I would say not universal.
Really depends on the coffee(s) and roasting (and environmental conditions vis a vis storage).
What's in the cup is what matters.