Prodigal Coffee Roasters - Page 9

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
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#81: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

Almico wrote: My methodology with Scott has always been, "take what you need and leave the rest" and "trust but verify".
Your points are 100%. You now have the experience to take what you need and to trust but verify. I hope lots of people verify if the coffee is Prodigal. Many don't have these skills and that's where the consistent lack of transparency on his part causes less trust by some than he otherwise might have.

If you are at the top, then act and lead as a leader should.

I'll be interested to see what people say about the coffee, and I'll go back to trying to find something Prodigal in Lisbon.
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#82: Post by Almico »

The La Indonesia Bourbon Sidra arrived this morning, unfortunately an hour after my espresso machine shut down. I had to go, but I made a quick aeropress to take with me. The intense acidity seems to pull every bit of stainless steel flavor out of the travel mug I put it in. I tried to taste past it, but metal is metal.

Got to the roastery and fired up the San Fran for an afternoons roasting, and in between heat adjustments I had time to do some analysis. The beans looked very much like a typical bourbon. I've never seen a pure typica yet so I can't compare. Whole beans measured 74 on my RoastRite and ground was 99. The 74 surprised me as the other 3 coffees I got from Prodigal before measured 77, 77 and 75. Aroma is heavenly...more floral than fruit and a little spicy. I did a proper cupping to teach my assistant the process, but didn't have time to make detailed notes. Beans were roasting.

Initial impressions off the top of my head: very vibrant, clean cup, excellent acidity, uncommonly sweet, good overall flavor-not great, medium body. The acidity and sweetness held together wonderfully as it cooled. I wouldn't call it balanced since the sweetness really drove the cup with the mouth feel lagging a bit. If I had to give it a number I'd go 88, maybe 88.5. I'll try some more tomorrow and try to pick out some specific flavor notes and see if that score holds up.

We also cupped two of my coffees along side this one to give my trainee something to bounce it off of. The first was a caturra from Colombia and the second a red bourbon from Costa Rica. The La Indonesia is grown at an elevation of 1750m, the caturra 2100 and the CR bourbon 1700-1800.

One thing I found interesting was the Agtron color spreads from whole to ground for each coffee.

La Indonesia 74/99 = 26
Colombia 77/93 = 16
CostaRica 79/101 = 22

This made for an interesting comparison and lesson, and clearly, a traditional manual drum roaster like the San Fran has no problem keeping up with an air roaster when it comes to "inner bean development".

Of the three, my employee preferred the Colombia. I liked the Sidra, probably due to the novelty. Can't wait for that Americano tomorrow and then maybe a proper doppio.
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Nathan King

#83: Post by Nathan King »

I had a shot of the El Naranjo this morning and would highly recommend. A pronounced aroma of baking spices with notes of citrus and fruit. I'm going to try a slightly finer grind next time.

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#84: Post by archipelago »

Almico wrote: At CoffeeFest a few years ago I sat in on a roasting presentation given by several roasters that utilize a roasting cooperative in Brooklyn. In this facility they had two main roasters, a Probat UG15 and a Loring. I had assumed, like Scott said, that roasters would choose the Loring for light roasted coffee and the Probat for darker roasts. But when I asked that question specifically, every single one of them answered the opposite. They used the Probat for light roasts and the Loring for dark. Go figure.
I mean...Coffee Fest isn't exactly where I'd go for high level knowledge or experience. It caters more entry-level to baristas and shop owners. Regardless, I clearly wasn't in the room :lol: I roasted at Pulley Collective back in 2015-2016 and initially preferred the UG-22 there; I wrote a blog post about my experience a couple of years ago. Back then, there wasn't much information about how to approach roasting on a Loring or how it might differ from a traditional drum roaster. The staff that worked at Pulley all came from roasting on traditional drum roasters, and almost every single experienced roaster using the space came from that world as well.

The fact that they used one machine doesn't mean the other is inferior; it means that they lacked the skill, comfort, or experience using it.

These days-years later, now that Lorings are ubiquitous in roasteries and folks have written and taught about roasting on them (from me to Scott to Rob) if you walk into CoRo in the Bay Area or Pulley on either coast, you'll see more folks preferring the Loring to any of the drum roasters. Times change; knowledge changes. It's incumbent upon us to keep up.

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#85: Post by Almico »

archipelago wrote:These days-years later, now that Lorings are ubiquitous in roasteries and folks have written and taught about roasting on them (from me to Scott to Rob) if you walk into CoRo in the Bay Area or Pulley on either coast, you'll see more folks preferring the Loring to any of the drum roasters. Times change; knowledge changes. It's incumbent upon us to keep up.
If only ubiquitous meant better. I tend to avoid the paths most traveled. I like old tools, old cameras, old guitars and old cars. Lots of Honda Accords out there and more Teslas by the minute. I prefer to drive a 1976 Porsche 911 because: no check engine lights, no computer, no power brakes, no anti-lock brakes for that matter, no catalytic converters, no stability control, no power steering, no power windows and, heaven forbid, no airbags! I have to turn the headlights on manually when it gets dark and the wipers when it's raining and best of all, I don't have to step on the clutch to start actually turning a key.

The new 911s are crazy and crazy fast, but far less satisfying to drive. Driving this car still puts a stupid smile on my face that doesn't wear off for hours after I park it. If something wears out or breaks, I can fix almost anything and without a scan tool.

I don't need a computer to drive my car for me or to roast my coffee. Give me enough BTUs, a mild steel drum and a good fan and I'll roast some pretty amazing coffee.

And you're right, CoffeeFest was a big let down. I went once and I've never been back. As a matter of fact, most of the coffee industry is a bit of a let down.

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#86: Post by HB »

Removed some off-topic posts and ones that violate the site's Guidelines for productive online discussion.
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#87: Post by ShotClock »

I haven't ordered since they restarted with the IMF roaster, but will do sometime soon.

I'm particularly interested to see how light they are roasting now. My previous order was for a Colombian that they called an espresso roast. By my tastes, it was an almost perfect roast level for filter, and too light for me to really enjoy as espresso.


#88: Post by Trevorrr »

Just opened a bag of the Francy Castillo Geisha roasted on May 21st. Made this as a 15:1 V60. It's very good. Tasting notes on the package are coming through. I would say this is in the league of Manhattan El Paraiso - perhaps a bit less juicy but just as floral, and maybe a bit cleaner. Worth buying as a treat.