Saka Caffè in the States - Page 47

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
baristainzmking
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#461: Post by baristainzmking »

PIXIllate wrote:No, Im not that dedicated. I use small mason jars(a few of them) and filll them as soon as I open the bag. Then I just grab one from the freezer measure out a dose and put it back in. Seems to work fine as I get the same basic flavour profile for 3-6 months as I work through the jars.
Thanks! Good to know that minimal fuss works so well! 8)
Julia

jpender

#462: Post by jpender »

That's the same thing I do except that I use bags instead of jars. Sometimes I'll vac seal initially just out of superstition.

jpender

#463: Post by jpender »

Lavazza Super Crema (left) versus Saka Crema Bar:




I tried lowering the temperature more this morning. Kettle at 95°C means the brew water starts below 190°F (sorry for the mixed units). And I diluted the coffee (Americano), which is my usual morning drink. Made that way the Lavazza SC was okay. I think I can drink this kilo after all. I alternated between the Lavazza and Saka Crema Bar, making them identically (except for the large difference in grind setting): 16g/20g, under 190°F, 28-29s. First Lavazza, then Saka, Lavzza again, Saka again. Four double shots: I'm officially caffeinated!

One thing I noticed is the difference in grinding. I have a Kinu grinder and with the Lavazza it was clearly easier to turn the crank. And quieter too. A Roast Vision might disagree but I think of this as a proxy for roast level.

The Lavazza comes out of the portafilter looking blacker but I think that's just because there is a lot less crema. The Saka pours were visually beautiful. Eye candy. Taste is the main thing though. And I still can't see why I would ever choose the Lavazza over the Saka. Maybe if the former were a few weeks old it would be different? I wonder...

macal425

#464: Post by macal425 »

Although I can't speak for all the Saka blends, I have found that Top Selection reacts very well to slight changes in temperature. I started a new batch 3-4 days ago, however, I had been struggling to dial it in and get that silky smooth, sweet, chocolate flavor/body that I had in my previous batch. I had my temp set at 190F from my previous batch. Today, I dropped the temp down to 188F and it came out perfect. :D

PIXIllate
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#465: Post by PIXIllate »

jpender wrote:Lavazza Super Crema (left) versus Saka Crema Bar:

image


I tried lowering the temperature more this morning. Kettle at 95°C means the brew water starts below 190°F (sorry for the mixed units). And I diluted the coffee (Americano), which is my usual morning drink. Made that way the Lavazza SC was okay. I think I can drink this kilo after all. I alternated between the Lavazza and Saka Crema Bar, making them identically (except for the large difference in grind setting): 16g/20g, under 190°F, 28-29s. First Lavazza, then Saka, Lavzza again, Saka again. Four double shots: I'm officially caffeinated!

One thing I noticed is the difference in grinding. I have a Kinu grinder and with the Lavazza it was clearly easier to turn the crank. And quieter too. A Roast Vision might disagree but I think of this as a proxy for roast level.

The Lavazza comes out of the portafilter looking blacker but I think that's just because there is a lot less crema. The Saka pours were visually beautiful. Eye candy. Taste is the main thing though. And I still can't see why I would ever choose the Lavazza over the Saka. Maybe if the former were a few weeks old it would be different? I wonder...
I think given how different our grinders and espresso machines are I think it's reasonable to assume we'd have different outcomes. I also never drink anything except straight shots and couldn't tell you what any of this would taste like with a bunch of dilution. I'm actually working in the other direction. How short can I pull a shot and still get a reasonably high extraction (21-22% EY) and have enough in the cup for more than one sip.

PIXIllate
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#466: Post by PIXIllate »

baristainzmking wrote:Thanks! Good to know that minimal fuss works so well! 8)
As you already well know, it's mostly the grinder and puck prep.

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Spitz.me

#467: Post by Spitz.me »

I haven't pulled super crema is ages, but I don't think I would have described it as thin. Interesting....

Yes, you have to grind these stale Italian blends as fine if not finer than a decaf coffee.

I also think that Gold Selection is more delicious!

Perhaps if Saka was of a similar age or maybe beyond the 2 month point or so it would be more similar in mouthfeel? Your Saka might just be a straight up more delicious blend!

I also don't pull these coffees daily. I'm defending them as good options and surprisingly good options at that.

I've had my fair share of fresh junk so it's not all "grass is greener".

I'd love to try the Saka, but it's just way too costly for me in Canada. I'm skeptical that the experience will warrant the premium....
LMWDP #670

jpender

#468: Post by jpender »

Spitz.me wrote:I haven't pulled super crema is ages, but I don't think I would have described it as thin. Interesting....
The crema was thin, not the body.

Spitz.me wrote: Perhaps if Saka was of a similar age or maybe beyond the 2 month point or so it would be more similar in mouthfeel? Your Saka might just be a straight up more delicious blend!
Maybe, but I'm not going to do that experiment. I wish I could try the Lavazza when it's fresher. I may be wrong but I'm just not convinced that age doesn't matter.

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Spitz.me

#469: Post by Spitz.me »

I didn't say age doesn't matter. I said that after some point, and I'm not sure what that is, the age didn't matter to my taste. My reference has been the Lavazza beans I've purchased and they've been long considered stale by the time I've opened those bags.

WRT crema, same story that it's not thin in my experience with Super Crema, Kimbo Superior, Kimbo Extra Cream and definitely not for Gold Selection.

With the caveat that I've never had any type of blend 2 years out or more and that I have never been able to compare the Lavazza and Kimbo blends I've tried to the fresher versions.

I have had the often recommended Josuma Malabar Gold. As fresh as can be and it seems require at least half a month if not a month to really taste good. I never liked it, no matter the age and it took me a few months or more using frozen portions. It's just not delicious and it was definitely not nearly as delicious as the Lavazza Gold. I also tried blends containing robusta like Caffe Lusso's Lionshare and their Roma blend that didn't seem to make it as a regular offer. I didn't like either of those and struggled with bad taste until they were at least 2-3 weeks out and even then they weren't to my liking. I would compare the Lavazza beans to Vivace Dolce then Malabar Gold.

Coffee tasting is fun, but I don't really experiment and I'm not a super taster. I try new products, but I largely stick to my daily driver with some Lavazza on the side.
LMWDP #670

jpender

#470: Post by jpender »

Spitz.me wrote:I didn't say age doesn't matter.
It wasn't you. @PIXIllate referred to the Saka being sold here in the U.S. as "fresh", with the bunny ears notation. For sure it's not arriving 2 days post roast but I think there's a difference between coffee that is 3-4 weeks old and coffee that is 6-12 months old. Even if it's coffee roasted in Italy. I base that belief primarily on the opinions of those who have posted in this long thread. So far my own very limited experience does not contradict it.