Sweet espresso? - Page 4

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

#31: Post by orwa »

shadowfax wrote:It still seems... unreasonable to me. I don't see how you can get clarity on something as complex as espresso by pouring it in another complex, divergently different food. I don't get any nuances from the wine that I put in my spaghetti sauce. That's why you usually use a cheap cooking wine for it rather than an expensive one. I am not saying that your conclusion is wrong (espresso can indeed be very sweet, that is one of the elements of flavor that makes it so complex), just that I think that the soup is more likely to muddy the waters rather than clarify them. Even putting milk in espresso changes its character. I think adding water, as John said, is the only safe way to make the nuances of the espresso clear.
My espresso do not adhere to the dosing or to the shot-volume constraints usually discussed around, mainly because of the special basket size, the low shower screen and the peculiarity of operation of a direct-lever machine like mine, hence resulting in a drink that is of less volume and, well, is more condensed than a traditional espresso shot. However, what I know for sure from experiment is that the drink I make for my mother, which is an espresso shot poured over water (that is 3 to four times the volume) is much harder for me to "make sense of" than the espresso I drink, which is identical to the shot I usually pour over water for my mother. This is also why I keep telling my mother that she is missing so much by diluting the "thing", and that a delicate property that I can taste in my espresso only turns out into "something acidic" that she -and I, can taste in her diluted drink. So, If I claim that I sense a slight degree of sweetness in my espresso, then I don't see how diluting the espresso with water will make the job easier. Someone in this thread already said that ristrettos are easier to deal with when it comes to tasting sweetness, which I think makes more sense that what you're saying.

Moreover, the reasoning that because espresso is a complex drink; it is made more difficult to sense a particular property in it by pouring it over another complex liquid doesn't hold. This is because I know what lentil's soup is... I know how it tastes... For ages I have been familiar with the sort of a boring, traditional food that one is, so, given that I know very well how each of these two things taste like in separate, mixing them together aids comparison, even if it doesn't aid carrying out a full analysis of the ingredients. Lentil's soup is best when salty, pouring one of my espresso shots over it introduced a lot of bizarre tastes, but most importantly had the effect of adding sugar, which was precisely why it tasted so disgusting.

EDIT: Note that this is totally different from the super-sweet effect Mr. David above is trying to explain, which is something that I read about a couple of times; that some candy-sweet espresso shots are occasionally produced under mysterious circumstances (which is something I find very interesting).

Thatchmo (original poster)

#32: Post by Thatchmo (original poster) »

Wow! Has this gotten interesting!!!

Orwa, thanks for chiming in all the way from Saudi Arabia! You have introduced some very interesting perspectives into the discussion of "taste"...And I understand what you meant, even though it wasn't exactly a linear, logical path....

It's a funny coincidence that I just bought "Arabian Mocha Java Pea-berry" coffee beans, roasted yesterday by Peet's Coffee, a local Californian Coffee shop/Roastery...I have no idea if they are actually grown in or near Saudi Arabia, but it's a confluence of similarities that I find amusing in a "small world" kind of way...Or maybe it proves that we really do live in the "Matrix"!!! :lol:

I will report back on the flavour extracted from your "local" beans, especially if they are "sweet" and "chocolatey"!

Kirk

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orwa

#33: Post by orwa »

I am glad to know that you think I said something useful. Actually in Saudi Arabia, the only thing they grow is palm trees (Saudi Arabia is the second largest producer of dates). When it comes to coffee beans however, Arabs seem to have only captured the name of the finest beans, but nothing else. The nearest place to Saudi Arabia in which they grow good coffee is "happy Yemen" (in Arabic, this is how they occasionally call it: "Yemen, the happy"). However, Yemeni people seem to have been obsessed with Qat, which has practically replaced most of the coffee crops (and most of the other crops as well, for Qat and coffee being, equally, a sort of a sinful "non-food" :)), where some of the fine coffees are still being grown in the mountains. For example yesterday I bought 2 pounds of green "Kholany" beans, which are very famous amongst Arabs for making "Arabic Coffee" (an extraction method where beans are very-lightly roasted, ground, and boiled for hours with some special spices).

I hope that your Arabian beans will turn out great, but if they didn't, I consider myself not responsible :D.

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#34: Post by RapidCoffee »

Thatchmo wrote:It's a funny coincidence that I just bought "Arabian Mocha Java Pea-berry" coffee beans, roasted yesterday by Peet's Coffee, a local Californian Coffee shop/Roastery...I have no idea if they are actually grown in or near Saudi Arabia...
"Arabian" might be a mislabeling of "Arabica", one of the two major species of commercially cultivated coffee. Mocha Java is a classic blend, originally comprised of beans from the Yemen port of Moka and the Indonesian isle of Java. Peaberry coffee beans develop in the coffee cherry as a single oval bean rather than two flat-sided halves. AFAIK there's nothing in this name that relates to Saudi Arabia.
John

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orwa

#35: Post by orwa replying to RapidCoffee »

Yes right, that is what I was trying to say... The only bean that Saudi Arabia knows is actually oval, elongated, and has a fold on its side (that being the date seed my friend, which I heard is being commercially used to produce "dates coffee"). Moreover, "Arabica" is not only one of the two major species of commercially cultivated coffee, but it's rather the finest, and it comes from "Arabic", which in turn comes from "Arab". Moreover, and as to elaborate on the subject, the word "coffee" also comes from Arabic, which is something that I am not making up (I just looked it up here).

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#36: Post by RapidCoffee »

orwa wrote:The only bean that Saudi Arabia knows is actually oval, elongated, and has a fold on its side (that being the date seed my friend, which I heard is being commercially used to produce "dates coffee"). Moreover, "Arabica" is not only one of the two major species of commercially cultivated coffee, but it's rather the finest, and it comes from "Arabic", which in turn comes from "Arab". Moreover, and as to elaborate on the subject, the word "coffee" also comes from Arabic...
You are tantalizingly close (at least on Google Maps) to both Yemen and Ethiopia, supposedly the birthplace of coffee. Some of the finest beans in the world, and certainly some of my personal favorites, are grown there. One would think you'd have access to great coffee in Saudi Arabia... but I imagine that much of the good stuff is exported to Europe and NA. That would explain the Caffe Vergnano bag pictured above.
John

Thatchmo (original poster)

#37: Post by Thatchmo (original poster) »

That's what I love about this site! A discussion of beans and their origins becomes a sociology and geography lesson! BTW - Orwa...what in the world is Qat?

Kirk

gislipals

#38: Post by gislipals »

orwa wrote:Yes right, that is what I was trying to say... The only bean that Saudi Arabia knows is actually oval, elongated, and has a fold on its side (that being the date seed my friend, which I heard is being commercially used to produce "dates coffee"). Moreover, "Arabica" is not only one of the two major species of commercially cultivated coffee, but it's rather the finest, and it comes from "Arabic", which in turn comes from "Arab". Moreover, and as to elaborate on the subject, the word "coffee" also comes from Arabic, which is something that I am not making up (I just looked it up here).
Well, nota bene, just because someone typed it up on Wikipedia doesn't make it true necessarily. AFAIK there are a few different hypotheses regarding the name, such as the Kingdom of Kaffa having something to do with it.

Also, AFAIK qahwa isn't even an Arabian word, but a truncation of qahhwat al-bun (then again, that also comes from Wikipedia so it might well be incorrect :P ).

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orwa

#39: Post by orwa »

RapidCoffee wrote:You are tantalizingly close (at least on Google Maps) to both Yemen and Ethiopia, supposedly the birthplace of coffee. Some of the finest beans in the world, and certainly some of my personal favorites, are grown there. One would think you'd have access to great coffee in Saudi Arabia... but I imagine that much of the good stuff is exported to Europe and NA. That would explain the Caffe Vergnano bag pictured above.
The only coffee drink that people know in the Arabic region is Turkish coffee, which is significantly less demanding in terms of everything, than espresso. This makes me think that the lower-end coffees are indeed consumed in my place whereas the best coffees are exported, like you said, to the other countries. This makes a lot of sense when you know that the regular price of roasted coffee in my place is nearly five dollars per pound, and that people are not willing to pay more than that for coffee. The only coffee I drink at home as straight espresso is some Ethiopian, really good beans that I buy from a local roaster within 3 days of roasting, where the only inconvenience I experience with that roaster is inconsistency (sometimes the roast is a bit lighter than desired), which is common in my place where roasters aren't into espresso coffee as to understand its requirements. I know Harrar, which is available everywhere in green form in 10-pound bags; however, I couldn't make decent espressos out of it (as a single origin), it's so much inferior to this other Ethiopian coffee I buy roasted.
Thatchmo wrote:That's what I love about this site! A discussion of beans and their origins becomes a sociology and geography lesson! BTW - Orwa...what in the world is Qat?

Kirk
Qat is a bad thing, a really bad thing, looking into the social impact in Yemen. You can find more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khat (since you like sociology :D)
gislipals wrote:Well, nota bene, just because someone typed it up on Wikipedia doesn't make it true necessarily. AFAIK there are a few different hypotheses regarding the name, such as the Kingdom of Kaffa having something to do with it.

Also, AFAIK qahwa isn't even an Arabian word, but a truncation of qahhwat al-bun (then again, that also comes from Wikipedia so it might well be incorrect).
Not precise, really, here is a brief description:

"Qahwa" is exactly coffee, which is, surprisingly, a derived word in Arabic (words in Arabic are derived from verbs, which are considered the real infinitive). The verb "Qaha", from which the word "Qahwa" is derived, means "to cause someone to lose appetite for food", which was the major effect observed by the old Arabs to be caused by drinking coffee.

"Al-Bun" or simply "Bun" (with an "o" sound rather than an "a" sound) is exactly coffee beans, which has no singular form ("Al-Bun" = "beans" of coffee).

Moreover, and as a bonus, "Moka" or "Mocha", which is the name of the old Yemeni port like said, is pronounced /Mucha:'/, where the "ch" combination is pronounced like in the German "achtung" rather than in "Rechnung" (which is a scary word, meaning the "bill"), the "u" is short, and the "a:" is long like in the IPA. Also, the word contains a stop consonant at the end, but this is probably getting too much :oops: (I, personally, cannot deal with foreign names until I know exactly how they are pronounced, but has not yet known how the word Yirgacheffe is pronounced :D).

jmgmgmt

#40: Post by jmgmgmt »

Try the TOSCANO from Counter Culture