Vivace Dolce - Page 2

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

Balthazar_B wrote:I''m pretty skeptical that I'd ever find a comfort blend that can't be happy being brewed on a big lever machine.
Agreed! My concern is that these are, from my experience, best brewed as tight ristretto shots. I haven't figured out how to make that happen on the Bosco yet. (Although I haven't tried...)

I just ordered two bags Vita and two bags of Dolce.. I hope I like these as much as I used to.

Frenchman

#12: Post by Frenchman »

I wouldn't call Vivace roasts medium at all. They are on the darker side. As their Web site says they are roasted in the North Italian style. Vita is Vivace's milk-friendly blend. Both Dolce and Vita roasts are good, but dark. Seattle has lots of roasters producing medium roasts though.
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Balthazar_B

#13: Post by Balthazar_B »

BrandtStarck wrote:Agreed! My concern is that these are, from my experience, best brewed as tight ristretto shots. I haven't figured out how to make that happen on the Bosco yet. (Although I haven't tried...)

I just ordered two bags Vita and two bags of Dolce.. I hope I like these as much as I used to.
IIRC, JohnB is at least a sometimes ristritto fan -- me, not so much -- and he may have a lot of experience brewing them on his Bosco. He's probably not monitoring this thread, so sending him a PM might get you some helpful info before your Vivace treasures get delivered.
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BrandtStarck
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#14: Post by BrandtStarck »

Balthazar_B wrote:IIRC, JohnB is at least a sometimes ristritto fan -- me, not so much -- and may have a lot of experience brewing them on his Bosco. He's probably not monitoring this thread, so sending him a PM might get you some helpful info before your Vivace treasures get delivered.
I may do just that, thanks. I don't see too many different ways to pull ristretto on a spring lever - updose, finer grind, cut the shot a little early.. what could possibly go wrong!? I rarely pulled anything that wouldn't have been considered a ristretto prior to owning the Bosco, but I haven't experimented too much with this machine - the shots are just so smooth and delicious that I haven't had any desire to.

BodieZoffa

#15: Post by BodieZoffa »

chanty 77 wrote:Thanks John! You gave me something to think on, so appreciate the time you took to reply back. I prefer not to freeze for a myriad of my own reasons. I do have an AirScape container. When I am buying (say to try a new blend or re-try to see if I want to make it permanent on my rotation) two 12 oz. at one time, I will put the open 12 oz. bag in the AirScape.

The Nossa & Verve beans I have tried (Nossa Full Cycle, Teodoro & Verve Sermon & Backstreet) are not shiny, oily at all. I guess I prefer medium roasts best of all. Even some of the medium-dark are too bitter/roasty for me.

I did contact Vivace about the Dolce & Vita, and wasn't happy to read this: "Our beans aren't oily when they are fresh. We guarantee freshness for up to 10 days after the roast date on the bag. Refrigerating the beans can extend this period for up to a month. Our beans tend to turn oily after this freshness window." This sadly won't be a real option for me as I typically like to let my beans rest for at least 7-8 days post roast, and a 12 oz. bag will typically last about 9 days---so that would already bring me 6-7 days past what they consider "fresh" and start getting oily. This may be me, but even a little oil is a turnoff to me. I can't even use Caffelusso's Lionshare because of the 20% Robusta, which has twice as much caffeine as normal beans which would not be good for my crazy heart pitter patters. I may check out Paradise's nuevo.
I will go out on a limb here and mention home roasting. You would be surprised and likely blown away with how great/consistent batches can be once you get the hang of it. Awesome thing is I can take pretty much any green and tweak it exactly how I want it to end up in the demitasse. You can buy quality green blends for $5-8 range per lb., even a bit cheaper in bulk and greens have a great shelf life. Then roast what you need, let it mellow out and have at it. Might not be an option for you, but my only regret is not doing it sooner than I did. Over the years I bought from plenty of quality commercial artisan roasters and honestly don't miss any of it one bit. Haven't bought roasted coffee in over 5 yrs and as long as I'm still breathing I surely won't. Just throwing that out there as I grew tired of what most commercial roasters were cranking out so I decided to get exactly what I want every batch and it's simply awesome.

chanty 77 (original poster)

#16: Post by chanty 77 (original poster) » replying to BodieZoffa »

Appreciate that John, glad it's working for you, but not something I want to get into. Just being honest. I'll continue my search for a number of "go-to's" beans. I'm honing it down more and more. I don't like light roasts, don't like complete dark roasts. Been sticking with solid mediums for my cappuccinos. I really enjoyed Verve's Sermon--but some issues, so may not use them anymore. Enjoyed Nossa's Teodoro, but that became too blah & one dimensional. The last time I tried their Full Cycle, was liking that. Can't do Caffe Lusso's Lionshare, too much Robusta which the caffeine in that is not heart friendly to me, their GMC was too roasty tasting that I couldn't seem to get out the bitter. I may try Paradise's Nuevo blend again. One locally here is Hawthorne's Revival espresso. More than one-dimensional. Put temp. up to 203°, was a little roasty/bitter, but have to play around with the temp. as too low was too sour/acidic. Bringing it down to 201° today. I may also try the Olympia Sweetheart. Debating on the B&W blends (Natural, Traditional, Classic)--but from what the roaster said, they are basically lighter than other roasters. Since I am a solid Medium to maybe SOME Medium-Dark (if not too roasty/bitter), I don't know that they would even work. So I am just hunting and trying.

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Balthazar_B

#17: Post by Balthazar_B »

chanty 77 wrote:I don't like light roasts, don't like complete dark roasts. Been sticking with solid mediums for my cappuccinos. I really enjoyed Verve's Sermon--but some issues, so may not use them anymore... Since I am a solid Medium to maybe SOME Medium-Dark (if not too roasty/bitter), I don't know that they would even work. So I am just hunting and trying.
I'll just throw this out there. One coffee I've enjoyed quite a lot whether straight shots or in macchiatos -- but is never discussed for espresso brewing -- is Blue Bottle's Bella Donovan. The layered flavors are delicious.

Their more mainstream Blue Bottle espresso blends -- Hayes Valley and 17ft Ceiling -- are quite nice, too, but they haven't been in our rotation for a while. In the modern range of coffee roast levels from lightly toasted to burnt, IMHO they're all smack dab in the middle.
- John

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nameisjoey

#18: Post by nameisjoey »

chanty 77 wrote:Debating on the B&W blends (Natural, Traditional, Classic)--but from what the roaster said, they are basically lighter than other roasters. Since I am a solid Medium to maybe SOME Medium-Dark (if not too roasty/bitter), I don't know that they would even work.
B&W is my favorite roaster and I have a LOT of experience with their coffees and have a decent amount of experience with Nossa's stuff as well as Verve's sermon so I think I have a good idea on what you're searching for.

If you got bored of Teodoro then you wouldn't love The Traditional blend. It's a touch lighter than Teodoro but still does just begin to bring in some flavors from the roaster - so overall unless you're looking for that you probably wouldn't love it.

The Natural and Classic are right up your alley. B&W advertise them at Medium-Dark and they are relative to B&W's other roasters in the light and medium spectrum this is spot on. Compared to other roasters I would say these fall smack dab into the medium category and are probably perfect for you.

If you like Sermon and Full Cycle, definitely try the Natural. If you pull it more ristretto I find it brings out the chocolate notes more and a touch of fruit. If I pull it longer 2.5-3:1 then it seems to be more fruity and the chocolate notes hang behind on the finish.

Classic is also fantastic and a really solid coffee. I would say it punched through milk a bit better than The Natural but both are excelllent in a flat white. Classic just has a bit more of a, for lack of a better word and pun intended, classic flavor profile. More choclately, nutty, and subtle milk chocolate sweetness. Where as imo the natural gains it's sweetness from the fruit notes.

Their pricing and free shipping is also on point. Great blends and I would state the Natural as my favorite go to comfort coffee ever. I like to mix in the classic just to switch it up and get something that still has everything I'm looking for but with a touch more traditional flavor profile.

Any questions let me know!

Another excellent comfort blend to try out that has a nice berry sweetness and blend excellent with milk is Cat & Cloud's The Answer. While pricier than I like to spend it's a fantastic blend and if it was cheaper would be my go to everyday blend for sure.

chanty 77 (original poster)

#19: Post by chanty 77 (original poster) » replying to nameisjoey »

Joey, thank you so much for that very thorough & helpful post. I am waiting for a 12 oz. of Olympia Sweetheart blend because someone had really talked highly of that one--so thought I would try it. I will definitely try both the Natural and Classic as from your descriptions--you really hit on what I enjoy and look for. It used to be ALL nuances of chocolates, but now that solely in a blend has truly become blahsy and boring to me. I only typically have one cappuccino per day/night due to how my body reacts to caffeine, and not worth having decaffeinated as I don't even have it til about 3-4pm anyway. It consists of two double shots (17.5-18.5g per double shot, output--32-35g, 25-30 seconds) in about 4-5oz. steamed microfoam with some froth on top. I pull my shots by color. If it starts getting too light/blonding, I shut it off. I rarely have done the ratio thing, but I have weighed the cup after and before the espresso to come up with about 32-35g of liquid. Again, to me the important thing is & what works for me is watching how fast it comes out & the color of the espresso. Typically I need to turn it off at 25-30 seconds. I'm very careful of how much steamed milk (part 1/2&1/2 & part whole milk) I put in the espresso as even a teeny bit more than I intended will make it taste more milk than espresso flavor. I must have the espresso flavors punching through the milk.
What brew temp. would you suggest for the Natural & Classic? Most of the time I use anywhere from 198-202°. One blend I"m using that is local right now is Hawthorne's Revival. I get a little too much acidic under 201°. Some of my other blends are better at 198-199° or they taste too 'roasty/bitter'. Thanks.

nameisjoey

#20: Post by nameisjoey »

chanty 77 wrote: What brew temp. would you suggest for the Natural & Classic? Most of the time I use anywhere from 198-202°. One blend I"m using that is local right now is Hawthorne's Revival. I get a little too much acidic under 201°. Some of my other blends are better at 198-199° or they taste too 'roasty/bitter'. Thanks.
I'd start at 200 and adjust from there.