Post script. The Graffeo pulled a better shot than I expected considering how dark the beans are with a touch of oil showing. Besides the smoke and heavier roast I now could taste caramel, nuts, chocolate and something that made me think cinnamon - is that possible?
A friend got some Graffeo dark for me a while ago, and I had trouble getting a good, clean pour. It tasted okay, but I couldn't get the bitterness out of it. I tried adding half a teaspoon of sugar to a double ristretto, which took away all of the bitterness (for me) and got a lot of cherry--something I had never tasted before in coffee (mind you, I don't have a very discerning palate). I have not, however, bought any since (won't ship USPS, and I don't want to pay for UPS to ship it 85 miles in 5 business days).
If I could have a wish it would be to find a roaster who would build and fine tune a blend for me. I realize that's unrealistic and that's a good reason to get into home roasting but I know I don't have the time for another hobby. I would certainly use as the base Yemen Mokha San'ani and then would need help to go from there.
Gosh, ever since Abe highlighted Coffee Emergency's YMS, I've seen this coffee more and more. Is it just that I'm paying closer attention? Or was Abe prophetic when he claimed that "2007 is emerging as the year of the Yemens"?
Back to topic, I would agree with Ken. I read Schomer's book, became intrigued, ordered Vivace coffee, but then discovered this site! My world has been different ever since. Dolce can be great if I make it just right, but I'm still working on my skills and temperature management, so that is not very often. I still order Vivace, but mostly green decaf that I roast for cappuccinos and the occasional espresso. Since decaf goes stale so quickly, it makes sense for me to roast on as needed basis. I have found espresso blends and, more recently, SO's that are broadening my horizons. The choices are, indeed, staggering now.