Vivace Dolce: What am I doing wrong? (or what am I missing?) - Page 3

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

Postby SWR » May 26, 2007, 1:02 pm

I'm very surprised no one else has chimed in on this subject who's more pro-Vivace. I've read numerous posts of people who list Dolce and/or Vita as one of their top favorite espressos. Again, taste is relative, and we could continue the recent debates over using Robusta beans in blends, but in the end, Vivace blends are well known for being top espresso blends. Just curious that no one else has an opinion on this subject.

Ken Fox

Postby Ken Fox » replying to SWR » May 26, 2007, 8:50 pm

Undoubtedly, there are fans. What I've seen in my years in "online coffee" is that most people seem to get interested in Schomer's coffees when they are grappling with the mechanics of shotmaking. Schomer has his book and online webpages, and it is easy to see why people would make the connection.

Over time, as "home baristas" become more acquainted with the wide world of "specialty coffee," and see that there are so many more options, they get stratified out among the great many choices that there are out there.

It isn't that Schomer's blends are bad, although like any blend there will be people who like it and people who don't. What it is, IS, that there didn't use to be so many choices in excellent fresh coffee as there are now, and there is nothing especially superior about Schomer's blends vs. any of a great number of other players. So, there is less mention of Schomer's blends these days in the same way that there is less mention of a whole lot of other blends that used to be among the small group that used to be available. For example, Malabar Gold used to get talked about constantly, and one doesn't hear it mentioned as often now.

It is hard to stand out with any blend these days, given the wide variety of choices available. Plus, a lot of people are moving over to single origin espresso, which further dilutes the concentration of people excited about any one blend.

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

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edwa

Postby edwa » May 30, 2007, 10:21 am

Here it is Day 8 from roast and since Day 7 I have been getting beautiful looking ristrettos. Previously, I have had to counter the blends tendency to foam by tightening the grind and using about 40 lbs of pressure on the tamp. Is this because of the Robusta that I've heard others talk about? Does it take more than a few days for this bean to calm down and stop over-powering the others?

How does it taste? Admittedly, I can't get to the temperature accuracy that the blend requires. Consequently, I haven't been able to get much of the previously described sweetness. At first I would have described the flavor as woody when mixed with a touch of milk. The straight shot seemed on the astringent side. BUT, yesterday I was in Beverly Hills on an errand and for old times sake picked up 1/2 lb of Graffeo Dark. My wife when I first met her drank this exclusively. This morning I made some Graffeo as drip and a Dolce that was 2 oz Espresso 2 oz hot water and a splash of milk. What an eye opener to slurp one and then the other. When compared to the Graffeo the Dolce had chocolate, butter, vanilla, smoke, and caramel. The Graffeo was the definition of woody/reedy and smoke. I realize this is not comparing apples to apples and later I'll try to pull a shot with the just roasted Graffeo but MY discovery was the tastes that became apparent when directly comparing the two.

Of course this all makes me a slave to my wife's coffee needs as she will now no longer drink drip at our house. :wink:

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edwa

Postby edwa » May 30, 2007, 10:46 am

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?

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.

kanoyu

Postby kanoyu » May 30, 2007, 1:01 pm

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.
dw

Beavis

Postby Beavis » Jun 01, 2007, 11:55 pm

Due to the tips on this site, I've very much enjoyed the Dolce. I did grind it pretty fine (compared to some Peets I was using) and it pulled very nicely. I'm opening up the Vita tomorrow. I'm no pro for sure, probably dumb luck with a tad of skill mixed in!
Thanks, Beavis

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edwa

Postby edwa » Jun 02, 2007, 9:07 am

I've just finished the last of my Dolce and Vita and both definitely improved with age. I think when I buy the beans from Caffe Luxxe they are older and have degassed more than when I ordered straight from Vivace. Overall I didn't have as much luck with this batch as I've had with the C. Luxxe beans. I too switched to the recommended triple basket and 19g fill and did find the results sweeter. Still there is a heavier roast taste to the Dolce compared to the Vita. Finally, this hasn't made me a repeat customer, I will continue to buy Caffe Luxxe's beans when I blow my order timing and have no immediate bean supply and need something to tide me over until the next shipment arrives. I think these beans will be a good prep for my next order which is Paradise Roasters Havana Espresso which I've been curious to try a pound of.

Beavis

Postby Beavis » Jun 07, 2007, 5:39 pm

I'll order Dolce again, probably not vita. I enjoyed it. I'm going for Rocket Roasters next order.
Thanks, Beavis