Monolith Conical vs another light roast...

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nuketopia

Postby nuketopia » May 17, 2019, 2:36 pm

Went on vacation to Hawaii and brought back some Hula Daddy Kona Sweet. This is an unusual 100% Kona, with very rich fruit flavors and light roasted. Hula Daddy is a speciality farm/roaster in the Kona growing region. They've won a lot of awards over the years. They carefully raise, hand pick, process and roast on site. I highly recommend visiting if you go there. They don't always have this one online, but I've found that they frequently have a few bags on hand available for visitors to buy even when sold out online.

The "Kona Sweet" is a limited run of dried in fruit coffee with very intense fruit flavors, yet all of the smoothness and clean qualities that better Kona is known for. I reviewed it in the Coffee sub-forum as pour over and aeropress.

It is a light roast (by SCAA gourmet standards) with a ground Agtron number of 83. The beans are really hard and make a glassy, tinkly sound, like glass beads. There is little to minimal puffing and the edges of the beans are relatively sharp. All indicators of lighter roasts. It is a fantastic filter coffee. The roasters do not recommend it for espresso.

Pro review here:
https://www.coffeereview.com/review/kon ... -100-kona/

In the spirit of "does it blend" I do the "does it espresso" test. Conventional wisdom says that Kona doesn't work as espresso. But does it? Can it be pulled as a shot and still produce a cup with lots of delicious flavors? Can a conical grinder and a non-pre-infusing espresso machine make succeed with this light bean?

Yes, it can!

First few attempts were disappointing. As the brewed coffee was rich with fruit, especially green apple, my first few attempts didn't express much of it.

A longer rest and a little adjusting of parameters and water formulation helped. I reduced my usual water formula from about 90ppm to 60ppm. The brew temperature up to 203F and ground very fine for slow extraction. The final formula that worked out was 18.5g dose, 39g out in 42 seconds, 20g VST basket. Measured TDS of 9.85% for an EY of 21%. Higher extraction brought some roughness of flavor but not much bitterness. The shots at this level were very flavorful, dense and silky, lingering yet clean in flavor. Really great stuff. Too bad it is gone, really like this one!!!

I know, we can go around in circles about "light". This is light, by SCAA measures. The roaster says so, the pro reviewers who measured it with an Agtron say so. That's good enough for me.

guydebord

Postby guydebord » May 17, 2019, 3:15 pm

I have no doubt the Monolith Conical can achieve amazing extractions with light roasts, but Im more than impressed that you pulled it off with a LM, to the extent Im a bit skeptical :mrgreen:

I have tried many highly rated Kona's and I have yet found one that I seriously like, most of the times they have been meh in relation to the price they carry. BTW are you interested in trying another phenomenal light roast? Check this one which is my recent favorite, from ELIXR in Philadelphia: https://elixrcoffee.com/collections/eli ... ra-ecuador
In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

michael

Postby michael » replying to guydebord » May 18, 2019, 9:27 am

Going to try this, do you have a recipe you like 8)

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shawndo

Postby shawndo » May 18, 2019, 10:36 am

guydebord wrote:I have no doubt the Monolith Conical can achieve amazing extractions with light roasts, but Im more than impressed that you pulled it off with a LM, to the extent Im a bit skeptical :mrgreen:


in my experience, the monoliths allow super-fine long pulls without clogging even without the crazy slayer-style preinfusions. I actually prefer light roasts without preinfusions at this point.
Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra

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LBIespresso

Postby LBIespresso » May 18, 2019, 12:56 pm

guydebord wrote:...most of the times they have been meh in relation to the price they carry.


I bet minimum wage in Hawaii is significantly higher than any other growing region. For better or worse, that might explain the price/value difference.
I like coffee. I like coffee people. LMWDP #580

guydebord

Postby guydebord » replying to LBIespresso » May 18, 2019, 2:23 pm

It definitely could and Hula Daddy may have the most amazing labor conditions. However, it is important to denote that the minimum wage in US farming (especially in labor intensive tasks like cherry picking) is not a practice, it is actually an exception and more in small farms where workers are not protected by the minimum wage provisions of the FLSA. Farming is still one of the most exploitative industries in this country, which besides employing under terrible conditions those that can not legally work, it legally employs children, (crazy but true) US Federal law excludes child farm workers from labor protections.

One of the reasons I became so supportive of the 3rd wave was because of its emphasis on fair labor practices, your comment reminded me that we should discuss more about the labor conditions embedded within a bean, to me, this is super important.
In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

nuketopia

Postby nuketopia » May 18, 2019, 2:48 pm

I've been to Hula Daddy a number of times and spoken with the owners.

They cost a lot because they are so labor intensive and they pay well above US minimum wages. They can't get enough workers otherwise. They're very careful about what gets picked as well. I've seen them processing ripe cherries and there's not a dud to be seen in the picked baskets. They tend to have a lot of the same pickers season to season and they have a steady crew who tend the trees year round. Hawaii costs a fortune to live, no matter who you are. Just the reality. If you want quality, you have to pay for it and Hawaii is expensive and operates in US dollars and labor laws and US dollars are strong currency.

There are some other quality farms in Kona. Largely, they export to Japan and China, where there are people willing to pay for premium products.

A lot of Kona coffee is put together by processors who buy lots from any producer. There are coffee trees in everyone's backyard, quite literally. Compared to Hula Daddy and the other farms, these trees aren't generally well tended and the cherries are sold to whoever. These beans generally get roasted very dark and sold as straight up 100% Kona or as "Kona blend" to the tourist trade.

There are also a lot of crappy, over-priced, over-roasted, highly "branded" Kona coffees. I agree, many are not very good.

I think you can buy equally good, perhaps better coffees from other places for less money. But that's because of the relative economic conditions they come from.

Stanford55

Postby Stanford55 » Yesterday, 2:23 am

guydebord wrote:It definitely could and Hula Daddy may have the most amazing labor conditions. However, it is important to denote that the minimum wage in US farming (especially in labor intensive tasks like cherry picking) is not a practice, it is actually an exception and more in small farms where workers are not protected by the minimum wage provisions of the FLSA. Farming is still one of the most exploitative industries in this country, which besides employing under terrible conditions those that can not legally work, it legally employs children, (crazy but true) US Federal law excludes child farm workers from labor protections.

One of the reasons I became so supportive of the 3rd wave was because of its emphasis on fair labor practices, your comment reminded me that we should discuss more about the labor conditions embedded within a bean, to me, this is super important.


Please allow me to briefly hijack this thread and recommend Olympia Coffee—per your labor, environmental, and social concerns.

Carry on gentlepeople.

guydebord

Postby guydebord » Yesterday, 10:09 am

michael wrote:Going to try this, do you have a recipe you like 8)


Im grinding 20gr very fine (but not crazy fine like the Pacamara from Integral), using 94C I pre-infuse for ~30 sec until the first drop and then immediately increase the pressure/flow to 9bar and then slowly move it down to 6bar until I have 48gr-50gr out. Shot from first drip takes around 44 seconds. Let me know how it goes!

nuketopia wrote:I've been to Hula Daddy a number of times and spoken with the owners.

They cost a lot because they are so labor intensive and they pay well above US minimum wages. They can't get enough workers otherwise. They're very careful about what gets picked as well. I've seen them processing ripe cherries and there's not a dud to be seen in the picked baskets. They tend to have a lot of the same pickers season to season and they have a steady crew who tend the trees year round. Hawaii costs a fortune to live, no matter who you are. Just the reality. If you want quality, you have to pay for it and Hawaii is expensive and operates in US dollars and labor laws and US dollars are strong currency.


Thanks for this info, good to know they pay above minimum, I might give them a try.

Stanford55 wrote:Please allow me to briefly hijack this thread and recommend Olympia Coffee—per your labor, environmental, and social concerns.

Carry on gentlepeople.


Thanks! I will definitely order from them. I thing its time to open a thread in Coffees about coffee roasters with high environmental/social responsibility that produce amazing roast. I will open this in a few minutes 8)

Thread is up! Amazing Social/Environmentally Just Coffee Roasters
In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

michael

Postby michael » Yesterday, 6:10 pm

thanks, that pacamara was super fine, 6-7 notches finer on the flat than most of my other regular coffees 8)