Roast and Learn Together - November 2014

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
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TomC
Team HB

Postby TomC » Oct 28, 2014, 11:33 am

For November, let's try a very unique coffee, something off the beaten path that will give us a chance to stretch our horizons a bit. A coffee producing nation 300 years in the making, let's turn our attention towards Haiti.

I just got off the phone with Terry (of Coffee Bean Corral), and he has about 80 pounds of Haitian Dondon, fresh crop coffee available. This coffee comes with very high praise and it's not just a charitable pursuit (but certainly deserving in its own right) I thought that during a time of year where we give thanks for our blessings, we can in turn support the efforts of some very deserving people of a struggling nation with a long history in coffee.

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boar_d_laze

Postby boar_d_laze » Oct 28, 2014, 12:27 pm

Tom,

The appeal to charity makes me feel crass for saying so, but $9.50 - $8.75/lb is heavy freight for any beans less than "93+" quality, and very expensive for an R&L selection no matter how good they are.

Rich
Drop a nickel in the pot Joe. Takin' it slow. Waiter, waiter, percolator

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[creative nickname]

Postby [creative nickname] » Oct 28, 2014, 12:33 pm

I like this selection, Tom. I've never roasted a Haitian coffee before, and I look forward to giving this one a shot. I agree that it is a bit more expensive than the other R&L selections have been, but given the connection to Thanksgiving I think it is worth keeping in mind how lucky we all are to get so many excellent coffees so cheaply.
LMWDP #435

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bean2friends

Postby bean2friends » Oct 28, 2014, 2:12 pm

I just got home from cataract surgery on my left eye. I had the right done on October 1. So, you're asking, what does this have to do with Haitian coffee? Well my very competent doc often donates some of his time to visit Haiti and help deliver health care to the needy there. I also have a pulmonologist friend who gives freely of his time to Haiti.
So, I'll look at this as an opportunity to help just a little. Some time back, I tried some Dominican coffees. They weren't very well prepped, but some of them were very reminiscent of Hawaiian coffee. Maybe this is one of those cases where I'm blessed to not have a very well developed palate. In any event, I'm up for the challenge. Hopefully, I'll be up for the challenge. One of the things I enjoy about this hobby is the participation in a more direct way in the economies of developing (or not) countries.

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TomC
Team HB

Postby TomC » Oct 28, 2014, 4:52 pm

boar_d_laze wrote:Tom,

The appeal to charity makes me feel crass for saying so, but $9.50 - $8.75/lb is heavy freight for any beans less than "93+" quality, and very expensive for an R&L selection no matter how good they are.

Rich



The shipping price is for up to 11 pounds, not per pound.

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TomC
Team HB

Postby TomC » Oct 28, 2014, 5:27 pm

[creative nickname] wrote:I like this selection, Tom. I've never roasted a Haitian coffee before, and I look forward to giving this one a shot. I agree that it is a bit more expensive than the other R&L selections have been, but given the connection to Thanksgiving I think it is worth keeping in mind how lucky we all are to get so many excellent coffees so cheaply.



The ideal choices for coffees that we use in the RLT are generally in the $6-8 a pound range (the only major outlier was the $17/lb Kenyan Peaberry that was chosen once) that would probably outscore this Haitian for sure. But, I didn't want to just make this about picking the easiest, high scoring east African acid bomb each and every month. And no month would be better suited to gather together as a coffee community around a coffee with a unique cause, than this one coming up. I hope that's worth the extra $2 a pound to the rest of our forum, and not just for the charitable nature, but I imagine there's a bit of curiosity for a rarely talked about "vintage" typica, no? :wink:

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TomC
Team HB

Postby TomC » Oct 31, 2014, 12:16 pm

I roasted a 200g test batch of this last night. I sorted out about a dozen whites, a few blacks, and there is insect damage visible in the lot. Post roast sorting removed only 2 quakers. This morning, it brewed up an interesting, simple cup with a weighted mouthfeel and body. It reminded me of the idealized albeit generic "coffee" taste we grew accustom to before diving into specialty coffee, except for the lack of bitterness. It's not as low acid as our last Brazil, and it is sweet, so its not a disappointment by any means. Just don't judge the coffee by the green's aroma. :shock:

For folks who are interested in participating, there's no reason to buy a big bag of it. If it was a 90 pt washed Ethiopian, we could discuss profiling it over and over again till it's optimized (and hence, need a larger quantity). With a coffee like this, a few pounds ( I only bought 2) and some general observations, comments etc, is perfectly ok too.

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TomC
Team HB

Postby TomC » Nov 02, 2014, 4:33 pm

Still a pleasant surprise with this coffee, this morning. I wouldn't rave endlessly about it, but it is actually a nice change of pace. It might actually spur me on to see if I can find decent Haitian coffee's in the future blending purposes. I think it would make a solid base to an espresso with its deep body and sweetness as well as a simple approachable cup.

I'm not pulling any punches though, the first impression of smelling the green was "gym socks". :oops: But it doesn't translate to the cup ( if it did, I'd find a different coffee to use for this month).

It will be a few days before I can even share any profiling details, my laptop had a cracked screen that went black on me two days ago, so I can't track a profile the way I usually do. This first roast was just a general sample roast approach of 45-60 seconds of development time in a medium range of my typical charge temp ( pulling from memory) and follow the color and aromatics for markers.

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boar_d_laze

Postby boar_d_laze » Nov 02, 2014, 4:49 pm

TomC wrote:The ideal choices for coffees that we use in the RLT are generally in the $6-8 a pound range (the only major outlier was the $17/lb Kenyan Peaberry that was chosen once) that would probably outscore this Haitian for sure.

The famous Kenyan Peaberry, Muthuthiini, wasn't $17/lb, but $10.95/lb (or $9.86/lb with the 10% discount I negotiated. I wouldn't bring this up again, but after I chose and profiled the coffee in January for the February R&L, you wrote in the January R&L thread, that it was too expensive (by close to 100%):

TomC wrote:Some suggested guidelines at the outset would probably have helped steer this into a more affordable territory for everyone had we suggested that bean choices be around $4-6 per pound. But that's hindsight and I don't fault whoever chose it ( although there's a bit of a chuckle to hear that the owner of the company is the one that suggested a $11/lb bean) ....

The Muthuthiini, wasn't coffee of the year or even close, but it was still exceptional. I rated it 90+ for brew and SO espresso, as did a lot of other roasters. Not that you don't occasionally find better greens for less money, but it's hard to be disappointed by a 90+. By contrast, the best I've been able to coax out of October's Brazilian -- $5.50/lb and chosen by an employee of the retailer -- with my profile attempts so far was a bare, "specialty coffee '87'" for brew, and a little less good as SO espresso.

My last profile attempts were closer to Chris's recommendations, and I'm hoping for a livelier, spicier, more versatile coffee -- maybe an 88 for both -- but they don't have enough rest on them even for brew.

In the meantime I'm drinking some Ethiopian I got from Boldjava, and the contrast between excellence and "barely specialty" is glaring.

Rich
Drop a nickel in the pot Joe. Takin' it slow. Waiter, waiter, percolator

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TomC
Team HB

Postby TomC » Nov 02, 2014, 10:06 pm

Good catch on the the price error on my part. I apologize for that. I just remember it was the most expensive, so i used it as a reference. Let's move on.