Favorite Espresso Blends 2010 - Page 5

Behind the scenes of the site's upcoming equipment reviews.
CoffeeOwl

#41: Post by CoffeeOwl »

This reviews are pleasure to read and very informative, big thank you's to you all! Only to John I'd advise to loosen a bit on the systematic approach and have some more fun... :)
'a a ha sha sa ma!


LMWDP #199

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#42: Post by RapidCoffee »

Excellent suggestion! FWIW, I do not weigh or time my shots unless I'm engaged in testing. Espresso is much more enjoyable in small leisurely doses...
John

CoffeeOwl

#43: Post by CoffeeOwl »

I actually always weigh my coffee! :)
What I meant was to play a bit more with different grinds&doses, like to check what it will give in the cup.
I know with Vivaldi it's not possible to put 19g in the basket, yet I'd effectively put 16.5g. Otherwise I will have to plunge&hunt a few bags of the coffees and howl along their prise 8)
'a a ha sha sa ma!


LMWDP #199

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#44: Post by RapidCoffee »

I was tasked with temperature sensitivity, and tried to follow preliminary brew ratio suggestions from Jim and Chris. Most recently, I blew through an entire bag of Hair Bender, playing with different temperatures at one fixed grind/dose/volume. If you are inclined to pursue all combinations of dose, grind, volume, and temperature, be my guest. About 10 bags should cover most of the possibilities. :P
John

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malachi

#45: Post by malachi »

I think it's fair to say that all the reviewers played somewhat extensively with grind and dose for each coffee - as well as with flow, temp, volume, ratio... you name it.

Each of us, however, was tasked (for our review) with a "focus." This is what you see as a result.

The idea is that the combination of the output of all the reviewers gives a more complete picture.

Now... to be fair... the ranges experimented with in some cases were limited. As noted above - not doing this would require far more coffee (and time) that would be realistic. By letting some people establish "starting point ranges" that are more narrow for specific parameters and then fine tuning and experimenting based on this - we were able to develop a reasonably complete picture in a very short time period.

With some coffees this is simply expedient. With others it's required due to the complexity involved.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

da gino

#46: Post by da gino »

I think this is a great thread - one of the best (if not the best) on HB recently - and I enjoy the different approaches, so John I think you should keep doing exactly what you are doing it makes total sense to have different people using different approaches.

Chris - thanks for the links to your approaches to dialing in coffees a few posts up from here - those are great reads, too, (not that I've completely finished all three threads)

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#47: Post by RapidCoffee »

malachi wrote:I think it's fair to say that all the reviewers played somewhat extensively with grind and dose for each coffee - as well as with flow, temp, volume, ratio... you name it.
Indeed. For example, I pulled preliminary shots of Hair Bender at different doses (14g, 15g, 16g) prior to temp testing... and found myself in strong agreement with Chris: this blend is better updosed.

Jim and Chris are world-class coffee tasters, and their flavor descriptions are positively poetic. If my tasting notes seem mundane by comparison, I can live with that. It's an honor, but also a daunting task, to keep company with them on this project.
John

CoffeeOwl

#48: Post by CoffeeOwl »

Thanks for the explanation, now I understand the tasks and focus orders!
On the taste notes and poetry, John, I think that would be an insult to call them mundane - it just looked systematic and precise and that it was, in place too, for the task you shared.

I was in a way curious if you tried higher dose too, and eventually what was it like. It very well may be because of the triple basket being one of my recent preys... :mrgreen:
'a a ha sha sa ma!


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malachi

#49: Post by malachi »

No questions about any of these espressos?
Really?
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

da gino

#50: Post by da gino »

I am curious if Black cat has evolved to need to be pulled at cooler temps (I know they sensibly view it as a crop that should evolve). I use a lever and an HX to pull shots and my only temperature testing devices are my taste buds, but I used to order it a lot a few years ago and it always seemed to me to need fairly high temps to be at its best - I would have guessed it was over 200 degrees, but again that would have been at best an estimate. Has it evolved to need a lower temp than it used to? (I haven't ordered it recently just because I've been having fun trying out new coffees).


(I don't have any Stumptown questions because I'm not familiar enough with it to have good questions, but I'm inspired to order some and try the above suggestions after which I'm sure I'll have questions.)