Posted Sat May 18, 2013, 7:17am Subject: Re: Espresso blending help please!
Cheap Robusta, like cheap, commodity Arabica is a filler coffee, etc. Good Robusta, on the other hand, while I certainly wouldn't recommend it as an SO, can add some very nice notes at a level of 10-20% of the blend. I think that Robusta stales very differently than Arabica (or so my informal blending tests have shown) and I've had success, for my tastebuds at least, taking a good Indian Robusta, using a slow ramp to FC and a medium-slow ramp from there to SC, then letting it sit for a week before blending with freshly roasted Arabicas, which then get a 5-day rest before beginning to pull shots. When I hit the sweet spot on it, it adds a brandy-like overtone to the shot, rather than the acetone/burnt-tire note generally associated with bad robusta.
Robusta suffers with fast profiles, like fluid-bed/hot air popper-type roasts, IMHO.
Posted Mon May 20, 2013, 11:06am Subject: Re: Espresso blending help please!
For example, Sweet Maria's Liquid Amber Espresso blend uses a small amount of high quality Robusta. It's quite a pungent blend - a bit too much for me in straight espresso, but it's great in lattes or mochas.
Getting the right temperature on your Classic for brewing a particular SO is pretty vital - espresso amplifies all the tastes, and the temperature of extraction is critical. So if you do try some SOs, make sure to try at a few points in the temperature surfing cycle to see if it works better in one spot than another.
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