Posted Wed Oct 9, 2013, 7:45pm Subject: Re: What are your favorite varieties of bean(s) for espresso (non-blended)?
All depends on what I'm in the mood for, and what beans are around at any given time.
There are come fine Ethiopians from this year's harvest. I just picked up some Sidamo Ardi natural process that I roasted for cupping today, but people have been liking it. The wilder Ethiopians can be a trip, but sometimes they can be a little overwhelming, and occasionally a little "fermenty". Generally the fruit bomb Ethiopians are a favorite, but not a day-to-day thing. It would be too much like eating cheesecake everyday—after a while you crave something a little less rich. Generally I'm roasting these just a little ways past the end of first crack, City+ mostly, though sometimes nice chocolate notes come ou at Full City to FC+. Depends, of course, on the bean.
I'm a big fan of pulp natural Central American coffees. The so-called "honey-process" or Miele Costa Ricans and Hondurans at City+ to Full City make a nice shot that's well-rounded with just enough birightness to keep it interesting.
SO Sumatrans and Sulawesis can be good, but they're frequently like a chorus that's all baritones and basses. I rarely take one less than Full City, and usually Full City+ or a little bit further into second crack.
I've had a couple of Tanzanians that work niicely in espresso blends, but never had an SO East African other than an Ethiopian that's blown me away as pure espresso shot.
Just one man's experience, of course. As they say, YMMV.
OregonCityMan Senior Member Joined: 30 Oct 2013 Posts: 41 Location: Portland, Oregon Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Salvatore SES Semi Grinder: Ascaso I-2 mini Roaster: Torrefattore 1KG, DIY 1/2lb
Posted Sat Dec 7, 2013, 1:01pm Subject: Re: What are your favorite varieties of bean(s) for espresso (non-blended)?
An El Salvador washed bourbon, but I can't get them anymore from Bodhi Leaf coffee. Down to my last six pounds. This description is from their ebay site, but is an old offering:
"This clean coffee is a beautiful green color and is a beautiful red cherry while on the tree. It is known for it's notes of peaches and stone fruits with chocolate overtones. I love the tangerine citrus in this cup as well. It has just the right amount of acidity, body and complexity that you cannot find in any other cup."
The beans are so clean, and have zero defects. Such a pleasure to roast in my DIY roaster, which can have difficulty attaining a nice even roast if the beans are not so special.
CMIN Senior Member Joined: 14 Jun 2012 Posts: 1,627 Location: South FL Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: CC1 Grinder: Baratza
Posted Sat Dec 7, 2013, 3:13pm Subject: Re: What are your favorite varieties of bean(s) for espresso (non-blended)?
I loved Fair Mountain Coffee - Bali Blue as a S.O. Espresso. , surprisingly good in milk too which is odd for a medium roast SO and a bright one at that (actually a well balanced bright, not the tongue twister lemons like some similar others lol)
This coffee is cultivated with tremendous care in the volcanic highlands of the Kintamani region. These blue-green - almost turquoise-colored - raw coffee beans, unlike other Indonesian coffees, are fully wet-processed. The preparation is astounding, resulting in a brighter, cleaner cup profile than wet-hulled Sumatras and Sulawesi varietals. Fair Mountain Bali
I had two pounds of a green, natural process Ethiopian that smelled "off" in the bag, smelled the same way after roasting, and tasted the same way in the cup. My first use was in a blend, and it was so odd that I roasted some as a SO darker to try to get something from it and on its own it was even worse. In 13 years of home roasting it was only the second time I threw out green as undrinkable. The only other time was when I accidentally ordered decaf. "Fermenty" may not be the word to describe what I had, but I have noting else to which I can compare them as he smell was quite unpleasant. I wrote to the seller and he said that there was noting wrong with the coffee and that was the way it was supposed to smell and taste. Uchhh. I almost stopped doing business with them, but all their other offerings have been quite good and very competitively priced so I wrote this one off. The order receipt names it as: Ethiopian Natural Sidamo, Adem Chilicho
Posted Sun Dec 8, 2013, 11:43am Subject: Re: What are your favorite varieties of bean(s) for espresso (non-blended)?
If you like El Salvador Bourbons, Sweet Maria's has the Siberia and Tablon Tempisque. (both in my stash) The Siberia is simple and easy; good foundation and structure for a blend too. Tablon taken to first snaps of second crack will bring out ginger/mulling spice and bittersweet chocolate. More intensity and complexity than the Siberia.
The Yirgacheffe Konga is a clean fruit Dry Process I'm using right now. (BTW: smells heavenly green and in the roaster). It also plays well blended with the Siberia bourbon.
Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 9:39am Subject: Re: What are your favorite varieties of bean(s) for espresso (non-blended)?
I have 2 'Superior Electric' 10 amp variacs in my electrical toolbox. I put one on the heater element and the other on the fan. An Environmental Temperature probe is located in the heated air just before it reaches the Bean Mass. The heater response to voltage changes is quick and easy for manual control this way. A roast profile consists of controlling the ET temperature and ramp, while monitoring the Bean Temperature for roast progress. There is a cause-effect relationship between these 2 temperatures that is reliable and predictable; Set/control the ET and the beans will follow according to the heat transfer characteristics of your roaster.
Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 10:58am Subject: Re: What are your favorite varieties of bean(s) for espresso (non-blended)?
I am a big fan of Brazilian coffee's as an S.O espresso. Preferably pulped naturals. I have decided to stick to single origin coffee's over blending for consistency. I also find dirty Sumatra's to be good as an S.O espresso. Both are very versatile and make a tasty drip if I'm not in the mood for an Americano. I feel than as long as a bean has good body it usually has what it takes for a decent espresso. I usually don't take either past Full City. Recently I have been enjoying a PNG that not only has full body but sweet berries like the well known Harrar. Although once the bean ages past 2 weeks the berries become less dominant.
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