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waterlily
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jul 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Southeast USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Jul 10, 2012, 5:46am
Subject: Need coffee advice
 

Coffee lover here. I'm looking for a recommendation for roast color, and figured I'd join up and go to the experts. :-)

I usually drink my coffee with heavy cream, but now I have to cut out dairy. I usually love medium to dark roasts, smooth coffee with a rich flavor, on the sweeter side, with no citrus notes or smoke - and low acid.

I've been drinking my coffee black (I don't do sweeteners) and I am not enjoying it at all. I tried a light roast, but it didn't match my taste buds. The medium roast tasted okay, but I wanted sample more blends, and I need advice before I drop a ton of money sampling various roasts and roast blends. Can anyone steer me in the right direction and suggest one or two coffee roasts/blends?

I've enjoyed various dark roast and medium roast blends when drinking my coffee with cream. One of my favorite blends was Specialty Java's Smooth Jazz, but it seemed a bit too much for me when drunk black. Perhaps my taste buds are out of whack at the moment and the darker roast seemed bitter to me.

I want my coffee to taste like coffee, but I cannot abide bitter and don't like coffee with a lemony taste. I dearly miss my coffee with heavy cream. I have tried other types of milk - not for me. So black it is.

I buy whole bean coffee and I use a French Press or a coffee cone.

I prefer organic, but at this point, I'll try anything.

Thanks very much!
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steprock
Senior Member
steprock
Joined: 25 Jun 2012
Posts: 18
Location: Parker
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Moka pot, Bellman CXE-25,...
Posted Tue Jul 10, 2012, 7:19am
Subject: Re: Need coffee advice
 

Hmmm...sounds like you are on the right track! I haven't started roasting my own beans, but I'd go dark. Roasting your own beans? Using a French press? You have it under control, my friend.

Welcome to the board.
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DavidG
Senior Member
DavidG
Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 63
Location: Central Ohio
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: cimbali M32 | pavoni pub1
Grinder: preciso | kyocera cm45 |...
Vac Pot: sunbeam c30c | yama +...
Drip: ccd | woodneck | chemex
Roaster: wbp1 | wepp | bm/hg
Posted Tue Jul 10, 2012, 9:05am
Subject: Re: Need coffee advice
 

waterlily Said:

I want my coffee to taste like coffee, but I cannot abide bitter and don't like coffee with a lemony taste.

Posted July 10, 2012 link

So both bitterness and too much citrus are out.  No problem.

The citrus taste comes in 2 ways.  First, pleasant citrus and florals are predominant in lighter roasts.  The other way you may find a "citrus" taste (bad citrus) is when the coffee is overly sour (too low brew temp, badly pulled espresso, or a host of other reasons).  

Bitterness comes from: overly-roasted beans, robusta beans (not arabica) in grocery store blends, over-extracting brewing and once the beans are 3 weeks past roast date.

So, the good news is that with FRESHLY roasted coffee, properly brewed at proper temps, you can have delicious black coffee with neither a trace of sourness nor bitterness.

I too like french press.  My preference is to set my grinder as coarse as it will go (Virtuoso at "40"), and increase the contact time to 6 min.  Also, I pre-heat the press and wrap a towel around it during the contact time to avoid heat loss.

I hope these thoughts help.  If you are not already up to speed about proper brew temps and why the most important piece of coffee equipment is your grinder, read more threads here.  Coffee wisdom is abundant here--you need only search and read.  If only the rest of life were so!

Cheers,
David G
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waterlily
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jul 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Southeast USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Jul 10, 2012, 10:38am
Subject: Re: Need coffee advice
 

DavidG Said:

So both bitterness and too much citrus are out.  No problem.

The citrus taste comes in 2 ways.  First, pleasant citrus and florals are predominant in lighter roasts.  The other way you may find a "citrus" taste (bad citrus) is when the coffee is overly sour (too low brew temp, badly pulled espresso, or a host of other reasons).  

Bitterness comes from: overly-roasted beans, robusta beans (not arabica) in grocery store blends, over-extracting brewing and once the beans are 3 weeks past roast date.

So, the good news is that with FRESHLY roasted coffee, properly brewed at proper temps, you can have delicious black coffee with neither a trace of sourness nor bitterness.

I too like french press.  My preference is to set my grinder as coarse as it will go (Virtuoso at "40"), and increase the contact time to 6 min.  Also, I pre-heat the press and wrap a towel around it during the contact time to avoid heat loss.

I hope these thoughts help.  If you are not already up to speed about proper brew temps and why the most important piece of coffee equipment is your grinder, read more threads here.  Coffee wisdom is abundant here--you need only search and read.  If only the rest of life were so!

Cheers,
David G

Posted July 10, 2012 link

Thanks. for sure I never buy grocery store coffee. I always either buy from a company that roasts the same day they ship, or a local coffee roaster. I think my taste buds are just going through a big change right now and I'm uber sensitive. I've had to give up all dairy and all sugar recently.

Today I tried a medium roast blend from a local coffee place and it wasn't bad. I also tried a Mocha Java, a very dark roast, and a Peaberry from the same place and they didn't appeal to me at all.

I guess what I am really after is a blend that tastes just as good black - as a medium dark roast WITH cream, lol!!!!

I'll keep looking. Suggestions are appreciated. Thanks
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Joel_B
Senior Member
Joel_B
Joined: 9 Oct 2007
Posts: 1,823
Location: Pacific NW
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astra Mega II
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama 5 cup
Drip: nope, french press
Roaster: Behmor, WP, BBQ drum
Posted Tue Jul 10, 2012, 11:45am
Subject: Re: Need coffee advice
 

First off, welcome to coffeegeek suzan!

Bitterness (with brewed coffee) generally comes from over extraction from inconsistent grind, too little coffee, too long a steep time, etc.  Since you enjoy french press, go ahead and look at this site's guide to press pot: http://coffeegeek.com/guides/presspot.

I wouldn't get too hung up on how dark the beans are; there's more influencing factors that dictate the cup.  I've had some really light coffees that were unbelievably smooth (even as espresso) and some darker roasts that were extremely snappy.  Region and overall roast profile has more to do with this, than strictly how dark the roast is.  A good roaster will be able to give the coffee justice with a complimenting roast profile; so at a certain point it's good to find some roasters that you tend to like their perscpetive on coffee.

Aside from finding some roasters that appeal to your pallate, try to look for regions that will give you what you're looking for.  For instance, central american and east african coffees tend to be more acidic, bright and fruity.  Based on what you've said I think south american coffees would be to your liking.  Brazils tend to be low acidity, more bass notes (chocolate, caramel, nuts) and they have a nice creamy body.  Mind you these are just guidelines because I've had some really snappy Brazils and some smooth low note centrals, but the regional characteristics generally hold true.
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randytsuch
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Jun 2009
Posts: 578
Location: LA, Ca
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office with...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Roaster: Customized Alpenrost,...
Posted Tue Jul 10, 2012, 12:45pm
Subject: Re: Need coffee advice
 

I can't answer you specific question, but I would recommend checking out the first post in this thread
Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

and trying one of them.  You might even pick a roaster, and then give them a call with you specific requirements, and see what they recommend.

Randy
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cerridwyn
Senior Member
cerridwyn
Joined: 6 Jun 2010
Posts: 506
Location: Inland Empire California
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Tue Jul 10, 2012, 6:04pm
Subject: Re: Need coffee advice
 

Since you liked a blend, ask them what they use in the blend. Then look at your local roaster for coffees from the same area of origin.

Go down to that local roaster, do they make french press like you do or only have the big pre-made pots? If the latter, you'll never really know. Tell them you want to do a taste test and will they sell you 2 ounce samples. Some will, some won't.

Get a few from different growing regions. You probably will not like my Africans but look at a South American. Try single origins first, not blends. Find ones that are close, then start playing with it.

And you are right in one way, it will take you awhile to get used to not having the heavy cream because it's what mellowed out your dark roast. You might like something as simple as a Full City Colombian or something as complex as a small grower from Panama.

Don't give up.

 
The world needs more outstanding coffee.

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waterlily
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jul 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Southeast USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Jul 12, 2012, 3:44pm
Subject: Re: Need coffee advice
 

Thank you everyone. I am going to look at all your suggestions and start taking your advice!
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