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A Bad Bean or a Tasteless Brewer?
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Rosalin
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Joined: 17 Oct 2013
Posts: 11
Location: LI NY
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Nov 3, 2013, 3:28pm
Subject: A Bad Bean or a Tasteless Brewer?
 

I have a feeling it is the latter!

In any case, I recently came into possession of a pound of this roasted bean:Sumatra Mandheling GR 1 (http://www.georgioscoffee.com/View/SUMATRA-MANDHELING-GR-1)
and have been having trouble getting it to give me a "good cup" with the use of my grinder and improvised open pot/cowboy/teapot steeping/brewing method. I've largely stayed in grinds that are quite a bit finer than the usual press pot blends but courser than espresso and steep times from 2-5 minutes. Water just off boil into an unheated teapot.

I taste a lot of ash in what seems to me an otherwise watery cup.

I admit I'm a pretty big noob to "cupping" and coffee generally. Perhaps this tastes off to me because I'm so far used to beans in which I've been able to extract the "sweeter" and even fruitier flavors--ethiopian beans and what I believe are lighter roasts.

I'm totally out of the loop on how to read the colored squares this roaster calls his roast profiles. It seems to me that this roast is either a medium or a dark--the beans are a rather dark brown and have a thin coat of oil easily discernible to my untrained eye. Perhaps this is a downside to this roast and bean?

But maybe all of this is good/normal for the type of bean and roast? Maybe my criteria for success are not in sync with this bean? What tastes should I look for for a successful grinding/steeping? What should a good cup from this bean taste like?

I guess the key question is: How should I grind and steep this bean to best extract its strengths and not its weaknesses?

Also, it seems a bit of an oily bean--should I be worried about my grinder (Gaggia MDF) getting clogged?

I'm sure a lot of this can be looked up by searching the forums somehow, but I am clueless at the level where I don't even know what the appropriate and applicable terms to search for are in this case (lol).

So, please shed some of your expertise on the question of how (and whether to bother) trying to get the most out of this roasted bean!

(I'm unsure if this thread is even within the correct category as it has much to do with preparation methods and I suppose also roasting methods)
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RichardCoffee
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Joined: 2 Dec 2010
Posts: 128
Location: Long Beach
Expertise: I live coffee

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Posted Sun Nov 3, 2013, 3:41pm
Subject: Re: A Bad Bean or a Tasteless Brewer?
 

I'd reckon it's almost certainly the bean. I'd guess there is no roast date on the package. I always worry when a roaster doesn't date his roast, but even more when he gives bad information. He says this bean is "natural" process. That is almost certainly not true. Most all Sumatras are "wet hull" processed. Check out Sweet Maria's Sumatra beans and their discussion of wet hull processing. It's also true that some folks just don't like Sumatras. It's possible you are one. But, try a good fresh roasted, maybe medium roast Sumatra before you give up.

 
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Rosalin
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Oct 2013
Posts: 11
Location: LI NY
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Nov 3, 2013, 3:51pm
Subject: Re: A Bad Bean or a Tasteless Brewer?
 

I actually purchased the bag on a whim at a local cafe near the roaster (not from the roaster himself) and when I asked if it was roasted recently they said it "must have been roasted in the last few days"...but who knows, lol--you guessed right: there is no date on the bag!
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cerridwyn
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cerridwyn
Joined: 6 Jun 2010
Posts: 512
Location: Inland Empire California
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Sun Nov 3, 2013, 7:45pm
Subject: Re: A Bad Bean or a Tasteless Brewer?
 

Many roasters who roast Ethiopian heirloom beans roast them light to medium. In fact, for some second wave it's the only bean they roast that way.  (not that I'm advocating second wave, just seeing what I've seen.)

Next time, if you can get it at a roaster have him make you a cup first. It might not be made the way you make it, but it will give you an idea of what the bean is supposed to taste like

Good luck.

 
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