Jonnof98 Senior Member Joined: 16 May 2014 Posts: 6 Location: Oxford Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Sat May 24, 2014, 4:02am Subject: Re: Online freshly roasted beans tasting burnt and bitter
You can definitely reconsider writing a guide. In fact, just write it! I have dug deep into this site and online for reviews and your reviews are stand out. There needs to be the right balance of detail in materials, mechanics, aesthetics and "in the cup" information. It needs to relate to durability, practicality, comparability and be presented in a directive manner (if you are after this - then this is the one for you). Finally it can be well and engagingly written - intro, method, results and conclusion.
Your writing has the elements I described above. Mark Prince does a great job but doesn't like the machines I want to buy as much as I do - and can get hung up on a single aspect or two. Individual geek reviews aren't detailed and can seem biased. I am never really convinced I can make a decision based on most of these.
Have tried the Ethiopians but feel I owe it to my "habit" for South American to restore this relationship first!
Regarding the most recent batch - I guess I became so accustomed to incredible roasting before things went wrong - I didn't even look. I assumed that because I was buying a batch from a roaster who must want repeat business - they would do their bit - then I was a quick grind and shot away from something that is not what high street retailers even know exist.
So, seal, valve, information all present. But...
The Peruvian and other single origin (bourbon) had size variation that was quite staggering and about half the beans although light brown had burnt edges. The Columbian single origin (a medium roast) had tints of green still - were a darker brown though and had quite black colouring on the back of all the beans. These seemed to be quite split and cracked at the end of the seams - almost blackened and shrivelled with bits of bean missing. The blend did seem more even in colour - still a light roast but with burning on edges and back - like spray painting. Across the batch, the smell of the bean and shot was like burnt rubber and the taste was worse than anything I have really tasted before!
Very poor - and will contact the online roaster.
I really need to get some glasses and go to the local roaster. I can then see and smell what I don't want and do the same for what I want to try next... In fact because the burnt rubber smell is lingering in the kitchen - I am going this afternoon - without the glasses.
Your clear advice has helped me to quickly identify the problem - denial and bad coffee had left me paranoid.
I have worked on a few published guides for something completely different. I worked with highly regarded people - in their field - and my writing was singled out for being the most helpful and approachable by these folk and a few who read it. I always thought my writing was bad.
Be glad to proof any material for your guide - although a second opinion from a trusted fellow coffee specialist may be all you need. You write well - and an overall "voice" is important and should be preserved? Your writing has an excellent "voice". Anyway I would need a decent cup of coffee to do any proofing... A trip through the Oxfordshire countryside towards a local roaster, wondering where Araku is and what altitude the coffee is grown at - beckons.
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