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In my ever ending quest to learn all things coffee I noticed that James Gourmet have an Ethiopian Suke Quto 3 process blend. I enquired whether I could try each element of this blend seperately to compare how the process impacts upon flavour. Full credit to them they have created this product: http://jamesgourmetcoffee.com/product/suke-quto-private-estate-three-separate-processes-3-x100g/?attribute_how-do-you-like-yours=Whole+Bean I have purchased this as well as their blend to do a four way comparison. I will update this thread with my findings, as ever.
Where to start... Like everyone, I'm trying to improve my coffee. I've chosen my equipment, which is a Cremina and HG One, and I want to stick with this equipment because I love using it, amongst other reasons. My results have been a bit variable. It's probably taken me a year to work out how to consistently get good-looking pours. I'm there. If the visual indicators are right, I am getting my distribution right now, and the coffee should taste good. So the most important variable should be the bean... well I'm sure that's true anyway. I started with Hasbean. I've always loved their way of doing things. They obviously know what they're doing, obviously care about both customers and suppliers, and they're doing a superb job. As I got deeper into my hobby, I realised that the coffees I've enjoyed the most are generally low acidity, and in some ways I don't want ultra complex layers of fruit. I like chocolate flavours, and not so much boozy or fruity. I started to experiment with other roasters, and found various forms of great coffee, generally darker roasts, and generally less complex. I also found that generally the darker coffees seem to be easier to get a good pour.. perhaps the bean splinters more easily or something. When they've been lighter, it's usually been the El Salvador or Brazilian beans that have floated my boat. In the meantime, I kept up the SSSSS subscription with Hasbean, which keeps reminding me of what a wonderful job they do, and probably 2/3 of the coffee I've had on SSSSS goes straight into the yummy category. This gets me thinking that I've given up too easily, and maybe need help and advice. So... for the first time, I started to look at which beans have been washed, natural, or pulped natural. I discovered that I've never had a pulped natural I didn't like. As far as I can see, none of the SSSSS was a pulped natural, which surprised me... they're mostly washed. I was thinking perhaps a good approach would be to order some pulped natural beans from Hasbean, or am I barking up the wrong tree here? Do people choose their beans based on the processing? I notice that Hasbean have a 5-pack of Santa Petrona which is different processing for different packs. Quite tempted to give that a go and see whether my pulped natural theory stands up. I welcome any and all advice, but especially any help from @garydyke1 who must surely be the expert on the Hasbean range If I had to summarise what I'm looking for, it's low acidity, but perhaps a little more complex (but not too much) than what I might get from a darker roasted bean. I do recognise that this post is probably all over the place and doesn't make much sense!
Turning 50 next weekend, and will need a lump of coffee, as one of my friends is an absolute fiend, and he will drink me out of home and house. He loves Ethiopian espresso , washed and natural , so looking for some recommendations. No Rocko mountain please. Off you go.