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Right oh,

 

It's January and today in the Hopper of my Mahlkonic Vario Home is

 

Foundry Coffee Roasters - Moata.

 

Like many folks, I picked this up as part of their Black Friday Deal, and thus spent a kilo of coffee getting to know this very good coffee.

 

Espresso. I pull with an 18g VST on a gaggia TS. I start at 1:2 with time 25-45 seconds and from there, follow taste. No VST, no formal training, just following whats good to me.

 

This Bean shines in the 10-21 days post roast window. Taste notes are a good guideline. This is a generally sweet, and restrainedly fruity Espresso. It is not notably acidic. Its balanced, and can be either delicate, or super smooth as your preference.

 

The two best type of shots I had were

 

18 -> 42 in ~35 seconds. This was a wonderfully sweet, apricot, peach tasting shot with a notably smooth mouthfeel that made the longer sweet shot shine. Sweet, balanced and never overpowering. Great.

 

Closer to the roast date this bean shone as a shorter shot, 18g -> 32g in 30-32 seconds.

 

This shorter shot was a little less sweet, more noticeably fruity, the apricot note was very apparent here. This type of shot was silky silky smooth (as one might expect from a central american Bourbon for example)

 

The bean seems to lose it's smooth mouthfeel as we go into and beyond a month past roast, but in the 10-21 day post roast, it is magic for espresso.

 

Brewed - V60, 15g -> 250g in about 4 minutes give or take technical flaws.

 

The brewed side of this bean is, quite good. Much less exciting than the espresso.

Flavours are balanced, cup is sweet and clean. In any other case i'd be very happy, but after the amazing espressos, i am a little underwhelmed.

 

Would I buy this bean again - Yes

Would I buy from this Roaster Again - Yes

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Assuming your name is a reference to Arrested Development, I couldn't resist...."Steve Holt"!

What size v60 are you using? How often are you stirring? I found Moata to be rather an exceptional brewed coffee.


Coffee drinking tip #2: Sniff your beans 👌

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Assuming your name is a reference to Arrested Development, I couldn't resist...."Steve Holt"!

What size v60 are you using? How often are you stirring? I found Moata to be rather an exceptional brewed coffee.

 

Indeed an Arrested Development reference.

 

I keep my V60 pretty standard and faffless, such that I can attribute things to the coffee as much as possible.

 

Bloom with 50g, and add 50g every 30 seconds as a swirling pour at approx 50% the radius of the then current water level, all resulting in a final added mass of water fo 250g.

I do not stir. I target about 4 min for the brew, give or take about 30 seconds.

 

I found Moata to be a well balanced and clean brewed cup - but the brewed cup was for me, less exciting than the same bean as an espresso, and also less exciting than other beans which I have brewed with the same parameters.

 

For example.

 

The December Barista Hustle bean was a washed Yirgacheffe, Aricha by Small Batch Roasting (of Melbourne) - this was a more complex yet cleaner cup than the Moata for the same brew conditions in the same hands. Part of this is my taste preferences, and I think part could be the selection of roasts optimised for brewed coffee specifically for this subscription.

 

In the end, my comments are all relative.

 

In my hands, and to my taste, Moata was really special as an espresso, and quite good as a brewed coffee.

 

This is of course skewed by me having some really good (for me) brewed coffees in the second half of 2016, while not many of my espresso beans in the second half of 2016 were as satisfying as the beans I had in the first half of 2016 (a handful of El Salvador Bourbons, and a cracking blueberry Ethiopean natural from HasBean who's name now escapes me)

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4:00 (average) does seem a bit long for 15:250g, have you tried going a tad coarser?


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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3:15 at one notch courser on my rhino for this bean was not appreciably better in this case.

 

Best to do a few at a given setting, see how the average settles down?


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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I have found the shorter brews work generally for brighter beans, and the 4min ish time is at worst pretty good for most well developed roasts.

 

I ran a brew or two at 3.15 for exploring Moata, but that being no better than the brews at 4.00 and spectacular espresso left me happy to run the bean mostly as espresso.

 

I'll keep the shorter brews in mind for future delicate beans though mwjb

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Just opened a bag of Moata and first impressions - apricots and cream

 

Really nice beans


a grinder a lever and some beans

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It's January still and my Rhinoware Grinder and I have just about worked through ~120g (you'll see why) of ....

 

Drop Coffee Roasters - Kenya Kamwangi PB Kirinyaga.

 

Espresso. I pull with an 18g VST basket on a gaggia TS. I start at 1:2 with time 25-45 seconds and from there, follow taste. No refractometry, no formal training, just following what tastes good to me.

 

I suck at coffee, or I am uneducated dilettante. I did not get a decent cup out of this :(

I came to this bean as part of my last subscription box of coffee from Coffeevine. In their supporting literature they claimed that Drop use different roast profiles for Filter and Espresso Beans (which is of course a small surprise for a Steve Leighton company). Drop, from their online presence seem to be an omni-roaster.

 

Regardless, I was pissing into the wind trying to espresso this. I got coffee acid. Acidic, thin, the type of cup where you know it is completely your fault.

 

Not wanting 250g of coffee to go down the drain, I emptied my hopper, popped the beans into a jar, went on a walk.

 

'Let's try the V60'

 

Brewed - V60, 12.5g -> 250g in about 3.30 as per MMJB

 

Strawberry, sweet , a little fruity bitterness ...grapefruit, but not shit.

A wonderful, complex filter coffee.

 

2 days later, 6.30am, I am not quite awake yet, and I am in cruise control

 

Brewed - V60, 15g -> 250g in about 4.30 as per laziness and shame, and the disappointment of MMJB

 

Strawberry, sweet , the bitterness has moved on and the cup is sweeter and juicier. To steal a Leighton-ism, it was very 'quaffable'

Again wonderful filter coffee. By definition complex.

 

---

 

I have bounced between the two brew types a handful of times since. They both deliver.

 

Would I buy this bean again - Yes

Would I buy from this Roaster Again - Yes

Would I try espresso again with this bean - No, because it is a bit expensive and given the relative cost, id rather just love it as a cracking V60 bean.

Edited by steveholt

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It's February, and for the past two weeks I have been taking a not often blogged about Irish Roaster for a spin, well their espresso blend anyway.

 

Ariosa Coffee - Espresso Blend #2 (http://www.ariosacoffee.com/shop/product.php?s=espresso-blend-2)

Espresso. I pull with an 18g VST basket on a gaggia TS. I start at 1:2 with time 25-45 seconds and from there, follow taste. No refractometry, no formal training, just following what tastes good to me.

 

Ariosa are in a funny place for specialty coffee. They are trying the hard thing, which is to bring up the standard of high street non-specialty coffee shops. In Dublin you will see the clearly third wave inspired shops tend to source their 'house' beans from local heroes 3FE & Cloud Picker (Both of which I will get to over the course of this year for this thread) or from the European elite (Sq.Mile, The Barn generally). Ariosa tends to be found a a lot of delis, sandwich bars and coffee & cake shops. Places that take pride in their work core work, tend to be pretty/very good at it, but also still have flavoured syrups behind the espresso bar. This is what I have read to be regarded at 2.5 wave. This sums up where Ariosa very accurately. Ariosa are aiming to be specialty coffee for people who dont know or care what specialty coffee is. Their espresso blend is far superior to high street chain coffees, but avoids being acid or fruit heavy.

 

This Blend is 2 x Brazillians Pulped Naturals + some claimed Guatamalan. As an espresso we have a heavy, slighty spicy, tobacco-y but not without sweetness cup. This is thick, heavy and tastes 'strong' compared to a lot of specialty espresso blends. Coffee that tastes like coffee, but not the bitter astringent ashy coffee of the highstreet.

 

If I walked into a random sandwich deli or a non-obviously specialty cafe in a strange town and was served this I'd be pleasantly surprised, but if I was in a strange city hunted down the specialty coffee shop de-word-of-mouth I'd be disappointed.

 

So thats espresso, but, most drinks in most coffee places are milk drinks.

 

and, in milk this blend really works. It cuts through milk, the spicy and tobaccoy notes are still there, but with the milk sweetness taming that we see a nuttiness too. This blend makes a lovely and awfully comforting cappuccino/flat white.

As this was an espresso blend, and based on the taste profile of the espresso shots, and havign some other filter roast beans around, I didnt bother brewing this bean.

 

 

 

Would I buy this blend again - No, for espresso there are many options that are more to my linking, but I appreciate what they were aiming for, and I think they hit it. The milk drinks with this blend are great, but I make so few milk drinks compared to straight shots or brewed coffee at home, that I'd rather have a bean that nails 2/3 of those drink types to my liking in my hopper.

Would I buy from this Roaster Again - Yes

Would I try go into a shop etc. that used Ariosa as its house bean/blend - Yes.

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It's February still, and for the past two weeks I have been enjoying one of the darlings of European specialty coffee.

 

Coffee Collective - El Desarollo AA

Espresso.I pull with an 18g VST basket on a gaggia TS. I start at 1:2 with time 25-45 seconds and from there, follow taste. No refractometry, no formal training, just following what tastes good to me.

This is good SO Espresso. Creamy Mouthfeel, lightly acidic and peachy. A bit fruitier than I'd expect from a colombian, but regardless a lovely espresso. This was best at about 18 -> 38 in about 30 seconds. There was a bit more balance and complexity than there was a shorter (one note creamy-tastic) shots.

 

V60 -

This bean was good as an espresso, but spectacular as a V60. 12.5->250 in 3:30 - 4:00. Grapes, peaches and that creamy mouthfeel of the espresso was still there in spades. This is what I wanted Moata by Foundry to taste like as a filter, but the flip side is, Moata was a better espresso than this for me.

 

 

And now to really make this thread worthwhile. It is supposed to be 12 roasters, not 12 beans.

 

so

 

 

 

Coffee Collective - Espresso 2 (https://coffeecollective.dk/shop/espresso-2/)

 

This is what a specialty coffee espresso blend can and should be.

 

Chocolate, sweetness, gentle but sparkling acidity, more chocolate caramel sweetness and all carried by a creamy body that puts the above SO bean to shame. This is a wonderful, comforting blend.

 

18 -> anything between 32 to 38 will give you as easy/good/satisfying espresso as one can prepare with little effort.

 

If you are preparing espresso at home (amongst your other coffee vices) and are ordering coffees from Coffee Collective, throw a bag of this into the order. You might not be blown away for your specific niche, but you will also not be let down be this blend.

 

 

 

Would I buy from this Roaster Again - Yes

Would I buy these beans again - Yes

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So The March Roaster is and will be

 

April Coffee Roasters, of Copenhagen (and of a seemingly large marketing push, they are in every subscription box/bundle and guest beaning everywhere)

 

I have had 3 of their coffees across three channels in the past two week. Not blown away enough to run here to write, but so far so happy with them.

I still have 2 more of their coffees to hand and unopened.

 

Off the top of my head, I am about 200g through an espresso roasted el salvador bourbon of theirs, Nazareth.

 

It is, and this description will only work for some, if you take a typical El Salvador espresso taste profile, with the same mouthfeel. and if you were to take that through the stereotype of a nordic roast.

 

Essentailly, good El Salvador milk chocolate smoothness but more fruit forward than I expect from such an origin. If I wanted an el salvador espresso, I'd go get Finca Argentina or Finca Alaska from Has Bean, but if I was served this in a coffee shop, Id be interested, and not disappointed.

 

I have a bag of espresso roast, and a bag of filter roast still to crack open.

 

Ill roll it all up at some point.

 

but for now,

 

April Coffee Roasters, not bad at all. Worth Checking out, if you like broadly nordicly roasted beans.

Edited by steveholt

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And So The March Roaster is and was

 

April Coffee Roasters, of Copenhagen (and of a seemingly large marketing push, they are in every subscription box/bundle and guest beaning everywhere)

 

I have had 3 of their coffees across three channels in the past month, and espresso on one of them killed off my ginder :(

 

I enjoyed their espresso roasted el salvador bourbon of theirs, Nazareth. (see prior)

 

I even more enjoyed their brazillian (whose name I keep forgetting to jot down, hence this post being 2 weeks late). This was the most enjoyable brazillian I have had, EVER.

It was thick, full bodied, but juicy not creamy. It was citrusy and sparkled like, like I wouldnt expect a brazillian to. Acidy was kinda red apply. If this was from anywhere else, I'd be happy with the quality. For a man who loves spectacular sweet smooth chocolatey El Salvadorian coffee but Brazillians heavy and one note, and awfully dull, this was spectacular.

 

 

April Coffee Roasters, not bad at all. Worth Checking out, if you like broadly nordicly roasted beans. Seem to have a knack of drawing out unusually fruity notes from, unexpected places.

 

I'll pick them up beans from April again if given the chance. I have enjoyed their espressos much more than their filters (as served in coffee shops, really good coffee shops)

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And April's roaster was

 

Love Coffee Roasters of Lund in Sweden.

 

These were my least favourite of my run of Scandinavian roasters. The two espressos I had were the 'roastiest' I have had from a nordic roaster. And with this roastiness (and this is relative, these were not dark roasts) came a smearing out of the flavours. The interesting, often regarded as challenging at best, and acidic swill at worse, flavours that we come to expect from nordic specialty roasters, were there , but were muddied and washed over be a generic roasty flavour.

 

Los Pirineos - El Salvador Bourbon. This was sweet, but didnt sparkle the way good Bourbons from this region can. The roasty note washed over any fruitiness or nuttiness that could have been in the background.

 

La Esperanza - Guatemala, Red Bourbon - Heavier in the body than the El Salvador, less sweet and seemed to have more going on, but again - this was all muddied together.

 

Their filter roasts may be different/better but if you are going to the hassle of sourcing espresso beans from a nordic roaster. I'd skip Love.

 

These are better coffees than what Ariosa (Irish 2.5 waver roaster I mentioned above I think) supply as espresso, but unless Love are a known 2.5 wave roaster in an otherwise acidity clarity dominated nordic roasters world - I think Love suffer by comparison to some steller compitition in the region.

 

I'd go to the hassle of sourcing beans from Coffee Collective, Koppi, April, La Cabra, and even the much less heralded 'Great Coffee' of Aarhus before I'd source from Love.

 

Yours Conflictedly,

 

Steveholt

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I'm intrigued - what is different about a 2.5-wave roaster compared to Third Wave? And great write-ups by the way!

 

Right, and this is just me

 

Ariosa very definitely roast to the taste profile of massmarket coffee shops but better. This seems to be a very deliberate business plan, and can be seen and backup not from their taste profiles and the types of places they target in their wholesale operation. Ariosa are very common in pretty good, independent cafes, sandwich shops and corporate HQ coffee concessions. Ariosa have positioned them in a place where they provide better coffee but without the passionate adherence to any further philosophy hinged on transparency of flavour, transparency of trade, fetishisation of processing or farmers, or fetishisation of quantified quality (barista champions, Q scores etc). They are a roaster that roast coffee for a target market that is outside the specialty coffee core audience.

 

I called Ariosa 2.5 wave as they have taken and applied the very core principles of specialty coffee/3rd wave coffee - that core principle being better coffee, and have set out to deliver that to people who go to high street chain coffee shops but would like and appreciate 'that kind of coffee but better'. Yirgachefe SO espressos are not going to be what this market broadly identify as good coffee, but a blend based on specialty grade brazillians and central Americans might well be quite tasty to that large market.

 

My use of 3rd wave roaster refers to those core specialty roasters who target people on forums like that, people who go out of their way to go to coffee shops based on word of mouth, based on quality, based on novel beans and consistently great coffee. These roasters, beyond buying into trying to make better coffee, tend to share a number of traits. (and aesthetics)

 

transparency of flavour - Roast as little as possible to make the coffees origin shine through and/or maximise the tastiness of the coffee bean (you could argue that these two interpretations are in conflict, for me they may be more on a spectrum, where tasty is actually the subjective issue, but anyway)

transparency of trade - A lot of specialty roasters hang their hats on tracable and direct trade. We get to know the farm, the farmers name and often have short evocative tales to contextualise why a given coffee from a given fam is special (just like every other good coffee from a good farm)

fetishisation of processing - see above, basically.

fetishisation of quantified quality (barista champions, Q scores etc) - etc.

 

And all these together are not necessarily bad, and I futzing love tasting notes - but - all the above is actually ancillary to the whole good coffee thing. Overemphasis on one or several of the side angles can be wasted effort. It happens.

 

So taking this all together, I guess I am saying - I am a sucker for having a target and hitting it. I can forgive if a roaster/bean is not to my liking if I can appreciate what the roaster was going for. I am less forgiving when a roaster/brand position themselves in a crowded marketplace, set a target and then come up short.

 

but that Doesn't answer your question.

 

for me

 

3rd wave - specialty coffee. For me can be summed up as Quality oriented business with a broadly terroir oriented philosophy on roasting.

2.5 wave - better coffee. Quality oriented business with a broadly customer oriented philosophy on roasting.

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And for May my roaster was Nord, from Norway -

 

This post will betray how I feel on a more general level.

 

The beans I had were espresso roasts. They were good.

There was a Guji Ethiopean which was a very approachable fruity SO espresso. It was acidic, fine for me, never sour, but my wife who is more of a flat white lady didnt really like it at all.

It, for me, and her really shone in a Flat white/Small Capp. I would call this the approachable face of east african fruity SO espressos, and a good bean for milk drinks.

 

There was a Brazillian which was a very good Brazillian. It was a good, rounded, entirely acceptable espresso. In a milk drink it was - inoffensive.

 

Would I order from Nord again. Yeah.

Would I order from other roasters first - Yeah.

I enjoyed Nord much more than I enjoyed the beans from Love, but nothing blew me away.

I would call them a good specialty roaster. If I was going to the cost of ordering from that corner of the coffee world, there are otehr roasters I would order from first. But if I was sick of Coffee Collective and La Cabra, I would not discount Nord.

 

Damned with Faint Praise maybe.

But still praised.

 

 

Next up - hopefully in 3 weeks or so,

 

Gardelli

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Excitement about

 

It's Gardelli time.

 

I had a bag of his 92 scoring, Nieri (I think) Kenyan last year and it gave me the best brews I have ever tasted.

I was excited to go back here - though in the end, despite it being Kenyan season, I tried some new and different beans.

Some of my comments below will be pulled from the whats in your mug this morning thread - as I do not keep detailed notes otherwise.

 

First up, the cheap bag that I used to bump up the coffee per delivery cost ratio.

 

Gardelli Cignobianco espresso blend.

 

This is a good blend. Chocolate, nutty and a tiny hint of fruit. Not very acidic. Comfortable.

It's a very good base for milk drinks too. This is a wife flat white endorsed blend.

I didnt brew this.

 

This was a bit of a comfort espresso for me, solid - well rounded but not a knockout.

I have had many worse espresso roasts and espresso blends from various roasters. This is good, but not write home about it good ..as an espresso.

As a milk drink base this is very good. It cuts through milk, chocolate and nuts but not too heavy, nor cloyingly sweet. The little bit of fruit in the espresso is the faintest edge of acidity in the milk. A very balanced Flat White.... but only my second favourite milk drink from this order.... :)

 

ok second up -

 

Gardelli - El Chivero, which is a naturally processed Colombian.

This might be the most overpoweringly BLUEBERRY coffee I have every had. It is a sledgehammer of blueberry and plum as an espresso. This coffee was notable, a memorable espresso. And then there was the rest.

 

I took it for a spin in milk - this might be my first swear in this thread - **** me. Blueberry Milkshake. Sweet and fruity. Aromatic, incredibly sweet and that blueberry taste that goes on forever. The hit of Blueberry you get when you open the bag of beans for the first time - that is what each and every Flat White tasted like.

 

and then there was the brewed - blueberry and plum - balanced and sweet, fruity - no florals, muted acidity, which for me really worked with the type of fruitiness that this cup had. There was no notable natural funk. No booziness. This was a surprisingly clean cup consider how I was sledgehammed by the espresso.

 

Initially I classed this bean more as interesting, than as great. This is a cracking bean, unusual in origin/processing, but undeniably high quality.

 

and now last up - would I be regretting not getting a Kenyan.

Gardelli - Quisabony - a heriloom hybrid, washed, Colombia.

 

 

You know the way Gesha Village tastes kinda like a Geisha and kinda like and Ethiopean?

We this kinda tastes like Gesha Villlage, minus the florals. Very fruity, and in the end hard to pin down.

This was on me.

 

Espresso - I wasnt great at this - I got a lot of pear, some grape and always some take on citrus acidty. The coffee was never bitter nor unsweet - but the fruity balance would move about as I tried different shots. I could not tell you what was the best shot I had, but the better shots were quicker, longer pours. 18 -> 40/4 in 23 (plus minus 1) seconds.

 

In milk this got lost. It was not a hammer of one fruit, so the subtle balance of the espresso kinda washed out in the milk.

 

As a filter brew this was more forgiving. Pear and grape here. Acidity much more towards the grape end, which I think says more about my espresso approach than anything.

Across all three methods I never 'got' the caramel note that is in the roasters notes.

 

ok -

 

Gardelli is a very good roaster with a variety of interesting and quality coffees. He prices as per SCAA score, and broadly speaking my experience with him is that the Q score translates in his hands into a proportionally good roasted final product.

 

I will order again from this roaster, for both the unusual and the very good.

 

I would hold Gardelli up with Coffee Collective, La Cabra and The Barn as a cadre of overseas roasters from which I would happily order blindly based on tasting notes and a confirmed in my hands reputation for quality.

 

and I will order El Chivero again in a blueberry second :)

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Excitement about

 

It's Gardelli time.

 

I had a bag of his 92 scoring, Nieri (I think) Kenyan last year and it gave me the best brews I have ever tasted.

I was excited to go back here - though in the end, despite it being Kenyan season, I tried some new and different beans.

Some of my comments below will be pulled from the whats in your mug this morning thread - as I do not keep detailed notes otherwise.

 

First up, the cheap bag that I used to bump up the coffee per delivery cost ratio.

 

Gardelli Cignobianco espresso blend.

 

This is a good blend. Chocolate, nutty and a tiny hint of fruit. Not very acidic. Comfortable.

It's a very good base for milk drinks too. This is a wife flat white endorsed blend.

I didnt brew this.

 

This was a bit of a comfort espresso for me, solid - well rounded but not a knockout.

I have had many worse espresso roasts and espresso blends from various roasters. This is good, but not write home about it good ..as an espresso.

As a milk drink base this is very good. It cuts through milk, chocolate and nuts but not too heavy, nor cloyingly sweet. The little bit of fruit in the espresso is the faintest edge of acidity in the milk. A very balanced Flat White.... but only my second favourite milk drink from this order.... :)

 

ok second up -

 

Gardelli - El Chivero, which is a naturally processed Colombian.

This might be the most overpoweringly BLUEBERRY coffee I have every had. It is a sledgehammer of blueberry and plum as an espresso. This coffee was notable, a memorable espresso. And then there was the rest.

 

I took it for a spin in milk - this might be my first swear in this thread - **** me. Blueberry Milkshake. Sweet and fruity. Aromatic, incredibly sweet and that blueberry taste that goes on forever. The hit of Blueberry you get when you open the bag of beans for the first time - that is what each and every Flat White tasted like.

 

and then there was the brewed - blueberry and plum - balanced and sweet, fruity - no florals, muted acidity, which for me really worked with the type of fruitiness that this cup had. There was no notable natural funk. No booziness. This was a surprisingly clean cup consider how I was sledgehammed by the espresso.

 

Initially I classed this bean more as interesting, than as great. This is a cracking bean, unusual in origin/processing, but undeniably high quality.

 

and now last up - would I be regretting not getting a Kenyan.

Gardelli - Quisabony - a heriloom hybrid, washed, Colombia.

 

 

You know the way Gesha Village tastes kinda like a Geisha and kinda like and Ethiopean?

We this kinda tastes like Gesha Villlage, minus the florals. Very fruity, and in the end hard to pin down.

This was on me.

 

Espresso - I wasnt great at this - I got a lot of pear, some grape and always some take on citrus acidty. The coffee was never bitter nor unsweet - but the fruity balance would move about as I tried different shots. I could not tell you what was the best shot I had, but the better shots were quicker, longer pours. 18 -> 40/4 in 23 (plus minus 1) seconds.

 

In milk this got lost. It was not a hammer of one fruit, so the subtle balance of the espresso kinda washed out in the milk.

 

As a filter brew this was more forgiving. Pear and grape here. Acidity much more towards the grape end, which I think says more about my espresso approach than anything.

Across all three methods I never 'got' the caramel note that is in the roasters notes.

 

ok -

 

Gardelli is a very good roaster with a variety of interesting and quality coffees. He prices as per SCAA score, and broadly speaking my experience with him is that the Q score translates in his hands into a proportionally good roasted final product.

 

I will order again from this roaster, for both the unusual and the very good.

 

I would hold Gardelli up with Coffee Collective, La Cabra and The Barn as a cadre of overseas roasters from which I would happily order blindly based on tasting notes and a confirmed in my hands reputation for quality.

 

and I will order El Chivero again in a blueberry second :)

 

Great write up and great read,

 

The El Chivero sounds fantastic. So much so that I would be a little fearful ordering it.

I would be concerned that I wouldn't be able to do this fantastic bean justice.

 

However you have sold the roaster to me, on the list she goes. Becoming quite the list too.

 

Love it.


Ve ve suvivius.... /E37s/ Eazytamp / tupperware pot / completely healthy relationship with coffee (and bank manager).

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Roaster number 'something'

 

Da Matteo of Sweden.

 

I had 2 Colombian SO espresso roasts, who's names I do not recall. 1 was a caturra and 1 was a bourbon. (I will edit this post with names over the weekend)

As a recurring theme with scandi-nordic espresso roasts, these were , in the words of Steven Leighton, 'taken a bit darker'.

 

They were not notable dark roasts, but there was a roasty note there.

Neither SO jumped out with distinct flavours, nor unusual smoothness/sweetness/bitterness/body.

 

These beans were not bad, but not notable good. Worked equally well as espresso and in milk.

 

Safe, coffee shop house SO would be how I'd sum it up.

 

Better than Love, as good as Nord, not as good as the Danish duo I am fond of (Coffee Collective, La Cabra), nor as good as the young Danish brand on the block (April).

 

I will fill out with more specifics tonight or tomorrow, but in a way that lack of specifics is the review.

 

Decent coffee, damned with faint praise and vagueries.

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July was (I just looked back on the thread, this is my 10th roaster) something a little closer to home, and after my adventures in foreign fields for the past while, this was an example of overlooking something because it is local and ubiquitous. Sourced by Steve Leighton and Roasted in Dublin

 

3FE

 

3FE is the coffee shop and unstoppable armoured battletortoise specialty coffee empire of Colin Harmon, multiple WBC top 3 but never winning barista and podcaster.

3FE is a handful of very high quality coffee shops with great service and for me a weird lacking in warmth. 3FE is also by far Irelands leading specialty roaster, and is now available for international shipping. 3FE roast for their own shops, and provide bespoke blends for a number of Dublins better coffee shops, (including ones that are arguable better coffee shop experiences tan 3FE)

 

For this post I will go over 3 coffee from 3FE that I have enjoyed at home over the past month. Notes stolen from and expanded from that what is in your mug this morning thread where possible.

 

1) 3FE Brother Hubbard Blend

 

3FE's Brother Hubbard blend (50% Brazil Fazenda Cachoeira Pulped Natural Canario, 50% Bolivia Finca Carmelita Washed Caturra) is a blend roasted by 3FE for one of Dublin's best lunch spots, and secretly one if its top cafes, the aformentioned Brother Hubbard. This is a solidly specialty Espresso blend insofar as it skews quite acidic considering it's 'half brazillian'. This acid skew is something I find more in 3FE's espresso blends than in their SO's. This blend is pleasantly full bodied for such acidity.

You can ease off the acidtiy and emphasise the body and chocolate by pulling a relatively constricted shot (pull your 1:2 ratio in 42 seconds as opposed to 30) - This is not how you will find this coffee pulled if you try it in a shop.

 

This blend really shines in milk, the acidty and the chocolate notes both cut through the milk and with the milks sweetness you have a very tasty and balanced flat white that tastes of coffee.

 

2) 3fe Finca Argentina - Los Mangos, washed Bourbon.

 

If the above was restrained and caveat laden praise, then the next two will be unabashed gushing praise, with the caveat on this first one, that I broadly adore El Salvadore Bourbons as espressos. Finca Argentina is a recurring supplier to the HasBean empire and the Los Mangos sub-division is a 3FE exclusive for 2017.

 

In my hands this specific bean tasted like Milk Chocolate, smooth and sweet, with a hint and slight bite of Peach (especially in the aftertaste). In Milk it was sweet and smooth, citrus acidity was there in background - much less prominent than the broader acidity of the brother hubbard blend.

This was a delicious smooth espresso. So Delicious and easy that I went through two bags over the month, and was scuppered on the purchase of a third by it being out of stock.

 

In a V60 the pears went away and the Mango note shone through. I think the name of this lot came from the cupping table. Sweet coffee with a prominant mango note. Delicious.

 

3) and lastly, another 2 bagger.

 

2 bags 3FE's Bolivia - Choquehuanca/Melgar Collaboration: Washed, Typica, Caturra & Catuai

This was another glorious espresso, smooth sweet and very very butter-y. The non chocolate notes are subtle and are washed out in a flat white, but the taste and the mouthfeel in the espresso is worth buying a bag for.

 

This isnt smooth as in el salvador melted chocolate, or thick syrupy brazillians, this is smooth and butter-y as in - you know the difference in taste and feel in the base between a healthy ad hoc cheesecake - a lump of Philadelphia on a digestive biscuit, and a slice of homemade american style cheesecake with 150g of butter per 300g of biscuit in the base.

 

This bean was wasted in milk - the soft subtle flvours are masked and all that mouthfeel was lost.

In a v60 however it reamined buttery, sweet, balanced, and despite the relatively heavy mouthfeel - this was a delicate coffee. not floral or fruity - but balanced.

 

---------------------

 

3FE are a very good roaster.

Their blends never quite work for me as espressos. (in Cafes and at home)

Their SO's never seem to let me down (in cafes, and at home, in this post and in the past too)

 

If 3FE were not based close to home, I would choose to order their beans online based on the quality I have experienced from them.

In the end thatch all this thread and the 12 roaster challenge is for me - Would I buy beans online (or in a shop given the opportunity) from a given roaster.

 

For 3FE the answer is, yes I would.

Edited by steveholt
additional info

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So In August - 1 Bean, from a new roaster because I didnt get back to a coffee shop in time to have a second bean.

Madcap coffee company of Michagan USA,

 

I had a 350g bag of their Galeras Colombian.

It has been a while since I have had a Colombian Espresso.

 

Chocolate, and redcurrant is what I got here. It was nice to have an espresso that was balanced a bit differently than the central americans and africans I have generally been drinking of late. The fruit and acidity is an equal partner with the chocolate basenotes in this cup, as opposed to a note or a hint.

 

As an espresso I really enjoyed this, and not only for the change of pace. This was a good enough to buy again espresso.

 

In a flat white the acidty remains there, as a hint this time as opposed to front and centre.

The basenotes and the fruit specificity are washed away in milk sweetness. This moves the milk drink towards coffee that tastes like coffee, but with a very pleasant non-citrus, non straw/blueberry acidity lingering there throughout.

 

At the price I paid in a coffee shop (Proper Order Coffee in Dublin for those who are interested) for this bean (16euro for 350g) - I would try another bean from this roaster.

If I do so by end of year, ill quote this post.

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OK

 

Roaster 12, is really about roaster 15, but I dont have the heart to write about some mediocre stuff I have had of late. (Happy Pear or Wicklow, good at tanzania and Central America, bad at Ethiopia but all in all good value by Irish local specialty roaster standards (about 8.50e a bag, as opposed to 3FE SOs starting at about a 10er, and Bailies, Cloudpicker etc being 10-12e a bag too), Bailies of Belfast - middling and more expensive for the pleasure than equally middling roasters, and even some better ones(

 

So anyway,

 

Roaster 12

Kaffa of Oslo

2 Beans, both espresso roasts - which has become an interesting aside as my years has gone on. Some Nordic Roasters are very very good at specifying different roasting profiles, and others just seem to take espresso roast to mean to 'go a bit darker'. This decision alone kinda delineates the great from the good.

 

Kaffa of Oslo were based on 2 beans, at the upper end of the second tier of Nordic Roasters I have tried over the year.

 

Bean 1 - Buena Vista, a Guatemalan Washed Bourbon.

 

This was a pleasantly fruity take on the Central American Washed Bourbon. Espresso was a little lemmony, only a hint now, and that was over the sweet chocolate base. Mouthfeel was a little less of the melted bar of galaxy that I love in my favourite C.A bourbons - a hint lighter, thinner but not negatively so.

 

In milk that hint of lemon carried through and resulted in a pleasant and not 1 dimensional Flat white.

 

Bean 2 - Hunda Oli, Ethiopian Heirloom, Washed - Jimma.

 

This was the bean where Kaffa dropped to the top of division two.

 

LEMON, acidic, and some floral notes. This was not bad (and much better than Bailies Sidamo, and Happy Pear whatever 84 rated organic farm they used that I lost the bag) but it was unbalanced. It was a passable Washed Ethiopean espresso. It reminded me of my early attempts to tame ethiopean omniroasts into espresso and resulting in SOUR, it reminded me of that phase of my home coffee life except that it was drinkable and then I made another cup.

 

My relative disappointment arises in that some roasters can take beans from similar origins (within reason I know) and turn out a much more balanced product that results in tastier more three dimensional, even easier to brew sometimes, espresso. Good, not bad, not great.

 

SO anyway, would I buy from this roaster again - yeah, but id check the origin, and Id be wary of espresso roasts of origins that skew high acid.

 

--------------------

Nice to be back in this thread, even in a reduced capacity. I know it is a 12 roasters challenge, but I also want to carry this through to years end.

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Ok -

 

I lost my october notes :(

 

The roaster was Longora coffee roasters, Again of Norway - and likely to be my last or second last nordic roaster of the year (based on my delivery logistics, and lessons from last xmas)

 

The coffees were two espresso roasts, a washed bourbon from Burundi, and a washed and quite easy to work with bright juicy orangy Ethiopian - the specific origin I cannot recall.

 

They were both good espressos, well balanced, tasty - both juicy and Ethiopia being notably fruity.

 

I finished both bags within about 5 days.

Both beans were endorsed by my wife for flat whites, which was a first for an ethiopian espresso - but that might be telling more about her than the beans we have had over the year.

 

The short of this is, october was a good, well caffeinated month. And so tasty and efficient it was, that anal forum note taking - was half done and then completely lost. Sorry folks.

 

What I can provide is my ranking for these nordic and continental roasters.

 

Longora is pretty much the best of the rest.

 

Not as good as The Coffee Collective or La Cabra of Aarhus or the Filters I have had from Drop Coffee (more to come from LSOL), but as good as/no worse than Koppi and better than Love, or Jacu (imo).

 

Sorry for the late monthly post - so much for running thorough the finish line.

 

---------

As an aside, Longora did a Panama Gesha from Boquette in 125g tins last xmas. About 25 quid delivered. For those who want to try Panama Gesha as an Xmas treat coffee, this could be one option to keep in mind if they do it again. Just as an FYI

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Quick Notes on Roaster 14 - and what will be the last New Roaster in my Challenge.

 

Decembers Roaster 14 was The Barn of Berlin, and this was the first time I have spend home time with their espresso roasts.

Los Pirineos Bourbon Elite : espresso roast

 

As a silly smooth and just perfect espresso... Chocolate, smooth, nuts but not too nutty, sweet and alive but not acidic. This is comfort coffee for me. Not heavy, not over powering - just smooth smooth smooth

and in milk - just as comfortable, chocolaty and a hazelnut twist. and always just as good again and again.

 

A great bag of coffee that was very easy to work with.

 

and then to go to the other side of coffee as it were

 

Kayon Mountain Natural, Espresso Roast.

 

Just a glorious espresso, its what one would come to expect of a 'naturual' as an espresso from a speciailty roaster right up until this year tbf, and its what I want when I say I am in the mood for a good natural. Strawberry, funky but not boozy, so much aroma,

 

and then with a bit of steamed milk added to the fray we strawberry milkshake of a flat white - the second most memorable flat white of my year for those following the thread. Both of these were Naturals.

 

--------------------------

 

 

So Thats the end of my 12 Roasters Challenge. Broadly I tried to have at least 2 beans from the roasters I was taking notes on. Some were taken as espresso centric, some were more filtery and some were both. I didnt provide full notes on some roasters I had this year, normally because they were middle of the pack one way or the other (Happy Pear, Bailies - one or two of the nordics) or I only had one bean from them (a few random europeans (Ditta artingale) and local micro roasterys (Upside coffee would have gotten a full review If I was sharper on getting a second bean in and I didnt devour the bag of random hondouran as comfort on my week off in october)

 

My rambling take home on this challenge is it was fun - and while the standard of roasters feels as high as ever. There are many niches to be filled.

 

Hasbean might be the best value easy to access anywhere in europe roaster, but if you have a good coffee shop nearby that allows you to avoid shipping costs on certain or rotating roasters then you can get better beans for your money.

 

And even with coffee roasting and beans broadly getting better - there are some roasters who are just a cut above the rest - and even with that its not a one size fits all approach.

 

There are a handful of Roasters I'd go out of my way to have their beans. For me these are the best around at the moment

 

Gardelli - https://shop.gardellicoffee.com/

The Barn - https://thebarn.de/

Coffee Collective - https://coffeecollective.dk/

Talor and Jorgen - https://www.talorjorgen.no/en

 

---------------

 

There are a gang of Roasters just below that that If they are on the Shelf in my local coffee shop Ill pick up a bag in an instant.

I don't order these online because I know I can get them on the shelf in a coffee shop regularly enough, and being honest the guys above are either just better, or better on their best days with their best beans.

 

Square Mile - https://shop.squaremilecoffee.com/ (you will NEVER get a bad bag from square mile - they are only on the second list because I can get them in bricks and mortar quite easily - square mile are a great roaster, and if one has not tried them - try them [after you have had the 4 rosters in the first list ;) ])

 

3FE - https://shop.3fe.com/category/coffee (the best Irish coffee roaster, beans sourced by hasbean - different roasting philosophy to Hasbean.)

 

 

There are loads more out there, and I am not gonna rank or tier them.

 

La Cabra (https://www.lacabra.dk/) and April Coffee roasters (https://www.aprilcoffeeroasters.com/collections/april-coffee-retail-page) are 2 other very good Nordic Roasters.

 

Tim Wendleboe is great if you can get your hand on it and George Howell is spectacular if you know someone travelling through the States.

 

and then to go to the other end, away from the exotica, if you have a post box and the internet and want very good coffee at a very fair price, just Order from Hasbean, or Foundry (https://foundrycoffeeroasters.com/)

 

-----------

 

Im off to make an aeropress with Django Colombian from Dog & Hat - Thanks for the great year guys.

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