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rob177palmer

Advice on making notes to record your experiences of different beans?

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As some background I have challenged myself to try more of a range of coffees and roasts and try to work out what I actually prefer.

 

To this point, I tend to have guessed at my choices of beans, favouring light to mid roast fruitier bean from different roasters, but I have noticed I miss the enjoyable thicker texture of a slightly longer roast. I want to try to come to a more educated decision as to what I like.

 

I have ordered 250g of almost every bean Rave sell and plan to vac pack small batches and mix it up over the next few weeks.

 

I tend to only brew as espresso. I plan to record:

Roaster

Bean origin

roast profile

processing method

tasting notes

grinder setting

brew ratio

my comments.

 

Firstly, are there any other factors people record that I should consider?

 

Secondly, how do you make notes? In the first instance I’m going to print the web pages for each and scribble notes, but that isn’t workable long term and obviously it would would be better if the notes were “searchable”, so some sort of iPhone app would be perfect i was thinking - any suggestions?

 

Thanks all.

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As some background I have challenged myself to try more of a range of coffees and roasts and try to work out what I actually prefer.

 

To this point, I tend to have guessed at my choices of beans, favouring light to mid roast fruitier bean from different roasters, but I have noticed I miss the enjoyable thicker texture of a slightly longer roast. I want to try to come to a more educated decision as to what I like.

 

I have ordered 250g of almost every bean Rave sell and plan to vac pack small batches and mix it up over the next few weeks.

 

I tend to only brew as espresso. I plan to record:

Roaster

Bean origin

roast profile

processing method

tasting notes

grinder setting

brew ratio

my comments.

 

Firstly, are there any other factors people record that I should consider?

 

Secondly, how do you make notes? In the first instance I’m going to print the web pages for each and scribble notes, but that isn’t workable long term and obviously it would would be better if the notes were “searchable”, so some sort of iPhone app would be perfect i was thinking - any suggestions?

 

Thanks all.

 

Regarding your second point:

 

I had a crack with Excel, my pros/cons:

+ if data is captured properly, you can report / analyse it quite well

+ compatible with most devices (phone/tablet/pc)

+ no risks of splattering coffee all over your pristine notebook

+ can do some of the brew ratio calculation for you if you set up simple formula and weigh (and capture) input / output

- not very intuitive to use on handhelds (Samsung S8 / iPad for me)

- not very effective for Word processing (formatting is restricted and input can be a bit clumsy)

- no physical record to showcase - all digitalised

 

A standard spreadsheet looks a bit dull but they can quite easily be spruced up to look a bit nicer (like an app).

 

I'd be interested if there are any other CFUK members using any other apps.

 

Hope you find something that works for you

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I'd add in a basic, overall score of how much you enjoyed each shot. Roaster, process, roast profile can all be added in the same broad description field, otherwise you are likely to end up with too many fields & an unwieldy record. The ability to sort is essential..

 

Also add in shot time.

 

Maybe record whether tasting notes were met? These may only be relevant for a current crop & next time that coffee appears the notes may have changed, they can change during the run of one crop - so what they actually say will float.

 

I use XL


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

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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Interesting that you both use excel. I could set up on Office 365 so would be easily available everywhere. I’ll have to check how that could work.

 

I am very proficient on excel but cant help feeling that this task calls for a database system, which I haven’t used often. I’ll do some googling today for ideas but there must be people adopting a similar approach for wine or other more common hobbies.

 

Thanks both for your suggestions on data to record. And here’s hoping someone will chip in soon with the perfect solution !

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Catador Cupping seems to be a (quite expensive) app that replicates SCAA scoresheets, but that’s still not quite right for me - I’m not focusing on cupping and tasting notes, more wider comments and notes to remind me at a later date.

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I found this:

http:// Angels' Cup by Angels' Take Inc.https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/angels-cup/id968069264?mt=8

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As some background I have challenged myself to try more of a range of coffees and roasts and try to work out what I actually prefer.

 

To this point, I tend to have guessed at my choices of beans, favouring light to mid roast fruitier bean from different roasters, but I have noticed I miss the enjoyable thicker texture of a slightly longer roast. I want to try to come to a more educated decision as to what I like.

 

I have ordered 250g of almost every bean Rave sell and plan to vac pack small batches and mix it up over the next few weeks.

 

I tend to only brew as espresso. I plan to record:

Roaster

Bean origin

roast profile

processing method

tasting notes

grinder setting

brew ratio

my comments.

 

Firstly, are there any other factors people record that I should consider?

 

Secondly, how do you make notes? In the first instance I’m going to print the web pages for each and scribble notes, but that isn’t workable long term and obviously it would would be better if the notes were “searchable”, so some sort of iPhone app would be perfect i was thinking - any suggestions?

 

Thanks all.

 

One thing I would also be inclined to do so the details you are intending to apply are instantly associated with that brand or supplier is to take a photo of the front and rear of the packet the beans came in and even the beans for colour, careful to always use the same light source for bean colour.

 

Jon.


One Life this is it, it's not a rehearsal so enjoy it best you can - Have some fun, buy a coffee machine.;)

 

ECM Synchronika - ECM V-Titan 64 Grinder - EXPOBAR MEGGACREM 2 Group - MAZZER Super Jolly grinder with doser -  AMIR Scales and they work fine - 15-18-20-22-25g VST Filter Baskets - Several MOTTA Jugs and a Home Made Knock Box. - Useful contributions from the Family.

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One thing I would also be inclined to do so the details you are intending to apply are instantly associated with that brand or supplier is to take a photo of the front and rear of the packet the beans came in and even the beans for colour, careful to always use the same light source for bean colour.

 

Jon.

 

Beans, roast level & colour will change with virtually every order from the same supplier. Colour isn't a very good guide to preference either.


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

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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I’ve been playing with the Angels’ Cup app - going to give it full thumbs up from my first use.

 

It has a very visual interface to describe your notes and covers almost everything I would want to add.

 

It fully records your tasting notes and is searchable for your past records.

 

You can compare your tasting notes side by side with the roaster’s own and from the community (I haven’t tried this yet but I like the idea).

 

Sadly can’t store a photo of the package but otherwise this seems excellent.

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+1 on the above especially if unable to measure colour objectively using a Tonino or similar. I have been measuring the colour profile of not just own roasted but bought in beans / LSOL etc and has been interesting to note the number / level of roast having more of a direct impact on grind fine / coarse ness than on any other input such as taste / flavours being picked up (this will be more origin / process based)

 

What measuring (grind) colour does is remove the "I think it's medium, you think its light" (or vice versa) argument and allow a standardised (assuming other Tonino user) approach.

 

For example, the current Nicargauan 4 pack from HasBean all measured on Tonino at between 124 and 127 or "Cinnamon" but all had subtle differences as from different farms (2 from Finca Limoncello, 1 each from La Escondida / Las Delicias), 4 different beans( Longberry, Pacamara, Catui, Caturra) and 2 differing processes (2 washed, 2 pulped natural)

 

Am sure have seen a couple of pre existing apps that may suit your requirement to record or failing that what about the little notebook called 30 coffees or similar? Sounds like you are going to be super caffeinated for a while :)

 

John


Roasters: BB Dalian Amazon 1kg -Power contolled GeneCafe 101- 92Kg of greens - Tonino

Espresso: Londinium L2 - Gaggia G105 - Silvia v3 Mr.Shades PID'-d - Faema E92a2 (Project) - MyPressi Twist - VST baskets / Motta Europa (350/500/750ml) - Torr Ti 58.55 & Goldfinger flat 58.4 TiBlack, Pullman 51.4 - Acaia x2

Grinders: Flats: Compak R120 - NS Mythos plus Conics: Compak K10PB - Lido 3

Brewed: Behmor Brazen - Moccamaster KBGT471 - Aeropress - V60 - Cona model D - Clever - Mizudashi - 8-10 + 6 cup Chemex

Water: BWT Bestmax V Refrac: VST III

and a Puq Press not in a pear tree..

 

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Welcome Rob, just been trying to find the copy was given as a present a while back. Thought it was a bit, well, tosh at first look but then realised actually quite handy especially when out and about ( causes the odd raised eyebrow from knowing barista :) )

John


Roasters: BB Dalian Amazon 1kg -Power contolled GeneCafe 101- 92Kg of greens - Tonino

Espresso: Londinium L2 - Gaggia G105 - Silvia v3 Mr.Shades PID'-d - Faema E92a2 (Project) - MyPressi Twist - VST baskets / Motta Europa (350/500/750ml) - Torr Ti 58.55 & Goldfinger flat 58.4 TiBlack, Pullman 51.4 - Acaia x2

Grinders: Flats: Compak R120 - NS Mythos plus Conics: Compak K10PB - Lido 3

Brewed: Behmor Brazen - Moccamaster KBGT471 - Aeropress - V60 - Cona model D - Clever - Mizudashi - 8-10 + 6 cup Chemex

Water: BWT Bestmax V Refrac: VST III

and a Puq Press not in a pear tree..

 

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Beans, roast level & colour will change with virtually every order from the same supplier. Colour isn't a very good guide to preference either.

All the more reason to record the colour against the same packet, you could then identify if one supply changes either slightly or markably.

 

Jon.


One Life this is it, it's not a rehearsal so enjoy it best you can - Have some fun, buy a coffee machine.;)

 

ECM Synchronika - ECM V-Titan 64 Grinder - EXPOBAR MEGGACREM 2 Group - MAZZER Super Jolly grinder with doser -  AMIR Scales and they work fine - 15-18-20-22-25g VST Filter Baskets - Several MOTTA Jugs and a Home Made Knock Box. - Useful contributions from the Family.

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I live in Excel, so that's what I use together with Word. I have a big Word file on all aspects of coffee - machines, modifications, tutorials, beans, geography etc. There I keep all my coffee reviews. I don't score the beans accurately yet (like out of 10 or 100) or describe flavours in conventional tasting language, because my technique isn't advanced enough to be reliable but I do describe the coffees.

 

In Excel I have a large spreadsheet called 'Diet' for everything about food and drink. I have one sheet for everything coffee - machine specs and also bean notes. These give the seller, bean, origin, rating, quantity, price, web address. The rating goes NR (not recommended), Y-, Y, Y+, YY. So basically a 5 point scale. I only drink decaf, so I list all the commonly available beans. This is currently a list of 53 decafs with ratings for the ones I've tried.

 

I also have another sheet called "shots" where I record a representative number of the shots I pull. I take the best shots and list them separately with averages so I can see what works. The fields are:

date, coffee, double/single basket, time of pour in secs, grams in, grams out, ratio, ml of milk, ratio of coffee to milk, grinder setting, temperature of water (this is an estimate based on amount of steam in a quick purge), and any other notes like "try this grind setting" or "temperature over/under ideal". Plus a very brief description of how good the coffee/shot was.

 

It's all a bit nerdy, but this is a nerdy thread, right? I'm still very much learning skills so I wanted to record everything I did. Analysing the information has been really helpful and has given me a much better idea of what works for me. As time goes on I make less entries - just for new coffees to look at grind settings, pour in secs and results. It's a lot of information but I'm a research junkie.

 

I also have quite a lot of pictures under Pictures > Coffee. I have a lot of pictures under > Grinders because grinders fascinate me. All their specifications are in my Excel file. And a lot of pictures under > Gaggia showing all kinds of mods I might carry out one day, interiors of machines etc.

Edited by les24preludes

Gaggia Baby 2002 and 2005, Mazzer Major, Motta 58.4mm tamper

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I ordered the following coffee log notebook yesterday from Amazon

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1974549704/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Personally, I prefer a notebook instead of Excel, since it is easier to take notes and don't have to turn on the laptop every morning before work (I have a very old laptop and it takes longer to turn on than the espresso machine to heat up :p)

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I ordered the following coffee log notebook yesterday from Amazon

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1974549704/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Personally, I prefer a notebook instead of Excel, since it is easier to take notes and don't have to turn on the laptop every morning before work (I have a very old laptop and it takes longer to turn on than the espresso machine to heat up :p)

 

If you are quick off the mark there's one listed as USED at £4.80 ...... Problem being whoever used it might not have the same taste's :D:D:D.

 

Jon.


One Life this is it, it's not a rehearsal so enjoy it best you can - Have some fun, buy a coffee machine.;)

 

ECM Synchronika - ECM V-Titan 64 Grinder - EXPOBAR MEGGACREM 2 Group - MAZZER Super Jolly grinder with doser -  AMIR Scales and they work fine - 15-18-20-22-25g VST Filter Baskets - Several MOTTA Jugs and a Home Made Knock Box. - Useful contributions from the Family.

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I’m also going to try FileMaker Go (apparently the new version of Bento) to see if I can design a database that will do exactly what I need.

 

As above - AngelsCup seems almost perfect for what I / we need, but I don’t like the fact I am not holding the data I am inputting.

 

EDIT: scrap that idea - FileMaker is well above my pay grade!!

Edited by rob177palmer

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Check if you can get this app called coffee journal. Pretty simple and I think it was free. Lets you export to excel if needed.

 

Edit: now called Flavordex Tasting Journal.

Turns out I have an older version no longer available to download

 

eba9236a7f338a4b7638d3007611dbac.jpgd722615229bc6968be2b16475de150e0.jpgbea9f8c81c97d85af011663131334a5b.jpg

Edited by christos_geo

LR - EK43S; Ceado E37S; Aergrind; Comandante MK3 - Syphon & V60 - patience

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I have been following this thread with interest and have just downloaded the Flavordex Tasting Journal app onto my Windows phone. It looks brilliant!


Sage DB, Mazzer Major, Mazzer Mini Doser (decaf), Orphan Espresso Lido 2 hand grinder (chemex)

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Hmm, I spent the day avoiding my real job and testing out different database apps!

 

I had settled on Evernote and have designed myself a full tasting notes table to fill in for each bean.....seems like I maybe should have been doing my job instead and just waiting for recommendations!!

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I have been following this thread with interest and have just downloaded the Flavordex Tasting Journal app onto my Windows phone. It looks brilliant!

 

Not available on iPhone

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Hang on @christos_geo you might have just cracked it!!

 

Found an iOS tasting journal app! Let’s see

 

EDIT - this is looking like an excellent solution!

Edited by rob177palmer

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I cannot see how this can really work. There are simply too many variables in coffee making. Technically, unless every single shot is prepared in the same way, and it might take a long time to work out a particular beans foibles, then the data will be corrupted. I would simply use the knowledge you have built up to prepare a shot properly then trust your taste buds.....I make 2 sorts of coffee, sink or drink

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Rob, @dfk41 does have a point. I actually only use the journal app to make a note of the coffees I've bought and enjoyed. What I actually do for most bags is log my dialing in process which looks something more like this (screenshot). Overkill but I enjoy it. I then transfer to an Excel sheet and highlight the one that gave me the tastiest espresso :)

 

828dddadb965299fa8b4f3a9c623b205.jpg


LR - EK43S; Ceado E37S; Aergrind; Comandante MK3 - Syphon & V60 - patience

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