Archive : 2013-03
i bought a pallet of malawi coffee, which is a brand new origin for me. i bought it knowing it was coming from the best estate in the country, and with high recommendation from the importer, but i had to buy it without tasting it. i’ve tried to buy the last two crops, and it always sells out before it even arrives in the usa. so this time i bought it while it was still at sea.
i roasted it, tasted it: awful. again. awful. again. awful. i roasted it to 10 different temperatures. of the 10 batches, there were two medium roast batches, within 10 seconds of each other, that were great, and one dark batch that was decent. and then i also drank 7 really bad cups of coffee. of the two best results, i further refined it after additional testing, and pinpointed the single very best way to roast the coffee. 15 minutes and 48 seconds, 416 degrees, and now i can appreciate why it always sells out. grind it, smell the grinds: blackberry. brew it, taste it, there’s red wine, sweet tangy notes with an underlying caramel base. mmm….
i drink bad coffee so you don’t have to.
a new “lot” from sulawesi is in stock as of yesterday, and this lot is different, and arguably better than the last one. the last bag, i’m certain was a bait-and-switch. i had approved the sample, which had orange and mango undertones, but got sent 300 pounds of one that tasted like soap if you didn’t roast it just right. i got it tasting okay, but it wasn’t knocking my socks off. i’m happy to be done with that batch and on to a fresh one.
every “lot” of coffee from a farm tastes a little different from the one before it, and there’s a long list of logical reasons for this, and the list gets longer the further you are from civilization. sulawesi’s mountains are about as wild as it gets (the people there don’t even have a written language). this lot was harvested later in the season, was rated higher, and was more expensive, but it’s very exciting. i’m still roasting and playing with it, but the predominant flavor in the coffee is………BLACK PEPPER! i can’t stop drinking it; i think it’s the neatest thing.