Espresso Blends to Try

Discussion of various types and blends of commercially available pre-roasted beans, their best sources, prices, their respective merits, and the Vivaldi settings required to optimism flavor.
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Endo
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Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Endo » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:10 pm

I love reading about my S1, but I thought it would be interesting to also hear about some of the great espresso blends people have tried lately.

We have a fantastic cafe in Montreal called Cafe in Gamba that stocks a amazing variety of the top notch blends and rotates new ones in every month. I've loved the Terroir, Intelligencia, Metropolis, and the 2009 roaster of the year Klatch (just to name a few). Today I tried a batch from the 2010 roaster of the year "Kickapoo".

I'm spoiled! My Behmor roaster is starting to gather dust.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JmanEspresso » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:44 am

I choose my coffee's two different ways..

Ill go through a period of 3-4 orders, where all I want is single origins. Citrus, Tropical fruits, Acidity, Florals etc etc.

Then, after drinking that for a while, Ill need some more bass-toned coffee for an order or two. two reasons. First, its nice to have a radical change frequently, and second, they're far easier to pull great shots with.

SO, blend wise:

Counter Culture: All three of their "shot" blends are great. La forza is a bit dark for me, but when I know Im having family over, I always order a bag or three, because it cuts through milk very elegantly, and doesn't get to roasty on the smaller 5-6oz drinks. Rustico is a big fave of mine. Aficionado and Toscano are about equal to me.. both very good, solid, balanced cups of espresso.

Klatch: WBC blend is phenomenal. Tons of fruit goin on with great chocolates on the back end.

Intelli: BC Classic is ever-changing, which I really like about it. The Organic as well. Havent tried an iteration that Ihavent really enjoyed.

Ecco: There is not one blend OR S.O. that I dont absolutely love from Ecco Cafe. The Organic is awesome, as is the Reserve. Ill be having the Ecco Espresso in the morning.. been a little while since I had it, but I remember it being very nice and easy to pull shots with.


Then, when it comes to single origins...

Ethiopians reign supreme. I love SO ethiopians. Sidamo's are usually the best, but there have been some great yirgs along the way. Not tooo many awesome Hararrs, but they're out there, and just as good. Sidamo's are usually always a winner though.

Brazils... Depends. Sometimes they're AWESOME, othertime, they lack the body I want in a Brazil. The SO Brazils from Ecco are awesome, especially the Serra Do Bone.

Yemens... Not much of a selection available from the roasters, but if you look around, you can usually find a Mocha Sana'Ani somewhere. Even my home roasted yemens have been awesome.

Single Orgins are tough to name, because they come and go so fast. The Guat La Maravilla from Ecco was SUPERB, and the Finca La Tina Honduran from intelly was easily the best espresso I had all summer.

Currently, Id like to try:
Amaro Espresso- From Novo Roasters(A blend of Washed and Natural processes)
Ritual's Current Offerings- always good stuff from Ritual, if you like/want something with more clarity and acidity.
Ethiopian Shakisso from Counter Culture-got someon the way
PT's has a new SO every month for 2010, current offering sounds great
Colombia Micro Lot reserve, from intelly(only 22 bucks IIRC)
Peru Auga Perta from intelly
Kenya SO 'Spro from Terroir, along with the Satori and gingerbread blends


honestly, blends or SO, doesnt matter, as long as it's good. Tmrw, my orders will be roasted and shipped to me.. and Ill be getting Leftist and PM from Gimme!, Aficionado 2lbs, Toscano and Shakisso from Counter Culture
Last edited by JmanEspresso on Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:58 am

Jeff - Let us know what you think of CC's Shakisso. I found it disappointing compared to Klatch's Amaro Gayo (my current favorite!) & overhyped. I certainly don't expect to find oil on S/O Ethiopian beans a few days post roast & I think the darker roast of the Shakisso took away too much of the fruit. I've only been through one bag so far & the other two in the freezer are from a later roast thanks to a shipping screwup.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by David23 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:42 pm

I haven't gotten into SO yet, but have been trying some of the blends out there. I have tried all the major Counter Culture blends and enjoy them, but have just tried 49th Parallel Epic. Epic was great from the very first shot, allowing me to taste subtleties I had not experienced in other blends. This of course could be that I just have been able to pull better shots with Epic, but if that is the case, then its ease of hitting it right has to count for something! I also like Blue Bottle's Heyes Valley expresso blend. Very subtle and elegant. I just ordered some Paradise Roaster blends and am looking forward to trying them out.

From the comments above, it looks like I should try the Klatch WBC soon.

So this may be a obvious question, but do you think (or know) that some blends or SO work better on our machines than others? Do some beans tend to work better on an E61 compared to ours, or vice versa?
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Endo » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:06 pm

David23 wrote:I haven't gotten into SO yet, but have been trying some of the blends out there.
I find SO are great for training your pallate, but nothing beats a great blend.
David23 wrote:I have tried all the major Counter Culture blends and enjoy them, but have just tried 49th Parallel Epic. Epic was great from the very first shot, allowing me to taste subtleties I had not experienced in other blends.
I'm not a big fan of Epic (despite being Canadian :lol: ). I like more traditional espresso with more body. Not into the fruity, low temp stuff.
David23 wrote:From the comments above, it looks like I should try the Klatch WBC soon.

So this may be a obvious question, but do you think (or know) that some blends or SO work better on our machines than others? Do some beans tend to work better on an E61 compared to ours, or vice versa?
Klatch is one of my favourites. A more tradtional blend that likes to be updosed. Only problem is, it's not the best match for the S1 for the reasons you mentioned. It tastes best at 20g (or even 21g) on a E-61.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JmanEspresso » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:06 am

In my opinion, there certainly are SOME blends that worked better on my E-61. Mainly Klatch's House. MAYBE the belle, depending on your opinion. But, Ive had much better luck with every coffee Ive tried on the S1.. Because on the Anita.. I had serious trouble getting the flushes for each shot, consistent. When i was choosing which dual boiler, I was between the VII and the Duetto. The main thing I was deciding between, was if I wanted a machine which handled lower doses well, or a machine which loved big dose/tight ristrettos. For what I personally like.. The choice became easy the more I thought about it.

I think, like Endo said, it's because the house blend in particular loves to be updosed. When I had the Anita, that was the only blend that I would use the Mondo La Marzocco Triple basket, and dose 24grams. Belle, I would use the Synesso 18gr, and dose at 20grams.(and any other blend I used the triple, it was always the synesso 18gr)

Now, the House blend, when I first got the Anita, I loved. It's a great blend to pull super sweet and thick, super LONG and tight ristretto shots. But, for my current tastes, it's a bit darker, and, no disrespect to Klatch(one of my top favorite roasters), a bit boring. Great for Latte's and Large Caps, as it doesn't get lost. I use it like I use Counter Culture's La Forza(For Family/Friends, making big milk drinks)

Now, the Belle.. I thought would'nt work well on the VII. But, it does. I run it at 17-18grams, with either no PI, or 3sec PI. Pulled Ristretto, giving me 1.5oz in 32-35 seconds. The Pre-infusion on the Vivaldi, for me, helps to bring out a little fruit and acidity. So, with the belle, it really accentuates the dried cherry/raspberry accent. Without PI, there is a lovely liquor note(Ken Davids of Coffee Review says Brandy) that I attribute to a Mix of a great Cognac and Kahlua. Or more simply, Orange and chocolate, with that liquory finish. The flavor is SO different then what I used to get on the Anita. On Anita, I would dose 20-21grams, pull it tight and long. I would get a VERY smooth dark chocolate, a hint of cherry, and a hint of kahlua. If I pulled it a little Looser, it lost the smoothness, and the cherry was gone.

For me, the Belle actually tastes better on the VII.. Depending on what you want in an espresso, you may agree or disagree.



When it comes to Single Origin Coffee's.. To me, there isn't much of a difference at all between a blend or a Single Origin... Let me explain.

It's simple. It's all coffee. Sometimes it's a blend of Coffee's, sometimes it's a Single Origin. I dont look at them all that differently. Ive had blends which are very bright, floral and fruity, with awesome acidity and light body.. And Ive had Single Origins that are Dark, Thick, Rich and Smooth.. Defining what it is to be Balanced. Blend or Single Origin.. Its doesnt matter.. It's the COFFEE itself which decides how it will taste.

There are plenty of blends which I absolutely ADORE.. Same with SO.. AND, there are plenty of Blends I really don't enjoy at ALL.. Same with SO's.

I think sometimes Single Origins are the odd one out. There are ALL kinds of Single Origins.. WAY WAY WAY more Variety then blends. There are Bright, Light Bodied Single Origins, with lots of Florals and Tea-Like Accents.. And there are lots of Bold, Rich, Heavy bodied Single Origins, with Lots of Chocolate and nuts.

Look at, for example.. Yemens and Brazils.

Yemens are AWESOME.. If someone wants to try Single Origin coffee.. Yemen NEEDS to be one of them. Generally, they are Thick, Heavy Bodied shots, which age incredibly well. I generally dont even TOUCH a Yemen until 8-10days post roast.. And they are continually phenomenal up until as long as 14-17days post roast.. sometimes even longer(and Im someone who thinks most blends die off at day 10-11). There is Fruit to the Yemens, but there is usually no acidity.. The fruit is usually dark or stone fruit.. Like Figs, Cherry's, Pears.. And Berries sometimes as well. But, unlike a Central, or Washed African.. They dont "pop" in your mouth. And then the Chocolate. OOhhhhh The Yemen Chocolates.. SOOOOO Smooooth. Yemens are unique, delicous coffees. NOT bright, NOT Floral, NOT light bodied. They are Thick, rich, SWEET, and Complex.

Brazils. Brazils are all over the map, and lately there have been some superb brazilian coffee's out there. Dry Processed brazils tend to be like Yemens, but without the fruit. Brazils are in almost every popular blend, as they make an amazingly rich and thick base. Brazil is all about Chocolate, Nuts, and Roast Tones. Now, some brazils can actually be bright and fruity. The Daterra from Barrington has some awesome floral and fruits goin on.. and if you dont like bright espressi, it may not be for you. But, brazils like that, are unfourtunately rare.


Don't be afraid of Single Origin Coffees. If you'd like to "get your feet wet", without diving into something like a Ethiopian or a Washed Central.. then I can 100% safely suggest Ecco Cafe. Theyve got three Brazilian Single Origins right now, which are incredibly easy to work with, very forgiving, and have sweet spots the size of an olympic swimming pool. The Serra Do Bone is verrry good, and very easy. Chocolate, Caramel, Creamy Peanut Butter.. Delicous. Pull it tight and short. Now.. if you open it up a bit, and pull more Normale, there is a crisp lime acidity hint, which is very delicous. It goes away as you tighten up the pull. The Sertaozino is also very good, and does phenomenally well in milk drinks as big as a double capp, and possibly a latte. There is lots of Creamy chocolate and Caramel, and an Orange and Honey note which turns the shot into this delicious portrayel of what a Dark Chocolate Orange Cordial should taste like.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:37 am

Speaking of Serra do Bone the current version of Intelli's Organic Black Cat is made up entirely of beans from the SdB farm. I've got 1lb due in today & I'm definitely looking forward to trying this version. Mollasses, red cherries & dark chocolate according to their description. Sounds good to me.

I've been switching back & forth between some well known blends & S/O lately as I've got a nice stash of each in the freezer. Recently I went through 1 bag of CCC's Shakisso S/O(nice but?) Aficionado(not one of my favorites) finished off another hopper full of the Amaro Gayo(love it!) & just started on a bag of CCC's Toscano last night. I had some of Gimme's Leftist (liked it) & Piccolo Mondo (Americanos only!) last month along with a bag of Redline(ok) & Klatch's Belle(ok) & WBC(interesting). Hows that for detailed reviews?

When you get right down to it I find most of the well known blends pretty boring after a day or so but they are nice for breaking up the S/O intensity between rounds. If it wasn't for S/O espresso I'd probably sell off the equipment & live happily ever after with my vac pots.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JmanEspresso » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:09 pm

JohnB wrote: When you get right down to it I find most of the well known blends pretty boring after a day or so but they are nice for breaking up the S/O intensity between rounds. If it wasn't for S/O espresso I'd probably sell off the equipment & live happily ever after with my vac pots.
Bingo! Though Im not sure I'd sell my gear right away... If all we had for espresso was Toscano and Belle, I too would be 100% content with the Syphon. It truly is, THE method of brewing coffee. DO you use the Stovetop or Tabletop model?
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:48 pm

I probably wouldn't be in a big rush to sell off the Speedster either but you get the idea. I'm working my way through a 12oz bag of Toscano right now. It's a caramel/chocolate delight but after a couple days I find myself wishing the hopper would drain a little faster so I can move on.

I'm strictly a tabletop/butane burner vac pot guy. We start each day with a pot from the Hario Nouveau 5C & I have a Nouveau 3C for solo use. Since the NCA 5 is NLA I stocked up on spare globes, handles & even found a complete spare stand last summer so I'm pretty well set for life v/p wise. All my gear came from Avenue 18 Tea in Vancouver, B.C.; a great source for Hario vac pots, ect.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JmanEspresso » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:07 pm

The Hario Syphons are super cool. there is a rare one, that is more of a collectors item then a brewer. It's called the Miniphon. Brews barely 100ml of syphon coffee. If you browse through Mark Prince's Flickr Stream, you'll see a few pics(along with a bunch of other super rare, must have items)

Ive got the Tabletop Yama 5cup, with Butane, as well as a 5 and 8cup stovetop. I replaced my 5cup stove, with the 5cup tabletop. the 8cup doesnt see much use..usually when people are over for dinner, and we have a really awesome coffee we want to share with them. The Tabletop 5 is the daily brewer. My father uses it every single morning. I mix it a little bit. Sometimes Ill start with a cappuccino, other times it will be syphon, and days like today, it was pourover. Syphon is by far my favorite method, but pourover comes in a close second. Im not crazy about FP these days, and Aeropress, to me, is NOT a home coffee brewer. Aeropress, to me, is something you use on the road/away from home. It does make a good cup, but it doesnt even come CLOSE to what comes out of the Syphon and the Cones.

I roasted my Father a batch of Yemen Sharisi(I think,, might be Harisi), and in the Syphon, it is out of this world. Best yemen Ive had since the Sana' ani(which is my fave so far... Ive got 250grams saved for when the Hottop gets here, and Im confident to roast it. I hope this years lot is as good as last years.. if it is, Im buying at least 20lbs.)
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:22 pm

JmanEspresso wrote: I roasted my Father a batch of Yemen Sharisi(I think,, might be Harisi), and in the Syphon, it is out of this world. Best yemen Ive had since the Sana' ani(which is my fave so far... Ive got 250grams saved for when the Hottop gets here, and Im confident to roast it. I hope this years lot is as good as last years.. if it is, Im buying at least 20lbs.)
The Sana'ani was my favorite also but long gone from my stash. I'll definitely order more next time it comes around if its as good as last years. "Hottop gets here"?? Got one ordered??
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JmanEspresso » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:17 am

No, not ordered yet.. . I was supposed to order it last week, but had to do something else with money. Ive been wanting a hottop for SO LONG, and its finnaly becoming a reality. Ive been saving for some time, and selling the Gaggia went towards it as well. Soon though.. VERY SOON!! Im so excited!

When it gets here, it will be a very fun day. Once I order it, and know the delivery date, I will be sure to have no plans for the day it arrives, and 3 days after! lol.

Im going for the model B.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:23 am

JmanEspresso wrote: Im going for the model B.

Good choice. Make this the first mod you do!! :lol:
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:37 am

Post something on the new Macap Conical in the grinder section.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Espressoluver » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:31 pm

hi, do you guys have any suggestions for blends/SOs that have more body,sweet, chocolaty, nutty flavors?

I find some blends (ex epic, or SO from africa) too acidy. Like endo, I enjoy the more traditional, sweet flavors than the fruity/acidic notes

Also, with the temperature below freezing in the northwest these days, is ordering mail delivery a good idea?

thanks

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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Endo » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:11 pm

Black Cat Classic (still one of my favourites).
Counter Culture Toscano is also a good one to start with.
Klatch Belle Espresso as well.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by oton » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:32 pm

Endo wrote:Black Cat Classic (still one of my favourites).
Cool. Because 1 Kilo is on its way. :grin: I've never tried it. Let's see...
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Endo » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:45 pm

You shouldn't be disappointed. While it has it's ups and downs, the latest batch of Black Cat I had this week was awesome. If you can get it to Spain in under 2 weeks from roast, you should be VERY happy.

I'm now on to some Metropolis Redline Espresso. Not quite as good as the Black Cat Classic, but another one worth trying if you like the popular chocolate blends out there.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:36 pm

Is the BC Classic back to chocolate? Last batch I had was more like lemons. Redbird is a nice nutty/chocolate blend.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Endo » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:12 am

JohnB wrote:Is the BC Classic back to chocolate? Last batch I had was more like lemons. Redbird is a nice nutty/chocolate blend.
Yup. It's back and even a bit better than before (in my opinion).

As you know, they like to change it up every so often (since coffee is seasonal, I think it's a good idea to make adjustments). They had a period where it got rather far away from its roots. Seems they made some changes and have hit the mark this time.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:55 am

Unfortunately they have left the same description up on the BC Classic site now for over a year. The current version may be "sweet & syrupy" but the versions from 2010 certainly were not. A more accurate description of each new version would be nice as I have no interest in playing Black Cat roulette when I place an order. You may be able to sample each blend at a local cafe but for many/most of us that isn't an option. What is the point of using the "Classic" name on a blend that changes monthly?
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:02 am

Espressoluver wrote: Also, with the temperature below freezing in the northwest these days, is ordering mail delivery a good idea?
thanks
Depends on where you are ordering from. I go with whichever service will get the order to me in 2-3 days. UPS trucks/warehouses are no warmer then the USPS vehicles/warehouses & I'd much rather have my roasted coffee cold then sitting in a hot truck in July. Give Jeff's Redbird Espresso a try & I think you will be pleased. Should be pretty fast delivery as he is located in Idaho.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by symbology » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:31 pm

Endo wrote:
JohnB wrote:Is the BC Classic back to chocolate? Last batch I had was more like lemons. Redbird is a nice nutty/chocolate blend.
Yup. It's back and even a bit better than before (in my opinion).

As you know, they like to change it up every so often (since coffee is seasonal, I think it's a good idea to make adjustments). They had a period where it got rather far away from its roots. Seems they made some changes and have hit the mark this time.
My last bags of BC were more like citris than chocolate (as JohnB stated).

What dose and temp levels did you use with it? On their site they mention cooler temps, but it was really sour down at 92-93C

I am using Redbird at the moment and am enjoying it more than the last few lbs of BC.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Endo » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:52 pm

Roast date was January 17. I used 16.2g at 93C.

I keep many of my old bags. And since the farm, region and country is stamped on it, it's interesting to track the seasonal changes. This is one off the things I LOVE about Intelligentsia, and something that make them rather unique. This is what 3rd wave coffee is all about after all. I hate the roasters that tell you it's some kind of "secret recipe" and don't even stamp that roast date on it. They can keep their crap.

The latest batch of Black Cat Classicis has Brazilian beans from the Fazeda Serrado/Sertao farm in Minas Gerais. (There seems to always be a Brazilian bean in all Black Cat, that's the chocolate). The fruit you taste comes from Ethiopian beans from the Homecho Waeno farm in Sidama region. While not as overpoweringly chocolate as earlier versions, I think it hits a great balance this time.

I'll look for some Redbird next time I'm at the Cafe. They have a bunch of new stuff I don't recognize, so I have some experimenting to do.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by GDK » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:20 pm

Endo, where do you buy the Black Cat coffee from? I am in Ottawa. I see Z1 cafe sells it for $69 for 3 pounds - more expensive than US per pound and 3lb is too much for me.

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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Endo » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:08 am

We have a cafe in Montreal called "Cafe in Gamba" on rue Park. It's owned and passionately run by a great guy named JF Leduc.

He makes it a point of stocking all the latest coffees from the great micro-roasters. For example, if you hear about it one week in the coffee forums, he usually has it the next week. He always stocks it fresh, meaning less than 3 weeks from roast (sometimes even 4 days from roast!).

He always stocks Black Cat Classic since it seems to be very popular.

He recently opened a roasting store (called Saint-Henri Torrefacteur). You might want to try one of his new roasts. Not quite up to Intelligensia standards yet....but give him time.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/758461
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Espressoluver » Sat Feb 05, 2011 11:25 am

has anyone tried 49th parallel's Epic?
I followed their suggested parameters, and was able to pull some pretty decent shots.....well balanced sweetness and acidity, some fruity notes
But i can't seem to get the chocolate?
has anyone tried the current batch on their vivaldi? if so, what parameters do you use?

still waiting for my redbird to arrive...pretty excited
btw, what parameters do you use for the redbird espresso?

thanks

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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:41 pm

Espressoluver wrote: still waiting for my redbird to arrive...pretty excited
btw, what parameters do you use for the redbird espresso?
If you've got a triple basket use 18g @ 1998*F-199*F. I prefer it as a ristretto but try a few different volumes & see what tastes best to you. It really needs 6-7 days rest before it hits it's prime period.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Endo » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:00 pm

Espressoluver wrote:has anyone tried 49th parallel's Epic?
I followed their suggested parameters, and was able to pull some pretty decent shots.....well balanced sweetness and acidity, some fruity notes
But i can't seem to get the chocolate?
Not much chocolate to be found in Epic (too bright and fruity for me). Try the Black Cat, CC Toscano or Klatch for chocolate.
JohnB wrote:If you've got a triple basket use 18g @ 1998*F-199*F.
Big doses? Farenheit? Does this look like a Speedster forum! :lol:

I'd try 92C and a 16g double basket to start.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:08 pm

If it was a Speedster forum I would have recommended 198.6*F. :lol: No triple basket yet??
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Espressoluver » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:36 pm

i tried pulling some redbird espresso today
it's very dry, no fruit/acidity at all.
all i got was peanut, some bitterness, not very sweet

my parameters were 93 degrees, 18g, 30 sec, 1.5 oz

am i doing it wrong? do you guys get fruit at all? sweetness?

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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:21 pm

The description is "rich & nutty with hints of chocolate & hazelnut". This is not a fruity blend. Is it 6-7 days old yet? Try a lower temp setting (92*C) & see what you get. It shouldn't be bitter if pulled right. Ristretto or Normale?
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by symbology » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:51 pm

Espressoluver wrote:i tried pulling some redbird espresso today
it's very dry, no fruit/acidity at all.
all i got was peanut, some bitterness, not very sweet

my parameters were 93 degrees, 18g, 30 sec, 1.5 oz

am i doing it wrong? do you guys get fruit at all? sweetness?
- Yes, try 92c.
- Does your Mini have the PI chamber? If yes, aim more for a 35+ second pull.
- As JohnB stated, not really a fruity blend.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by gaba » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:19 pm

Blue Bottle Retrofit is nice if you like the caramel notes. I seem to crave it on the cooler mornings. Stumptown's Holler Mtn and Hairbender are decent as well.

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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Endo » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:11 am

Got some very fresh La Orquidea Columbian "Sweet Tooth" espresso from Ritual Roasters yesterday. I got it from Anthony Benda at Myriade who picked it up last week in LA at the TED conference.

5 Stars. Definitely one of my favourites this year. Dose at 17g, temp at 92C.

Pick it up if you are in town...while you can! You can read more about his trip at his blog here:

http://www.cafemyriade.com/
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by oton » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:33 am

Have you tried the 18/19g reccommendation?
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Endo » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:31 am

At home? No. I don't own a triple. I believe what they recommend is meant for E-61 style machines. Vivaldi is a bit different.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by GDK » Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:38 pm

Endo wrote:We have a cafe in Montreal called "Cafe in Gamba" on rue Park. It's owned and passionately run by a great guy named JF Leduc.

He makes it a point of stocking all the latest coffees from the great micro-roasters. For example, if you hear about it one week in the coffee forums, he usually has it the next week. He always stocks it fresh, meaning less than 3 weeks from roast (sometimes even 4 days from roast!).

He always stocks Black Cat Classic since it seems to be very popular.

He recently opened a roasting store (called Saint-Henri Torrefacteur). You might want to try one of his new roasts. Not quite up to Intelligensia standards yet....but give him time.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/758461
Thanks for the tip Endo. I was in Montreal the other day and could get a pack of Black Cat roasted just 6 days back from cafe in Gamba. I wish they start stocking Red bird. I also found another cafe - Moi et Toi, in that same area and got two roasts I like: Espressione, good for cappuccino/latte and Milanesse, a milder espresso blend.

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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by diggi » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:14 am

Looking to switch from my local roaster to try some of the more well known blends; and SO in the near future. I don't have a triple basket or bottomless; just stock basket.

I have 5# of redbird arriving next week and 1# blue jag. Anyone have any suggestions on dose. Also, any guidelines on how to convert from 58mm recommended dosing. I have the mini S1V2 w/ preinfuse chamber. I have been dosing local roaster (Java Blend K2) at 14.5g. I used 18g for the same blend on the silvia, but tasted much different. what is the max dose I can go on my current set up, without adding the bottomless.

Thanks,
Last edited by diggi on Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by GDK » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:29 am

I use a convex Espro tamper and can easily dose up to 18g with the standard basket. I never even get the bolt imprint on the puck, meaning I can even go a bit higher. The question is if following a dose optimized for 58mm basket best for the Vivaldi. My gut feel tells me subtract a gram and add 5 secs to the recommended pour time. This is extremely unscientific...

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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by diggi » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:32 am

GDK wrote:I use a convex Espro tamper and can easily dose up to 18g with the standard basket.
I use same tamper
GDK wrote:This is extremely unscientific...
But at least a jumping off point. Thanks. Anyone w/ experience with either blend, let me know how you pull these. Thanks.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:27 pm

Going from memory I think you can get 18g in a stock Vivaldi basket but I think you'd be better off in the 16-17g range with the Redbird @199*F. Give the R/B 6-7 days rest for best results. Have yet to try the Blue Jaguar but there is a thread on CG you could check out.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by diggi » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:49 pm

JohnB wrote:Going from memory I think you can get 18g in a stock Vivaldi basket
Bumped up to 16g today and noticed a nice improvement in shot quality. I did get the bolt pattern in the puck though. 36sec pull w/ preinfusion chamber. 42g shot. Is there a way to make more room in the basket?

side note: I've seen recommended shot weights at 30g, but that would be equivalent to more like 1oz volume. 42g was just under 2oz.

I will check out the cg blue jag thread. thanks.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by GDK » Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:04 pm

I am not sure what makes a difference for the bolt pattern. It depends on the bean type and grind adjustment I assume. I am grinding 4-5 micro-clicks coarser than the zero point on my Vario-W. I also do nutation to pack the sides.

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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:29 pm

diggi wrote: Bumped up to 16g today and noticed a nice improvement in shot quality. I did get the bolt pattern in the puck though. 36sec pull w/ preinfusion chamber. 42g shot. Is there a way to make more room in the basket?

side note: I've seen recommended shot weights at 30g, but that would be equivalent to more like 1oz volume. 42g was just under 2oz.
Which dispersion block do you have? You should be able to get more then 16g in the basket. Most of my shots run 20-28g in the cup. With Crema the 2oz cup is 2/3 full.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by diggi » Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:01 pm

JohnB wrote: Which dispersion block do you have? You should be able to get more then 16g in the basket. Most of my shots run 20-28g in the cup. With Crema the 2oz cup is 2/3 full.
My machine is less than a year old, so guessing the thin one; but how do I know. How thin is thin?

I changed up again tonight. 16g ground finer for 35sec 26.7g shot. Didn't like it. Bitter. Lost the nice chocolate/nut notes at coarser grind and higher volume. At this weight, my bodum espresso (clear) glass was less than half full; even with 1/3 of it crema. (and with the shape of the glass, I'm guessing that is less than an ounce....). So that is where I don't understand; am I getting higher weights with good extraction and denser shots, or is my scale crap?
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by chas » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:37 pm

The thin dispersion block has the holes arranged in a circle. The thicker block has holes in an offset star pattern.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by diggi » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:17 pm

chas wrote:The thin dispersion block has the holes arranged in a circle. The thicker block has holes in an offset star pattern.
Mine is the star. thanks. And I've been consistently using 16g now. I do get a definate bolt pattern with this dose and the thin block. Now pulling 29.4g in 30sec. Very tasty. But don't think there'd be any more room in the basket without the triple.

redbird arrived today, so am anxious to get home and give it a try.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:51 pm

diggi wrote:
chas wrote:The thin dispersion block has the holes arranged in a circle. The thicker block has holes in an offset star pattern.
Mine is the star. thanks. And I've been consistently using 16g now. I do get a definate bolt pattern with this dose and the thin block.
As Chas said if it has a star pattern you have the thicker block. Switch to the thin one & you can easily use 17g-18g doses if you choose.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by diggi » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:35 pm

JohnB wrote: As Chas said if it has a star pattern you have the thicker block. Switch to the thin one & you can easily use 17g-18g doses if you choose.
Thanks Chas. And thanks JohnB, I read that post of Chas' exactly backwards. Strange that I have the star pattern....supposed to be a new machine..... I'll have to check into that.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Abnuceals » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:13 pm

Following GDK's suggestion, I get to Cafe Gambia Sunday afternoon. I did try the Epic blend from 49th Parallel and Black cat fron Intelligentsia. Two very different espresso blends. First impression, I definitely prefer the Epic blend, but as I bought a bag of each blend, I'll give another chance to the Black cat. But as I said earlier I'd like to try Redbird blend. If someone knows a place around Montreal or Ottawa who sell Redbird, I'd like to know.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by diggi » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:42 pm

Abnuceals wrote:If someone knows a place around Montreal or Ottawa who sell Redbird, I'd like to know.
First shipment just arrived today with a roast date of (April 3) and that is with the Easter Holiday factored in and I'm at least a day further than you to ship (Nova Scotia). I ordered directly from Jeff via email (paypal). $24 USPS + cost of coffee. That is pretty good deal in my books. I had ordered 5# redbird and 1# blue jag. Blue jag wasn't shipped so I'm looking into that, but confident it will get sorted out. First shot tonight wasn't that different from my usual K2 from Java Blend (local roaster), chocolate and nut notes for sure. I'll do some playing around and see what else it will do. But very happy with it.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Endo » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:09 pm

I think I found myself a local drug dealer!

I visited my local green bean distributor "Miroslav" from GCBC. A super nice guy with a real passion for espresso and roasting. Tried a shot of Flores on his Brewtus 3 and picked up 5 lbs of Costa Rican Tarrazu Santa Elena for $20 (along with a free sample of Nicaraugan).

Looking foward to trying my new SO's once they've degassed for a few more days. With the Pharos and Cremina, can it get any better?
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:12 pm

diggi wrote:chocolate and nut notes for sure. I'll do some playing around and see what else it will do. But very happy with it.
That is pretty much it I'm afraid. No idea why Redbird is so popular as it really isn't anything special. The original version was better IMO but the current one is ok.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Louis » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:22 pm

Endo wrote:I visited my local green bean distributor "Miroslav" from GCBC. A super nice guy with a real passion for espresso and roasting. Tried a shot of Flores on his Brewtus 3 and picked up 5 lbs of Costa Rican Tarrazu Santa Elena for $20 (along with a free sample of Nicaraugan).
Interesting. This is exactly half the price I pay for Sweet Maria's beans (shipping included).

I'll have to contact him eventually (I already have enough beans for months...).

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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Abnuceals » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:15 pm

JohnB wrote :
No idea why Redbird is so popular as it really isn't anything special.
I don't know neither. But there is definitely a kind of buzz around the Redbird and I'd like to see for myself. When you say that the original version was better, how can you explain that ? Could it be simply an evolution in you taste ? And as I'm still a newb in this matter, Redbird could be a revelation, like Black cat or Epic blends have been for me. Compare to those ones, the blend I usually buy in Gatineau is soooo boring.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by JohnB » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:03 am

Abnuceals wrote:
When you say that the original version was better, how can you explain that ? Could it be simply an evolution in you taste ?
About a year or more back one of the main beans in the original Redbird blend became unavailable & Jeff spent quite a bit of time trying various replacements to maintain the same flavor profile. Obviously he did a very good job as most buyers never noticed the change but myself & a few other early adopters felt the blend was never as good. The current version or at least the one I bought last November is nice but not as interesting as the original. Of course that could always change with a new crop of beans.

Do any of the blends from Equator Coffee in California make it up north? They offer 4-5 espresso blends/Single Origins at any one time & several of them are very good. Not cutting edge Apollo #?? blends that change monthly but still interesting & very tasty blends outside the normal Comfort Food range. So far the Equator Blend & Jack the Bear blend are my favorites but none of the ones I've tried were disappointing.
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Re: Espresso Blends to Try

Post by Abnuceals » Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:02 pm

Apparently, Equator Coffee has a canadian branch in Ontario. I have no idea if they have the same coffees nor the same standards for roasting as the californian branch. Their price seems fair and it is possible to order on line or to buy beans in some Ottawa's coffee shops and groceries. I will definitely give it a try. Anybody among canadian fellows knows this brand ?
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