Thanks mate for the detailed explanations. You make coffee brewing and drinking interesting. I do hope your simple and easier to understand explanations and telling us it is hard to mess up would get more members interested in exploring this side of the coffee world.
MWJB I’m not sure you need different steep times? Even if roasters/customers are cupping they are sticking to timings. There is an amount of time where steeps will hit a normal range of extraction & that’s it.
This was directly related to Clever. We steep longer to get a proper extraction of flavours. If we are cupping for a certain number of mins and if the flavours are there to be extracted, I guess it hits the mark within that time and hence different steep times in cupping do not matter. I wonder if any one has ever attempted cupping with a longer steep time?
MWJB Quite a few roasters I have purchased from in the last decade have quite recently gone a lot darker, I’m just curious as to why. It seems a fairly recent trend
A lot of us are perhaps not in this game long enough to notice it. Perhaps experts like Dave and Systemic can pitch in here.
- One might be tempted to say it is because technology has changed and it might have contributed to the roasts getting skewed to the darker side. I do not think technology is anything to do with this. I think technology is a positive contributor in getting the roasts right consistently and repeatedly .
- You have mentioned your experience over a decade. Competition has become acute in the roasting business. We have a got a lot of new players especially in the last few years. How many of them are seriously skilled and know a lot about coffee? The new entrants or new recruits are most probably still inexperienced by skill sets, which are not fully ingrained in them.
With my limited experience of buying SO coffee beans during the last 1.5-2.0 years, I find the roasts darker than the descriptions on the bag, unevenly roasted where one side of a bean will be darker than the other side and having mixed roast quality in a bag. This pattern isn’t the case with all the roasters, but some of them. This experience of mine is different to the pattern you are describing!
MWJB if everything has to fight against roast artefacts (e.g when using 4 different grinders), how much do people care about clarity to start with?
Do all the roasters cup regularly especially every time a new crop is delivered? If they are, how many of them understand what it takes to cup a roast properly. If they are, they wouldn’t be tasting a half-brewed cup (as you stated) and identify flavours that are not meant to be there, would they?
Given the recent discussions elsewhere on this forum and discussions on this thread, clarity, texture of the body, flavour have too many moving parts with roaster being one of the biggest ambiguities. In summary, if it is there to pick up, it is there.
The other thing is the issues @Systemic picked up. While it is a different issue whether the roasts of that state should have been sent out or otherwise, at least this roaster discussed the challenges at length and offered a refund. Some of them won’t even respond, let alone apologise!
I would also like to see the roaster upfront and set the expectations properly in situations like this so that the buyers can take an informed decision. A lot of buyers may do a bulk purchase because of a steep discount and may not fully understand the way systemic understood. In that process, they may start thinking some thing has gone wrong with their dialling in for espressos.
I believe brewing first is the easiest method to see if the coffee taste the way it should before reaching out to the espresso machine!
Sorry, it is a long post. I have probably blabbered more than enough on a Friday morning! 😂