Thursday, September 28, 2006


la negrita in the chemex

so i woke up this morning and leapt outta bed to brew up norman v's unclebeanz la negrita blend coffee from last night in the chemex. this coffee was roasted yesterday afternoon at 4pm, norman said, so when i brewed it it was about 15 hours old!

that's freshness. all good.

the roast level seem to me to be full city, because i saw just 1 pinprick of oil on a few beans. but with coffee this fresh, the oil might not have finished coming out yet! so i'll have to check it out tomorrow.

the dry fragrance of this coffee is strongly floral, and i think norman's site describes it 100% accurately -- it's nutty, caramelly and has a slight dry dutch cocoa aftertaste. the coffee taste is nippy, slightly bright.

it's really good coffee for someone who's still a part-time roaster, and i'm impressed. but then i liked his colombian blend too, as readers may recall.

in general, i think norman's roasting for a latin-style taste in his coffee. so if you're a lover of the cafe cubano or latin-type coffees (and who isn't?), you should definitely check norman out.

very few latin coffees are specialty-quality, and this, along with ultra-freshness, is what norman's bringing to your table. you rock, norman!

i also received -- brace yourselves, i did -- some of folgers new premium gourmet line. can you believe it? but their p.r. firm sent it to me. . .they are a brave, bold bunch, aren't they?

so i'm here looking at the "vanilla biscotti" flavor bag with the swirly typeface. ohmigod.

they also sent me their "lively colombian" (which is part of the juan valdez logo quality certification program, so i know from long-time bccy pal, scaa board member, and juan valdez exec mary p. that it is actually 100% colombian and should be free of primary defects -- that is, the green coffee before roasting shouldn't have been fermented, moldy, or wormy, which is a relief i guess) and their "morning cafe" flavor, with a lighter roast than the colombian.

if i wanted to be kind to this coffee, i suppose i could view it as a tricycle. the goal is to help move the vast number of innocent, unsuspecting american coffee lovers from the big red plastic jar they habitually pick up at the supermarket on towards the cup of excellence. that is, from coffees that cup below 70 to coffees that cup 90.

so maybe for some people the journey looks like this: from walking with the big red plastic thang, to this new "premium gourmet" tricycle, then getting training wheels with millstone, and then they graduate to the 10-speed at their local nabe independent roaster/retailer when they just can't get the freshness they are learning to seek at the supermarket.

i might actually brew the colombian. for giggles. do you think i should, my fellow coffee lovers?

when i opened the "vanilla biscotti" i thought i was gonna fall over -- that is one aggressively over-flavored coffee, readers. imagine being trapped in a coffin with 3 gallons of sticky, over-sweet, cheap imitation vanilla fragrance poured over you before they set the ants upon you. . .

i object to flavored coffees in principle, altho' i know they make up as much as 20% of the market. but even considering that flavors have a niche (hi, hy!), they gotta dial this one back; it's just obnoxious.

i felt like my nose had been mugged. and i say this as someone who wears serge lutens. (not when cupping, of course!)

there's no way i'm putting that stuff in any of my grinders -- i'd never get it out. no matter how much of josh d's grindz i put thru it. . .

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posted by fortune | 8:09 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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