Friday, February 16, 2007


not twisty

so this morning i was pondering the blueberry in oren's yemen moka mattari. the beans have an amazing blueberry muffin aroma when you open the bag, but i'm having problems getting this into the cup.

so i talked to oren, who playfully suggested singing to the coffee while chemexing it. when in doubt in matters like this, i often turn to another lover of clean berry specialty coffees, mark inman of taylormaid.

i understand very well in a commercial context that highly fruited coffees seem suspect -- this sample bag's got nice berries but out of that entire steel shipping container, you know, you might be looking at literally tons of all-bad ferment overall. but we in the specialty coffee family cup for nuance and not defect; lack of defect is part of our definition, you know?

we look at coffees by the bag and in small lots, so our quality concerns are different, let's put it that way.

anyway, mark -- after the most diverting and educational discussion of how natural coffees are rustically processed -- this isn't wine, no high-tech temperature-controlled fermentation equipment here -- the stuff is dried on the farmers' own clay rooftops -- and i ended up discussing this crazy coffee tasting term, twisty.

i think it's unique to ken davids, and i think it means "an exotic flavor that shouldn't be good but somehow is," which is where the twist part comes in. i think in his cupping journal, highly berried, wine-y, spicy yemens are definitely twisty.

but ken never defines that term in his glossary, and it certainly isn't a term on the scaa flavor wheel. in a certain sense i like the term twisty, and in another i don't.

i like the element of pleasurable surprise twisty connotes, but i don't like the hint of defect it also might be seen to contain. i want to say that oren's yemen is all the good things you might mean in the term twisty, but none of the bad.

because oren definitely has one of the cleanest yemens ever. absolutely.

anyway, mark suggests that i should be taking a closer look at my water temperature. noting that i always work hard to brew coffee at 200 degrees f., he says i should try knocking the temp down to 195 in this case.

"it's elusive," mark says, "elusive." i might like that as much as twisty. . .

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posted by fortune | 8:42 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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