What’s Brewing #4 – Three Bean Blend

Three Bean Blend

In my last coffee related post, the aim of choosing the three particular bean varieties was to specifically create a blend that worked equally well in most, if not all forms of brewing that I use, both short and long, as well as espresso based milk drinks.

How did things turn out? Let’s take a look…

The Blend

  1. 60% Bazil Moreinha Foremosa dry processed
  2. 25% Guatemalan Atitlan Small Producers wet processed
  3. 15% Indonesian Aceh Gayo Gr 1 Organic wet processed

Although the destination I am trying to reach in a blend is probably one I will never fully attain, improving with each attempt will be satisfying enough for me. As my drinking methods involve many styles, creating a blend to suit them all is not likely to be an easy one. All things considered, the current blend worked out quite well.

The Whack

What – Three bean blend (60% Brazilian, 25% Guatemalan, 15% Indonesian). All roasted on the lighter side, with the Brazilian light to medium.

How – 160ml single shot latte, Aeropress, Espresso

AssessmentDry Aroma – Probably best described as caramel and nutty, with hints of brown sugar and a little fruit.

Latte – Mild caramel flavour with traces of fruit; has a lengthy finish as the body of the Brazilian pushes through. The extra body certainly made this work well in a milk based drink, without overpowering the creaminess and fruit tones of the Indonesian and Guatemalan varieties.

Aeropress – When brewed in the Aeropress, notable body was evident, with a crisp fruity sweetness, again with a nice long finish. Some of the herby / floral traces from the Indonesian also shone through.

Espresso – The more concentrated form of an espresso brought out the creamy caramel and brown sugar flavours of the blend. There was still a good amount of acidity, and crisp sweetness remaining, however the floral tones of the Indonesian were lost.

Conclusion; Know This – Overall I was quite happy with this blend, which worked particularly well as the base for a milk drink, yet also short or long on its own. What would I change? Probably a little more body for the milk drink, and a little more of the fruitiness for all forms of brewing. That will be for the next blend!

Overall Rating – 4/5

What’s Roasting #4 – Brazil, Guatemala, Indonesia

English: Tz'utujil men hanging around Santiago...

Men of Santiago de Atitlan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In keeping with my plans to create some tasty coffee blends, I recently roasted what will hopefully bring me closer to achieving a great all round blend, suitable for the variety of brewing methods I use to consume my roasts.

Three separate batches were roasted recently on a Sunday afternoon in the backyard:

  1. Brazil Moreninha Foremosa Natural
  2. Guatemala Atitlan Small Producers
  3. Indonesian Aceh Gayo Gr1 Organic

Fast facts on these varieties (courtesy Ministry Grounds):

Coffee was bought to Brazil in 1727 from French Guiana, by Captain- Lieutenant Francisco de Melo Palheta. Legend has it, that Francisco de Mello charmed the French governor’s wife and she buried coffee seeds in a bouquet of flowers and that is how the cultivation of coffee began.

Santiago Atitlan is a ‘place of much water’ according to historian Jorge Luis Arreola, with five villages around a lake all producing coffee.

The Aceh Province of the Indonesian archipelago’s northern island of Sumatra, was hindered by conflict with the GAM independence movement until 2005. The effect of the Tsunami in 2004 literally sucked the life out of the rebels with estimates of 25,000 killed. The effect forced through a peace agreement that has achieved some stability. By 2006 the area was safe to visit and the high quality coffee industry was accessible again.

One of the primary aims of combining the three varieties above is to power the blend with the deeper chocolate flavours and stronger body of the Brazilian, whilst allowing the crisper acidity of the Guatemalan and floral flavours of the Indonesian to remain. I’m hoping the Brazilian will provide enough body to make the blend work in a milk based drink, and as suggested by Neil at Ministry Grounds:

This is fine drinking as an SO, but is also a great base for a top-notch blend!

Lets hope so! Tasting review to follow soon.

What’s Brewing #1

My first What’s roasting post approximately one week ago promised an upcoming review of a South American origin Brazil Toffee Cerrado, from my green bean supplier Ministry Grounds Coffee. It’s now time to make good on that promise. One further note – since this is my first tasting review, please bear in mind the following is my opinion, and the taste will be influenced by my methods of roasting and brewing, as will your own.

My previous post, curiously titled The Whack, describes an outline of my taste testing and assessing system (if you could call it a system), so we can get down to the details straight away here.

The Whack

WhatBrazil Toffee Cerrado

  • Origin: Brazil
  • Region: Macaubas, Monte Carmelo, Pirapitinga in the Cerrado (Expocaccer Co-op)
  • Altitude: 900-1100 metres
  • Crop Year: 2011

My Source/Supplier: Ministry Grounds Coffee.

How – Milk based, 160ml latte; Aeropress.

Assessment – Dry aroma – hints of dark chocolate, caramel, brown sugar.
Milk course – dark chocolate and caramel undertones; flavours cut through the milk well; great for the morning latte and works very well as the base for a milk drink.
Aeropress – a definite improvement when cooler, some of the sweeter, caramelised brown sugar flavours in evidence; dare I say “toffee” flavour. Good body, with low acidity. Overall probably a little ‘flat’ when brewed by this method.

Conclusion; Know this – In my opinion this origin is fantastic value for money, as it performs solidly on its own, however I will use it in a blend soon and will write further on the outcome. Really came into its own 4-5 days after roasting. When used as a single origin, it probably works best in a milk drink, however do try in an Aeropress or similar, as when it cools there is a distinct alteration in the flavour profile.

Overall rating 4/5