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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Coffee. Would You Care For A Taste?

So in a break from our daily and regular programming I went and tasted some coffee yesterday afternoon at my local coffee place. Every Tuesday at 4pm the Broadway Coffeehouse does a coffee tasting. It is a good way to try some different beans and for me to get a little free coffee. So it is a win, win in my book.

What they had on tap yesterday were two interesting coffees from different parts of the world and really on the opposite ends of the scale in terms of flavor mixture. Which I found very interesting. They made the coffee using the same method for both of these. When I say that I mean the exact same method. Same weight of beans, using the Chemex and the exact same weight of water pour as well as time of pour. But I just find it fascinating that the flavors created in the finished product came out so different. I really used to feel that all coffee was just coffee and to a certain extent I still do. But I know what I like and I am beginning to notice a definite difference in flavor as far as beans and what brand of coffee roaster as well as how the final product is being created.

I myself use a Mr Coffee brand coffee maker. It makes 12 cups. Which with the size of the cups I use actually makes about 3 cups for me. I have absolutely no control over it other then that I flip the switch to turn in on. Then after I have had however much coffee I wanted to have I turn it off. I believe it cost me 14$ or less at Shopko. So as you can see I am going to try to sound like a coffee snob but I am really just a regular joe. I have heard that admitting such a thing makes a fellow more likable. I certainly hope it does. But that doesn't mean that I want to be friends with the riffraff that read this blog. You know who you are and I am sure your as bothered by that as I am.

This is Jesse he handles the coffee tastings and is an all around nice gentlemen. Stop into the Broadway Coffeehouse and tell him that Lance sent you. You will get nothing.

This is the way the coffee is brewed for the tastings each of the glass pitcher things holds about 32oz or so. When I use the word Chemex this is what I mean. It is in some way like a multi-cup version of the pour-over but is not a single cup and the method of pouring is different.

This is the vacuumpot method of brewing which I found to be the most scientifically interesting and it made good coffee but I also thought all the methods made good coffee. I know exactly one person who owns a brewer of this type. This is his and his name is Steve. He has a big brain and while I try to compete with him I often feel unarmed. So I fake it. I am pretty sure that he can tell though.

So the coffee we tried yesterday? The coffee comes to Broadway Coffeehouse from Stumptown which is based in Portland. The first one was a Rwanda MuYongwe grown in Africa at the 1200 to 2100 kilometer height. It is of the Bourbon varietal and that name comes from an island off of the coast of Madagascar that is now known as Reunion Island or French Mission. But was once called Bourbon Island. The coffee has a floral aroma with flavors of apricots, berry compote, honey and grapefruit.

I would have to say that for the most part I agree. I could smell the floral scent for sure and it was a completely different or aroma then the other coffee we tried. I have found that I notice differences in smell far more often then I notice a difference in taste.

The second coffee was a Guatemala Bella Vista again of the Bourbon varietal but grown in Latin America and at the elevation of 1540 meters. This one has flavors of cream, milk chocolate, and berries. It is heavily bodied and reminiscent of a Raspberry cordial.

To be honest. I tasted none of these flavors. But, for me this was a much stronger flavored coffee overall. It was good. I think I liked it as well as I liked the first one. They did have different flavors but my palate is nowhere near refined enough to break down the flavors.

I am not able to do it with wine either though I have far more tasting experience with coffee then with wine.

Overall, it was a good experience and one that I heartily recommend to anyone who likes coffee and is interested in the many different kinds that their are. Jesse is very good at answering questions and very knowledgeable about the process and the beans and loves his work. That is evident as he presents the coffees for tasting so if you get some time go down to the Broadway Coffeehouse and check it out. I do not think you will regret it.

(This was an unpaid endorsement)
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