Thursday, January 1, 2009

Celebrating the holidays with a new blend

I roasted a lot throughout the holidays to make sure I had fresh coffee on hand when visiting family or welcoming visitors to our place. I got a lot of compliments on the coffee from friends and family, even a couple who have been polite but visibly unimpressed by the home roasts that I've presented in the past.

I don't do blends very often but I wanted something with chocolate and spice and I wanted to make sure that the final coffee had some depth. Lack of depth was a criticism I got from some of my roasts in the past. Personally, I had also been disappointed in how flat many of my roasts on the iRoast tend to be.

I decided to go with a Guatemala Antigua from the Roasting Plant (see previous post) because it would serve as a mellow and smooth base for the blend and also had some chocolate undertones. Then I blended in some Sulawesi from the Roasting Plant to add the spice and the stronger tones of chocolate. I blended them at a ratio of 3 to 1, Guatemala to Sulawesi.

I tried two different approaches for the roasting. In one batch, I brought beans both to full city (just before second crack). In a second batch, I pushed the Sulawesi a little farther into second crack bringing some of the oils to the surface of the bean. I got tons of raves on both approaches although I personally liked the blend with the lighter roasts the best (but I tend to prefer the lighter roasts).

The picture at the top of this post is the last of my holiday blend. It's the blend with the darker Sulawesi roast. The resolution on the pic isn't great since it was taken on my phone but you can see the shine on the darker beans blended into the batch. I'll be sure to post better resolutions for future roasts.

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