Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Costa Rica La Legua Bourbon

Just roasted and bagged: Costa Rica La Legua Bourbon!

This coffee hails from the outskirts of Tarrazu, in a small region called La Legua de Asseri. It is 100% Bourbon cultivar, and is prepared using a double-washed Wet Processing method, and sun-dried at Don Mayo coffee mill.

In the cup it's boysenberry aromatics, sweet malt, and cinnamon highlights. Remarkable and exciting Bourbon coffee!

Available at caffe d'bolla right NOW!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Espresso - Chicago '45

This smooth espresso is so tasty, it's criminal! It's comprised of three different regional coffees. A Brazil Cerrado is joined with an amazing coffee from Mozonte in Nicaragua and a wonderful Guatemala from a little farm in San Juan Sacatepequez.

In the cup it's apricot, caramel, and dark milk chocolate. Hints of cinnamon, wonderful butter mouth feel. Recommend 17g, 199.5 F, 28 S.

Whole Bean available at caffe d'bolla today!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nicaragua Mozonte - Un Regalo de Dios

Just roasted and bagged... Nicaragua Mozonte = Un Regalo de Dios.

this farm, which means, "A Gift From God", reflects the ideals of the owner, Luis Alberto Balladarez Moncada. This is a multiple award winning coffee. Proceeds from their Cup of Excellence award were all donated to local house-building project and church area of the farm.

In the cup it's caramelized sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon notes. A remarkable and balanced cup. Yum!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Honduras Santa Barbara Smallholders

Yiching says --

John has been roasting a bunch since last night to fill our coffee shelves. The coffees are going fast! (And we only put out a few bags of each a time, too.)

This coffee from Honduras is sweet and fruity. It's delicious! We still have a couple bags of it as of now.

Here's John's tasting notes:

This coffee is a late harvest blend of smallholder farms in the area of Pena Blanca and Santa Barbara towns, in Santa Barbara department of Western Honduras. These coffees are from farms too small to keep separate, and represent coffees from the areas of Cielito, Las Flores, and El Cedral.

In the cup it's sweet clean tropical fruit - strawberry, guava, passionfruit, orange marmalade. An amazing find!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Sumatra Blue Batak Tarbarita Peaberry

We just roasted and bagged some Sumatra Blue Batak Tarbarita Peaberry! Whole bean coffee available at the shop.

This is a specially prepared crop of Peaberry Lintong from the indigenous peoples of the Lake Toba area. Lake Toba is the largest volcanic crater lake in the world, formed during the largest known volcanic event, some 25 million years ago.

In the cup it's dark malt and caramelized sugars with hints of butterscotch. Cinnamon and black tea highlights as it cools. Another winner from the Toba Batak people!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Improving Clarity

John says...

When it comes to coffee and espresso, clarity is important. We've had the same filtration system since we opened, and it's time to improve it. I've been wanting to upgrade our water filtration for a while now. I've ordered two Everpure Claris filter systems.

It is an adjustable filtration media that includes a five stage process for eliminating scale, dirt and fine particulates, odors/off flavors. I believe that for the money and simplicity it's the best system out there.

The Claris uses a Hydrogen (H+) ion exchange rather than a Sodium (Na+)exchange.

"The Claris resin is loaded with hydrogen (H+). The hydrogen ions dissolve the carbonates (CO32- and HCO32-) , and the resin then removes the calcium and magnesium ions (Ca2+ and Mg2+). This process also lowers the pH."

I will soon find out how it tastes.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Soul Finger espresso

Yiching says --

I've decided to archive the different espressos that we use at caffe d'bolla from now on. There has been numerous Single Origin espressos, as well as blends that John's roasted and that we've used, but I had not really logged them. I think it's time for me to do so now.

With that said, the espresso that's currently in the hopper is Soul Finger, which is also available whole bean at the shop.

This jazzy cacophony of flavors will leave you shouting joyously to the open ears of frantic handless pantomimes.

This three bean blend brings coffees from Sumatra Mandheling, Ethiopia Guji Quto Suke and a wonderful coffee from San Martin de Leon Cortes.

In the cup it's rhythmic raspberry and stone fruit with a punctuated praline-toffee sweetness.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A Continuous Journey

John says...

I started roasting in 2005 on a little one and a half kilo roaster from Korea.

The IMEX Digirosto 1500.

It came with three main profiles, each which had a multitude of roast levels -- about three or four, were actually useful. In addition, it could entirely manual as well. For me, it was about setting the profile to what I wanted, and controlling the beginning and the end of the roast. If the roaster did it's job during the bulk of the roast, the results would be good. Great in fact. Now I might have skipped over the 40 to 60 pounds of charred, unusable, and just plain wrong batches that I slogged through. But it forced me to understand the balance between technology and craft, between science and art.

You can poke your finger and it won't hurt a bit, but that's if you poke it with a marshmallow. Poke it with a pin, it might be a little uncomfortable, but you'll draw blood.

Understand the tool you are using, but more important, produce results.

In late 2007, I had the opportunity to install another roaster. Because there is no need for venting, and the technology intrigued me, I knew that the best roaster for my needs would be the one from Fresh Roast Systems.

This roaster is precision quantified.

Made primarily for use in large high-end markets where venting is not possible, I was one of the first small roaster-retailers able to use one.

And like anything else, it's a tool.

While it's initially simplistic in it's operation, it's nothing but simplistic.
I could now roast with much greater precision. Airflow. Drum speed. Drum charge temp. Roast start temp. Roast finish Temp. All comprised within the Roasting Profile to the second. What you have to remove is your ego. Understand that those things that you think you are detecting, you're not. How to blend, how to change a roast, that's mostly art. The process itself is more science than art. As art it's more intuition than definition.

Understand the capabilities of the tool. Use it to its potential.
As a roaster, it involves no less thorough study.

But with greater capability for precision there was a need for greater investigation in profiling. Peaberry, Pacamara, SHB, Medium-soft Brazils, Wet Processed, Dry Processed... and any other permutation and combination of cultivar and processing method.

There's always more to learn, and it's that continuous thirst for zeroing in on what's important and discarding the tasteless overly intellectual pablum that keeps me moving forward.

In the end, the results are in the cup.

And the journey will continue.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Labor Day

caffe d'bolla will be CLOSED
on Labor Day, Monday 9/5.

We will OPEN on Tuesday.

Have a nice and safe weekend, everyone.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Ethiopia Guji Suke Quto

This coffee comes from Suke Quto, a producer group in the southern Guji zone of Shakiso. Coffee farming has been a core part of the Guji Oromo culture, and it shows in the results of this wet processed crop. The flavors are distinctly different from Yirga Cheffe, and Sidamo.

In the cup it's sweet floral notes, gingerbread, and bergamot. Restrained intensity. Body increases as it cools. A sure winner!

Espresso: Too soon is never "too soon"

John says --

Sometimes espresso is too fresh to use. But there are times when I need to pull shots sooner than expected. I usually wait several days after roasting before testing my espresso, but since we we're sold out on whole bean espresso, I needed to test a couple days earlier than usual.

At altitude espresso acts differently than at a lower elevation. What might be good at three to five days rest near the coast might need closer to seven days at altitude. So testing at less than 48 hours here involves some forecasting and manipulation.

I grind on the ultrafine end of espressodom, and knowing my components, I say 17 grams. Now keep in mind I'm just looking for tasting notes, not perfection at this point.

I pull the first shot and the crema is outrageously wild.

I tighten the grind a little more.

The crema is manageable and the aromatics are off the charts. Smell. Sip. Pause while my brain runs through my limited tasting vocabulary. Sip. Develop a mental tasting picture of the espresso. Finish. Ponder.

Now I stop pondering to think, and as I ponder my thoughts, I

Name it. Write it. Bag it.


"Soul Finger" -

This jazzy cacophony of flavors will leave you shouting joyously to the open ears of frantic handless pantomimes.

This three bean blend brings coffees from Sumatra Mandheling, Ethiopia Guji Quto Suke and a wonderful coffee from San Martin de Leon Cortes.

In the cup it's rhythmic raspberry and stone fruit with a punctuated praline-toffee sweetness.
Recommend: 198.5 – 199F, 17g, 28 S.

And it tastes exactly like it sounds.

This will be something special.