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King State- Santa Barbara Review

 Honestly, when I think of coffee from Honduras, I think “hit or miss.”  Don’t get me wrong: I once bought 4 bags of Honduran coffee in a row from different roasters and regions because I couldn’t get enough.  Sometimes, though, the subtlety of the flavors prevent me from full enjoyment. At any rate, given that I’ve had coffee from King State at a coffee shop only a few times, and that I hadn’t myself brewed a bag from them at home, I was certainly looking forward to this opportunity.   The beans are from the Santa Barbara region of Honduras, and are of the Pacas and Catuai varietals.  Upon opening the bag, I got an initial whiff of tobacco...

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Our new name

Why The Change?When I started Neon, my goal was to be a marketplace for independent roasters all around the world to be showcased. Being a touring musician for most of my life, I’ve met some of my now closest friends in countless incredible shops around the world. It was that sense of community that drove me to open Neon. Since we opened last year we received a cease and desist by a company called Dogwood Coffee from Minneapolis. Their claim of infringement was based on their US trademark for one of their blends “neon espresso” We felt strongly that we were not infringing for several reasons, particularly since we are a different class of trademark. We fought to coexist with...

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Coffee Review- The Barn El Diamante

I found The Barn’s El Diamante perplexing at first.  It’s one of the lightest-roasted Honduran coffees I’ve ever encountered - at least in appearance.  The beans appear a light brown, and the aroma from the bag is reminiscent of milk chocolate.  However, that chocolate smell is mixed with an interesting complexity that many Bourbon coffees tend to have, which is floral and slightly grassy.  In my experience, it often takes some coaxing to get a thorough extraction from lighter-roasted coffee.  This is because light roasted beans tend to be less soluble than those of a medium or dark roast.  To extract more out of the coffee, I usually try making the grind size finer, lengthening brew time, and/or agitating the...

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Dialing In

Order of Operations: the Art of Dialing in Espresso Recipes are important, especially when you’re dealing with a coffee you’ve never had before. But it’s equally important to know how to adjust your recipe to bring out the best side of that new bag of coffee you’ve just bought. This act of adjusting the coffee recipe is often called “dialing in,” and it’s a crucial part of every barista’s job. For me it’s honestly one of the more rewarding parts of making coffee at home. Now, some of you have probably brewed coffee for long enough that you have some kind of intuition regarding how to improve the recipe, but maybe you don’t know exactly why. And some of you...

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