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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Coffee Review- Methodical Guji

In recent years, the name Guji has become synonymous with quality in the coffee world.  Every day throughout the United States, coffee shop patrons walk into their local shops and roasters happy to see coffee from this exciting region on the shelves.  Dozens of roasters carry coffee from Guji in the Sidamo region of Ethiopia, and for good reason; the delightful Heirloom coffee tends to offer citrus and floral notes that often make the light-bodied coffee reminiscent of an earl grey tea. Naturally, once I received a bag of Methodical’s Guji, I was excited.  I took it to work at the coffee shop on a day we happened to be cupping coffee samples from a variety of roasters.  My fellow...

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Coffee Review- LaCabra Shembati

By: Eric Gulley Every now and then, maybe a few times per year (if I’m lucky), I get to taste a coffee that is truly memorable; a coffee that I compare others to in the future.  The kind of coffee that makes me say, “this is what coffee should taste like.” I first tried La Cabra’s Shembati while working at the coffee shop.  During a lull between Saturday morning rushes, I threw some of the coffee into the shop’s Malkonig EK 43, ground it up, and made myself and my coworkers a pour over using a Hario V60 cone.  I used a 16.6 to 1 ratio, a medium-coarse grind setting, and I brewed the coffee with a thirty second bloom and a...

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Tasting Coffee

By:Andreas Willhoff I’ll admit it: flavor notes can be intimidating. At their best they can help someone find the perfect coffee, but at their worst they can put up a barrier between the roaster and the consumer. The barista often acts as a liaison between the two, but if you’re buying coffee from a grocery store or roaster’s website, the flavor notes are all you have. It happens to me all the time. I look at a bag of coffee that says it has flavors of cherries, and I think, “I like cherries.” But when I finally get around to tasting that coffee, I taste no cherries. Did I brew it wrong? Maybe my palate isn’t as good as the...

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