Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...



Dr. J now calls me his Sensei. That's more than a little scary, no doubt, and I'm sure that Mon is rolling her eyes wherever she is, but it is what it is, and I won't complain. Anyhow, I've decided to post a couple of excerpts from the good doctor's lessons. The first comes from yesterday's dialogue.

Most electrical poppers will complete a roast in four or five minutes, but there are a few things I do in order to prolong the roasting process. By prolonging the roast, the naturally-occurring sugars in the beans are allowed to develop evenly. You'll often have a certain point (temperature) at which the roast will be considered "finished." But, if this point is reached too quickly, the flavors may not develop. Too long, and the beans become dry and there is a loss of flavor and body. Think of the roasting process as you would roasting a turkey in an oven -- nobody wants a turkey done in half an hour, but one that takes twelve hours is probably dried out.

There's also going to be a "sweet spot" that you should look for in roasting a bean, meaning that peak flavor will happen when a bean is roasted to a certain point and in a certain way. For some beans, there will actually seem to be a larger sweet spot, or even several. When I say that there may be several, I mean to say that some beans will have different flavors develop at certain points in the roast. For example, that Guatemala I gave you will become, as the roast progresses, less "bright" and more subtle in its initial impact on the tongue. However, what I've noticed is that other flavors and characteristics begin to come out and make themselves known: raisins, and perhaps a little port wine.

This one came later:

Now, you're wanting something bolder. Hmmm. At this point, I'm going to point out that "bold" is a relative term. You're well aware of this, of course, but I at least partially say this because I myself have begun to judge coffees based upon their various characteristics, and then drawing a conclusion, rather than the other way around. Think of it as telling someone that a guy weighs 250 lbs. That gives me a weight, but that's just one aspect of his physical composition, and without knowing what his height is, or how strong he is, or what kind of condition his heart is in, it's difficult to assess precisely
what to make of this person's physical stature. My point there is that with coffee, you could have lots of boldness, but what type of boldness? Is it a boldness of when and where the strongest characteristics are located, a boldness that hits in the beginning of the sip, or perhaps in the nostrils? Is it a boldness of flavor that catches the outer edges and back of the tongue, or does it rest right on the middle? Is the boldness one of body, where the feel is heavy and really makes you interact with it in the mouth, rather than trying to capture the essence of the cup in the aroma? Or, is it just plain boldness of flavor? If so, then one could speak of spiciness, fruitiness, nuttiness, earthiness, or buttery boldness...

Gotta love it...

posted by Bolo | 12:39 PM
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