Monday, February 4, 2013

The Coffee Collective - Raw Bean Espresso Blend

I have received this blend from The Coffee Collective (TCC), it’s a raw bean blend with three different sorts:

50% Daterra, Brasil

30% Finca Vista Hermosa , Guatemala
20% Kieni, Kenya

First look is intriguing, just looks sharp. Good looking bag.

TCC describes it as a sweet and creamy coffee with a taste of marzipan, caramel and notes of vanilla. TCC is a reputable coffee distributor with several caf├ęs in Denmark. The owners are world champion baristas, top of the line roastmasters and they really know their coffee. It is a direct trade which is kind of a trademark for TCC, securing a better harvest, better rights and prices for the farmer.
It costs 32$ per kilo – raw bean.

Opening the bag to weigh off 250g, I noticed a very sweet and fresh scent. Usually I don’t like the smell of raw beans, but this one is almost floral. The beans are consistent, and clean.

I am doing a simple standard profile, starting with a drying phase, trying to hit 1st crack in 8-10 minutes and end the roast at maximum full city or the beginning of 2nd crack. I will roast in my Coretto

First batch

This first batch got a little dark. And it was to detect in the espresso, it was extremely rich and heavy. No acid or floral notes. I defiantly like an espresso that way, but there are much more potential in these beans. This roast was perfect for cappuccinos IMO. But as a standalone espresso it was a little doll. But I’m sure it’s because the roast went almost Vienna.First crack appeared at 202 C – bean temperature. And second crack began softly at about 216 C.

Second batch

This second and last batch, I am not going to take any further than 207 C, I don’t want to reach second crack, but still a bit over half way between the cracks.

I cut the roast at 207 C but first kept it there the last 2 minutes.

Common for both roasts is that they are a bit uneven in color, because the three different sorts don’t roast similar.         

Hit it right at the sweetspot this time. Perfect balance between the notes. It’s still very rich and thick. When brewing, the crema is amazing.

The mouth feel is really good. Thick and oily, while still bright in taste. I can very clearly taste the caramel, and the marzipan cuts thru after a short while. The vanilla is still hidden for me. But it is a great well balanced blend. The floral and slight acidy notes hits from the start and wears of while coming down the sides of the tongue. At this point the sweet caramel feel is already doing its thing. After finishing the shot, the taste was strong and lasted for a long time.

Made a cappuccino to, and it did really good here as well. When fresh made, it was a bit dreary, but when cooled till about 50C the notes came thru and it became extremely creamy.
Usually I like blends the best in milk based drinks. This is no exception.     

I always think it is difficult to get the same potential from a bean, as the roaster selling the raw bean. But one can’t expect to roast as precisely on a home roaster. This particularly bean is quite easy to handle and it’s forgiving to roast. The inexperienced roastmaster can with no worries buy this coffee.


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