Curious Panda - Bamboo Blend [Rate My Roast]

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Postby syscrusher » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:51 am

Comments regarding the roast / blend, probable errors etc welcome from all.
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Postby shuurajou » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:41 pm

No updates yet guys? I'm excited to see how this turned out.
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Bamboo Especial Feedback - Judge #1 - jimseven

Postby syscrusher » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:05 pm

Bamboo Especial Feedback - Judge #1 - jimseven

The three of us pulled some shots of it today, at both your recommended dose and with a few variations [syscrusher note - the three in question were James, Anette, and pack mule Colin]
We've tried to approach this not from a description point of view but from a critical (in a positive way) roasting perspective.

It was interesting you chose to use the same profile for all 4 coffees. You have very different coffees in the blend and that particular profile didn't seem to maximise the potential of each one.
Looking at the beans (and cracking individual ones to look for particular aromatics to try and be sure of our diagnosis) we'd say that the Gethumbwini component in the blend wasn't as fully developed through the roasting process as it could have been. Visually the beans were still quite underdeveloped and that particular taste was quite noticeable in the finish of the espresso. Whether it could have done with a higher load temperature, or perhaps just a harder push into first crack I am not sure without knowing the coffee that well. It could also have benefited from going a touch further in the roast. The Gethumbwini I used in the WBC was a AA lot and we took into second to try and fatten up the fruit (but that was supposed to go into milk....)
Pacamaras are a particularly difficult varietal to roast, I don't mind admiting that the pacarmara in our espresso is the most difficult of the components and has caused us headaches. There was some sign of internal scorching on the Pacaramara peas and the second half of the roast may have needed a little bit more energy to get them where they needed to go a touch quicker. This gave a slightly bitter finish that I wouldn't have expected with that roast level.
The other two components gave some good sweetness and mouthfeel to blend. This sweetness came through nicely in milk as well, in a WBC style ratio.

I hope we haven't seemed very negative. There was some nice fruit on the nose and in the cup, and I like the direction you are taking this espresso blend in.
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Bamboo Especial Feedback - Judge #2 - Oilings

Postby syscrusher » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:14 pm

Bamboo Especial Feedback - Judge #2 - Oilings
The judges:
Tim Varney - Bar manager at TWs (also featured on photo I sent)
Ola Brattås - Roastmaster at TWs
Stine Bang - Barista at TWs, former bar manager at a Stockfleths outlet ++ (seasoned barista should suffice as description)
Tim Wendelboe - as himself

We cupped as last time, but not with milk, as we got carried away to get the shots perfect and quickly ran out of coffee.

All in all we all thought that the coffeewas better than last time had a nice sweetness and full flavour. We had some notes of red berries.

However we thought the acidity to be tangy/citric/green/undeveloped, and the mouthfeel was lacking. This suggests that perhaps one or two of your components should be less in percentage or even roasted a bit darker or slower.

The aromas had some hints of jute/straw/breadcrust.

Our suggestions would be to go over the blend ratios again, and see if perhaps the roasttimes should be adjusted to achieve a more balanced blend.

I'm sorry if the judgement seems harsh. To your defence the judges judged the blend as if it were a professional blend. When told it was a home roasters blend they said it was surpirsingly good. Blending and roasting is hard. It's a matter of learning by doing which it seems that you really are doing. It's good to read your decriptions and thoughts of what you want, and theres no doubt that you know what you should try to do.

Thanks again for the coffee and I hope this feedback hasn't put you off blending and roasting.

I enclosed a few pics from the tasting.

Image
Image
Image
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Bamboo Especial Feedback - My thoughts

Postby syscrusher » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:37 pm

Bamboo Especial Feedback - My thoughts

This blend was 1:1:1:1 Cachoeira Bourbon / El Bosque / Gethumbwini / Limoncillo Pacamara Peaberry - see the linked PDF for some more details.

http://theotherblackstuff.ie/bamboo2.pdf

After my disappointment with Bamboo Blend (hint: it was the Malabar), I perhaps rushed into this blend, and made some big and some small mistakes. In terms of big mistakes, the inclusion of the Pacamara Peaberry made life difficult. It's a difficult bean to roast, and unfortunately it contributed the most significant "off-taste" to the blend - namely scorched / burnt / bitter. In the simplest terms the profile was too hot for too long.

I also chose 1 catch-all profile which suited some beans better than others. This profile actually would have suited the Gethumbwini brilliantly if I had timed the dip in power to coincide with first crack. Unfortunately it didn't, it arrived before first crack. And some of the notes Ola mentioned, and that James identifed were due to this and the degree of roast on these beans.

I don't think I got the best out of either of the American beans either, though they are much more forgiving, so weren't bad.

Overall, while an improvement over the Bamboo Blend, mostly due to the lack of Malabar, it also fell below what I would consider acceptable, mostly due to the bitter finish, but also because of the poor roast of the Gethumbwini.

I'd like to thank both reviewers for their notes, which have been most helpful. I have already worked on improving this blend and the profiles of the individual beans, taking into account points raised here. These beans were dispatched to the reviewers today, hopefully they will notice an improvement.
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RE: Bamboo Especial Feedback - My thoughts

Postby darrensandford » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:17 pm

This is good stuff! I am really learning things here! Thanks Syscrusher and the reviewers for some really interesting reading!
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RE: Bamboo Especial Feedback - My thoughts

Postby triptogenetica » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:38 am

indeed - i'm learning too. Thanks!
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RE: Bamboo Especial Feedback - My thoughts

Postby charmon » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:10 am

I concur with the above statements expressed by James and Anette. I would like to emphasise that I am no mule. An ass perhaps, but no mule.
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RE: Bamboo Especial Feedback - My thoughts

Postby shuurajou » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:50 am

Great to see the feedback. I hope we see more people doing this, although it certainly won't be me - the Mrs simply won't allow roasting! lol :(
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RE: Bamboo Especial Feedback - My thoughts

Postby lukas » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:05 pm

Wow. That's some valuable feedback!

Have fun with tweaking and perfecting sys, and let me tell you: it's always the Malabar. You can use a little Robusta in every blend if you like, but 10% Malabar throws off everything ;)
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Postby Olings » Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:29 pm

Ok. Some more feedback from the Take 2 version of the blend is sent.

I'd like to emphasize that the guy in the picture cradeling the Curious Panda is Tim Varney not yours truly... If anyone was in any doubt, I'm much more good looking than that!!!! Twice nominated for most sexy roastmaster at Tim Wendelboes and with honorable mentions at the annual "Hunkier Than Thou Awards" at the South-Central Grünerløkka chapter of the Oslo Bearded Norwegian speaking Roasters Guild. :twisted:


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Postby syscrusher » Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:57 pm

I forgot to send roast data with the beans (meant to email it - busy week).

Apologies. :oops:

Bamboo Especial Take two was made of the same proportions of components with the exception that the Cachoiera Bourbon was exchanged for Cachoeira Canario.

The biggest changes were to the profiles used (see below for Gethumbwini and Pacamara Peaberry).

For the Canario I used P4 on the Behmor, which has a moderate start and a hot finish, and for the El Bosque, I used a similar profile to the Gethumbwini (reason = high grown / hard bean). That profile is P2 on the Behmor, and I timed it so there is dip in power to coincide with first crack. Both the American beans were taken just to second crack.

I also employed a fan to speed up cooling (hit cool, open door, point big fan in door, remove chaff tray as soon as it has cooled a bit).
Attachments
Paca Pea.jpg
Paca Pea.jpg (53.97 KiB) Viewed 5157 times
Gethumbwini.jpg
Gethumbwini.jpg (50.68 KiB) Viewed 5157 times
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Bamboo Especial Take 2 Feedback - Judge #1 - Oilings

Postby syscrusher » Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:01 pm

Bamboo Especial Take 2 Feedback - Judge #1 - Oilings

Ok, David

Here's the feedback from todays cupping of Bamboo Especial Take 2. Because of the lack of info (for once) we couldn't give volumes of feedback besides our tasting notes, and thoughts of the blend. [syscrusher - sorry!] No pictures this time I'm afraid.

Today only Tim Wendelboe and myself had the chance to cup your coffee.


Aroma: Slightly fruity with hints of American fake "cherry"/marzipan.

Flavour: Nice sweetness, but a bit one dimensional. Would probably work nice with milk, but needs a more defining character. (Perhaps a special acidity, nuts or maybe some fruit. It's your choice.)

Aftertaste: Astringent/Bitter/Smoky The smokyness might be because of lack of/low airflow during roasting.


All in all. We both liked this version the best. The sweetness was nice as I mentioned but the blend lacked transparency. Tim said that it was like a full dinner run through a blender. All the flavours just mashed together in one... ;)

We felt that you're perhaps not 100% sure of what you want from the blend. Tims tip was to first get an idea of what you'd like it to taste like, then try to get components that in the right ratio would give this.

You could also perhaps save this blend (and yourself some work) as it is, but try to find something that would give it a "high note". Something that would give you that character (whatever it is you'd like) that would define the blend more clearly. The only problem then is to make the whole blend more transparent. What that would be is hard to know this time as you didn't submit any roast- or blending notes.

I think you probably, however, would learn more from saving the feedback on this blend and go back to the drawingboard with clean sheets and design a new one. Maybe "Furball" would be next in line from the Panda...

Thanks for the coffee!


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