Sunday, February 8, 2009

espresso monkey roasting notes 2

I've roasted a few pounds of Sweet Maria's Espresso Monkey blend and it has never been my favorite. I had a little left, so yesterday thought I'd give it another try. The target roast was Full City.

Outdoor temperature was about 40 degrees F. No wind. Roasted 8 ounces (weighed on new kitchen scale), which is quite a bit less than I usually roast. Beans were initially at room temperature. The roast went very quickly at the lowest gas setting. In these conditions I suspect more beans would be helpful, and I could also try without the shroud. Roasted weight was 6.46 ounces.

Some beans were still at first crack when second had started. I'm starting to question whether I've ever had a noticeable pause between first and second.

The roast looks about right overall, with some small oil droplets evident. I think the intrinsic unevenness of the stovetop method is a problem. It is very difficult, if possible at all, to avoid finishing without some of the beans having a degree of char.

Pulled shots next day. Some acidity, moderate body. Faint sweetness, but it's set against a burnt note that I don't like much. I am not really detecting anything else that I can put a name to. And it's just not that interesting. Sweet Maria's description on the package is:
At Vienna roast, bittersweet chocolate, hints of dark fruit, licorice, a long aftertaste.
I had to look up dark fruit and found a discussion here. I also discovered a bazillion recipes for dark fruit cake. As a flavor descriptor I'm not sure it does much for me. Much more intriguingly evocative and equally helpful would be dark fruit-eating bat.

As roasted, at least, I continue to not like this all that much as a straight shot. Before spending time with Moka Kadir I would probably have ranked Espresso Monkey higher, but not at this point. I'll shoot for a slightly lighter roast next time.

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