Cariessa Senior Member Joined: 25 Apr 2014 Posts: 2 Location: Indiana Expertise: Just starting
Posted Fri Apr 25, 2014, 5:51am Subject: Advice on finding a new favorite coffee
I'm frustrated beyond belief at trying to find a coffee that I love as much as the old BK Joe (Burger King) and the old Seattle's Best.
I don't know the terminology used to describe flavors. Nutty, fruity, smooth finish, most of these terms mean nothing to me. I just know that the old BK Joe (pre-Seattle's Best) and the old Seattle's Best (pre-Starbucks) had a quality to the flavor that I absolutely loved. They were distinct but similar to each other and unlike any other coffees I've tried since. There was something almost sharp to it but not bitter. No other coffee I've tried since has that quality.
I've tried to find information on the process and bean blend Seattle's Best used before Starbucks raped them to no avail. The only thing I can find about old BK coffee is that it's a Douwe Egberts blend but for a complete newbie like me looking at their website and the different varieties is completely overwhelming. I'm about to order a sampler from the old Seattle's Best roasterie (Vashan Island Roasterie) but again... so many varieties.
I've spent hundreds of dollars on every type of coffee I can find to no avail. I've given away so much coffee that I've only tried once and can't stand it's driving me crazy!
Please, can someone help me find that flavor again?
CoffeeNark Senior Member Joined: 30 Dec 2013 Posts: 34 Location: Nashville, TN Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Fri Apr 25, 2014, 7:26am Subject: Re: Advice on finding a new favorite coffee
Sometimes, I think I know what a dog must feel like when he is chasing his tail. I got off track recently trying as many of the offerings from local roasters that I could. I've decided most of them roast lighter than I like. Today, I'm going by another local roaster that tends to roast darker than most of the others and try a blend of his I've enjoyed in the past. It's a blend, that while good, was not 100% what I love but I need to try it again as it is close and I need to regain some perspective.
Posted Fri Apr 25, 2014, 10:08am Subject: Re: Advice on finding a new favorite coffee
I'm frustrated beyond belief at trying to find a coffee that I love as much as the old BK Joe (Burger King) and the old Seattle's Best. I don't know the terminology used to describe flavors... Please, can someone help me find that flavor again?
This is going to be a very tough nut to crack. Not because you can't describe the taste (I remember BK Joe pretty well -- it was very much in an early, third-wave, "Moka Java" style), but because that sort of medium finish, balanced blend, roasted for brew (as opposed to espresso) is a thing which very few quality, commercial roast-masters do anymore.
Most roasted-for-brew, high-end coffee is "single origin" and roasted lighter than it was a decade ago, because that's (a) the fashion; and (b) what customers want and buy. Or vice versa. I'm not sure which triggers which.
When you step out of the high-end and into the mass market there may be some similar options in terms of blending philosophy (Dunkin' Donuts Original Whole Bean, for instance), but compared to old Seattle's Best, they're lower quality beans and not sold as fresh.
I'm an amateur home roaster, and -- as it happens -- do an all-purpose, balanced blend you'd probably like.
Let me ask you four questions before going on to the next step:
Do you grind your own?
If you grind, how do you grind?
Which type of brewer(s) do you use? And
How much are you willing to spend for a 12oz bag of beans?
Posted Sat Apr 26, 2014, 5:47pm Subject: Re: Advice on finding a new favorite coffee
My first suggestion is to up your game with a decent grinder and take a fresh look at some of the many excellent roasters online.
For Keurig brewing a $100 grinder like a Baratza Encore or Capreso Infinity is good. If you want to do much French press, you'll want something better, a Breville Smart (~$180) for instance.
And/or I can send you a 12oz bag of "Beautiful Friendship," a balanced, all-purpose, all Central-American blend I think you'll enjoy -- for the princely sum of USPS Priority postage. You will need some king of grinder though, because it deserves to be fresh ground.
If you do like it, we can move on to the next step. If you don't, what have you lost? And just so you know, I'm not in this for the money and would never charge more than cost. I'm retired from actual work, roast for pleasure, and have no interest in turning it into a job.
Interested? Get in touch with me at the email address in my profile, and we'll figure it all out step by step.
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