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Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
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John_Manzo
Senior Member
John_Manzo
Joined: 5 Aug 2005
Posts: 318
Location: Calgary
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Elektra Microcasa a Leva,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: none
Drip: presspot
Roaster: nada (yet)
Posted Fri Jun 15, 2007, 4:36pm
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

Phil-

I have an Elektra Microcasa lever machine- tiny 49mm portafilter and the double basket will only accommodate 14g of coffee- I did find using the same grinder setting I had for Black Cat that I was getting more "gushing" with the Organic. I can't obviously updose anywhere near 19g but I did adjust the grind finer which is one variable I can control. Have you guys had any experience with lever machines and ways to improve shot quality? What I've achieved is okay but not as outstanding as I've managed with some other beans/blends.
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KeenBean
Senior Member
KeenBean
Joined: 2 May 2007
Posts: 216
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Andreja Premium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Fri Jun 15, 2007, 7:26pm
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

Hey Phil -

So I've taken your recommendations, and pulled another couple shots - one straight up, and another into a milk drink (9oz latte).   I also took it upon myself to grind slightly finer to ensure I was extracting as much as I could (may have ground a little too fine as my pull took about 40 seconds, and didn't really get to a blonding stage at all) - and it definitely is fuller flavored, and a pleasant espresso overall.  

However, I also still believe that the fullness I get out of some of the other blends I've purchased to be even fuller bodied, yet not quite as smooth either.  In milk, I'm ok with that.  As a shot, it has it's ups and downs.  

I consistently pull shots around the 201 degree area - that's my preferred temp, yet as you pointed out, I've had to add more beans to my basket than I do normally with others.  Is this bad?  Well, only from the perspective that this batch gets consumed at a faster rate than my other brands - so I still would like others feedback, as I'm just finding this batch pleasant, but not exceptional.  Maybe the roast date is part of the factor, but that's still in the 10 day window, and shouldn't be too large of an impact.  

Any other feedback in the Calgary Market on preferred roasts, or comments about Epic regarding its fullness?  Maybe I still am not pulling it quite right, but I was told by Bumpy's that Epic tends to be a forgiving shot, and often pulls pretty consistent...  

Thanks for any feedback!

Keenbean
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coffeeparadise
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Sep 2003
Posts: 11
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: La Marzoco, La pavoni, La...
Grinder: Mazzer, Rossi
Drip: French Press
Posted Fri Jun 15, 2007, 10:25pm
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

Furrycanuck- We have played around some with levers, although they have been of the more commercial size. In fact, the two best espresso's I have had from our blends were on a lever. I do have some recomendations for you. Make sure you are getting plenty of space below the screen to allow the pressure profile to build alittle slower, grind reasonably fine, with a target of pulling about a 3/4 ounce shot in around 20ish seconds, and let me know what you think.


Philip
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coffeeparadise
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Sep 2003
Posts: 11
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: La Marzoco, La pavoni, La...
Grinder: Mazzer, Rossi
Drip: French Press
Posted Fri Jun 15, 2007, 11:12pm
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

Hey KeenBean- I am curious as to the exact profile you are getting, as it is different than the coffee I tried today from that same roast date. Sometimes, for a number of reasons, a coffee is more susceptible to oxidizing once it has rested in a good, flushed bag for a few days. If this bag perhaps sat open it might be showing signs of this. Thanks for giving the suggestions a try. Given all the feed back and effort you have put into this, we would love to send you another pound to try on us. It would be great if you would shoot me an email and I will set that up philip@49thparallelroasters.com

Good luck on your coffee!

Philip
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KeenBean
Senior Member
KeenBean
Joined: 2 May 2007
Posts: 216
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Andreja Premium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Sat Jun 16, 2007, 8:11am
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

coffeeparadise Said:

Hey KeenBean- I am curious as to the exact profile you are getting, as it is different than the coffee I tried today from that same roast date.

Posted June 15, 2007 link

Morning Philip -

First of all, thanks in advance for your sincere interest in my success with your beans!  It's always good to see in a world where customer service seems to often fall short...

Secondly, I have followed up directly with your email, but did want to comment on this mornings shots - so far, they are bolder than the original set.  Maybe I was dialed in a little light, in addition to the suggestions you had made, for increasing dose and monitoring temperature (which fortunately, we both like the same sweet spot).  I still am curious though to try this next batch, as I would still have to describe this current bag as overall "smooth" and not as full bodied as your label and you both describe.  

Looking forward to trying the next batch, and of course - I will update you promptly with my feedback!  

Take care, and enjoy the weekend!  

KeenBean
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John_Manzo
Senior Member
John_Manzo
Joined: 5 Aug 2005
Posts: 318
Location: Calgary
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Elektra Microcasa a Leva,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: none
Drip: presspot
Roaster: nada (yet)
Posted Tue Jun 19, 2007, 9:17am
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

Well, I just polished of a pound of Hairbender I picked up on my trip to Portland, and to say it was "finicky" is an understatement. Now back to Hines roasted on the 12th, and my G-d did I pull a beautiful shot with it this morning. Feeling the Hines love again here.

I was kind of frustrated with P&S and their half- and three-quarter-pound bags at first, always having been used to pounds, but I really like that I'm not "committed" to a pound I don't enjoy.  It would be so nice to have a place with an on-site roaster where I could buy smaller amounts, and I know we have Blends and Roasterie, but something better...
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KeenBean
Senior Member
KeenBean
Joined: 2 May 2007
Posts: 216
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Andreja Premium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Tue Jun 19, 2007, 9:38am
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

John_Manzo Said:

I was kind of frustrated with P&S and their half- and three-quarter-pound bags at first, always having been used to pounds, but I really like that I'm not "committed" to a pound I don't enjoy.  It would be so nice to have a place with an on-site roaster where I could buy smaller amounts, and I know we have Blends and Roasterie, but something better...

Posted June 19, 2007 link

It took me by suprise as well, when I bought my first bag... even my wife noticed and asked "Is that the same size as the others you buy?" and I naively answered "yes".   In the end, I now look at it this way - it allows me to have some hines and another batch, without really letting anything go to waste... cause I don't seem to have any issues consuming a 1/2 lb lately.  :)  

Also - I totally dig their bags.  Nice position of the one-way valve (not too high on the bag) and also the ziplock seal.  So far, it's the most convenient bag to work with in my household, since I haven't invested in storage containers of my own yet.

As for your other roasters, I've still yet to try the Mountain View roasters, Coffee Traders (Cochrane), and a few of the other blends from Fratello - but I'm pretty much convinced from other posts to build myself a TO/SC roaster, and get into the home roasting scene... I'd be happy to sell ya any quantity you want once I get started!  ;)

KeenBean
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John_Manzo
Senior Member
John_Manzo
Joined: 5 Aug 2005
Posts: 318
Location: Calgary
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Elektra Microcasa a Leva,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: none
Drip: presspot
Roaster: nada (yet)
Posted Tue Jun 19, 2007, 2:16pm
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

Do give Mountain View a try, but they do only sell lb bags- but the order I got from them was 24 hours post roast, so I didn't even get past day 15 before polishiing off both pounds.

Fratello- ya know, I tried a shot at Good Earth today just to see how my tastes have changed. It was at Eau Claire- the PBTC did a pretty good job of grinding fresh, dosing up (way up in fact) and a nice tamp, but Ive never seen anyone at GE do a cooling flush with their insanely hot Nouva Simonellis, and the she locked it in and pressed the double short button- and it blonded after about 30 secs and completely overflowed the 2-oz espresso cup (yes they had porcelain). I told her no no no, and told her to do it over an cut the pull when the cup was about half full. This was a beautiful looking shot, leopard spotted even, but it was still too hot (maybe in  part from the burning heat of the cup itself) and had an acrid edge that I ... USED to like. I can't say I do anymore. So that was today's Fratello experience. Came home and had another shot of Hines as macchiato- again, perfection. I don't know what they or I or P&S are doing, but it is working.

Speaking further of roasters: KICKING HORSE does date their bags! The batch number on the bottom of the bag is the roast date, or you can take "best before" and subtract 9 months. I haven't had KH since forever, I mean YEARS, but their Cliffhanger is supposed to be a full city (Kick Ass is black as coal) epsresso blend, so who knows, if I find a really fresh bag I might give it a go.
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KeenBean
Senior Member
KeenBean
Joined: 2 May 2007
Posts: 216
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Andreja Premium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Wed Jun 20, 2007, 5:45am
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

I actually grabbed a bag of Kicking Horse from Safeway recently due to my not having time to go down to P&S or any other reasonably fresh supplier of beans... and I was actually pretty happy!  It seemed to be pretty fresh - I got reasonable crema, and it actually was a nice flavor too.  At least, so I thought.  I would give it a try again, and see what you think - then the issue would be how to get it fresher than we can from the local grocery stores...

KeenBean
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John_Manzo
Senior Member
John_Manzo
Joined: 5 Aug 2005
Posts: 318
Location: Calgary
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Elektra Microcasa a Leva,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: none
Drip: presspot
Roaster: nada (yet)
Posted Wed Jun 20, 2007, 9:32am
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

I wrote KH to clarify how to determine roast date, and they suggested buying online to get the freshest beans. Which beans did you buy?
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