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Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
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Tangsta
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 38
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evolution Espresso
Grinder: Rancillio Rocky
Posted Sun May 27, 2007, 11:45am
Subject: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

From the 49th parallel thread:

John_Manzo Said:

So now in or near Calgary we can get Hines, Novo, Intelly, 49th, Vivace, and Josuma , as well as local small-batch from Big Mountain and the excellent new Mountain View Roasterie in Didsbury. Good times.

Posted May 26, 2007 link

I don't go through enough coffee to try them all... so which is your favorite?  Where can it be bought? and how much do you pay per lb?

I used to get my beans from the Roasterie before all these new choices cropped up, and kept buying there because it was convenient (i'm in the NW); but I recently picked up a 3/4 lb bag of Hines from Phil & Sebastian's and I'm loving it.  One thing though, at $12.90 per 3/4 lb, it costs close to 50% more than what I usually pay.  I'd like to say that it's worth every penny, but I figure there must be better value out there.  Comments?
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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 Sun May 27, 2007, 4:17pm
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

I like Hines OK, it's in my grinder now, but it's not my favourite. I'd like to try one of P&S's SOs for espresso (since that's all I drink); one beautiful thing about P&S is their half-pound bags (the have 3/4 and 1/2 pound bags) so you're not committed to a pound if you don't care for it.

Hines comes to about $17/lb, espresso cheaper than SO, and that's on the high side, but not ridiculous compared to other quality beans. Here's what I've found for espresso blends:

-Intelligentsia Black Cat from Communitea in Canmore is $15.95/lb; you do have to drive to Canmore but if you're going anyway, it's not like that's a horrible trip. I have to say that this is my favourite espresso- it's chocolatey and complex, with lots of warm spice, and is great on its own and in a cappo.
- Depending on where you buy it, Big Mountain is between $12/lb and $15/lb. You can get it from Co-op for $11.99,  but I worry about its freshness there since Wade, for some reason, does not put roast dates on his bags. But here's a suggestion: Wade delivers BM to his cafes within 4 days of roasting and if you can get THEIR supply you have a better guarantee of a recent roast. They sell pounds and smaller of BM espresso and a handful of other BM beans and blends at Purple Perk on 4th, and last time I went, it was $12/lb. Bumpy's sells BM for $14.95/lb but since they keep fairly little on the shelf, I'd hope it's fresher than at Co-op and that the markup is worth it, but who knows? Wade doesn't date his bags. Maybe he'll read this and start doing that.
- The 49th Parallel is $15.95/lb at Bumpy's. Now I did not check to see if Epic is less than Organic 49th which one might expect since Epic is $1 cheaper on the 49th website. I had an espresso with the Epic (I think) yesterday and it was superb, but then the BM espresso there is also superb.
- You can buy Vivace Vita and Josuma Monsooned Malabar at Java Jamboree in Cochrane, but I don't know what they charge. In any case, I'm sure it's cheaper than having it shipped from Seattle or SF.

Now I've tried some SO espressi over the last few months too- BM's Peru and Nicaragua, both ok but not something I'd make a habit, had a BM PNG at Bumpy's and did not like it at all (lemon-juice bright), but hit the jackpot with Ethiopian Sidamo- the one from BM is $17.95/lb at Cookbook Company Cooks (11th Ave SW by Paul Kuhn Gallery) was outstanding, but even better was a darker-roasted one, "Organic Ethiopian Sidamo" on their product list, from Mountain View Roasterie in Didsbury, www.mountainviewroasterie.com - these guys DATE THEIR BAGS unlike a certain other local small-batch roaster and the order I made was shipped the day after roast, $4.50 courier charge for up to 10 pounds to addresses in Calgary (or, obviously, the Didsbury area, and MVR is supplying to a few cafes in the Olds/Didsbury/Sundre area). Most coffees there are $14.95/lb. I also tried an "Italian Espresso" from them but wasn't as impressed- a little light for my tastes but it was far from bad; I just think I'd prefer their "viennese" full+ city "good morning espresso." That'll be my next order.
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Tangsta
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 38
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evolution Espresso
Grinder: Rancillio Rocky
Posted Tue May 29, 2007, 9:42pm
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

Wow, thanks for the very detailed reply!... I think I'll try Black Cat for my next lb, and perhaps BM after that depending on whether i can find a source where i know it's fresh.

Anyone else have any thoughts?
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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 May 29, 2007, 11:33pm
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

I wanted to say as a coda that I am right now enjoying an INCREDIBLE batch of Hines. I must have it dialed in perfectly because this bag is actually better than the Black Cat I just extolled. I actually prefer this to what I get at the market (at P&S's shop) because their beans are usually REALLY fresh, like 2 days old, and I find Hines much brighter than Black Cat and 48 hrs is not, for my taste, enough to mellow. But I am really digging this Hines now.

I bought a bag of 49th today, roasted on the 25th. I was wrong about something- they don't have the Epic Espresso, only the Organic, which is a different blend, but I'm eager to try it.

I'd guess that if you buy BM at any place that doesn't stock huge amounts of it, it'll be reasonably fresh, so I'd try Bumpy's or maybe Cookbook Co.
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KeenBean
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KeenBean
Joined: 2 May 2007
Posts: 216
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Andreja Premium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Thu May 31, 2007, 1:01pm
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

John_Manzo Said:

I
- You can buy Vivace Vita and Josuma Monsooned Malabar at Java Jamboree in Cochrane, but I don't know what they charge. In any case, I'm sure it's cheaper than having it shipped from Seattle or SF.

Posted May 27, 2007 link

Great commentary furrycanuck -

I've been buying Malabar gold for a month and a bit from Les at Java Jamboree, and if my memory serves me correct, it's going for $18.00/lb.  I'm pretty happy with it, but am currently trying others (due to another great post from you directly) to broaden my tastes before I pick favorites, or pick up home roasting. :)

KeenBean
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coffeeactivist
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coffeeactivist
Joined: 8 Mar 2005
Posts: 139
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Elektra Micro Casa A Leva...
Grinder: Macap M5, Starbucks Barista
Vac Pot: Yama 8cup, Bodum Presspot &...
Drip: Melitta Filter Cone
Roaster: Toastmaster Popper
Posted Fri Jun 1, 2007, 4:09pm
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

John_Manzo Said:

I bought a bag of 49th today, roasted on the 25th. I was wrong about something- they don't have the Epic Espresso, only the Organic, which is a different blend, but I'm eager to try it.

Posted May 29, 2007 link

I just wanted to mention that we (Bumpy's) have both the Organic and Epic espresso blends, we sold out of the Epic on saturday, but we have it in again.  We also have a variety of Single Origins and a Swiss Water Decaf all from 49th as well as the variety of Big Mountain that we usually have.

 
Jason
http://coffeeactivist.wordpress.com
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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 1, 2007, 8:52pm
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

Jason, are Epic and Organic different roasts (not just different blends)? I ask because John demo'd for me how close in appearance the Epic (I think) and the BM espresso were, and now that I've opened the bag of Organic, it looks much darker, exactly like Black Cat. It's excellent BTW.

In Portland now and the Ace Hotel's Stumptown has FOUR Clovers and TWO Mistrals! Hairbender is verrrrry nice too. The Ace is a damn cool hotel and because of our strong dollar everything here is ridiculously cheap all of a sudden.
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KeenBean
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KeenBean
Joined: 2 May 2007
Posts: 216
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Andreja Premium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Thu Jun 14, 2007, 10:18pm
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

Well, I have finally tried the 49th Parallel beans... I bought me a bag of Epic, and all in all, it's not too bad.  I really don't think it's quite right for my palette...

I think next time I'm at Bumpy's, I'll have the Big Mountain instead.  Make sure it's not just me.  :)

What are others thoughts of the 49th blends?  It's (edit) quite nice as a straight shot, but I think I'd prefer either a Hines from P&S, or the Malabar gold from Java Jamboree.... both seem to have fuller bodied flavors, and also seem to work better into milk drinks for me.  Again, this is for my personal tastes only, and I do think if I drank less milk based drinks and more espresso, it would be a welcome addition to my palette's portfolio.  It just doesn't seem to have the right stuff for a milk based drink for me... not even for a cappo.

KeenBean
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coffeeparadise
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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, 11:53am
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

Hey Guys, Philip with Paradise Cafe and 49th Parallel here. I'd love to share with you how to maximize your experience with our espresso. With our Epic espresso, one of it's signatures is its heavy mouth feel/body and rich complexity in milk. We achieve this by dosing 19-21 grams depending on basket/machine combo, and pulling 1 1/2 to 2 ounces in around 25-27 seconds. We recommend 200-201 degrees F. Also, the coffee needs plenty
of head space. If you try this dose in a double basket you will not get as good of results due to the coffee pressing up on the screen and under/over extracting because of uneven water flow to the top of the coffee.

If it seems like your espresso' is coming out thin, or lacking in sweetness the culprit is most often that the coffee ether was allowed to oxidize from an open bag, or perhaps the temp is too high or low at the beginning of the extraction. (Assuming the above parameters were followed).

Hope this helps you get the most from our coffee!

Philip Search
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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, 12:34pm
Subject: Re: Your favorite Espresso bean in Calgary?
 

coffeeparadise Said:

If it seems like your espresso' is coming out thin, or lacking in sweetness the culprit is most often that the coffee ether was allowed to oxidize from an open bag, or perhaps the temp is too high or low at the beginning of the extraction. (Assuming the above parameters were followed).

Hope this helps you get the most from our coffee!

Philip Search

Posted June 15, 2007 link

Hey Phillip!  

Thanks!  I wouldn't necessarily say it pulled thin, but as for its characteristics it definitely tasted a little thin.  I checked the roast date on this 1 lb bag, and it's pretty fresh (06/04/07) - but I bought the bag yesterday.  Should still be reasonable, either way from my experience.  

Fortunately, I have a triple basket, and also have a bottomless portafilter to watch for "fresh" characteristics as I pull the next shot - I'll give another pull this afternoon and let you know how it turns out.  Again, I don't mean to knock your product - just so far I've found it thin in body, relative to my other experiences with similar pulling technique.  It is tasty, and has nice undertones - but I'm really hoping to get a sense of those when mixed with my milk!

KeenBean
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