Friday, July 12, 2013

Javanese Experiments

I received my latest shipment from Sweet Maria's today. I was going to finish off a Javanese coffee from the last shipment, but something from the new batch caught my eye.

There was nothing wrong with the other coffee. It tastes fine once roasted to a nice cocoa color. However, this one from Java just said, "Roast Me."

The dry, unroasted beans were darker than I usually expect. In time, with some better lighting, I'll have some pictures to demonstrate the difference. However, unroasted coffee usually has a Army green kind of look. Like it was the color they used as a model for painting tanks and dyeing uniforms during the Korean war.

This Javanese coffee is darker, nearly forest green. I took a few tablespoons, not the whole pound, anxious to try it out.

Before I go any further, I feel like I should describe the process a bit. I use a cheap, but highly effective hot air popper I got from Target. As I have learned from more than a few sources, it is the best way to get an even, consistent roast that can be easily timed, measured, and mostly importantly, experienced.

I pour two tablespoons in at a time, turn the bugger on, and wait. I also watch the countdown on the microwave timer as I go. Its a fast process, where dark roasts are achieved within five or so minutes. Burned and useless happens just after that.

This batch, I roasted to about the second crack, which was four and a half minutes or so. It turned my beans to a nice brownish red. It is supposed to have a nice, wide array of flavors from cocoa to fruitiness such as papaya.

Once the coffee has been roasted and cooled, you should leave it to degas where the coffee beans release CO2. For best results, and to experience the beans at their peak, they should wait for about 24 hours.

However, I could not wait. I made a French Press soon after. It was still fairly grassy tasting. Then, this evening, I ground some up for the Moka Pot.

I think I had the most acidic espresso I could make. I even cut it with sugar, and I just could not drink it.

However, it worked out as an interesting experiment. With it that close to the roasting, it was supposed to be acidic.

Part of learning is failure, and so is experimentation.

I have plenty more roasted and ready for tomorrow. We will see how it comes out.