Thirteen years of coffee and commentary. Tridecaphobes, beware.


Three Cups, Three Origins, One Winner


I mentioned last week I’d finally gotten around to roasting some coffee — go, me — to fuel my stay in Boston. What I did not do last week was sit down and taste those coffees in any especially contemplative way. There’s a simple reason for that: I wasn’t terribly keen on either of those roasts. Mind you, I don’t think there was anything in particular that went *bonk* in the course of the roasting. That would have been helpful, really. Nope, I think I more or less missed my mark on when to end the roast and dump the beans in the cooling tray. Missed one by a nose. Another by a country mile.

Just the same, there’s learning to be done here. If the roasts weren’t everything I hoped they might be, at least I might try to figure out why. And — to keep things interesting and to keep myself honest — I included a control: the latest batch of beans from Tony Konecny’s spiffy flash-sale like bean business at

Cup 1Panama Las Flores de Boquete, from Sweet Maria’s. Roasted Full City+ (+?) I get nutmeg aromas, loads of bittersweet, dry chocolate and a short, nutty finish. I believe I’ve obliviated anything that resembled acidity in the cup, but on the other hand there’s ample body. I’m quite certain this coffee deserves better.

Cup 2Ethiopia Wet-Process Jimma -Duromina Coop, also from Sweet Maria’s. Roasted City+, offers promises of peach and apricot fragrances that are sweetly fulfilled. Brown sugar sweetness and a bit of spice makes the flavor profile evocative of gramma’s apricot preserves — if gramma were a southern gal, anyway. (Not mine… she was an Iowa girl.) Point is, this cup is all about jammy stone fruit. And if I’d been a little quicker at the roaster I’d likely have some vibrancy and a long sweet finish to go with it, but I don’t… there’s a tang of almond at the end of the cup that leaves a touch of bitterness I’d prefer to not be there.

Cup 3: El Salvador Finca Matalapa, from Tonx coffee. Roasted somewhere in the neighborhood of City+, has lovely, sweet and promising fragrance of honey and jasmine. It’s a bright cup, with orange-peel acidity and high-toned grape flavors with malty undertones. Great body, superb balance. Really this is a brilliant, lively and dynamic cup… and the product of a really sure hand at the roaster. Good on ya, Tony.

* Which is not the same as a triangle cupping...

Author: deCadmus

Doug Cadmus is a usability guy, writer and sometime dramatist who moved to Vermont for the coffee, where he's the Web Guy for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. When not writing, reading, or tapping out haiku-like Twitter posts, he roasts coffee in his garage.

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