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 Tonx.org.

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.


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