At long last, given the amount of coffee I consume and the number of coffee shops I frequent, I have decided to keep a coffee log. Should the whole grad school thing not work out I can fall back upon this blog, perhaps... (:D)
In my search for good local coffee, I have come across a true gem of a roaster, George Howell, who roasts mostly single origin coffees at a lighter roast that keeps many of the bean qualities. The result is a strong, rich cup that hearkens to the far-flung areas of the world from whence it has come. http://www.terroircoffee.com/
Before I continue my review, here is what Howell has to say about today's cup:
"The coffee formerly known as Celebes returns and it is a far better quality version than ever before. Toraja Toarco has taken on a certain legendary status amongst the coffee cognoscenti. It has been impossible to get any in the US because Toarco was developed and financed by Japan’s Key Coffee Company which sold all its production to the Japanese market. Coffee is grown there from moderate elevations to six thousand feet. Toarco works with over 7000 families to produce this coffee.The coffee cup exhibits notes of malt and nutmeg-spiced dark honey. The beans are peaberries which are round shaped; they have been separated from the common flat beans using sieves. Peaberries grow in single seed coffee cherries, as opposed to paired, and typically develop near the tips of a coffee tree’s branches. A coffee tree will produce about 5% peaberries. They often have a slightly higher acidity than their flat bean counterparts. This lot has a very pleasant smooth fruity liveliness in the cup."
While I can brew three different ways (Melitta, french press, & espresso) I find that for the single source, full flavor roasts, the best brew method is Melitta (either gold or paper filter). Espresso is definitely only for dark roasts, and the french press I find best for blends. Anyway, that is mostly personal preference.
The water to whole bean ratio I use is 2 tablespoons per 6oz of water, though occasionally, for a strong coffee, I'll bump the water up to 8oz.
The Tocaro peaberries aroma is unmistakably rich, and the body calls to mind a mix between African and Guatemalan coffees: bright, yet earthy. It's the youngest coffee I've tasted, but neither the brightest, nor liveliest.
After several weeks of attempting to characterizes tastes more closely than this, I've decided to forego my own length analysis and serve mostly as a showcaser and highlighter of particular coffees. I may be able to taste nuances, but unless this forum develops my abilities, I have yet to be able to articulate these nuances :)