Archive for category ‘subjective swilling’

actual studious follow-up

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006

the aforeshadowed research has consumed days of data-logging, acute grind-performance observation and vocab-busting soul searches for more apt terms to describe the conundrum of what makes some beans and blends more tangibly "workable" in the shot-building process ... yet is still wholly unlikely to satisfy the CG curmudgeons formerly loathe ...

perspective-bearing weekend o’ shots

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

one month, the pungent yellow vines that flop over the front walk are wooing butterflies and thumbing their noses at the early frost, and the next they're brittle splinters. just spiny spokes splayed out like crushed sunflower skeletons. the mac widget that tells me current weather conditions for moments like ...

palpitating cerebrally onto this blog

Saturday, December 10th, 2005

took part in a seasonal liturgy this evening, after which this blog manned a fully loaded espresso bar well into the night. i'd special ordered a three-day-old batch of seductive panamanian brightness just for the occasion but, to be honest, my consistency was just lousy. blond-to-black erratic poo, i say. ...

foreign experts: not wrong, just different

Thursday, December 8th, 2005

ah, great. just when i was feeling confident enough to blog-brag about scandinavian-style underdosing as a fix for a finicky grinder and a better way to get the most out of the sulawesi, the australian guru instaurator reopens that tripe-fest between the aussies and unilateralists on the issue of overdosing. ...

tasted nutmeggy, looks … nutmeggy

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

more from the weekend's pursuit of the deeply spicy sulawesi:

overcoming, accidentally

Monday, December 5th, 2005

you didn't want this sulawesi, all muddy and dusty like the falloff from a wall of poorly mixed bricks -- the kind that used to make up the crumbling exterior of the church basement of my childhood. used to dig my fingers in the stuff and think i was Super ...

just the thing for a weekend

Saturday, December 3rd, 2005

things were going very well this morning. i had struggled with some mud-brick dominance in my sulawesi roast, but before i had the chance to ruminate and blog there came the saturday morning sweet spot. i'm working through a pound or so today, trying some new roast profiles and dosing ...

sweet spot diversity: a good thing

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

feeling better -- save the smoker's cough. and as this blog composes a long and windy post on the weeks-long workout i've given the refurbed mazzer major grinder, i'll point you to the frenzied discussion over the (deep breath) la marzocco home machine. yes. amazing and drool-plentiful, as you might ...

another hideous frame grab

Monday, November 14th, 2005

the more geekily roasted sulawesi is showing spicy-bourbon promise, and becomes dramatically mellow in macchiato form (it seems a different bean altogether, really). more taste notes later, and more lessons from mother sulawesi, emanating from correct ambient temperature/roast program correlation! whatever that means... meanwhile, a zesty macc featuring a freehand rendition ...

ignominious expungement

Wednesday, November 9th, 2005

the lambshank/brisket sumatra fizzled in ignominy today, about 10 seconds too fast and blond as a surfer on lemon juice. fitting epitaph, i'd say. and good riddance.

snobbish, brooding disillusionment

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

had some fellas over, who, with their equipment, doubled the mazzer major quotient in the house. result: impromptu single-origin smackdown, and one of the most unsatisfactory evenings of pulling brew ever. not for the lack of aggressive portafilter manning, mind you, but for the total want of anything pleasing to ...

humbly augmenting the cupping vernacular

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

the downside to a rotating stock of single-origin espresso: sumatra! specifically the volkopi supergrade purchased for its brothy intrigue and which has turned out to taste much like ... well, beef bullion. no, make that the zesty drippings of tenderloin brisket encrusted in pressed lamb shank. seriously, how many ways ...

dashed-off descriptors, only semi-appropriate for coffee

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005

the night's sloppy, lopsided, last-of-the-brazil 15-leafer. the prickly weather did what i'd been too harried to bother with: optimized the last of the brazil cerrado (scroll down) to produce something pretty doggone near a god shot (and no, i don't use the term lightly). the grind had been a little off ...

the beatings have ended

Friday, October 14th, 2005

the last of the yirg. after 20 pounds of the stuff, i'm simultaneously wistful for one my favorite east africans and glad to see the flower/citrus beatings end. stuff was intense and hard-core, and almost a raison d'etre in itself for amateur barista-ism. the discovery, over months, of what a ...

sackloth and chaff

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

NEWLY ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE: a bad idea for living room curtains would be to riff on mark rothko's canvases for a chunks-of-color scheme evocative of ... well, it was evocative of a nursery school. could have been the use of primary colors. could have been the preponderance of yellow that garnished a ...

dashed-off excuses are like cheap dates

Saturday, September 24th, 2005

this blog has not yet received its piece of cast-iron overkill, though jake has and brought his model over this evening for some multi-shot delirium. by which i mean using a competiton-grade mazzer major to blaze through a pound of dark-roasted yirgacheffe in less time than it takes to learn ...

the yirg – adding facets

Friday, September 16th, 2005

to herbacious mint and honey-tangerine add pumpernickle. seriously. i had the ladye spend some time soaking her jowls on a few of the more representative shots and tried to ameliorate last night's flava surprise by dosing a little heavier and playing with the brew temp. basically, the complexity grew while ...

tomorrow- underdosage

Friday, September 16th, 2005

tidying up for the night, i emptied the yirgacheffe in the grinder into the double basket and pulled an underdosed shot a little fast with a large, dark cone -- a full two ounces. paused before adding a dollop of milk to taste. herbaceous, almost minty tangerine. some honey and ...

the yemen: diminutive ROI

Sunday, August 7th, 2005

five pounds later, a good cup was finally had. the yemen ismaili, which normally offers such a crema-laden cup with an almost overly forgiving mouthfeel and rampant aromatic wonders, has given me fits in the roasting. i previously referenced the very small bean size, a common trait for the yemens, ...

mesquite chronological imagery

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005

persons have asked about the 'mesquite macchiato' concoction referenced earlier. well, then. perhaps an illustrated guide would gratify. (note: the recipe was originally posted here, though readers can be forgiven for a boredom less sufficient in those days so as not to have been driven to this hack place. also, ...

nibbling weekend reprise

Monday, August 1st, 2005

the brazil cerrado doesn't impress me. bought it for the still-deferred blending i intended to do, and feel i've roasted it as well as i can. still ... it's annoyingly balanced. meaning that it doesn't offer anything notable, except maybe some very light chocolate notes. decent, but not charming. in ...


Thursday, July 21st, 2005

pounded the yirg for an evening. mostly, it was consummate. opened people's eyes, and what-not. for only five folks, we went through a lot of coffee.

spicier, more citrusy zest-ness!

Thursday, July 21st, 2005

in the brave new world of more precisely controlled yirgacheffe brewing, the straight shots are getting full-spectrum raves and the sparely built lattes are drawing exclamations of, er, grapefruit and thyme attributes. by at least jake's sophisticated palette, anyway. things are good... UPDATE: yes, you might say this qualifies as more ...

there and back again: the yirg

Sunday, July 17th, 2005

back to the sophisticatedly finicky bean (it's like wooing a high-society woman, i say) that spurred this whole chase for the more stable temp profiles to begin with. ah, yirg. the rejiggered flush routine nailed her -- at last. i haven't had two straight shots of comparable yirg since i ...

now brewing muddled!

Sunday, July 17th, 2005

rejiggered flush routine follows. given the sort of intra-shot temperature consistency that others are proving is quite possible, the previous flush-routine video clearly fell short of an adequately stable temp profile. one mind-numbingly simple mitigating factor: i was pulling water for 30 seconds without a portafilter attached -- way more ...

a thermoprobed shot, latted:

Thursday, July 14th, 2005

some middling indulgent results of the night's data collection. still working on the milk texturing and pouring precision. ok, so i'm not. there are more important pursuits, at present. latte art is the chrome hub on my all-terrain driveaxle! and right now, i'm wrapped around the greasy sucker like a feline ...

toward more consistent shottage

Thursday, July 14th, 2005

the thermocouple arrived. let the games begin. video, caveats, etc. below. obvious revelation no. 1: the brewing temp is all over the map. at issue, then, is a flush and recover routine (to bleed the superheated water sitting in the group) that results in the most stable possible brewing temperature somewhere ...


Tuesday, July 5th, 2005

i know. i know. i should have snapped a few pics of the deliriously delectable affogatos brewed for july 4th evening indulgence. but i didn't. all natural vanilla bean ice cream. carefully optimized shots of cool-brewed yirgacheffe pulled right on top. groans of appreciation all around. next time, get yourself ...

toward more ethiopian precision

Friday, July 1st, 2005

just ordered one. the precipitating factor: total exasperation with the ethiopian's shot consistency. slightly deceptive are the pics posted below. truth is, i've been through the bad, sour and just befuddling shots. while the grouphead flush has become second nature in order to bring the brew temp where i want ...

the monotonously epiphanic evening shot adjustments continue…

Thursday, June 30th, 2005