It's All In The Roast
A couple of years ago I had the privilege of visiting Araku Valley in south east India. The "adventure" resulted in me writing a book "Big Ideas for a Small World" which talked about the huge efforts being made through the help of NAANDI to rebuild the eco-system.
We have subsequently imported this coffee into Jersey and it has been met with a very positive response.
Coffee however like all natural products changes its taste profile on the basis of the growing conditions at the time, how it has been stored and the conditions our end when it comes to roasting the coffee. I felt that in recent times it had lost some of its magic. We're talking about a coffee that has seemingly moved from great to good, the challenge was to see if it was possible to get back to great again.
We took a long hard look at roasting time and temperature to see if we could re-discover that x-factor. As we pulled back the temperature so the delicate aromatics of this great coffee re-emerged. But of course what counts is the taste.
Although cupping can tell you a lot about the coffee, I prefer to make up a 5oz black Americano using around 16g of coffee to give me the best "feel" for the coffee. I only brew around 1 oz of liquid coffee and then soften it with hot water at around 85 degree centigrade.
The first thing to hit you is the wonderful aromatics of this coffee. The messages sent to your brain are "I must drink this coffee!". The taste profile is delicious. Full bodied, smooth with a gentle clean acidity and loads of caramel notes. A truly extraordinary coffee re-igniting the taste buds.
As much as coffee roasting is a science, the art lies in the ability to deliver that which the producer has worked so hard to harvest.