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May 2010 roast comparison
John Despres
There have been a couple notes about another roast comparison. Any interest in a May edition?

There are a few things to discuss, I think, first.

1. Everyone participating uses the same evaluation system. I don't suppose it matters which one, but it puts each of us on equal standings, both in evaluating and being evaluated.

2. Shipping was what I may call a disaster. We may have to spend a couple bucks for each package sending whole beans. A small bubble wrap envelope and then the best sealed beans possible inside. I'm willing.

3. Since this is a volunteer and fun event, I wonder if we should limit the number of participants to 10 for a couple reasons... One, the postage outlay isn't terrible, and two, we won't spend all afternoon cupping coffee. I'm willing to stand down this month so a new player can join in and if we don't reach ten, may throw in again.

4. Where will the beans come from? We don't have to buy them from an HRO member; there are plenty of sources out there.

Thoughts?

John
Edited by John Despres on 04/27/2010 3:31 PM
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
bvwelch
I'll sit this one out too.

Here's my take on the points you mentioned

1) While you have some reasonable goals, I don't know if it is practical-- speaking for myself, I'm not any better this month at giving wonderful descriptions of tastes and smells than I was in March, so a 'standard' yet complicated form would not make sense for me at this time.

The only way I can see that happening, is if some folks sign up to be 'judges', while the rest of us are the roasters, similar to the recent HB contest.

2. Yes, I think shipping has to be improved, otherwise we risk wasting each others time to save a few pennies

3. I don't recall if I had 7 or 8 last time, but cupping was overwhelming and not much fun. Also I haven't spent the time to improve my technique so I don't inhale bits of grounds which is very distracting to say the least.

Maybe we should fall back to the 'pairing' approach that I think you suggested originally, which has worked in the past.

4. Yes, this is a good question. And maybe we could alternate between 'easy' beans and 'challenging' beans from time to time.

Thanks John!
Edited by bvwelch on 04/28/2010 12:02 AM
seedlings
Or we could do small, groups. You send coffee to two people, and receive coffee from two people.

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
randytsuch
Hi John

1. I think I'm in the same boat as Bill on this one, I see the reason to have a standard system, and while I can taste differences when cupping, I have trouble picking out the subtle flavors, so I would like to keep the system simple.

2. Completely agree. It was no fun picking out bean crumbs out of the samples.

3. I agree with splitting up into smaller groups, although I think groups of 3 is a little small, maybe 4 or 5 per group? Last time, I cupped in two groups of 4 each. 5 would have still been managable for me, any more would have been a real challenge. I was glad I had enough of one sample (I think it was Bills) so it was in both groups, as a point of reference between the groups.
If we do this, then no one would need to sit out, unless they wanted to take a break.
It would be nice if we could have one of the better cuppers in each group.

4. Good idea. We could order from SM, like HB did, or there are many other good suppliers of green.
Since we did an African, I would like to see either a South or Cental American bean this time, but anything different from last time would be fine.

Randy
John Despres
I wonder if thinking about the actual flavors and the rating system cuppers use is confusing people.

The way I see it is if the aroma is bad, we give it a low number, if not, a higher number,

As far as describing flavors, some have a more refined pallet as well as a greater vocabulary. I think we can evaluate, but maybe describing flavors isn't as necessary.

John

Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
seedlings
Since we all roast the same bean, all we need are the differences and why.

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
randytsuch

Quote

John Despres wrote:
The way I see it is if the aroma is bad, we give it a low number, if not, a higher number,

As far as describing flavors, some have a more refined pallet as well as a greater vocabulary. I think we can evaluate, but maybe describing flavors isn't as necessary.


That's basically what my system was, I had one number for aroma, and one for taste, so it was a really basic system, but I thought it worked.

But, I found it to be pretty informative to see what flavors other people found in the beans, compared to what I tasted. It's one of the thinks I really liked about the previous comparson.
So it is not absolutely necessary, but I would miss it if no one did it.

Randy
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