Wednesday, May 02, 2007

no news is bad news

getting new coffees is overwhelmingly fun, interesting and a little nervewracking.

this being the time of year to buy stuff (new crops coming online and all) i am giddy like a child at christmas as i visit my storage warehouse, get some samples and go roast them up to compare to the pre-shipment samples. it's always cool to compare notes with my earlier samples sent.

today i cupped three sample roasts of three coffees i just received: one each from mexico, java and sumatra. and despite the java and sumatra being close geographically (though obviously not process-wise), it would take some doing to find three more different flavor profiles at the table than these.

but the big deal here with this post is the huge difference fresh greens make. by the time it's time to reorder new crops the stuff you have left is getting a little long in the tooth. it's still good stuff; it just doesn't pop crisply. it's like those times when you've got a radio with a mute button that actually doesn't completely mute the sounds. you can still hear some of the tune faintly playing. well, maybe it's not that muted; but that's how coffees get over time. the other main thing you notice is the distinct lack of the now-famed cheerios effect. better quality beans account for this, of course, but also the freshness of the beans themselves is evident in the cup and especially at the cooler temps. no cheerios means more acidity, which i notice fades over time, even in climate controlled situations.

the almost translucent jade green of these beans is also a very happy-making thing. you can stick your nose in the bag when you first cut it open and practically smell the trees. or at least the mill.

those of you who know my business story know that this is the first year really that i'm in a position to buy with the seasons and let me just tell you what a huge difference it makes.

maybe i'll keep some of these back and freeze them right away. they can't be more than a couple months off the trees.

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