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I'll Drink to That! What is your favorite beverage to have with a cigar? Juice? Cola? Beer? Port? Single Malt Scotch? This room is for the discussion of beverages, especially alcoholic beverages that go well with cigars!

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Old 11-03-2003, 09:22 AM   #1
Mad Dawg
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Republic of Texas
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Roast flavor vs. varietal flavor

I've heard people talk about "varietal flavors" and "roast flavors," and I think I understand the general concepts, but I'm still working out how they apply to my own coffee roasting setup. I've heard people say that beans roasted too dark wind up giving you a flavorless cup, and I more or less stumbled over that phenomenon this weekend. I took some Sulawesi Toraja and Yemen Mokha Sanaa'ani into second crack, to the point where the beans were dark and glistening with oil, then made up a 60/40 blend. I thought I'd remembered having good results with that roast and that blend before. Not this time: bland city!

So last night I backed off the roast just a bit with the same beans - stopped the roast just as second crack started and before the beans started showing oil on their surfaces. The difference in roasting time for each bean type was less than a minute, but the difference in cup is astounding - this coffee is very bright and flavorful, deep and rich, with the flowery nature of the Yemeni coffee shining through.

OK, so what I want to ask, oh Mentors of the Bean, is this: what do you consider to be "roast flavors" as opposed to "varietal flavors?" I'm dead certain that the floral notes in the coffee I'm finishing just now are varietal and are from the Yemeni beans in the blend, and I've been able to distinguish between unique flavors in different coffees before. How would I recognize a "roast flavor" as such?

Thanks in advance for sharing your wisdom.

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