Last month, I got my first Ethiopia Yirgacheffe green coffee beans. Ethiopia is the place where coffee was “invented,” so I was looking forward to enjoying some wonderfully delicious coffee.
Well, as you know if you read this site, I am pretty new at coffee roasting, and specialty coffee beans in general. When I roasted the yirg beans, I thought I did an OK job, given that it was only about my 3rd or 4th time to ever roast coffee. I e-mailed a photo of my roast to my best coffee buddy, Bobby. Here is a picture of my initial roast:
Well, Bobby e-mailed me back and told me that the roast was “ugly.” As I scrutinized the picture, I couldn’t help but agree. It wasn’t evenly roasted, some parts looked burned, other parts looked under roasted. There was still a fair amount of chaff on the roasted beans too. OK, it was ugly. So much for my sense of pride.
Well, after the roast had rested for about 3 days or so, I made a cup of coffee with it. My first cup of Ethiopian coffee! Hmm… it didn’t taste like coffee at all. I told my wife, Feyma, that it tasted like Spice Tea. I could taste the spice so clearly, and I loved the flavor. I told Bobby that it was so good, and the spice flavor was so strong. He told me that the cupping experts had said that these beans tasted fruity. So, I went online and read the cupping reviews of the bean. Fruity. But, Bobby was only half right, because the cupping experts did say fruity, but they also said there was a distinct spice flavor. Yes! I felt good to have picked out that spice flavor myself! And, as I continued drinking, I could also identify the fruit flavors as well. I was really happy with my ugly roast! Hey, taste is a lot more important than the looks anyway, right? My coffee had the flavors that the experts said should be present!
Well, I have roasted more yirg beans three times since, and the results have not been good. No spice. No fruit. First two subsequent roasting attempts were too lightly roasted. Next attempt after that was over roasted. I was trying to roast a half pound at a time, and the results were not good. That wonderful tasting first roast was a quarter pound.
So, today, I decided to go back to roasting a quarter pound again, and I monitored the roast very closely, and tried to duplicate my first yirg roast. I really want to have that flavor again. Today’s roast, I felt was going pretty good. The first crack (popping sound of the beans while roasting) occurred at almost the same time as that first time I roasted yirg. The results after roasting? Here is a photo:
Hey, they look very close to the same! Well, I’ll let these beans roast for a few days before I give them a try. I am encouraged, though. These look so close to that first roast that I did, I am anticipating that the flavor will be similar too.
What do you think? I’ll report back when I taste them.