5/23 Additional Note: I didn’t realize that this same lot of Matalapa was the single-origin espresso in Kyle Glanville’s winning efforts at the 2008 United States Barista Championship … a nice accolade.
This weeks roast, the el salvador matalapa estate was finished with a fairly slow profile at 430f. I actually cupped the first batch versus the sample roaster batch i used as a reference and the difference was profound. the problem with doing this is freshness – you can’t really cup coffees when they are 10 minutes out of the roaster! the sample roast batch, done on thursday, was the darkest of the 4 roast degrees i did at that time, but all were on the light side. It had a lot more brightness than the 10-minute-old probat batch, but what i can project is that the roastmaster lot will have a lot of body, and be very, very balanced, and that perceived acidity will increase as it rests. We have been consistently finding that the roasts from the larger roaster really require 3-5 days to start coming into their own. With these slower roasts we do, and the way we “soften” (i.e. draw out) the 1st crack, seems to leave the coffee bean less expanded, less puffed up, more structurally intact, and (I think) leaves more C0-2 intact in the little cellulose chambers within the seed. So the de-gassing period after roasting is even more important, and the shelf life of the coffee much longer, with this gentle approach in the roaster.
If this post makes little sense, don’t worry. It’s probably because I am befuddled today. And, to a large degree, this is intuitive stuff that comes from years of pulling the sample trier out of the roaster, years of watching coffee get brown and expand in so many different ways, and years of calibrating those things you see in the roaster with your palate. It’s no mystery; you respond to what you see happening to a coffee with intuition based on experience … but describing it is a bit of a challenge for me.