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Haydo
Houston Astros Fan
DTX
Member since Jul 2011
2630 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
quote:

My "aha moment" was when I had my first full natural Ethiopian done right.


Can't agree with this any more!!


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StonewallJack
LSU Fan
Member since Apr 2008
205 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Kopi luwak coffee is some really good stuff.

What are your thoughts on it?


HebertFest08
LSU Fan
The Coast
Member since Aug 2008
6020 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
quote:

Usually when people think of crazy expensive coffee, they think of kopi luwak (disgusting and inhumane) or Jamaica Blue Mountain (marketing nonsense).


Gonna go out on a limb and say it’s not for him.


bluebarracuda
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2011
14345 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Recently got One of these and I've been using these grounds

Is there something better I could be using from Whole Foods or Rouse's? I've got a grinder on my wedding registry, so I'm just doing already ground beans for now


StonewallJack
LSU Fan
Member since Apr 2008
205 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
I didn't see that response.

Maybe he would like the free range kopi luwak


BRPHXCoffee
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2019
59 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Going to throw a few thoughts out there:
Several years ago one of our investors wanted us to bring in and roast Kopi Luwak. It was a short conversation, ended with this picture (LINK ) and a refusal to put this crap anywhere near our roasters.
If you want to spend $100 - $400 on a bag of coffee, you can do far better!
Kopi Luwak is pure marketing, and was bolstered by The Bucket List into some mythological status. It has now attracted shady producers and nonsensical sales terminology (see every amazon listing). There are legit reasons no speciality roaster will touch it. It's inhumane in most cases (regardless of what the package says, the civet was more than likely kept in a tiny cage and force fed), and the final product can't hold a candle to the top specialty grade options that fetch similar prices.
Specialty grade coffee is a real thing. It provides a discernible standard of quality and does not need gimmicky marketing to help it sell. Good basic/intro info here: LINK
I likened Kopi Luwak to Kona and Jamaica Blue Mountain coffees earlier in this thread, as they all lack real quality and rely on gimmicks and confusion to justify their high price.
When you taste specialty coffees in the same price ranges it's pretty clear why they warrant such a high price and sell out crazy fast. Here are a few of the higher end options I would splurge on:
LINK
LINK
LINK
LINK

I also just bought this tonight as an early Xmas present for myself, a specialty coffee advent calendar. Expecting some amazing coffee selections in this thing, Onyx is legit! If you want to snag one, here's the link: LINK

Last thing: tasting notes should be communicable, easy to discuss, and readily apparent. If you want to spot a BS specialty roaster check out their tasting notes. If you see anything abstract or obscure, chances are they don't know what they're doing.
Most limit it to three nouns. The Blue Bottle link above lists pineapple, rosehips, and cranberry. These are most likely very prominent in the coffee and are a responsible way to let you know what it will taste like.
However, my least favorite specialty roaster clouds their tasting notes in poetic nonsense. It doesn't make them sound cool, and it's considered super douchey in the industry (think judgmental coffee hipster at the register you'd never want to encounter). They've gone so far as to include such gems as "Rosh Hashanah at the Nordic day spa, raspberries on a silver platter, and floor to ceiling bookshelves" as an attempt to describe what their coffee tastes like. It's the opposite of doing specialty coffee right, and doesn't do anything other than turn people off. We have giant tasting wheels in most of our stores to help guide how to describe what you're actually tasting.
I'll stop ranting now!
This post was edited on 10/31 at 3:47 am


BRPHXCoffee
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2019
59 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Glad to see spro brought back up! I wrote a good bit earlier in the thread (page 4 near the top) and mentioned some of my qualms with espresso in a home setting.
It basically boils down to this: you can brew world class coffee at home with very minimal equipment and practice. You need a decent grinder (Baratza Encore), good water (something TDSing between 115-150 ppm), a good specialty grade single origin coffee to brew, and an Aeropress, Chemex, or really any manual setup that allows for good infusion and filtration.
But on the espresso side, you cannot get anything close to a real shot of spro without spending $3,000 and honing your skills for months. You can get something that resembles espresso, but a real shot should: never be offensive to your palette, never taste salty or astringent, and should provide a myriad of flavors that continue to develop in your mouth for 30 seconds to a full minute. One of the better shots I've had (Ethiopian Guji) contained flavors in the range of huge red fruit on the front end, big granny smith apple, and a lingering finish of lime and orange peel. This was with every sip! You just can't get a proper extraction on a home setup, and it's a shame.
I'll also mention that there is no such thing as an "espresso roast". Any coffee can be used to brew espresso, and some work better than others (usually depending on levels of acidity). Though most coffees used for espresso are burnt to hell, you never want to see oils coming out of the coffee, this means it was roasted far too high and cellular walls have broken down.
Try a specialty grade single origin and see if you like it with your setup. Fruit bomb full natural Ethiopians do really well in espresso as well. I start every work day with shots of one of our single origins pulled over ice, it's like a super short iced americano. As the ice melts, the flavors start to come through in an amazing way, and the texture/mouthfeel is like condensed milk. Unreal.
Grinding for espresso is also difficult, as there is no set standard and depending on the weather and humidity you will have to make constant adjustments to keep shots pulling right. We have customers that get our coffee ground for espresso, and a lot of times they bring it back wondering why it's not pulling right.
I wouldn't recommend espresso for home brewing, but if you like what you're getting and don't want to hit up a shop every morning I can't fault you. If it wasn't part of my job I certainly wouldn't be drinking coffee like I do.
Hope this helps! And thanks for the question.

This post was edited on 10/31 at 2:35 am


NOLATiger71
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Dec 2017
989 posts
 Online 

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Your thoughts on PJ’s coffee? I know in the 90’s thy dropped their bean quality as they grew. I do not know about nowadays.

Also, who do you like Or where do you go in New Orleans for espresso and good coffee?


BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
35487 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
quote:

Definitely recommend an Aeropress!
Super simple and easy to clean, and probably the fastest brewing time. There are countless ways to use it, even upside down.


I have one and do the upside down method. What would be your recommendation for getting quality coffee like out of an aeropress, but able to serve 2-4 people at a time?


BRPHXCoffee
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2019
59 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
I've seen several "what do you think about ______ brand/shop" in this thread. I'm going to lay out some terms and history that might help put some of this thread into perspective and help guide you in the search for a better cup of coffee.
There have been three "waves" of coffee. This terminology is used to describe the great transitions that have occurred in the consumer coffee world. You can think of them as consumer driven transitional levels of quality, but they can be subjective terms depending on who you ask.
1st wave refers to Maxwell House, Folgers, and the availability of consistent coffee in supermarkets and restaurants.
2nd wave refers to the explosion of espresso based sweet drinks and a Starbucks on every corner. Pretty much all of the major players in the coffee shop game are 2nd wave. Think 20+ syrup options, burnt to hell espresso, and "breakfast blend" drip options in pump pots. Also the prevalence of "100% arabica" on bags (it's like Taco Bell saying they only use 100% real beef... that should be a given!). There are also mom and pop 2nd wave shops, pretty much all have earth toned interiors, dumb coffee quotes on the walls, and put a heavy emphasis on pastries and frozen drinks.
3rd wave refers to the leap into specialty grade coffee, a gastronomic movement viewing coffee like wine (looking at terroir, farm level quality, water TDS, brew science, etc.), fewer/no sweet drink options, and no blenders/smoothies/frappes. Third wave shops put all of their emphasis on the quality and provenance of their coffees, typically spare no expense on brewing and roasting equipment (we are partial to Curtis, Synesso, and Probat), and seek to elevate the coffee experience beyond mochas and "give me the darkest roast you have". Roast level is not really a factor, as almost all specialty grade coffees are roasted between 390 and 405 degrees F, and the main emphasis is bringing out the origin flavors/characteristics and not adding roasty/burnt flavors. They also tend to place a huge focus on barista training, no automatic espresso/milk steaming machines, and having a relationship with the farmers that produce the coffees. Third wave store aesthetics tend to either be industrial, super modern, or intensely colorful.
So, PJ's would fall into the category of 2nd wave, as would CC's (Community) and, of course, Starbucks. If these brands never existed, neither would third wave. They introduced and persuaded people into paying $5 for a cup of coffee.
The bigger names in third wave are Intelligentsia, Stumptown, Counter Culture, and Blue Bottle. But there a ton of great shops around the world, and if you google "specialty coffee ________ (insert your city)" you should get a decent idea of what's around. More third wave shops are popping up all the time, we have three under construction at the moment.
Looking at New Orleans, I would want to check out Congregation, Spitfire, and French Truck.
Hope this helps!
This post was edited on 10/31 at 4:26 pm


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BRPHXCoffee
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2019
59 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
The Aeropress is definitely made for a bachelor, 8oz will be your limit always without brewing something crazy concentrated and trying to dilute among other cups with water (not recommended). You're going to need to either get several more or break something else out.
When I have company I pull out this guy: LINK
They have cheaper versions of the larger Chemex brewers though.
You could also use a larger french press: LINK
If I ever see one of these I'm snagging it!
But you could use a larger french press (here's a 51oz LINK ), brew, pour through a paper filter and serve.


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BRPHXCoffee
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2019
59 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Wanted to mention this as well:
Investors and big name brands are paying close attention to the third wave/specialty scene. Nestle bought a 68% stake in Blue Bottle, and it's fairly common to hear insider news of which brands are being purchased for insane amounts of $$$. You might see Starbucks and Dunkin' start buying up tons of specialty brands in the next few years.
But what's next for the coffee industry? No one can predict the future, but sales trends are on the rise in the specialty scene. My company has grown tremendously over the past four years and quadrupled our number stores with more on the way. There is a serious demand, and I don't see it fading. However, climate trends are disrupting some key growing regions, and coffee might end up costing a ton in 10-15 years as supply dwindles and growing regions move around. You might see Siberian coffee at some point, who knows.
I definitely see more home roasters popping up, and even went on TV recently to talk about how to roast coffee at home (home roasting is how I got my start). The internet has opened up a wealth of knowledge, and with just a few YouTube videos pretty much everyone can participate with minimal expense (you probably have everything you need already except for green coffee). Would love to answer any questions you may have on this!
There are even a few roasteries around that allow people to come in and roast on real drum roasters, which I think is fantastic, sort of like a shared office space.


StonewallJack
LSU Fan
Member since Apr 2008
205 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Thanks for the information. I am going to test the onyx sampler


CE Tiger
Chicago Cubs Fan
Metairie
Member since Jan 2008
38525 posts
 Online 

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
anybody in new orleans or metairie looking for best beans, French Truck is your answer. Dorignacs , Fresh Market, and Whole Foods will carry them or get them from the source. check the dates on the bags and keep it within 3-5 days of the roasting dates
This post was edited on 11/1 at 9:12 am


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BRPHXCoffee
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2019
59 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
I can't wait for the advent calendar box to show up. Looks like they're shipping in three weeks—can't wait! It's super rare to find sample packs this large from a specialty roaster. Production will be a nightmare on their end no doubt. But the opportunity to find a 24 pack of legit coffee (especially from a roaster on the level of Onyx) is near impossible. It's a great opportunity to try a ton of solid coffees from around the world. I guarantee we'll see some lactic processed, honey processed, and maybe even a few geishas. Looking forward to December even more now!

Anyone drink some good stuff this morning?
I had an iced spro (Costa Rica Finca la Manzana), tasted like red delicious apple and honey, so good.
Moved on to a large cup of Ethiopian Bedhatu Jibichu (washed) drip to push through the rest of the day. Tasting like chocolate covered strawberry and jasmine as it cools. Doesn't get much better.
This post was edited on 11/2 at 1:37 pm


puffulufogous
USA Fan
New Orleans
Member since Feb 2008
5977 posts
 Online 

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
While I'm not ready to spend $200 to up my coffee game just yet, I did make the jump to get some coffee from a.local roaster. Will give these beans that were roasted 4 days ago a try in my French press. Cheers


CE Tiger
Chicago Cubs Fan
Metairie
Member since Jan 2008
38525 posts
 Online 

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA


redfish99
LSU Fan
B.R.
Member since Aug 2007
7020 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Coming to store near you. Shaq’s Newest investment FORTO Coffee Shots. Very very good


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HebertFest08
LSU Fan
The Coast
Member since Aug 2008
6020 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Went to lighthouse this morning and had their Ethiopia pour over... damn tasty.

Although, I guess technically it isn’t a “pour” over as it’s set under a tap of sorts that dispenses the water in a shower head type deal. That being said I watched and as stated in the way to use the chemex by BRP and pouring the water in weighted increments. This setup seemed to do something along those same lines.

My dumbass needed coffee and got down the road and realized they had beans for sale and I didn’t get any to try. I stopped in at Robert’s and grabbed some French Truck Ethiopia Kossa Geshe.
This post was edited on 11/7 at 4:23 pm


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Ljcoonass
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2013
117 posts

re: Noticed a lot of coffee questions lately, specialty coffee industry pro AMA
Fascinating thread. Really enjoying your comments and opinions. Im one who gets bored quickly with most things. Always buying different beans, roast, origins, & blends. I read somewhere that Air Travel with green or Roasted beans can change the taste or quality due to pressure on the them. If true, does coffee taste different at different elevations?


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