Yesterday Joel had three different espresso's he was roasting. I got a little of each to do a taste test. His regular espresso is a blend of Colombian and Ethiopian, but the Brazil was a new bean that he's fooling around with. I was a little rushed, Marcus and Gresham were in the Jeep on their way back from the vet, so I didn't find out what the full name of the Brazilian is, among other things. Brazil Faz. Nossa. Senhora Fatima
This is done with a medium light roast. (Joel has names for all these things, like city or city plus.) A mellow and sweet espresso, tending to acidic if pulled too long. Notes of cedar, BBQ sauce, and bacon, but in a mellow way.
A lightly roasted, very aromatic bean. Distinct notes of blueberries. Also, chocolate, hazelnut, and beef stock. Very rich and flavorful, yet not bitter or acidic in the slightest. It pulls very well and tolerates quite a lot a timing variation.
This is one of the darkest roasts I've had from Joel, although it's still much lighter then a french roast. Burnt toast flavors. Murky and unharmonius. Joel was saying he doesn't normally go this dark, and I think in this case it might be too dark. On the other hand, all these coffees were roasted about 2 hours before I tasted them, and maybe the Columbia will improve with age. Maybe lightly roasted coffees should be drunk young, dark roasts drunk after putting on some age?
All in all I'm a complete amateur at describing coffee. After having tried to put words to the aromas of wine for 5 years or more, I am only now beginning to get a knack for it. But with coffee it's like I need to start all over again. I can smell a shot of espresso for several minutes and have a distinct sense of what it smells like. It's like playing scrabble, where I stare and stare at those 7 letters and can nonetheless assemble only the most basic words.