Sweet Maria's Weblog

Compak K3 Elite and K3 Touch

After a few months of testing various mills (honestly, we started about the time of the SCAA conference and just finished a week ago), we have found an espresso mill we really like - the Compak K3 Elite and K3 Touch. The Elite is the version with a doser, the Touch is the same grinder in doser-less form. In practice, we tend to prefer the doserless grinders for their ease of operation and the potential to be used as a dual-purpose espresso and brewed coffee grinder, but the doser model has substantially fewer clumps, and may be a better choice for dedicated espresso users. Both Compak mills are priced at an attractive level – a step up from the Rocky, but still substantially cheaper than the Mazzer Mini. We think the Compak mills offer a great value for the money, and are really pleased with the results we are getting in the cup. It is well known that a fantastic espresso machine is nothing but overpriced eye-candy for your kitchen counter without a serious espresso mill to back it up. Some recommend budgeting more for the grinder than the actual espresso machine! With the Compak, we think you can get results similar to a Mazzer or a Macap and save a bit to spend elsewhere.

New arrivals - Sumatra Lintong Dolok Sanggul, Sumatra Onan Ganjang, Costa Rica Genesis Miel, Costa Rica Helsar de Zarcero, and India Org Jasmine Estate Yellikudige

Five new coffees today: First off are two Lintong-region Sumatras: Sumatra Lintong Dolok Sanggul with rustic sweetness and black tea and Sumatra Onan Ganjang Cultivar which is a thicker body cup with tobacco and clove. Next up are two centrals: Costa Rica Helsar de Zarcero from the West Valley region- with chocolate milk and hazlenuts and the Costa Rica Genesis "Miel" from the Naranjo region- a bright honey-process coffee with dried red berry flavors. Lastly, we are adding the India Organic Jasmine Estate Yellikudige a mildly rustic wet-process coffee with molasses-like sweetness.

Roast Coffee Pairing #16: Costa Rica Pulped Natural v. Washed

Here we offer a reprise of our very first comparison, Wet-Process versus a Pulp-Natural coffee, this time from two different Costa Rica micro-lots.   With our micro-lot offerings, we have really pushed to expand the range of flavors that we experience from an origin, and I think you see that here, from the cleaner, crisper wet processed cup to a more rustic pulped natural. The Wet-Process is a refined coffee, more dynamic with vivid brightness and lighter body. The Pulp Natural has thicker body, quite evident, with fruited and chocolate backdrop to the cup and lower acidity. It shows how processing influences the final cup flavors, and helps the taster to define their palate preferences by presenting two clear differences. The Pulp Natural Lourdes de Naranjo-Genesis was roasted to City+ with final thermoprobe temperature of 425 degrees, total roast time: 15 minutes.  The Wet Prcoess Helsar de Zarcero was roasted exactly the same. We hope you are enjoying comparing both similar and dissimilar coffees side by side.  It is one of our favorite ways to learn about a crop and all the wonderful aspects processing can contribute to the cup. These two lots represent a couple of our favorites and have just arrived at the warehouse so if you are hip to our roast coffee pairings you are the first of our customers to try these lots, quite outstanding in my opinion.

Australia, Bolivia, El Salvador and Espresso Workshop Blend #6

Again! another four coffees to add! What's with the number four?! I am not sure, maybe we should play the lottery. In any case, here are the coffees: First is the return of Australia -Mountain Top Farm, a Fancy grade semi-washed coffee with a juicy sweetness. Next is a national auction winner from Bolivia, Bolivia Juan Coaquira Mamani Microlot, with brown sugar and stone fruit tastes. And the return of the classic El Salvador Finca Matalapa Peaberry versatile for light or dark roast with an orange brightness, And finally it's a change in the naming conventions for our espresso blends, from geology to acoustics: Espresso Workshop #6 - "Treble Response". Dry fragrance from the ground coffee has a cocoa-nut roast tone, Nutella sweetness, caramel, black cherry, chocolate truffle. The wet aroma is spicy, with pepper and dark plumy fruit. This describes the primary flavors of the espresso, with richly layered brightness (hence Treble Response!) tapering off into intense and tangy chocolate bittersweet notes. Tom and I enjoyed this iced this past weekend and it was lovely.

Dolok Sanggul, Lake Toba, Sumatra

Green unripe coffee cherry from Dolok Sanggul area of Lintong,
Sumatra. While these branches are incredibly loaded with fruit, the
crop is smaller overall. Dolok Sanggul just arrived this week, and
we'll be rolling it out in a few days after I finish the review. The Onan Ganjang sample that arrived at the same time is cupping really well, with that herbal, complex flavor true to the Lintong appellation.