[Homeroast] Coffee of the year

Doug Hoople doughoople at gmail.com
Wed Dec 23 19:05:51 CST 2009

My experience this past year hasn't allowed me to pick a coffee of the year.

I spent the year focused on perfecting my vacpot technique and stuck largely
to a single bean, roasted dark, in order to limit the variables. That
was the Sulawesi Toraja Sapan Minanga, a fine bean and capable of retaining
its identity even in darker roasts.

My "god cup" this year also came from this Sulawesi, a simple function of
statistics, givent that my ratio of this bean brewed to all others was
probably about 100:1, and I was working all sorts of angles to finally nail

I liked the Bali Blue Krishna Kintimani a lot, but probably not as much as
its biggest fans did.
The IMV was an obvious winner all-around, very forgiving and bursting with
I liked the Brazil Moreninha Formosa Raisin a lot. A good all-rounder that
always turned out better than expected.
Also intriguing, distinctive and surprisingly forgiving was the Guatemala
Oriente DP.

I also discovered the Mexicans, unassuming and sweet, but really nice.

Disappointments included the Kenya Ndaroini, highly recommended here, but
which I either misroasted or simply didn't get. Also, most of the Sumatras,
which I thought were just plain muddy, and the Sulawesi Wet-Process Toarco
Peaberry, which seemed to lose its SE Asian identity without gaining much
distinction for its clarity.

For a year in which I didn't drink a lot of coffee that wasn't the main
bean, it's been surprisingly diverse, thanks entirely to the folks at SM,
who keep us in great and intriguing beans.

btw, I assume that most of my disappointments stemmed from flaws in my
roasting, grinding and brewing.

For 2010? Now that the big vacpot experiment has ended, hopefully a more
balanced mix including a lot more light roasts. Alas, having emigrated to
New Zealand, I no longer have access to SM. The container arrived today, and
so I'll have grinder and vacpot by the New Year. Now to find a supplier of
greens! Fresh roast on New Year's Day. Hooray!

Happy New Year, everyone, and great cups from great roasts from great beans
to you all!

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