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Author Topic: Campos Superior Blend  (Read 15195 times)

Kelsey

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« on: 22/09/2012, 02:41 PM »
This definitely is not a criticism of Campos in general or this blend specifically. I've had it a few times now in various cafes and would recognise it just about anywhere.

Each time I've had it as a double ristretto, it's had lovely reddish tigger mottled crema and in the hands of a good barista has poured exactly as I'd expect a perfect ristretto to.

But I'm not a fan - it's a very very 'bright' coffee that makes me think of popper-roasts or too-fresh beans, although there's a lot more body to it than that.

It seems to exemplify the kind of espresso that I've had in a few different boutiquey cafes and that is still very good coffee... but not to my taste, which is fair enough.

In fact my local cafe, Edge Espresso has been doing a bit of upskilling recently and have absolutely knocked it out of the park for me the last few times I've been in - and they're using Di Bella Modena Blend which has previously tasted somewhat similar to me.


I've never had Campos Superior at Campos itself.


So my question is - is this how it's supposed to taste? The online descriptions of the Modena and Superior are not massively different and have tasted similar in the past, specifying fruity notes and butterscotch.

Or have I just hit cafes with fresh beans or unskilled baristas?


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« Reply #1 on: 22/09/2012, 08:00 PM »
This definitely is not a criticism of Campos in general or this blend specifically. I've had it a few times now in various cafes and would recognise it just about anywhere.

Each time I've had it as a double ristretto, it's had lovely reddish tigger mottled crema and in the hands of a good barista has poured exactly as I'd expect a perfect ristretto to.

But I'm not a fan - it's a very very 'bright' coffee that makes me think of popper-roasts or too-fresh beans, although there's a lot more body to it than that.

It seems to exemplify the kind of espresso that I've had in a few different boutiquey cafes and that is still very good coffee... but not to my taste, which is fair enough.

In fact my local cafe, Edge Espresso has been doing a bit of upskilling recently and have absolutely knocked it out of the park for me the last few times I've been in - and they're using Di Bella Modena Blend which has previously tasted somewhat similar to me.


I've never had Campos Superior at Campos itself.


So my question is - is this how it's supposed to taste? The online descriptions of the Modena and Superior are not massively different and have tasted similar in the past, specifying fruity notes and butterscotch.

Or have I just hit cafes with fresh beans or unskilled baristas?

K (and others), I think the issue you are alluding to is a bit broader than what you have identified.

I have no idea (nor care) about either of those coffees. I also can't speak on behalf of those suppliers, but I can offer some industry perspective.

The majority of Australian coffees are essentially a 3-month proposition. Don't ever expect a coffee to stay the same, year after year. Refer to a good, common sense article written by Mark Beattie about 12 months ago that discusses how vintage diversity is celebrated within the wine industry yet abhorred in the coffee market.

That is, roasters will forward contract about 3 months worth of coffee. Sure, you might be able to go 6-month if you are using one of the generally available, common staples in the blend, but the reality is most will take  only a 3-month look.

Coffee is a bi-annual crop and just like wine the season's weather patterns affect the bean. Only a fool would commit to beyond the current crop without careful evaluation.

Some suppliers, and I'm not saying who, are known to sometimes hap-haphazardly change beans due to supply issues - I am not inferring that statement/comment as negative or slander - it's a frequent challenge we all must deal with.

Speaking personally, I know that many of my customers want the coffee to stay the same - but it will not.

I will occasionally tweak blends to ensure that the coffee is the best I can produce at that time based on the supply factors we are forced to juggle.

The reason I do this is because I buy a lot more variety than the majority of Australian roasters - having at least 25+ more coffees than the 30-odd we list on our site. Some of these are speculative coffees and others are for contract/private label purposes, so accessing this broad range gives us additional opportunities to optimize.

Just last week I changed a PNG because I was unhappy and wanted something better - the new one has different cup character.

The other factors you need to consider are of course that some roasters have multiple roasting equipment and roasting operators - so who roasted it and on what roaster ?. One of those suppliers uses 2 different brands of roasters, so there will be a slight difference in the cup that an experienced palate may be able to detect.

Beyond what is occurring with the sourcing and roasting, you then have as stated the bean age and the high number of variables where the extraction is performed. Machines taste different for a whole bunch of reasons and skills levels when preparing a black coffee can be lacking in many places as the emphasis is on latte-art.

There is another factor is that the published descriptions for coffees could have been in fact written from a milk-based perspective given 95% of the customer base is likely to be drinking that style of cup.

If I was a gambling man, I would put it down to a 75/25 split between what is happening at extraction and what may change, over time, in the roastery.




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« Reply #2 on: 22/09/2012, 08:23 PM »
When I used to buy superior ( 1kg per week, every week) I noticed massive variations month to month. Remeber the cupping session Kelsey. The fella there said they just substitute when 1 bean is not available

Kelsey

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« Reply #3 on: 22/09/2012, 09:56 PM »
True D.

But that's not really what I'm getting at, although I completely understand your point MyCuppa.

It's more that the predominant flavour I come across from boutique cafes is that of the super-bright 'fruitiness'.

The Campos blend made me raise the question as I figured it was something others were more likely to have tried.

I think you're right tho - more in the extraction than the blend. I need to get hold of some and play with it myself to see.
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« Reply #4 on: 23/09/2012, 10:28 AM »
Thank you for clarifying K, frankly I didnt understand the question first up.

I will answer by giving you an example of what I do all the time in my cupping lab.

I cup my own coffees for quality control, and I cup other roasters offerings to keep abreast of what they are offering predominantly to the cafe market and of course to see how we compare from a perspective of quality.

I start by placing a quantity of beans in an empty grinder. The gtrind setting is where it was set for the last lot of beans cupped.

It is nothing more than a starting point.

My objective for each lot of beans, no matter whose they are, is to work out how to get the  best out of them OTHERWISE YOUR RESULTS DONT MEAN ANYTHING. And so it begins.....grind out coffee, brew as per "usual" technique. Watch all brew variables and cup.

If I dont get very best result, I go again, adjusting grind OR technique to try to improve the brew, cup again, etc until I am satisfied I cant get it any better.

Fill out my cupping sheet (do not rely on your memory).

Empty grinder, start the whole process again with next lot of beans.

Repeat:
What am I doing.....?
Trying to get the very best I can out of the beans at this time.

You will be surprised how markedly the character of one lot of beans can change in the cup, with the above process, and you will see a progession through a range of body, mouthfeel, acidity, "top end" and their balance , with each change you - the barista- make.

Not all "baristas" employ the same modus operandi, to get the very best they can out of their bean supply.

A lot of emphasis is placed on having the "right" equipment (usually the subject of my wll known rants), and of course also in having the right "brand" coffee beans.  There is a lot of marketing influence placed there....

Well, the question remains, despite that being done, why is the resulting wet coffee in so many cases, nothing more than ordinary?

"Brightness", "fruitiness" or whatever in coffee can be really nice attributes, and just like any other nice attribute in coffee, there also needs to be a good balance overall. A barista is much the same as an artist who has been given a palet (spelling?) of paints and a blank canvass. Its up to him what he makes of it and how he balances it all out, and what he makes of it is the measure of his talent.

Therefore K, whatever you have perceived in a coffee in any particular cafe is not set in stone as dictated by the name on the packet or the description on the website (often written by the marketing people), it very much depends on the nut behind the handle working for best effect with his coffee bean supply.  And of course, if despite all the above someone is using an overly "bright" supply, they can always change it for something more well balanced...its all an individual thing.

Hope that helps.

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« Reply #5 on: 23/09/2012, 12:57 PM »
True D.

But that's not really what I'm getting at, although I completely understand your point MyCuppa.

It's more that the predominant flavour I come across from boutique cafes is that of the super-bright 'fruitiness'.

The Campos blend made me raise the question as I figured it was something others were more likely to have tried.

I think you're right tho - more in the extraction than the blend. I need to get hold of some and play with it myself to see.


Ahh, OK then K - this has been a growing trend for some time and well talked about amongst the specialty coffee cafes here in Melbourne.

To be honest, I'm in a continuous state of tension on this topic. A few of my cafes are at me constantly to roast lighter and lighter for stratospheric fruit, despite discussion about sourness and overly acidic results from **some** beans.

Many years ago I used to cop a bum rap from the coffee mafia because I roasted too light across the majority of my coffees. Progressively we thought we had managed to find a reasonably happy compromise but I can never get it right - too light for one person and then a few hours later I'm getting a lecture that it's too dark - all the same batch, go figure.

I try not to think about whether there is a right or wrong here as we are in the business of keeping our customers happy, so now I'm running some beans in both lighter and darker depths which can be confusing and VERY time consuming.

K, you are proving a very valid and thankful point for me - there are a espresso lovers out there who do not want the bright fruit.

My advice is stick with something you like from another supplier and give the bright-fruit brigade a wide berth - pick with your heart, not your head.


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« Reply #6 on: 23/09/2012, 02:04 PM »
I hate fruity/bright coffee. If I see any hint of fruit  in the description of greens I just move on. I'm looking for malty/ nutty/ choc almost exclusively from any green I buy. Some start off a bit funky ( like Kuda & yirg) but then turn the corner and deliver the goods ( for me anyway)

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« Reply #7 on: 23/09/2012, 03:51 PM »
........a growing trend for some time and well talked about amongst the specialty coffee cafes here in Melbourne.......To be honest, I'm in a continuous state of tension on this topic. A few of my cafes are at me constantly to roast lighter and lighter for stratospheric fruit, despite discussion about sourness and overly acidic results from **some** beans. .......we thought we had managed to find a reasonably happy compromise but I can never get it right - too light for one person and then a few hours later I'm getting a lecture that it's too dark - all the same batch, go figure..........

Unbelievably frustrating, and a perfect example of how, many people that arent doing their own job for best effect (see my post above)......influence the market and dictate to professional coffee roasters how they should do theirs.

And all the angst, for the 5% of the market that drinks black, of which only a smaller proportion of that wants it bright/fruity.  Add to that, that too bright / fruity destroys a milk coffee for the other 95%. Tail wagging the dog again.

This IS the trend of the moment. Tail wagging the dog. I wonder if they also dictate to the dairy farmers and the market gardners, the bakers and the butchers.

Jeff you cannot roast coffee individually for each different client there are simply.....too many opinions. You do what you do, head down and tail up, and move along.....

And to the end clients that drink black. If you dont like it "bright" or "fruity" or if its not well balanced, dont worry about the why's and wherefors and go elsewhere for your fix.

Thats my 3 cents worth anyhow.
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« Reply #8 on: 23/09/2012, 08:27 PM »
What a brilliant thread.  Jeff and Attilio's posts really need to somehow go into the Articles section.  Wonderful reading thank you all!

I've said it before and I'll say it again: if I want overly citrus and acid, I'll buy a lemon!  $40+/Kg for some expert roasted barista comp rubbish I can do without.  "This is his specialty barista competition blend and we only have a few Kilos left..."  :head:  it's a mistake I'll only make once!
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« Reply #9 on: 24/09/2012, 10:09 AM »
Thank you for clarifying K, frankly I didnt understand the question first up.


No worries A, I do tend to ramble on a bit. ;)




I start by placing a quantity of beans in an empty grinder. The gtrind setting is where it was set for the last lot of beans cupped.

It is nothing more than a starting point.

My objective for each lot of beans, no matter whose they are, is to work out how to get the  best out of them OTHERWISE YOUR RESULTS DONT MEAN ANYTHING. And so it begins.....grind out coffee, brew as per "usual" technique. Watch all brew variables and cup.

If I dont get very best result, I go again, adjusting grind OR technique to try to improve the brew, cup again, etc until I am satisfied I cant get it any better.

Fill out my cupping sheet (do not rely on your memory).

Empty grinder, start the whole process again with next lot of beans.

Repeat:
What am I doing.....?
Trying to get the very best I can out of the beans at this time.

I'm not quite as thorough, but that's not an unfamiliar process for me - each batch of beans can be so markedly different, I usually need to go through this process with each new bag to get in the ball park and each day thereafter they'll usually need some minor adjustments - unless the daily conditions have changed dramatically requiring larger adjustments.

Certainly the last bag I just finished off I never got the grind right!

"Brightness", "fruitiness" or whatever in coffee can be really nice attributes, and just like any other nice attribute in coffee, there also needs to be a good balance overall. A barista is much the same as an artist who has been given a palet (spelling?) of paints and a blank canvass. Its up to him what he makes of it and how he balances it all out, and what he makes of it is the measure of his talent.

Therefore K, whatever you have perceived in a coffee in any particular cafe is not set in stone as dictated by the name on the packet or the description on the website (often written by the marketing people), it very much depends on the nut behind the handle working for best effect with his coffee bean supply.  And of course, if despite all the above someone is using an overly "bright" supply, they can always change it for something more well balanced...its all an individual thing.

Hope that helps.


It does - it's clarified for me that I need to get hold of this blend to find out what it's capable of, even within the parameters of it's regular changeability.

I have trouble believing that this is what people are shooting for in straight espresso (in milk I can understand), so I want to manipulate it myself until I'm sure that it's the blend I dislike rather than its brewing.

Thanks Attilio, I very much appreciate your input here.
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« Reply #10 on: 24/09/2012, 10:21 AM »
Ahh, OK then K - this has been a growing trend for some time and well talked about amongst the specialty coffee cafes here in Melbourne.

To be honest, I'm in a continuous state of tension on this topic. A few of my cafes are at me constantly to roast lighter and lighter for stratospheric fruit, despite discussion about sourness and overly acidic results from **some** beans.

Many years ago I used to cop a bum rap from the coffee mafia because I roasted too light across the majority of my coffees. Progressively we thought we had managed to find a reasonably happy compromise but I can never get it right - too light for one person and then a few hours later I'm getting a lecture that it's too dark - all the same batch, go figure.

I try not to think about whether there is a right or wrong here as we are in the business of keeping our customers happy, so now I'm running some beans in both lighter and darker depths which can be confusing and VERY time consuming.

K, you are proving a very valid and thankful point for me - there are a espresso lovers out there who do not want the bright fruit.

My advice is stick with something you like from another supplier and give the bright-fruit brigade a wide berth - pick with your heart, not your head.

Happy to stick my neck out on this one, Jeff.

I would go so far as to say that I really dislike the 'fruity' (stratospheric is a great way of describing it) flavours. I still appreciate the body, mouthfeel and the general intensity of it - but I vastly, vastly prefer the strength of character that comes from an 'earthier' brew, without it going so far as to be ashy.

I roast my own most of the time, but like the pros I do like to brew pro beans to ensure I don't get locked into my own weird taste paths.

Sounds like you're in a no-win situation with your retailers. I don't envy you.

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« Reply #11 on: 24/09/2012, 10:21 AM »
I hate fruity/bright coffee. If I see any hint of fruit  in the description of greens I just move on. I'm looking for malty/ nutty/ choc almost exclusively from any green I buy. Some start off a bit funky ( like Kuda & yirg) but then turn the corner and deliver the goods ( for me anyway)

I'll have to give the Yirg another try - what kind of roast depth have you found works for you?

Definitely love the Kuda Mas and Java Kalistat tho. And the Finca Liquidambar.
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« Reply #12 on: 24/09/2012, 10:32 AM »
Unbelievably frustrating, and a perfect example of how, many people that arent doing their own job for best effect (see my post above)......influence the market and dictate to professional coffee roasters how they should do theirs.

And all the angst, for the 5% of the market that drinks black, of which only a smaller proportion of that wants it bright/fruity.  Add to that, that too bright / fruity destroys a milk coffee for the other 95%. Tail wagging the dog again.

This IS the trend of the moment. Tail wagging the dog. I wonder if they also dictate to the dairy farmers and the market gardners, the bakers and the butchers.

Jeff you cannot roast coffee individually for each different client there are simply.....too many opinions. You do what you do, head down and tail up, and move along.....

And to the end clients that drink black. If you dont like it "bright" or "fruity" or if its not well balanced, dont worry about the why's and wherefors and go elsewhere for your fix.

Thats my 3 cents worth anyhow.

And you know, I think this is at the heart of what prompted me to start this thread in the first place.

I mentioned the 'high end boutique' cafes that have been serving me the most fruity, bright espressos. They are invariably staffed by ironically-faux-beret wearing hipsters who are fairly judgy about their customer's preferences. I remember at the Little Marionette in Balmain, one of the guys there recommended an espresso over ice on a particularly hot afternoon, which I enjoyed immensely. I asked for it the following day and got the 'are you crazy' look - until I told them that I'd never had before my previous encounter at their cafe.... after which they relaxed and I was suddenly 'acceptable' again.

But I digress... Again. My point in all this was simply that it was yet another slightly snobby boutique that served me massively bright coffee, while the staff were behind the counter acting like gods of coffee. I'm acceptable to all of them because I drink straight espresso/ristretto - but do they themselves even have the faintest inkling of what other types of espresso taste like?

Blows my mind.

And the new cafe in Moffat Beach serving Campos has a very similar (hipster, but a bit more friendly, not as judgy) vibe going on - shiny new La Marzocco, beanie-wearing hipsters and overly bright Campos coffee.

Whereas my regular spot, Edge Espresso is now pulling what I think is vastly superior shots on his Wega with Di Bella Modena. He might not be as consistent as some of the others - i.e. if he gets it wrong, it's bright but still good. If he gets it right, it's incredible.

So to conclude yet another ramble..... bah humbug. I'll just make my own. ;)
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« Reply #13 on: 24/09/2012, 10:33 AM »
What a brilliant thread.  Jeff and Attilio's posts really need to somehow go into the Articles section.  Wonderful reading thank you all!

I've said it before and I'll say it again: if I want overly citrus and acid, I'll buy a lemon!  $40+/Kg for some expert roasted barista comp rubbish I can do without.  "This is his specialty barista competition blend and we only have a few Kilos left..."  :head:  it's a mistake I'll only make once!

I'm with you there buddy - that bag you sent me during bean swap was out of this world. I'd take that over Campos Superior any day.
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« Reply #14 on: 24/09/2012, 12:57 PM »
From one "rambler" to another  ;)

Be aware that the hipster set like to make their interpretation "espresso" using the largest available filter (around 21 grams), by flowing it out of a bottomless group handle, into one only espresso glass or cup, not much more than about 10 ml of liquid. Depends on the location ie different situation can have a different interpretation.

If done "well" this will give a very muddy thick indistinct citrusi type of thing. The emphasis for me, is on "indistinct".

If you dont want it that way ask first whether you can get a standard espresso.

Also be aware, that its all anyone's "poison" and that is to say, individuals get used to what they usually drink, so once you become accustomed to the muddy indistinct citrus, the standard way seems lacking (certainly in body and mouthfeel), or even too complex in its character.

And of course if all the equipment is set up to make you a triple shot 10 ml citrus drink, its likely any std espresso they make you wont be right???

Where to from there?

Also be aware, that for all the BS and angst all this stuff generates, most cafe industry income is generated in  bread and butter cafes plying their trade selling caps and lartays in shopping centres and in the bottom of office buildings, to people that buy their coffee in 16 oz takeaway cups with choc powder on top and an average of 3 sugars.
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« Reply #15 on: 24/09/2012, 02:22 PM »
I'll throw in a couple of pennies.

Fruit does have a place, and it is nowhere near espresso.  It is best done as any sort of manual brew, from plunger to cold drip, where the drinker is going to have it black and the qualities will be more appreciated.

I firmly believe all of the nonsense started as the "third wave" and just cascaded into a ball of elitist rubbish.  A good house blend with a focus on milk beverages is the key to success in any coffee establishment.  I also don't see the need to charge upwards of $5 for a filter brew.  It doesn't take much more effort, and the cost of equipment pales in comparison.

Having said that, I only really go to places that offer manual brews, as espresso really isn't my thing anymore.

BTW, I am currently enjoying some '08 vintage Kenyan as a plunger.  Something you will never see in any coffee shop.

Jeff, do you still happen to have some of that vintage stuff we chatted about ages ago?  ;)

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« Reply #16 on: 24/09/2012, 02:33 PM »
That's the one thing I am aware of - that cafes are not really in the business of selling coffee.

I'm extremely forgiving of most cafes attempts at espresso - I know that I'm not their core customer and that the ROI of satisfying my taste completely is simply unjustifiable. I had an espresso this morning at a place that I know serves a very average brew because I needed the hit - no complaints, I understand I'm not their target market.

I think my ire at some of the hipster cafes is more about the cognitive dissonance between the hipster's view of their purpose behind the counter and its reality!

Or at the very least that they believe they're the Gods of Espresso
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« Reply #17 on: 24/09/2012, 02:33 PM »

BTW, I am currently enjoying some '08 vintage Kenyan as a plunger.  Something you will never see in any coffee shop.

Now that sounds intriguing. Cellaring your coffee!
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« Reply #18 on: 24/09/2012, 02:38 PM »
Cellaring greens...I've been doing it for a while now.

For espresso, it becomes more well-rounded, at the expense of high notes (which you don't care for anyway).

mycuppa

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Campos Superior Blend
« Reply #19 on: 24/09/2012, 07:29 PM »
I'll throw in a couple of pennies.

Fruit does have a place, and it is nowhere near espresso.  It is best done as any sort of manual brew, from plunger to cold drip, where the drinker is going to have it black and the qualities will be more appreciated.

I firmly believe all of the nonsense started as the "third wave" and just cascaded into a ball of elitist rubbish.  A good house blend with a focus on milk beverages is the key to success in any coffee establishment.  I also don't see the need to charge upwards of $5 for a filter brew.  It doesn't take much more effort, and the cost of equipment pales in comparison.

Having said that, I only really go to places that offer manual brews, as espresso really isn't my thing anymore.

BTW, I am currently enjoying some '08 vintage Kenyan as a plunger.  Something you will never see in any coffee shop.

Jeff, do you still happen to have some of that vintage stuff we chatted about ages ago?  ;)

Yes WOTB - the El Salvador 2007 Himalaya is still aging gracefully in the cool, lower-level south-eastern corner of the roastery. All I need to do is weigh it for you and it's yours.

Kelsey

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« Reply #20 on: 12/10/2012, 12:52 PM »
Thought I'd just provide a quick update to this thread:

I dropped by the new cafe and met the bloke who seemed to be the man in charge, Sebastian. Very Melbourne boutique cafe vibe going on all round, but he knew his stuff and seemed to like that I was after a double ristretto and didn't want it as a take away. He personally prefers double ristretto, as do I.

And it proved that in so many cases it really is the nut behind the machine. It was smooth, silky, rich and vibrant - without being bright. Basically nailed a blend that I'd written off.

So that solves that for me - nothing wrong with the Superior blend, but like most blends it can be fairly unforgiving on the operator if you're trying to please someone like me. I'm the minority here, so I'm not complaining about it - it's just nice when they get it bang on occasionally.
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« Reply #21 on: 12/10/2012, 05:42 PM »
Ahhhh Kelsey. The minority seem to rule the majority in this and most countries around the globe so you have every right to bitch  :rofl: :rofl:

Brett H

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« Reply #22 on: 11/09/2013, 04:03 PM »
Okay, so I'm out of town adjudicating a very large regional eisteddfod for the next couple of weeks and while driving to the theatre I made them pull over because I saw a Campos sign.  The ubiquitous Mazzer Linea superior blend combo and most excitingly a regional hipster!!!  It's not usually to my taste but oh today it was like Mother's milk!!
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« Reply #23 on: 26/07/2017, 12:26 PM »
Recently ordered some Campos beans (am recovering from surgery so doing up roasts would be a bit too strenuous at the moment), and emailed them asking about what they'd recommend for rest times of their beans and also brew ratios (I ordered the Superior Blend and a washed Colombia Rodriguez Ospina). Got back an incredibly helpful response, just thought I'd share it if people were curious about their beans etc:

-----------------------------

Hi Simon,

Thank you for taking the time to get in touch. In our stores we typically age our coffee 10 days after roasting. Having said that, you can use coffee almost immediately, the most notable difference will be an increased level of gassiness in the crema and a slightly increased degree of brightness. The coffee will retain much of its best flavours weeks after roasting but will gradually lose some of that vibrancy. We do indeed have roast dates on all of our coffee.

With regards to rations for the specific beans you have, the below info will help-

For Superior we recommend:

A ratio of 1:1.7@35s.

More specifically, using an LM 21g basket we use

Dose: 23g

Yield: 40g

Time: 35s

For Ospina we recommend:

1:2@30s

Dose: 23g

Yield: 46g

Time:30s

You can adjust those specific numbers using that ratio to suit your basket size. Typically, the range to work with is +/-10% of the basket. So if you are using a 20g VST, you can work between 18-22g. We use a dose of 23g in a 21g basket for a full flavour, especially when splitting between two coffees and also for a greater structure and strength in the coffee puck during extraction.

Hope this helps

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