About seven days ago, the weather was really nice outside so I decided to take the roasting outside; the coffee in the roaster was my favorite (I know, I have a lot of favorites coffees) the wet processed Costa Rican Fruita de Oro. I have review this coffee in the past here: http://www.roaste.com/CoffeeBlogs/sontondaman/What-Im-Drinking-Costa-Ric... . What I thought of the coffee was it is a fruity coffee, balanced with some milk chocolate, excellent as a single origin espresso but get quite lost in milk. Anyway, while I was roasting this particular coffee outside in the back porch, I meet my new neighboor ( I just moved in to this building for less than a month) and we struck up a long conversation. I totally forgot that I was roasting coffee and as a result the nice Costa Rican beans were roasted to a good FC+ and was in active second crack when it was done, in another word, really dark, darker than 99% of the beans that I usually drink. I was disappointed and consider tossing it away but I kept it anyway. I roasted up another batch of the same bean but to a much lighter roast level, similar to the roast that I evaluated before.
Four days later, I decided to give these dark roasted bean a try after much hesitation. Some of the beans have sploches of oil shown up on its surface, a sure sign that it has been roasted into the second crack. I ground some up (twelve grams to be exact which is the normal dose for the La Pavoni); I anticipated that it would need a courser setting on the grinder because of its roast level. On the Pavoni side, I flush less to prevent overheating the group head (can be an issue with darker roasted beans) and commence onto pulling a shot. What came out of the portafilter was a beautiful tiger striped creama, the stream did not blond even at the end of the lever stroke. Aroma is amazing chocolate and nut; time for the first sip, I was greet with amazing dark bitter sweet chocolate, caramel, nut and fleeting honey! In another word, it was amazing! I'm truly surprised at how this turned out! I was expecting ashy and bitter taste but no, it was really good coffee. About fifteen minutes later, I decided to make myself a cappucino, and it was equally amazing; this coffee shown through the milk perfectly unlike its lighter roasted version which get lost in milk! I took some pictures of the espresso shot and the cappucino I made but unfortunately, I lost my cell phone yesterday and along with the collection of coffee pictures I saved on that phone!
So this experience teach me something about coffee. First, you can not judge a coffee by its appearance. Some coffee might appear uggly (certain Ethiopian, Kopi Luwak, or in this case, this dark roasted coffee) but to truly evaluate it, we must taste it. Second, if you start with a quality bean, in this case, this coffee was a high grown, perfectly processed and stored properly, you can roast it to whatever roast level and the result will be almost always great!