Customer requests recommendation from Roastmaster

I received this complex letter last week. It had many contradictions but the writer was obviously a coffee lover , so I took the opportunity to arm her with the basic principles of coffee selection that applied to her request. What follows is first her letter, then my response, and then my recommendation .
Paul
 We have enjoyed finding your website.
 We would like a recommendation for a  blend:
       Not acidy. Don’t like a painful stomach by the second cup.
       Full bodied coffee. Tastes like it smells.
       Dark roast.
       No flavors (except coffee flavor) (It’s difficult to tell from your descriptions whether the flavor is added to the mix (like vanilla or hazelnut), or whether the flavor “tones” are just a means of describing the coffee au naturel.
 On your website, we only saw 12 oz bags. Do you have 5 lbs. bags? How much do they cost?
 Thanks for your help
 Natalie
DEAR NATALIE:
THERE IS ALLOT TO YOUR REQUEST FOR A RECOMMENDATION SO LET’S TAKE MY RESPONSES ONE AT A TIME:
 
WHEN YOU ASK FOR A COFFEE WITH NO ACIDITY BUT WITH LOTS OF FLAVOR, YOU ARE ALMOST ASKING FOR THE IMPOSSIBLE…ALMOST. A GOOD  “MEDIUM” ROAST OF  COFFEES FROM PLACES LIKE INDONESIA AND BRAZIL  WHOSE COFFEES ARE NATURALLY LOW IN ACIDITY WILL GET YOU A LOWER ACIDITY, BUT  ALSO, LESS BRIGHTNESS AND  LIVELINESS  IN THE CUP.  COFFEES GROWN AT ALTITUDES LOWER THEN 800 METERS ALSO HAVE LESS ACIDITY. ACIDITY IS HIGHEST IN COFFEE IN THE LIGHTER ROASTS. THE DARKER THE ROAST , THE LOWER THE ACIDITY, IS A GENERAL RULE . YOUR PAINFUL STOMACH MAY NOT BE  COMING FROM THE ACIDITY IN COFFEE . THE PH LEVELS OF LOW ACID COFFEES AND HIGH ACID COFFEES ARE NOT THAT FAR APART TO MAKE IDENTIFYING YOUR “PROBLEM” AS THE ACIDITY. IT COULD ALSO BE THE CAFFEINE  BECAUSE THE HIGHER THE CAFFEINE, THE POORER THE COFFEE QUALITY IN GENERAL . IT IS POSSIBLE THAT YOUR PROBLEM IS THAT YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM THE POSSIBLE IMPACT OF POORER QUALITY COFFEE GOING INTO YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM,  AND OR, POOR ROASTING CRAFTSMANSHIP.            COFFEE HAS OVER 1600 CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS BEFORE IT IS ROASTED AND ABOUT 800 AFTER ROASTING. LOTS OF CHEMICAL REACTIONS TAKE PLACE IN THE 14 MINUTES IT TAKES TO ROAST COFFEE , SO THE CRAFTSMANSHIP APPLIED DURING THAT SHORT PERIOD OF ADDING HEAT TO THE GREEN BEANS  REQUIRES SOME DEGREE OF CRAFTSMANSHIP TO CONTROL THOSE CHEMICAL REACTIONS SO AS TO GET THE BEST OUT OF THE COFFEE THAT IS BEING ROASTED.  ACIDITY IS MORE A MOUTHFEEL OR TASTE SENSATION(bright and lively) THEN LITMUS TEST NUMBERS.
            NO COFFEE TASTES LIKE IT SMELLS.   YOU CAN LOOK FOREVER.  THE AROMATIC VOLATILES  ARE NOT TASTE FACTORS. Ninety-five  % OF COFFEE AROMA IS LOST BEFORE IT GETS TO THE CUP. LOST IN ROASTING, GRINDING , AND BREWING NO MATTER HOW FRESH IT IS WHEN YOU GET YOUR COFFEE HOME AND INTO YOUR REFRIGERATOR . SO DREAM ON BUT DONT EXPECT OUR COFFEES TO GET YOU WHERE YOU WANT TO GO WHEN IT COMES TO THE AROMA/TASTE RELATIONSHIP.  
               DARK ROAST ?????? THIS IS THE  ANTI CHRIST OF COFFEE FLAVOR AND AROMA.  IN DARK ROASTS 2/3 OF THE FLAVOR IS A REFLECTION OF THE DARKER  COFFEE COLOR .  THE NUANCES OF THE COFFEE’S FLAVOR ARE “BURNED OUT” OF THE COFFEE VIA COMPLEX CHEMICAL REACTIONS THAT TAKE PLACE AT THE HIGH TEMPERATURES COFFEE IS ROASTED AT.
          THE DISCRIPTORS (TONES AND NOTES ),ARE HINTS . DOES A BOTTLE OF  ZINFANDEL  HAVE BLACK CURRANT ADDED TO THE WINE ? NO , IT IS JUST A WAY THE WINE MASTER HELPS YOU OUT IN YOUR SEARCH FOR THE NUANCES PROFESSIONAL TASTERS CAN IDENTIFY EASILY BECAUSE THEY “TASTE ” EVERY DAY .
 
WE SELL CONSUMER SIZE PACKAGES BUT IF YOU CALL OUR MAIL ORDER DIVISION AND ASK FOR SUSAN SHE WILL TELL YOU HOW TO ORDER FIVE POUNDERS  ( MINIMUM IS 20 POUNDS PER ORDER. ) .
Now for my recommendation :
I recommend you try a medium roast Nicaraguan Maracaturra grown by our friend Byron Coralles, and our Guatamalan Vienna Roast. The two coffees are  fabulous individually, but you can blend them (The Medium roast Nicaraguan for flavor and the Guatemalan Vienna roast for strength and complexity to create additional complexity ). No stomach aches here , guaranteed !
Paul

 

 

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