Willow Creek Roasters … Look for my logo near you!
What i like
I buy green (raw) coffee beans from a repeatable commercial and wholesale merchandiser from the US who travels to farms in many different countries and regions.
I have narrowed my search down to certain regions of Ethiopia, Kenya and Colombia. I picked these regions because I love the way the beans they grow and harvest brew and taste!
Roasting beans is a science. It cannot be learned in just a few short weeks or months. It takes years of roasting, tasting and failing to be able to master the science of roasting. Which I have not done yet and honestly probably never will.
A lot people do not know this, but the the darker you roast a bean, the less flavor and caffeine your coffee is going to have. I roast beans to the way I like my coffee to taste which is mainly a light to medium roast (City – City+). I love the taste of coffee, so I want my coffee to have a lot of flavor. I do not add creamers, sweeteners or flavors to my coffee. I drink it straight black. Tall, dark and handsome is how I like it!
However, if I wanted espresso, I would have to order a different bean than what I do in order to get a good taste. You can not take just any bean and roast it dark to get espresso, it takes a special bean to roast it to an espresso finish. If you use a bean that finishes better when roasted to a City/City+ (light to medium) roast when trying to get it to an espresso finish, you will get a bitter charcoal tasting bean instead.
I feel happy with what I have accomplished so far, but still have a lot to learn. I want to start combining different finishes and beans to get a special taste that I came up with myself. If you see coffee that is labeled “Colombian”. Then you will get a coffee bean from a region in Colombia. It usually has what type of roast it is such as light, medium and dark. If you see a coffee that is labeled a fun name like “Klebe Peak”, then it is a blend of coffee from usually two different countries or regions. When you get coffee blended from three or more countries or regions, then it takes a professional to be able to get that right!
MAchines and other things
Some may wonder if the coffee machine you use makes a difference…, the answer is yes. I am a firm believer that the maker you use alters the taste of coffee. I can make coffee at my house in the morning and then use a different machine at work using the exact same coffee and it always tastes different!
The water you use also makes a huge difference. The minerals, or lack thereof, can change the way you coffee tastes. Good quality water can heighten the natural flavor of the bean. And, poor quality water can dull the flavor and give off a murky appearance.
You do not necessarily need an expensive machine to get a good tasting coffee, you just need a good machine to get a good tasting cup! Like most things, I rely on people’s reviews to pick my coffee supplies, including the makers. Study what people say. If a few people complain that the coffee maker quit after a year or did not work right out of the box, do not let that alter your decision. These things happen. Focus on what others say about the coffee that the machine made. Did it taste good? Was it easy to use? Did it drip at a reasonable rate? If nobody mentions the quality of the maker, especially the taste, then think about looking for a different machine.