Starbucks’s Willow Blend

When I think of starbucks, I used to think that their coffee offer nothing else but a coffee taste. If there’s other flavor, I consider it as a bonus. Why? It’s because their way of roasting everything way to dark to my liking. So, when a few days ago i saw a bag labeled as Blonde Roast, I know i have to try it, coz this is not the Green Big Giant’s product that I normally know.

According to the bag, the Willow Blend is consisted of Latin American mixed with East African Beans. The bag promise Bright and Clean, which I hope describe the flavor. When I opened up the bag, and spill some beans, the beans does look lighter roast than any starbucks beans that I know. It is light for starbucks, but if I compare it to the beans of some specialty roaster, its not that light. Instead the word Blonde, the word brunette i guess is more proper 😀 . Starbucks never claim to be a specialty coffee company, and it shows on the beans. You could easily find some defect it their beans, from shell, broken, to insect bited beans. But hey, not having these defect never guarantee you a good tasting coffee, and so does vice versa.

Back to the brewing thingy. I brew these coffee using a pourover method. I thing that I havent, and I know I should have, is brew them using  french press. Don’t know why, I’m in the pourover mood this weekend. I’m using a 3 holed ceramic 2 cups flat bottom and a 2 cups ceramic V60. For water I’m using Mineral water Aqua Brand from Cipondoh Subang that I reheated a bit in a small kettle on a gas stove. To what degree.. honestly I don’t really know since my thermometer is left behind at my Mom’s house in Bandung ( Need to ask her to send it back 🙂 ). What I know is for hot (normal) brewing temperature, I heat it up until it boils, wait around 30 second, transfer it to the Buono, and pour. If I want a lower temp, the waiting time is doubled. Oh yeah, I weight the water before I reheat them.

So.. without any further adieu, here are the result of these couple of days brewing session.

as pourover

brew 11gr/200ml start/150ml end/flat bottom/not too hot water (I guess around 90C)/3minutes 30 second; MORE flavor than any starbucks’s coffee I ever brew! Big black cherry with subtle chocolate, reminds me of a blackforest cake. The down side is it taste a bit sappy. But overall it’s  GREAT

brew 11gr/200ml start/150ml end/flat bottom/hot water (around 95C)/2minutes 30 second; A lot flatter than previous one. Fruit and sweetness didn’t came out

brew 11gr/200ml start/150ml end/V60/hot water (around 95C)/2minutes 50 second; Hmmm…. prefer flatbottom. Flavor doesnt develop here.

brew 11gr/200ml start/150ml end/V60/not too hot water (around 90C)/3minutes 20 second;  Got that beautifull sweet slightly tart fruit again, with sappy end

brew 11gr/200ml start/150ml end/V60/not too hot water (around 90C)/2minutes 50 second/finer ground; taste like sucking lemon peel. Not nice so I threw it away

brew 20gr/200ml start/136ml end/flat bottom/hot water (around 95C)/3 minutes; A friend of mine went to the Lauching Party, and he said that this is the parameter they use. Well, it taste like a starbucks product. Big bodied, tend to be sweet coffee with some lemon zesty aroma on the end. Its good, but bored me after a few sip. I prefer my 11 gr because the flavor does develop/change with the temperature change.

brew 11gr/200ml start/150ml end/flat bottom/not too hot water (around 90C)/3minutes 20 second/finer ground; I guess this brew shows me that more doesn’t mean better. With finer ground I’m expecting a much more flavor to oozed out into the coffee (because of bigger surface area in contact with the water). This brew is not as sweet as the coarser grind, and it taste a bit more dull that the coarser ground one.

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