Sweet Maria's Moka Kadir

Discussion in 'The Cafe'' started by TexLaw, Apr 1, 2019.

  1. TexLaw

    TexLaw Contributor

    Does anyone have experience roasting the Moka Kadir blend for espresso? I heard some good things about it, so I got a couple pounds to play with. My first roast was something of a shot in the dark, but it came out reasonably well. This is some good stuff, and I can see it becoming our house standard.

    I'm about to roast the second batch, probably trying to slow it down a bit through the drying phase and maybe letting it go a little longer (I dropped it a few degrees or so early, just due to a slip). Right now, I'm targeting just the beginning of second crack.

    I'd appreciate some tips, guidance, experience, etc., for going forward. What do y'all know about this stuff?
  2. I'm roasting and brewing Maka Kadir blend right now. I really like it. I roast one lb green in a gas roaster to the beginning of second crack, about 445 degrees, with a total roast time of about 12 minutes. Fantastic coffee. I brew strictly with an espresso machine (spring lever). Hope you enjoy it!
  3. TexLaw

    TexLaw Contributor

    I just wanted to report on how things are going with this blend. I've roasted roughly 3 pounds of the 5 I ordered, and I'll most certainly order more. This blend is just what the TL house looks for in espresso, so there's little doubt that it will be the house standard. We'll continue to play around with other blends and single origin coffees as a change of pace, but Moka Kadir likely will be in the mix for the foreseeable future.

    It's also been an interesting and enjoyable challenge to roast, since the beans vary a good deal in size and density. The advice on Sweet Maria's website is to ramp it up slowly, and the advice I got from them when I asked for more advice was "it's worth noting that the Yemen beans within the blend are pretty dense so you don't want to go too slow or too light on the heat. That's about all that is important to know with this blend." I'm sure that's great advice to someone who's been roasting professionally for ages, but it doesn't do a whole heck of a lot for someone like me, who's still fairly moist behind the ears. I don't mean to complain, though, as that sort of vague advice is pretty much par for the course across the roasting community. A lot depends on your particular roaster, conditions, and preferences--I get that.

    So, after six 250-gram roasts, I think we're getting pretty close to what we like around here. With the varying size and density, it seems like a good amount of air leads to better results. With the Hottop, I usually start with 10% fan right off the bat and get it up to 50% about 3 minutes in, 60% at the end of the drying phase, 80% as I approach first crack, and peg it at 100% from the first pop of first crack through the end of the roast. For heat, I've been pre-heating at 100%, dropping to 80% at charge (charging at 330F), dropping to 70% at about the 2:30 or 3:00 mark. The roast seems to move along well through the drying and maillard phases without change, although I may drop the heat to 65% if the BT curve looks to be getting ahead of what we seem to like, but I still aim to get ET to 400F by the end of first crack (I've read that some good things can lead to some good things during the development phase). Typically, I will drop the heat to 60% once first crack is rolling and then to 40% once ET gets to 400F. I drop at the first sign of second crack. The roast

    I do see some of this changing, as I have been getting some predictable flicks, so I will see what I can do to smooth those out to some extent without oversteering the boat. I'm also a little concerned about backing heat off too much or too early because of those Yemeni beans. Ah, I can't too concerned, though. If I blow a batch, I'll learn from it.

    Does anyone have any other experiences, tips, or thoughts?
  4. Have you ever roasted the SMs single origin Yemen. Its fantastic. If you tried to roast a few pounds of it then you might understand their advice better. It needs to rest 5 days before brewing.
  5. TexLaw

    TexLaw Contributor

    @Leverspro, I haven't, but I will see if I can order a couple pounds or so when I order more of the Moka Kadir. I already was thinking about roasting the components of the blend in order to get more insight. The Yemeni sounds like a great start.

    Thanks for the advice!
  6. TexLaw

    TexLaw Contributor

    I picked up some of the Yemeni SO with my last order, and that probably will be my next roast. I started reaching for it this morning but ended up roasting more of the Moka Kadir.

    Do you have any advice about roasting the Yemen? With the dense and dry processed bean, I was going to start with a profile along the lines of the Ethiopian natural process beans I've roasted in the past.
  7. I brew for espresso exclusively and take it into second crack by about 15 seconds and about 440 degrees with the probe that Is in the beans. For sure let it rest a few days. It's amazing that coffee is coming out of that country with all that is going on there.
  8. TexLaw

    TexLaw Contributor

    No doubt about that, although the price reflects that. It's the Mokha Matari that I have on hand. The Mokha Harasi has come available since I placed that last order, and I'm thinking about springing for some of that so that I can compare them.

    I also just might want to enjoy Yemeni coffee while it lasts. I fear that Yemeni coffee may go the way of Syrian Latakia tobacco before we know it.

    Thank you for the advice.

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