looking to sample new beans...advice wanted


New member
Feb 17, 2008
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I am fairly new to home roasting (a few months now) and really enjoy it. for my first dive into it i bought a small bag of Jamaican blue mountain Clydesdale and an Ethiopian yirgacheffe (the blue mountain because i heard its ''the best'', and the yirg because i hear its popular) i''m now running low and looking to try new beans...

i drink my beans either as black french press (no sugar), espresso (my machine is a cheap one unfortunately) and cappuccino.

i like the blue mountain in all 3 ways i drink it i find the flavour smooth.
the yirg however i found has a sour aftertaste i find a little unpleasant.

crema on my espresso is pretty rubbish (combination of bean and cheap machine i expect... though i''m sure i also have a little something to do with it)

the blue mountain is expensive and i''m a student so i wish to expand and learn more about the different beans to save money.

i would like to find a bean (or combination of beans... i don''t know much about blending atm but i am willing) that is generally good for coffee, espresso, and cappuccino... i would like to try and improve the crema i get. and i want the flavour to be smooth and not have the ''sourness'' i taste with the yirg.

i bought my last beans from http://www.hasbean.co.uk/ and so would prefer to be a repeat customer.

all suggestions and general tips would be most welcomed and much appreciated


New member
Mar 2, 2008
Southern Maine
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First, I don't roast. But I do futz around. Right now I am drinking a blend of Rwanda and Kenya.

The Yirg was stored improperly. Ethiopan can be delish.

If they had funky Yirg you might want to try getting beans from another source.

Buy small amounts (1/4 pound) of some single origin coffees and blend them. Try mixing Costa Rican with various things. If memory serves Columbian should go well with it.

IMHO, a blend of really good coffees is the way to go.


New member
Oct 18, 2006
Old England (UK)
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tim_programmer said:
i bought my last beans from http://www.hasbean.co.uk/ and so would prefer to be a repeat customer.

all suggestions and general tips would be most welcomed and much appreciated

Tim, I presume you are in the UK? (this forum is mainly USA, but nice to see another Brit on here) if you want to continue being a customer of Hasbean, then you will find there is a forum pretty much dedicated to discussion of his coffee beans and you will get all the advice you need (on a continuous basis!) of what he has and what would be good to drink and what you might be doing wrong to make those beans not taste wonderful! :roll:


Just a Tip though...JBM and Yirg are definitely not the 2 best coffees for espresso extraction, although they should be fine in a presspot. If you don't like your coffee too acid, go for the Brazilians and Indonesian coffees, they blend together really well and are also good as single origins if you get the right ones e.g. A Sulawesi and a Brazilian (sweet yellow bourbon if you can), they are a lot cheaper than JBM and IMO can taste much better. I would hazard a guess that you might be roasting in a Popcorn popper (student), so again definitely not Yirg or JBM for that roasting method.

If you want to get great coffee at wholesale prices and save yourself some money, then there is a NON PROFIT green coffee buying cooperative in the UK which I run. the beans are totally at wholesale cost, a group of us get together for a buy and we normally buy about 10 or so coffees 700kg in total and split the coffees around 20kg each. Significantly cheaper than from a commercial reseller. if you live near one of the Coffeetime Greens Club members, then you could always split a buy with them to keep your costs down. (we have members all over the UK, Spain France, Netherlands, Denmark etc..)

A LOT more information about coffees and how to join the UK Greens Club is here (note we only deliver to UK and some European countries):


So you can continue the route you're on, or you can start to help yourself. In addition to the information I have already mentioned a few searches will bring you a wealth of information on home roasting and online roast logs for (Genes, Iroast, Topers etc..), plus blending and green coffee information.

Everything I do is completely non commercial, and none of my sites are sponsored by any business, or supported by any business, it's all run on free software or at my personal expense. If you already know about "too much coffee", then you might want to get an alternative view.

Oh just a little humour about the way some coffees get described below :wink:

Blap has been finding the forums interesting reading!
he thought he would try his hand at cupping in the cupping room on Acturus Prime….but someone had got there first!


part of a whole series I will be publishing weekly.


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I don't think Jamaican Blue Mountain is the best. The "best" quality JBM usually goes to Japan, and the rest of the world gets the leftover at very high and unjustified price. But that is my opinion. If that is what you like the best, then it is the best. A good Yirgacheffe is citrus liked in aroma but not sour in taste. If yours were sour, you might want to roast it differently next time. Prolong the roasting time but drop after first crack is finished.

Here is a link for blending and espresso blending.



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Apr 13, 2008
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" don't think Jamaican Blue Mountain is the best. The "best" quality JBM usually goes to Japan, and the rest of the world gets the leftover at very high and unjustified price. "

100% true.
Even so, most of the people has not enogh experiance about quality, different type, characteristics and prices. Jamaican, ethiopia coffee are well promoted as best coffee in the world from long ago.
Japanese buy the best from coffee, beef and other stuff and no matter how much it cost. However Japan is not popular and famous because their coffee blend is the best. Someone tried japanese coffee? may be mixed with some ginseng or other stuff. Forget about that.
From my personal point of view JBM can improve your blend but I'm not goig to drink an 100% of JBm roasted beans, is wasted money and does'nt meet my likes.
If someone willing to roast at home their beans I suggest to starting from the real bottom and test different kind separately do not blend and soon you may have a picture which is totally different from best promoted coffee in the world. There are beans can surprisingly mach your expectation at very reasonable price. Laos-Thailand-Vietnam-India and other in far east are not well know and even if they are not producing the best, those beans are pretty good. Brazil don't need promotion, you can find almost whatever you need, if you have some extra money you may try arabica from Santo Domingo (for blend). For caraibben area coffee's you will need much more money there is huge demand of those beans better switch for diffent area.

Carmine Domenaco

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Oct 10, 2007
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JBM is a solid coffee, however for the prices you pay for JBM you can try some amazing coffees for half the price. If you like espresso, look for natural Ethiopians. A few nice sidamos or Nat. Yirgs will sing in a press pot or in an espresso machine.

Miel coffees from central america (honey=aqua pulped with the mucilage left on to dry) you can find some really nice Costa Rica and Nicaraguan coffees processed this way as well as a few Panamas. This process is conducive to great espresso and press coffee since it relies on sweetness and has a fairly gentle acidity.

Washed Yirgacheffe will be too bright in espresso and perhaps not heavy bodied enough to shine from a press pot. I like a great yirg in a chemex or vac pot. These ways bring out the floral notes.

When buying green coffee it helps to know the best times to buy from a particular region. We're just starting to see new arrivals from Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica. El Salvadors have been in for a little while now.

If I were stocking a roastery, be it 1/4 lb or a container of each, I would buy a fantastic washed Ethiopian, natural Ethiopian, a great washed central (or four), a honey processed central, a clean brasil natural and of course, a syrupy Kenyan. I might find a suitable Sumatran and something of a wild card: bolivia, rwanda, tanzania etc.

The beauty of home roasting is the small amount of coffee you have to buy in order to try it.


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Jun 29, 2008
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Try a simple blend of 80% Brazil and 20% Colombia. It''s good for espresso or drip and has been a staple of the US military since the early 1900''s.


New member
Feb 17, 2008
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Hi guys

I completely forgot about my post! (it had to be approved). thankyou all for your replies

Davec: thankyou for your reply in particular. your assumptions were correct i live in the UK and use a popcorn popper (non modified atm - giving it temp control is on my todo list - i love a bit of diy). i think i will stick with my small buys for now as a way of experimenting and will take a look at your recommendations



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Jul 9, 2008
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@ tim,
solid advice from all other posts. True, JBM is expensive and not really ''the best''. Actually Sumatra coffee is of the same caliber as JBM and way cheaper. Also, I think someone had mentioned that there must have been something wrong with your Yirg, because its a really good coffee. cheers.


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Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
Near Philadelphia, PA
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Hello All,

Yes, I definitely agree with Topher. He turned me on to Papua New Guinea a few months ago. It is very similar to Jamacian Blue Mountain. I was a JBM fan until the price got so outrageous. Now Papua New Guniea is my favorite.

I recently bought some Guatamala Antigua, Costa Rica Tarrazu, and Tanzanian Peaberry (all whole beans), and those coffees were all very good too. But, I still like the Papua New Guinea the best (so far).