I don’t usually buy off-the-shelf coffee in grocery stores, mostly because they are meant for mass consumption so they taste more or less the same for the “general public”. I avoid brands like Nabob, Folgers, Maxwell House etc. Some of them has additives added and I avoid them for health reasons.
Seeing Nabob now offers single origin in whole beans, priced at $10/bag. After playing with it for half an hour, it doesn’t change my mind – when a brand is marketed for mass consumption, even the with a different package, it still cannot become specialty coffee.
I like medium roast and the my experience with most Colombian have been positive, so I pick up the Colombian. One challenge about coffee shopping is that they only show a “best before” date, some brands will give 6 months, some gives 12 months. Mine is Sept 2017 and I thought it could be fresh “enough”; and I am wrong.
The beans smell great before even I open it. Upon opening it, the first thing I notice is the oily beans. Oily beans usually is a sign saying “the goodness of the bean is leaked!”, that means the reaction is already happened. Then the beans I grabbed are inconsistent in size… ???????????????????????? Some pieces are broken, some pieces are 1/2 smaller than others. The colors of the beans also indicated it is over-roasted, it should be “almost-dark roast” in my opinion.
Are these what they use for their ground coffee? Am I dumb enough and bought a bag of “whole” ground Nabob coffee? I guess the answer is YES!
Putting the coffee to my staple of cupping – Aeropress in reverse ~~
The usual setup, dial the grinder half way and get a ratio of 20g:200g coffee to water. Water temperature is 92-94C w/ a 30 sec pre-infusion.
There is NO bloom!!!! The last time I didn’t have a bloom is the McDonald Espresso! This bean is old but not stale yet, definitely passed it’s best time. The oil is weak and watery before I insert the stirrer into the press.
Once I push down the press (I use metal filter BTW), it gives a strong aroma of sourness (or citrus?). Did I under-extract something? Given the timing is identical, the problem could not be me right? We will find out later on when I do a pour-over run.
The coffee tastes like garbage, I can tastes the citrus, as well as burned coffee. Like I mention earlier, I must have done something wrong. But the citrus, sour and bitter coffee are 2 opposite ends of over/under extraction. Once I add water to the 200g of coffee, I can conclude the problem is not mine; this coffee is not meant for delicate enjoyment (not good enough to go on an Aeropress). I cannot accurately profile the tastes because of the poor initial tastes still lingering on my palette.
The next day, I grind a bit more, put it on pour over with a rough ratio of 4 teaspoon:12oz water. The end result is definitely better, and it tastes like regular Nabob from a tin.
It’s disappointing, other than it smells good, I feel cheated. I can’t believe I bought a bag of expensive “un-grinded” ground coffee. I think when a brand is designed for mass consumption, it will always be. Maybe that’s the intention of this coffee is to market to those non-coffee geek who want whole beans instead of ground? This thing fails miserably in an Aeropress and does fairly on a pour-over. This bag of coffee will go to my everyday morning stash and it should be gone in about 2 weeks.