portlandcoffee-deactivated20120 asked: At the consumer level, assuming that I have already decided on my brewing method and price point, should variety be the most important element in guiding my choice of beans from a roaster (rather than country/region of origin, or tasting notes)?
That’s my opinion. Last week, Peter Giuliano tweeted “as a taster, variety, process, and producer mean WAY more to me than country name.” My list is different. I taste: roast, coffee company, process and producer. Preparation is important, too; that’s a different conversation.
(An aside: I find the roast profiles of some coffee companies to be so pronounced - and, at times, inconsistent - that they effectively edit the coffee, highlighting some notes and cutting out others: roasts are not neutral. A second aside: by coffee company I mean everything that happens between the port and the roaster, how the coffee is stored, shipped and sold - old coffees taste old no matter what they are or what the transparent price might have been. I’m not pointing fingers, just expressing a general observation.)
Where does variety fall in that lineup? I’m not entirely sure, in part because I’m not tasting it.
Then again I’m tasting coffee as you’re tasting coffee, and mostly picking up what’s on the shelves. The other participants here are tasting at origin, at auctions and at roasters. Their experiences are less mediated, which means what they taste has more clarity, but sometimes that clarity is a kind of bias.
I’d like to hear what the other participants think.