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Low-acidity coffee beans – what do I ask for?

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After having reasonable luck with my last batch of coffee liqueur, I was hoping that someone here could help me select a more suitable sort of bean. I don't drink a lot of coffee (it gives me indigestion), but I love the flavor in desserts and cocktails.

My previous attempt used a dark roast coffee that was quite sour - sort of like what you'd find at Starbucks. The end result had a very potent coffee flavor with a less processed taste than Kahlua, but much like the raw ingredients, it was a lot more sour. I'd like to fix that.

What should I look for in a roast? I wouldn't mind using a nationwide distributed variety, but being able to find something locally would be nice as they can grind it very, very fine.

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One of my favorite beans is Sidamo (Ethopian). It's fruity and has little acidity. I have tried the sun-dried version at Starbucks and it's very nice. I've also tried other types of Sidamo beans (can't remember the brands) and they have all had quite low acidity.

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Jim's Organic Coffee Espresso Jimbo should fit the bill. The name makes me cringe, but it's a go-to for me, since I prefer low-acidity beans, and I always get fantastic coffee from this (I have no way of knowing which nation you mean, when you say 'nationwide', but Jim's Organic Coffee is US-based).

My experience is that it's generally found in shops where you grind it yourself to the desired fineness, but if you have a grinder at home, you'll get much better results, since you won't have the ground coffee sitting about, losing its aroma.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums

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Ive been roasting my own coffee for over 10 years. I get the 'greens' from http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.greencoffee.mvc.php

Go there and look over the description s of the beans. look in their library and read about the. Tom of SM's is as knowlegeable as anyone.

then try to find those beans. It will be very hard to do but gives you some ideas. may commercial places over roast their beans as this 'harsh' flavor is what people think 'good' coffee tastes like. Peet's does this routinely.

Try a lighter roast?

My personal favorite blend for espresso when I do it correctly is amaizingly sweet and reqwuires no sugar or (ugh :wacko: ) milk.

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I have been loving Miscela d'Oro espresso beans (Gran Crema or Gusto Classico). I haven't made a liqueur with this brand, but it does deliver an espresso that is unrivaled (pulled from a La San Marco machine) -- great crema, round flavor, just the right amount of acidity, etc.

You can buy the beans on Amazon for a good price.

Here is a link to the corporate website: http://www.misceladoro.com

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I'd look for a Latin American coffee or a "breakfast blend" with a medium or light roast, all other things being equal. But the best way to sort this out is probably to go to your coffee source and ask them, or ask them for small samples of all of their offerings if the source isn't too knowledgable. You can then make pilot batches either by extracting it in alcohol or cold-brewing it in water and adding Everclear.

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Ecuadorian Criollo from Cariamanga county is chocolatey with hints of fruit but very low acid, so long as you get medium roast. Dark roast is very like bitter chocolate and would overpower your liqueur, I think.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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If you have access to a good coffee shop with knowledgeable sales people just ask for a low acid coffee, it is a common question and they should have recommendations. A good Central American for example are usually lower in acid as opposed to a Kenyan which are excellent but often have a brighter acidity.

Edited by AAQuesada (log)
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Thank you for all the suggestions. The Yirgacheffe sounds right on the money, and I (hopefully) can find one locally; if not, the Starbucks blend should be affordable enough. I'm still at the "working out the bugs" phase of making coffee liqueur, so I'll try and stick to the stuff I can get at the store 2oz at a time.

I'm also hoping to try a n2o cavitation process instead of infusing it into vodka. I've found anything made of cellulose - especially cinnamon - can impart a strong woody flavor to the finished product, and infusing for minutes rather than weeks will hopefully prevent these less desirable compounds from dissolving. However, the extracted flavors will no doubt be different.

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I second the recommendation for a Guatemalan coffee, and would add Panamanian coffees to the list of candidates. A good Panamanian coffee is very well balanced and not terribly acidic. They can be a bit harder to find than some of the more well known countries for coffee, but most of my absolute favorite coffees have been Panamanian.

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