The last installment of one bean two ways, this week’s coffee is espresso specific profile of Papua New Guinea Sero Bebes from 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters. This Typica and Arusha varietal from the Aiyura Valley in the Eastern Highlands is grown at an elevation of 1650 m and is described by 49th as being complex, floral, and tropical. As stated last week, I didn’t find the filter specific roast of this coffee to be very “tropical” or “zippy” but this coffee is bursting with sweet zippy-ness as espresso. 49th Recommends:
18 grams in an 18 gram VST Basket > 39-42 grams out
7 bars of group pressure.
Again, maybe my skills are not up to the task with 49th’s coffees, but I found this coffee to work best in the IMS Precision 16/20 Double basket. Shots in the VST, although needing a finer grind, were not as sweet, and were sometimes left with a little flat or lacking. According to Matt Perger’s Espresso Compass, this would indicate the need to extract more and maybe increase yield, which in this case I would be hesitant to do, because the body was already thinner than I preferred, and pulling the shot too long, even at lower pressures and declining brew pressure, started to get bitter.
I did however, love espressos from the IMS basket. They were dynamic, sweet, and had a pineapple syrup type flavor that delightfully lingered. The larger 16/20 gram IMS basket worked best with the following recipe:
19.2 grams in > 39-41 grams out in 32 seconds, cutting the pump around 27 seconds, but not exhausting/activating the three way solenoid, so the shot continued to flow at boiler pressure, at 200*F. My machine at full pump pressure is set to 8 bars, so I didn’t adjust from there.
I also tried this coffee in the Espresso Parts Northwest HQ 14 gram Ridgeless Double basket and pulled more comfort style shots. These were not quite as sweet or complex as those from the VST or IMS baskets, lacking complexity and any hints of florals. They leaned a bit more traditional and syrupy, and did make for a sweet dark chocolate hot cocoa of sorts cappuccino. In the EPNW HQ basket I dosed 18 grams in to 39-41 grams out in 27-31 seconds at 200*F cutting the pump out in the last few seconds of flow, as previous.
The EPNW HQ baskets tendency to pull a bit more of a comfort shot did make for a tasty dark chocolate, hot cocoa kind of complex, creamy, cappuccino.
As compared to the filter specific roast of this offering, this coffee was sweeter and more approachable in the Aeropress, certainly not as complex, but a good cup. I used 17 grams filling to the top of the inverted Aeropress with a add water, stir, add the rest of the water, stir, flip, plunge at 1 minute for total brew time of 1:30 in the Aeropress.
Cups through the V60 were similar; sweet, approachable, smooth, but not complex or zippy. I was able to pick up a little more floral and spice notes in the V60, but the filter specific offering seemed to provide more complexity and subtlety.
My only knock against this coffee is that it did tend to drop off quickly after its peak. I found it to peak about 5-7 days post roast, and then some of that knock your socks off complex syrupy sweetness tapered. It was still good, sweet, and balanced, but when it was at its peak, it was one of my favorite espressos as of recent. My recommendation for anyone buying a pound would be to portion out in smaller batches than usual when freezing.
As always, orders over $65 ship free in the US and Canada, and be sure to take advantage of the favorable exchange rates as 49th does bill in CAD. $21 for a proper pound.
Be sure to join in next Friday where I’ll be diving into a roaster whose website and coffee descriptions resonate with me, that I’ll be trying for the first time. Until then, finish the week strong people!