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Cappa-Strega!

espresso

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My new toy…ahem…I mean “Research and Development” purchase. Yep, she’s the one in the middle: The Bezzera Strega!

strega

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Every Thursday morning at 10:00 am I tutor a friend in Greek, a friend who also happens to roast coffee using the same roaster with which I started–a Poppery Popcorn Popper! So every Thursday I’ll brew us up something exciting and typically experimental. This morning, I had some Ethiopian Sidamo that I had put to the side after I roasted it to let it rest for a full 10 days before using it for an espresso (it needed to calm down a bit before putting it into concentrated form for a straight shot). So I pulled us a shot fromt he PID equipped Gaggia Classic this morning and experienced bliss in a shot glass. “Blueberries!” Brett exclaimed, immediately after his first sip. Indeed, blueberry syrup with milk chocolate sweetness and some unidentifiable pungent/spicy notes. As an SO shot, it is the best one I’ve had all year. If only there were a market for this around here! It’s sad that the Eastern U.S., outside of the major cities, has largely not tapped into the world of espresso shots. Baristas around here have simply not been taught how to pull a shot correctly. Quality espresso is about half product, half prep, so the person behind the bar has to be competent. If you ever want to experience what an espresso can be like, just let me know and I’ll have you over to the roasting room for a treat!

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Me--in the morning before my coffee.

The first thing that popped into my head from the fragrance was a yogurt dipped green apple candy cane. Is there such a thing? It definitely has a sweetish (not Swedish) and soft smell. The cup is bright but has the right sweetness to balance it out. [Confession: I don’t like coffees that can only be described as bright, the ones where the only descriptor that comes to mind is “lemon” or the more generic “citrus.” Brightness is great (and without it, I’m usually bored), but brightness needs balance.] There is a racing stripe of brightness that shoots from the front of my tongue all the way to my hangy-ball in the back, with the sides of my tongue, usually where sourness is detected, picking up on the serious smoothness and opposite-of-bitterness of this coffee. It’s like a razor blade with soft foamy handles—sharp at the top and soft on the sides. I want talk about the flavor as apple pucker, but I’m scared you’ll associate it with cheap, flavored vodka. Nevertheless, it’s got an apple sweetness and a brightness that makes me want to…pucker. BTW, Better Morning Blend is a double entendre 🙂

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Nice morning cup for a cool, rainy day…a day that I am finishing my three day bike across KY! This Tanzanian has big, heavy-on-the-tongue, juicy body, but it is uncharacteristically bright for such a full bodied coffee. In the cup it has floral notes well integrated with soft citrus and an edge of fruit. This doesn’t try to be a fruity or citrusy coffee, but has nice fruit-like sweetness and enough citrus to wake up your taste buds. There is perhaps the slightest hint of milky butterscotch (not quite caramel or chocolate), as the cup cools. The flavors are well integrated with nothing that stands out as dominate. YUM!

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