company - education - coffee

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Clean Espresso

Have you ever tasted a "clean" espresso?

By "clean", I mean:

Distinct flavor components

It's very much like drinking a fine glass of wine (a nice Cab, for example).

By "clean", I don't mean:

Lack of body
High acidity
Lack of low tones (such as roast flavor)

Among all the espresso I have tasted, only two fits this category - S.O. Yirgacheffe from Terroir and Caffe Crescendo from Kaffa. One is a single origin pulled at a ridiculous low temperature of 194F and the other is a blend (of 4 beans) pulled at normal espresso brewing temperature (~198/200F?). Both are very aromatic, clean, void of any off flavors (from green defects), bright without overbearing acidity, and have enough low-tone roast flavor without any smokiness (much like barrel aged flavor in wines).

Problem is, I can't get any of them now.

You all know how I felt about that Yirg from a earlier post. However, ever since the first batch, it never come back to that amazing roast again. And after so many tries and knowing how great it could be, I simply gave up.

Caffe Crescendo is another story. I had a tiny sample from Chris Owens when we visited nyc a while back. It was a life changing experience. Never have I had anything like it. It was so clean and so sweet; so bright but lack of any sharp acidity; it has enough low tones to keep the shot very balanced; and so aromatic even 8 days out of roast. Sad thing is, I don't know how I could get some more. And even if I am willing to pay for some ridiculous amount of shipping cost ($40 per lb?), I am not sure if the coffee will survive the trip.

So... are there any alternatives?

- Ben