We did a signature espresso blend for a local friend based on our knowledge of his preferences. It's something we plan to do for each of the handful of people we work with. Just a simple pairing of two coffees to give him something that fit his flavor profile for espresso.
A few notes about what came of it. We received a slew of positive feedback among which I will take the time to share a few bits and pieces I found funny.
One comment from a Brooklyn interloper was that it was a traditional North Italian. It's a medium roast and yes, it does technically fit in that range but it's not something I would say because that wasn't the idea going in. Point is, it's not a triple ristretto deep disco type of thing but it's simply light because there was only a goal of a specific taste profile, not agtron.
A former Copacafe barista said simply, it's very good but there is too much of X component in the blend. Yes, putting the percentages on the bags makes for some armchair quarterbacking but we expect that. In a way it's fun because when you watch people read the components after sampling, you notice them saying, oh that's what flavor X was.
It's strangely awkward.
You work a long time to develop something, a concept or an idea. Then you get to the stage where you have to share and realize it. You have to come out of the lab and talk with real humans beings which is entirely tiring but likewise cathartic. You get wrapped up in your own world of 'Skeleton grinders' and Vacuum Packing for so long, it becomes easy to forget just how novel all of it is. I'm in a place where the worry over if it lives up to the expectations is met with the reality of how it is actually served up. The irony is that you almost expect issues after having so many months of problem solving sessions and it becomes hard to sit back to just enjoy the positive feedback and stop to have a shot. Getting an excited text message about 'ice cream cappa' is almost a bit hard to share in the excitement when you are refining and critiquing but you have trouble switching into sell mode to talk about how great it is.
Of course the next phase is a lot of training sessions, calibrations, machine mods, well... you know the drill.
Favorite quote has to be when the shop owner visited us and I pulled him a shot only an hour or two off the roast. He responds by telling me, 'shots are pulling better at the shop.' While we are barismo, I don't think I am good enough to beat three days worth of shots in a single pull but I digress. That's kinda cool in it's own way.